A Coaching Lane for the 2020’s – Existential Wellness

By Malcolm Nicholson – iCN Journalist (UK)

I recently had the privilege to have a wide ranging conversation with Dr Eric Maisel, leader of Noble Manhattan’s Creativity Coaching and Existential Wellness programmes.

Eric’s career alone is worthy of an article, having started in the US Army, followed by time in academia, where over his career he has achieved multiple degrees and masters, time as a therapist, working with creative artists, a coaching career, contributions to radio, TV, online and published articles and interviews. Oh, and he’s written over 50 books as well… https://ericmaisel.com/bio/

Eric has latterly been working with Noble Manhattan with his Creativity Coaching programme. ‘I’ve been doing creativity coaching – a lane I created myself –  for 35 years or so, but not certifying attendees. So in 2021 when I learned of Gerard [O’Donovan] and Noble Manhattan Coaching, we connected and developed a robust creativity coaching certificate and diploma programme. It is a rolling 52 week course that takes about an hour a day plus client time, as  the programme is set up to invite you to start working with clients – even way before you think you’re ready to!’

‘Because the Creativity Coaching experience was so good I was thrilled to do the Existential Wellness Coach Programme with Gerard.’

Question. So why ‘existential’ & ‘wellness’ together?

‘A metaphor that resonated for me as a little kid was “resistance fighter” – and this was also a period where French existentialism , which is about personal responsibility was flourishing.”’

‘I’ve been writing for 50 years now and work as a therapist and coach but all through I’ve been pushing existentialism as something that everyone should know about and embrace, because of the ways that it speaks to ideas about life purpose, meaning and personal responsibility and the things that are most important to people. I thought that most other philosophies or religions were top down and tend to present the idea that we are subservient to some universal point or entity – God or guru or wisdom book says this and that there is just a singular purpose to life – as opposed to handing it back to the individual, so it’s also a way out of religious subservience.’

‘By contrast the idea of life purposes is the idea that the universe ordains nothing, cares nothing about purpose and it’s on our shoulders to decide what’s important to us and what thatis shifts. We need that kind of flexibility if we’re to live our life in this moment and not be several years behind where we really are.’

‘It’s saying please figure it out in the context of not knowing… stay put in your own reality and figure things out for yourself, and to use an existential word live authentically rather than as a servant to other people’s bad ideas. People often cycle through new age stuff and then a little Buddhism and then return to their Jewish roots because they are still looking for the meaning of life with a purpose – and there isn’t any.’

‘This new programme helps coaches get clients to not only understand the paradigm shift from singular life purpose to multiple life purposes – your priorities at 20 aren’t the same as when you’re 70 – but then how to identify them and live them. We will feel better if we endeavour to make and live purpose than if we keep trying to seek the feeling of meaning –  which comes and goes, and my catchy sentence for this is ‘life purpose is a choice and meaning is a feeling’. I think it is actually transformational to stop looking for life purpose and meaning and to understand the work that we have to do in daily practise that allows us to live a life that makes us feel proud of our own efforts, not about happiness. So there are some important ideas in the programme that coaches can communicate that change clients lives.’

‘The Wellness piece isn’t just about existential ideas but painting a picture of the different pillars of Wellness … there was not a designated person to look at the big picture and I thought it was time to create  helpers who could look at this, and that’s what I’m calling Existential Wellness coaches – somebody who both has a grasp of existential ideas and what amounts to Wellness.

References

Existential Wellness Coach Programme. Visit the website

https://wellnesscoachtraining.online/ or contact our team directly at info@noble-manhattan.com

Creativity Coaching

https://creativitycoaching.online/

Eric Maisel website

https://ericmaisel.com

Source: iCN Issue 44  (Wellness & Holistic Coaching); pages 10-13

About Malcolm Nicholson

Malcolm Nicholson is an experienced businessperson, entrepreneur and much in demand international executive coach, with in depth experience of challenging and supporting executives, enabling them to develop new approaches – both behavioural and procedural – that have a significant impact on their business.

To find out how he can help your organisation contact him at malcolmnicholson@aspecture.com or +44 1932 267597