Coaching as a Tool for Healing and Justice

by Jessie Cordova, Bright Morning Director of Client Experience and guest blogger

Anyone who knows me well knows how obsessed I am with coaching. Next to individual reflection and mindfulness, I believe it to be the best technology we have to facilitate healthy growth and development. Think about it. The right set of questions, hearing what you just said reflected back to you or even having silence held for you, can be all it takes for a groundbreaking revelation to change your entire day- and quite possibly, your life. This is what happens when we heal. We and everything we are a part of, transforms as we heal.

What does healing mean?

When I speak of healing I mean the relationship we have with a traumatic/hurtful/disturbing event shifts from being one of pain, to being one of learning.

When we can distill specific insights from the event and leverage them to become stronger, more resilient and loving versions of ourselves, we have healed.

That event literally shifts to a different part of our brain and no longer negatively affects us as it once did.  

I’ve done lots of instructional coaching, leadership coaching, and now even life coaching, and it all pushes us to the same place. We already have within us, the answers we so desperately seek out in the external world. Our brains, our hearts, our very souls already have what we need. Coaching helps us get out of our own way. It helps us understand where we want to go, what the roadblocks are, why we put them there, why and how they create a sense of safety for us, whether or not we are ready to get rid of them and if so, how to do that. It helps us heal.

For a long time I believed systems, institutions, courts, schools etc. needed to have fair and equitable policies for us to experience a sense of justice. The conditions across the globe, in particular over the last few years, have confirmed for me that help is in fact, not on the way. It’s not coming. Or at least it’s not coming how I think it should come. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of work to be done to create more just systems all around us and yet, while we figure that out we have to get to a place of personal empowerment. A place that allows us to be in such tight alignment with ourselves that irrespective of what is going on in our external world, our internal world can be whole, filled with love, compassion and joy. Whole and fully nurtured individuals can take on broken systems far better than fragmented individuals can. The overall dispositions of healing people are naturally just and equitable because as we have seen, hurt people, hurt people. Healing people, help others heal. And all of us- every single one of us, is always healing from something.  

One of my favorite quotes by Rumi is:

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Over the last few years I have read this quote over and over to myself like a mantra, probably a few thousand times. Slowly, I began noticing what the universe had been trying to teach me- I have the power to explore and understand my own emotions so well that I can find joy in pain. I can find freedom in restriction. I can find calm in any storm. Life is a paradox and its life lessons show up as such. The essence of life comes from holding the juxtaposition and finding joy in it; finding the healing.

As a coach I have the extreme privilege, responsibility, and pleasure of bearing witness to the transformation of others. That is, I am literally watching them heal. The healing process can be a messy one so it takes a significant amount of vulnerability and humility to be coached as it does to coach. Through the process both people heal.

It is inevitable.

At the Art of Coaching Conference this past February I facilitated a session on using coaching as a tool for healing and justice. By justice I mean justice from within. The inner peace you feel that doesn’t pretend the pain or hurt wasn’t there but rather energizes you with the will to become a better you. I witnessed participants become intimate strangers in a matter of a couple of hours. There were tears, smiles, laughter, rigorous questioning and looks of high expectations. Below are just three techniques that help us uncover our own inner resources. When done well, they help us find healing and when we heal, we transform.

Being clever is helpful, but wisdom is forever.

Jessie Cordova is a coach and consultant based out of Brooklyn, New York. For more information about her healing work and for the PDF of the picture above please visit: Fun fact: Jessie is also on our Bright Morning Team, and the Director of Client Experience!

The views and opinions expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion or position of Bright Morning.