Bara is a British Muslim living in Brussels, Belgium. She began her career as a corporate lawyer working in the City of London, however, she gave up the legal profession after moving to Belgium. She is now studying for her PhD in psychology while looking after her four children and homeschooling.
For more information on how Transformational Life Coaching can help you, you can contact Bara at [email protected] or + 32 496691924.
We must create and work upon our inner peace (salaam) and trust (imaan), in order for outer peace (Islam) and perfection (ihsaan) to become a reality.
What then is Transformative Life Coaching? It is a process by which you examine and challenge your own attachments, patterns and beliefs that are holding you back and in doing so, access that part of yourself that you can say is ‘your authentic truth’ or ‘your heart’ in order to bring it into alignment with the guidance of our Islamic spiritual traditions. You begin to see things in a different way, the ‘whole picture’ so to speak, as opposed to a more limited view. As a life coach, I have discovered that the result of this process is the most effective and organic resolution of our ‘outer’ difficulties.
The reality is that it is so much easier to look outside of ourselves and say, ‘the problem is over there’ – my child is the challenging one, my partner is the difficult one, or it’s my job which causes me stress. Please be clear, coaching does not seek to attribute fault or blame. It may be a child with difficulties at school, a baby with health concerns, an uncooperative partner, an obstinate boss, a troubled teenager, a messy divorce, a death in the family, or any other life issue. I can tell you from my personal experience that there may be pain, sadness, confusion, anger and a myriad of other emotions. I do not for a moment dismiss their enormity, but I can also share with you from my own personal experience that the way I met those difficulties was so much more effective, when I was simultaneously working upon the outer challenges alongside my inner challenges.
If we are to accept and embrace the fact that life is unpredictable, that life is full of trials and tribulations, and instead of looking for an answer outside of ourselves, look within, we will experience real personal growth. I believe that our life journey can be made easier (and dare I say, more enjoyable) through a process of inner spiritual transformation. The reason this works is that as your perspective expands, the challenges themselves either become more manageable or at least the resolution becomes much clearer. In addition, you become more proactive as opposed to reactive in dealing with the situation.
I am reminded of the anecdotal story of Sheykh Nasruddin (I often use stories and poetry in my coaching practice). In the story, one dark night, Sheykh Nasruddin, an old and wise teacher, is crawling around the road on all fours underneath a lamp post searching for something. After a while, one of his students comes down the same road and is surprised to find his teacher crawling around on the floor, and asks him what he is searching for. Nasruddin replies that he has lost the key to his house and is looking for it under the light of the lamp post. Immediately the student gets down on all fours and proceeds to search for the key with Nasruddin. Soon thereafter along comes another student, and then another, until there are several of them all crawling around on the ground looking for this key. Finally, one of the students stands up in exasperation and says, “Sheikh Nasruddin, are you certain you lost the key here?” “Not at all”, replies Nasruddin; then pointing in the opposite direction to an unlit part of the street, “I lost it over there, but there is no lamp post over there so I cannot see anything.”
The moral of the story is that the ‘key’ to dealing with our challenges is often found in those dark places where we are unaccustomed to looking, or cannot ‘see’ properly. To have access to an internal mirror is to look for the ‘key’ in the darkness, not underneath the lamplight. I can also tell you from personal experience that it can get pretty dark inside, but as you begin to discover that dark place, as you begin to know your way around it, your perspective and understanding of your outer challenges begins to evolve.
In this day and age, often the advice we do get, no matter how well-intentioned, is misplaced. Through my current PhD studies (in Psychology) it has become clear to me that we live in a world missing the emotional, spiritual and physical support systems that were once organically available to our ancestors. As a life coach, I try to be the ‘safe space’ for my clients, the internal mirror, the place where they can grow and ask themselves important questions about their lives, their priorities, and their purpose.
How does coaching work ‘from the inside out’? It would be so easy to throw around popular words like mindfulness, stillness and balance; in my work, these are all important and valuable tools and words. However, when deciding to take up life coaching, it must be real for you – fashionable words alone are not going to change your life. Personally, I engage in a daily meditation, prayer and contemplative practice. That works for me. Your prescription will be different because you are different. One size does not fit all, and transformational life coaching can help you create a tailor-made programme.
When you decide to choose a life coach, look for someone who will work in partnership with you, as a collaborator, and remember that the answer lies within you. Also, be aware that as with psychologists, there are coaches who specialise in particular areas such as career coaching, marriage/partnership coaching or life coaching, so select what is suitable for your needs. Finally, consider that there are as many different styles of coaching as there are coaches – try to find a coach with a style that suits your personal demeanour and situation. In the words of one of my favourite psychologists Roberto Assagiolli;
“There is no certainty; there is only adventure.”
by Bara Baker
Bara is a transformational life coach who works with her clients using a psychosynthesis modality in conjunction with the power of spiritual narrative and storytelling to support the clients personal and spiritual growth.
A British Arab Muslim, I grew up in London, England where I read Business Law at university and qualified as a solicitor working in the corporate field in the City of London. During my time in private practice, I rediscovered my childhood passion for story writing and poetry. Writing and working with words has been an integral part of my life. Professionally, I did so in the contracts I drafted, and the books and articles I edited; privately I do so through the stories and poems that I write and tell. Working in the legal and financial fields has given me a unique understanding of the corporate world and as working mother, I have a vast amount of experience in how most effectively to balance the worlds of work, family and spirituality.
Several years ago, I moved to Brussels, Belgium with my husband and four children. I gave up the legal profession and left behind all that had been familiar to me in order to start a new life. The experience of uprooting and starting a new life has been as difficult as it has been enriching, and it allows me to understand with great insight the complexities of change and upheaval that many of my clients face. I am currently working on my PhD in Psychology with a specialisation in Transpersonal Psychology, and in addition to my own studies, I homeschool my eldest children, a job which has given me a unique insight into the world of education and childhood development.
As a trained and qualified life coach, I combine my training with my own unique life experience and offer you a distinctive and unusual style of coaching, working together on a journey of unimagined growth and self-development.
To know more about transformational life coaching or to book a trial session contact Bara on:
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: + 32 49669 1924