Written by: Dr. Jackie Lau, Senior Level Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
In the first two articles of this 5-part series “Is my story of becoming a coach current?” and “Am I open to admitting where I am?”, we questioned the positions from which we engage in the act of coaching, and the subconscious and unconscious identifying forces behind them.
In this third part, we dive deeper into leveraging our experience of coaching as a stepping stone for Self-enquiry.
As previously discussed, we are all conditioned to perceive and interact with every detail of the world based on our past experiences as interpreted by the mind, which our ego uses to strengthen our self-concept and sense of separation.
As much of our preference and perceived “free will” is rooted in the unconscious, a true sense of freedom is thus potentiated through bringing conscious awareness to our imprinted thoughts and feelings that lie beneath our behavior, and most importantly, to the underlying perceived unmet need.
What and who would you be without it?
You will never truly understand your relationship with something until you get off it.
If we have all along been creating or exposing ourselves to experiences, presumably largely unconsciously and mostly repetitive, based on our perceived wants and needs defined by our conceptualized self, then wouldn’t it be worthwhile to understand the basis behind our wants and needs?
If we remain still and just witness the impulse to fulfill our preferences in this very moment, how does it feel like? What is that slight sense of impatience telling us? Or the transient feeling of liberation?
Are we going be okay if it is always going to be just like this?
Are what we perceive as our needs something we define as potentially enriching to our human experience, or something whose absence would threaten our sense of safety?
In terms of everyday preferences, for instance, why would not having a cup of coffee in the morning then threaten our sense of safety? Why would not getting a goodnight text from your partner feel threatening?
When you recall the first few times you tasted coffee, did you expect it to become an indispensable part of your morning routine that we now go as far as using the word “quit” to describe our attempt of simply not stopping by a Starbucks for two consecutive days? At the beginning of your romantic relationship with your new partner, when everything felt fresh and wonderful, did you anticipate the slightest shift in behavior would bring you a world of worry today?
Remember something used to be enjoyable before they become dependable?
When did the transition from enjoyable to dependable happen?
So, does our sense of safety equate a sense of security around the “self”?
A “self” that comes with a set of terms and conditions we have determined and accumulated over the past decades that we know would make us feel okay. What if all our wants and needs are actually shaped by this rule book that we don’t even know exist or rarely ever update?
To debunk the nature of the wants and needs that are unique to us, that we have identified with, that shape all of our preferences, we can experiment with our internal reactions to the absence of our relevant go-to need-fulfilling vehicles.
In the context of coaching, how do you feel when things are going quiet? Other than the more practical side of concerns, does insecurity start to creep in? Loneliness? Is our need to be needed starting to hurt? How about the feeling of being unseen or unheard?
If the removal of our engagement with some form of an act of service is causing us unease, feeling of deprivation, and challenging our sense of wholeness, then it is time to question whether we have actually been feeding our disintegration through altruism as a defense mechanism.
Do I need to be a coach – do I need to be needed?
Let’s role paly for a second. Pretend that you and I are medical doctors – do we need people to get sick for us to feel needed and okay? As medical doctors who presumably have the intention to support health and wellness for others, wouldn’t utopia be defined as a place where we find no more sickness? In other words, in a hypothetical ideal world, on the day where all diseases cease to exist, we will no longer be needed – our lifelong mission defined by this particular role is collectively considered accomplished, even if I had never treated a single patient by the time this happens. Do I then feel bad and insecure about myself because I never had the chance to put my training into practice? Or do I feel ecstatic as I celebrate with the rest of the world? Somewhere in between?
In this particular instance, and as far as occupation is concerned, how do we go about our mission if it’s not built upon someone else’s lack?
Same goes for coaching – how do we channel our sense of service without building upon someone else’s neediness?
To be completely honest with ourselves about our own dependence on others’ dependence on us is the first step to realizing the inner freedom within us which we could ripple to others.
If we go deeper, eventually we realize all wants stem from a sense of lack – I’m not going to be okay as it is, so I will want and need something in order for me to feel okay, then I will allow myself to be okay. Whenever we are coming from that place of the lack in our intention and action, we inevitably project that lack onto others. When we are unconsciously caught in that endless loop of self-avoidance, we depend on others’ dependence disguised as a win-win situation that appears benevolent, but in fact we may just be habitually repackaging our self-concept and rearranging our ego to avoid the internal unease, spiritually bypassing and shifting our addiction from one form to another, but always surrounding a sense of self.
What do I need to see/hear at this moment?
“When the fruit comes on the branch, the tree bows down.” ― Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Who are you if you no longer need to be who you think you are? Who are you if you no longer need to be who you think people need you to be? Who are you if you no longer need people to need you? Who are you if you no longer need to be needed?
To come face to face with any sense of discomfort that comes up while pondering the above, pay attention the part of us that is afraid of being unseen, unheard, and unfelt. Accept the disturbance and connect with the part of us that is afraid to be seen, heard and felt, by ourselves. When have we assigned the responsibility of seeing, hearing and feeling ourselves to others, and perceive that as a sign of permission for us to look within?
After all, perception is an isolated experience, connection with the Self emerges through presence, with or without an expression.
Imagine the kind of freedom to connect with the Self if we are no longer attached to seeking salvation from the ones seemingly seeking salvation; when we see the possibility in accepting and seeing the is-ness of our past stuff, we no longer need to perpetuate our self-avoidant strategy. We can then truly serve without imposing our internal reference to interpret others’ stories based on our own needs ― we can finally become the space that truly honors the presence of another.
What if, only when we no longer need to be coaching, or be seen or identified as a coach, we’re finally free to be playing the role as a coach, and be truly ready to allow another person to become our mirror, to allow ourselves to truly serve as a mirror for them.
Dr. Jackie Lau, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Dr. Jackie Lau is a neuroscientist and an experienced international life coach who is fascinated with human behaviors and the mechanisms underlying our mental and emotional states. With a deep appreciation for the integrative approach of modern psychology, neuroscience, and spirituality, Jackie is a top life coach in Australia and has co-created with people all over the world to radically transform into more self-awareness, sense of purpose, and inner freedom.
Jackie is trained as a strategic interventionist and breakthrough specialist with Robbins-Madanes Training, directed by Tony Robbins, which combines effective techniques evolved from neurolinguistic, psychological, and therapeutic inter-disciplines. As a curious researcher, Jackie completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia, studying the neural circuits governing motivation and reward. She is currently researching neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease, investigating the molecular basis relating neuroplasticity to cognition.
Leveraging her diverse cultural background, Jackie is profoundly devoted to studying Eastern and Western philosophy and literature, learning transformative wisdom from influential life strategists and spiritual teachers. In the fervency of her gratitude, for over a decade, she earnestly empowers people from all walks of life to live our authentic virtuous Self and commit to becoming love. Through ingenious modalities including mindset transformation and meditation, Jackie is inspired to cultivate our connection to a deeper world, one that nourishes our spiritual heart rather than feeds our time-bound predicament of patterns, one that channels our fear of pain into lasting pull to joy, appreciation, and peaceful presence.
Jackie loves the art of music and dance. She trained as a classical violinist from a young age, later on, discovered her passion for classical guitar, and has also been a dedicated hip-hop dancer and instructor since her college years. Her creative journey has never ceased to open doors for the extraordinary in the ordinariness of life.
Jackie’s vision is to co-create with the human family as part of nature, to tune in consciously and align with our thoughts, emotions, and actions, and to live passionately and playfully with full presence.