No, wait, that’s a drastic thing to say.
Soul Coaching didn’t change my life. That would be too easy. What it did
help me do is know myself better, which, in turn, makes me less frantic
and more in control of situations. So I changed my life. And it didn’t
happen overnight. Or, over the six weeks of the program. Indeed, once
the sixth week was done, I was left feeling more confused than I usually
felt. Just so you know, that’s a pretty high level of confusion.
But let’s start at the very beginning, as
Maria von Trapp very soundly advised us to. Like most people, I have
issues. Some, like my obsession with dogs, are not so worrisome. Others,
like my paranoia about losing loved ones, were not. Those are just two
examples; as you can imagine, there were several other things, large and
small, that could snowball into really worrisome situations. And, more
often than not, I dealt with things either by talking myself out of
them, or by pretending I was fine. That, I believe, is the general
response we all have to any situation that’s bothersome. And both paths
work. Superficially, of course. Which makes all of us believe we’re
fine. Most of the time.
So when my editor suggested I meet
Nandinii Sen, a soul coach, and try the program, I wasn’t sure I wanted
to. Honestly, it seemed like too much work for a newly-married woman
with a full-time job and a house to run. Why bother, when you have
silence or a long chat with a friend as tempting alternatives? However,
I did meet Nandinii and was intrigued by her explanation of soul
coaching and how it works. Therefore, I plunged right in.
Conceptualised by Denise Linn, soul
coaching is designed to help you “discover your authentic self” by
taking you to your “spiritual source” and helping you find “meaning and
sacredness in your everyday life”. To this end, the program is divided
into four weeks, each devoted to an element and an area of your life.
Therefore, you start with Air, which is your mind; next up is Water, or
emotions; the third week is the Fire, or spiritual, one; and you end
with Earth, which is the body. The last two weeks give you time to find
ways to apply everything you’ve learnt into your daily life, without
tasks to guide you.
How soul coaching works is both a simple
and complex process. The barebones of it are fairly straightforward: I
met Nandini at the start of the week for a session that could last 30
minutes or two hours and could speak with or email her whenever I wanted
to over the next six days. In each session, we prayed together,
discussed the upcoming week and I spoke to her about anything at all. I
must make it clear, however, that a soul coach is not a shrink. They can
only guide you along a path that you have to walk alone. However new-agey
that sounds, it’s true. Nandinii only listened, and encouraged me to
find my own solutions, by using the tasks I was doing every week.
These tasks differ with each element and,
again, range from the very easy to the excruciating. For example, the
program starts with cleaning clutter, both in the mind and in your
physical environment. Needless to say, it’s far easier to clean out
cupboards and get rid of all the junk you’ve been collecting for years
than it is to really sit down and think about emotional and mental
baggage and then start letting go of it. Similarly, in the Water week,
you have to trace your emotional history, which is a cleansing but
What I liked most about the way soul
coaching works is that you can choose what you want to do on a
particular day. The soul coach gives you audio files and tasks at the
start of every week. You can listen to the audio – voiced by Denise Linn
– at any point during the day and you can choose from three levels of
tasks, depending on how you busy you are. For instance, on one day in
the fourth week, you can either choose to detox your body with a quick
exfoliation in the shower, or by following a diet plan for the day.
This flexibility ensures that you have no
excuses to not make the most of the program.
At the end of four weeks, the audio and
tasks stop. The soul coach is still available to talk to but for a
fortnight, you’re encouraged to step back, take stock of the immense
lessons you would have learnt, and fit them into your daily life. This
is the hard part. It’s easy to feel empowered and in control when you
know you have someone who is listening to you and when you have
affirmations and tasks to tell you what to do. On your own, it’s hard to
remember that you are a special and deserving person when someone is
doing everything they can to prove you’re not.
So let’s go back to me being confused.
The muddle lasted maybe a month, as I tried to understand, completely,
where my problems had their roots and how I could – slowly – begin to
unravel them. Six months in, I’m still in that space. What has changed,
however, is that I now know my triggers and I am beginning to learn how
to react to situations. I’ve learnt that many things I thought were
vital to my very existence are actually not. And that I don’t really
care as much as I thought I did about several other things. I turned 30
and realised that I was afraid, in many ways, to accept that my
priorities have changed. The beauty of it is that as I become aware of
myself, my reality has begun to change. Because I have stopped worrying
endlessly, life doesn’t seem incredibly difficult and I no longer feel
inadequate to deal with it.
Soul Coaching helped me get here: To a
point in my life when I can even talk about my flaws without being
afraid of them. Because I know I can deal with them. And if I can’t,
there’s always a friend on speed-dial. Does she miss me, though, I
Sen is a certified soul coach based in Mumbai, who works with clients
across India and overseas. For
more about Nandinii and other Soul Coaching Practitioners,