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Interview with Alan Seale

woensdag 02 juli 2014

Alan Seale is a well known American transformation and leadership coach. Alan works worldwide with people and organizations who wants to develop leadership and talent. He is an author of several books and a renowned speaker. He is the director of the Center for Transformational Presence.

What's the essence of Transformational Presence Coaching?
First understanding that everything is energy and motion. Another way of saying that is everything is an process unfolding. So that we see everything within a part of a much bigger picture. And that everything is a part of a flow of energy. The second principle is that energy cannot be created or destroyed but only can be transformed. We are constantly in a co created process with everything around us. The more we can enter into a co creation the more we can be a part of a larger flow in a very intentional way. The third principle is that the universe is build on a matrix of relationships. The powerful space is actually the relationship space. The space between one person and another person, or organization or a belief or and idea. It's all about the space in between as where the power is. Those are the three principles of Transformational Presence Coaching. The essence of what we are doing is that we are helping people to learn to think, see and perceive in new ways to expand awareness to a much bigger picture of what's going on, so that people are to be able to follow the energy and potential and recognize the potential what's trying to unfold and follow that energy.

In which Transformational Presence Coaching differentiates from other forms and ways of consciousness development?
We fundamentally make a distinction between transactional and transformational coaching. With transactional coaching there is mostly a focus on the result. It's based on getting it done. And that's ok because sometimes things have to get done. In Transformational work on the other hand the first focus is the awareness that the goal, project or result is a vehicle for a greater potential to unfold. In Transformational Presence Coaching it's about identify what's that greater potential that's wanting to unfold. And secondly it's about what's wanting to shift in the energy, what's the breakthrough waiting to happen in order to let that potential come to life. And than we move on to what's it asking us for or how we do respond. In Transformational Presence Coaching we use three questions: firstly, what wants to happen? (instead of what I do want?) to look for the bigger picture, the second question is who is that asking me to be or to show up? and three what is that asking me to do?

How did you start with Transformational Presence Coaching and how did this come into your life?
In my first career I was a (opera) singer and voice teacher in New York. In that work I already worked a lot with perfomers. And at that time I had the awareness that something more wanting to happen here. A number of things contributing to that point and I asked myself what do I want in the second part of my life. And what wants to happen here? I started feeling this calling working in a bigger way with more people and different kind of ways. That's when I first became a coach. I went to my first coach training and this journey begins. I already had written the book intuitive living for my own spiritual journey and when I teaching workshops for performers and understanding energy and how the energy goes through them in their performance. After realizing this is the shift I want to make I kept writing the next book Soul mission, Life vision. For a numbers of years I trained people in personal development hoping that people make big changes in their lives. And when times unfold then I asked myself, what comes after that? What's the service we offering the world? And so the question how we show up became important and lead me to Transformational Presence Coaching. How we show up makes more difference than how we do. And at that time nobody talks about presence. So it felt like an important step to begin that conversation paying attention to not just being present in the moment but what is the presence that your bringing to that moment. So questions like how do you hold the space? How do you create an energetic space? How do you create the best possible conditions for transformation to unfold? Because we have to understand that transformation is not something that you make happen. It happens on it's own when you make the best possible conditions.

You said everything is energy and you can follow the energy. Can you explain what you mean with that?
In the same kind of way you are a partner with someone to do a project we are a partner with energy for a project. We are partner with a potential. We can co create with an idea or with a project just as much we can co create with another person. To follow that energy it's a very intuitive approach understanding the intuitive mind as the larger mind. Intellect is just one small part of the larger mind. So by using the intuitive mind sensing what is wanting to happen recognizing that there are messages everywhere. There is so much information available to us on an intuitive level if we are willing to just develop our skills to be able sense that energy. It is definitely a skill to develop. Some people of course are very gifted with it and it happens easily with them but most of us we have to develop that skill. What we are really have to develop is our trust. We sense things all the time but we don't pay attention to them. We are developing our ability to pay attention, our ability to notice what's there anyway. So following the energy is really about paying attention and realizing that there are messages on many many levels of awareness and to recognize that are many levels or layers to anything that's happening. We tend to just react to what's happening on the surface but when you go underneath there are so many layers of what's going on. The deeper we go on this layers the more we are able to very clear respond to what's happening instead of react to it.

Why is it so difficult to go underneath the surface?
Actually it's not so difficult to do that. It's something we are not taught to do that. We don't have any reinforcements in our culture and learning process. In our ways of working we mostly celebrate the intellect and rational mind and do not give credibility what we pick up with our intuition. But if you speak with the people who have made the biggest difference in the world in transformation and leadership, the most successful entrepreneurs, the people who has taken us to a whole new place in the world they were telling you it was all by following their intuition. I recently talked about learning forward and learning backward. We all have been conditioned to learn backwards. When we come across some new information or a new experience we look to our past for the box to put that in. When we do that our present and our future are limited by our past. If on the other hand we are learning forward we take each new moment on it's own terms and let it shows itselves to us. It's important that we recognize that every experience that we have can be something new and can offer us a whole new piece of learning or perception. Then we are learning forward and moving into a space where we can create new all the time and where our lives can continue to grow and expand. So, this whole process, partnering with energy is very much about an awareness of what's here and is not a difficult thing to do but it's not our habit yet.

One of your books is 'Create a world that works'. What do you mean with that title?
What I mean is not a perfect world or a world that is completely in peace. Because we have to understand that peace is not the absence of conflicts. It's our response to the conflicts. In the whole world there are so many different cultures, so many different societies. We are all in different places in our own growth and evolution and so therefore we are all in different learning curves and a world that works is one that recognizes we are all in different learning curves and allows for different people in the world to be learning different lessons. Just because we learned a lesson doesn't mean that everyone else in the world has and they may be not ready to move on to the next place yet or other places in the world may be far ahead of we are in development. And it's to recognize that we are all in our own journey. In a world that works we respect that. In a world that works we listen more than we talk. We are curious about other people prospectives and what there is to discover and to learn.

You are travelling a lot and you are working hard. How do stay in balance?
I have a daily programme of meditation to stay in alignment. My schedule is full so I have to stay in balance. I need enough time alone and enough time in silence.

A lot of people are busy with consciousness. How do see the world in the future on this area?
I expect that more people will handle with consciousness. It's not going to happen overnight. It's an continuing growth and evolution. We are in this shift from the piscean to the aquarian age and over a several hundred years we make the shift from the solar plexus to the heart chakra in the western world. We are in that process now, trying desperately to get to the heart. Now, we see that it is a very rocky road. There are a lot of challenges and conflicts in the world now, especially we see the rise of fundamentalist believes no matter what the religion or politics. They are holding tight because they are knowing they are slipping away. That's a natural thing, to hold on tight when you are going to lose something. I'm quite confident that we are going to move forward. I am aware that this will not always be a smooth road but I do believe that a hundred years from now we will be in another place in consciousness. I talk a lot about cathedral building. The beautiful cathedrals in Europe and many of the sacred sights in the world they took hundred years to build. We have lost the long term focus in the world and that's something we desperately need to get back to of having an awareness of the long term impact of our choices and decisions and what we create and to be creating for the long term.

Do you have a person that's a role model for you?
There are a lot of persons who had an impact on me on one way or another. Each of them brought a piece of the whole puzzle. Certainly my father had a great impact. I grew up watching him as an minister of a church. The memories of his congregation. He was amazing being a pastor. Watching how he navigated challenges of being the minister of a church. So my father was a great role model in many ways. Also Ram Dass has been an important model for me. My cousin Lucy was also important to me. I learned a lot of her. And also a lot of ordinary people learned me so much.