My Coach Deeply Transformed My Life

My Coach Deeply Transformed My Life–In A Most Unexpected Way

It so happens that my coach, Steve Chandler, is one of the most revered in the world. I didn’t know that when I met him, and he is so humble that this fact still escapes him. Initially, I wanted his guidance as I began pursuing a new career in coaching businesses, and as an author. I had long been a senior leader–CEO, President, board member–of public and private companies, and thought I needed some help in my new pursuits.

I naively had decided that I probably knew enough about coaching, as I had been “directing” a lot of people in my leadership roles, so decided to focus my time with him on writing my first book. In the early stages of our relationship, I spent most of the time telling him what I thought I knew. He sat quietly, always looking pleasant, not reacting or showing any judgment (good or bad) and just let me ramble. Eventually, when I decided to stop talking as much, our work together became a co-creation process which was very stimulating and always left me energized.

Although he said from time-to-time, “If there are other ways you think I might be able to help, we can go there too,” for a long time, I just stayed in the lane of having him as a mentor for my efforts as an author. He sent me books from time-to-time that he thought I might appreciate, and they always seemed somehow oddly timely. It was as though he knew there was something I was looking for that might be discovered in what he sent to me.

Over the most recent few years we collaborated on the creation, writing, and publishing of two books: The Well Being Bucket List, and The Leader and The Coach: The Art of Humanity in Leadership. We communicated more frequently and dug deeper into the process of weaving together our stories about mindful choices, earned wisdom, and guiding our readers through everything from how to be better listeners, to addressing existential questions in pragmatic ways.

Our conversations grew more wide-ranging. As this time passed, the books I began receiving from Steve shifted to subjects that were more about personal and psychological development, and though they related to the subjects we were writing about, seemingly not as directly. Although over the years we had touched on the way of Buddhism and other spiritual practices, I had never explicitly engaged with him about these as my “coach.”

At the beginning of this process, the books I received from him were what I would call at the “first-level” of exploring my own belief systems and psychology. Some included, Loving What Is (Katie), Learned Optimism (Seligman), Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World (Murthy), and Imaginable (McGonigal).

Later, I received The Inside-Out Revolution (Neill), Remembering the Light Within (Hulnick and Hulnick), The Happiness Hypothesis (Haidt), In Search of Wisdom (Ricard, et al.), Conscious (Harris), and Why Buddhism is True (Wright). Along the way, our conversations turned to the subject matter, generally, of these writings, and exchanging views about them. I learned that he was deeply informed and highly spiritual.

Eventually, Steve sent me titles including, How Enlightenment Changes Your Brain (Newberg and Waldman), Awakening to the Dream (Hartong), The Science of Enlightenment (Young), Is this a Dream? (Kumar), and All Else is Bondage (Wei). All of these were supplemented with audio and video interviews featuring Rupert Spira (You Are the Happiness You Seek: Uncovering Your Awareness of Being, and Being Aware of Being Aware), Bernardo Kastrup, and others.

It would be easy to label this as just Steve creating a library for me in support of my greater enlightenment. But accompanied by our conversations, and my deep curiosity in the psychology, philosophy, and insights that were collectively a part of this process, I discovered something that changed my life. I learned (or relearned) to release my thinking self, and egoic self, and rest in my deepest and only Self, at will. To comfortably exist in the so-called “real world” and live in the place of no mind that is our essential Being. My world is different, better, peaceful, and I am mostly detached from the misplaced external motivations that drove me most of my life.

Steve and I often discuss how “you’re not ready until you’re ready,” and this occurred over the course of 10+ years. I am grateful he was able to see behind my armor and believe there was humanity in there someplace. I received this Masterclass in How to Simply Be, from a coach who deeply lives in this world of Being, yet never pushes it on anybody. He is a master in humanity and creating space for his clients to grow as they need and are ready.

He is the Godfather of Coaching for a reason.

~William Keiper. co-author with Steve Chandler of The Leader and The Coach: The Art of Humanity in Leadership

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The Leader & The Coach by Steve Chandler & Will Keiper
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