AS THE POMEGRANATE REVEALS ITS SECRETS IN DUE SEASON, SO TOO DOES SOUL REFRESH WITH INSIGHT AND WISDOM
Do your remember eating your first pomegranate? There is a bitter crusty skin that has to be carefully navigated to open up to the sweet and juicy seeds hidden within.
So too are the walls caregivers build during their careers that protect them. The danger is that what gives life, one's values and strengths remain hidden and even suffocated by the very walls that are built to protect.
My love of the pomegranate comes from my spiritual roots with the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God whose logo is the pomegranate. While there are many accounts and definitions of the pomegranate in ancient myths and art forms, in Christian mythology, the pomegranate is a symbol of hospitality. As the pomegranate opens itself and offers its seeds of eternal wisdom and hope for the future, the process of coaching is to facilitate the client to rediscover and reclaim his or her inner strengths and values that lead to personal and professional growth.
Being hospitable is a necessary attribute of a coach. An ancient symbol of hospitality and later a symbol of compassion is the pomegranate that bursts open at the right time and place to give of itself completely. And so does the effective coach who listens attentively, allows the client to set the agenda, asks difficult questions, and affirms the client’s strengths, growth and processes.
The coach can only be present or hospitable and therefore empathetic and compassionate, if there is openness to the experiences of the client. To be hospitable means to be present in such a way that the client discovers the capacity for and the possibility of growth and an increase in human dignity through the trusting encounter with the coach. And concurrently, the coach in partnership with the client rediscovers new learning and teachable moments. Being hospitable is the ability to welcome the client and to accept and be present in such a way that provides safety and recognition to where the client is. Being hospitable requires the ability to welcome the client’s doubts and fears, uncertainties and vulnerabilities, emotions and strengths. This openness creates acceptance, presence, and a non judgmental attitude. As a wounded healer, one who knows limitations as well as the power of inner strengths, the coach is able to facilitate and build relationships that lead to healing and transformation.