Unlike many that call themselves a life coach, I actually spend considerable time and money learning how to do it properly. I attend ILCT as I learn and hone my craft. I already have more class time and coaching hours than most that call themselves a life coach.
Life coaching is not psychology or therapy. The best way I have heard it put is that therapists are experts that find what is wrong and makes it smaller. A life coach is a partner that helps you find out what is right and lets you teach yourself how to make it bigger. Given my understanding that we are all THIS close to G-d, focusing on spiritual issues by helping folks uncover what is right with them is right up my ally. I am quite tired of dealing with the magickal point of view of turning lead into gold. You are all gold people.
Part of the training to be a coach is peer-to-peer coaching. As coaches, we coach each other. As a reasonably self-aware and verbose person, I am a pretty easy client. That doesn't mean I do not learn a great deal from being coached.
Something recently bothered me a great deal. The Kenny Klien arrest hit some personal issues for me but my reaction is what shocked me. My first thought on hearing the news was, "That poor bastard. He just lost every friend he ever had. He's imperfection was been revealed to the world. He is humiliated and his life is basically over." I felt great compassion. About two minutes later, I wanted to string him up. Then I felt compassion for his victims and blameless friends.
What bothered me was how I could feel compassion for someone that did something so horrible but not so much for people I see every day, be they passersby or acquaintances. While being coached, I developed a three pronged plan for living a more compassionate life.
1. When I am out and about, I look for people that may need a little help and offer it.
2. When I go into retail situations (which drive me batty) I pause and remind myself that these people are just trying to make a living. Being treated as a number whose only function is to hand over money and an object to be subjected to 'suggestive selling' bothers me a great deal but it is not the worker's fault. I calm myself, tell myself that they don't like treating people like numbers either and go out of my way to be pleasant to them.
3. I picked two people at work to be extra compassionate with. I am not trying to do it all at once, just two people.
Item 1 is the hardest as I have to remember to look and I usually don't. Item two seems to work just fine as does item three...so far. I expect there to be difficulties but not so far.
I have a long history of being compassionate towards others but in a bit of an imbalanced way that allows me to be taken advantage of a bit. By doing things in a planned manner, I hope to bring not only some joy and happiness to others but a bit more balance to myself.
EDIT (4/7/14 12:36 PM):
I know it will be wildly unpopular to express any compassion for Klein. I am not worried about offending folks when there is no cause for them to be offended. I am not condoning what this man is accused of doing. I expressed compassion for a human being.
I do have a couple personal axioms about compassion:
1. True compassion means having compassion for the worse of us at the worst of times.
2. True compassion is expressed continually toward every one.
Yes, I am not there yet but that doesn't mean I don't know a truth when I see one.
Additonal Note (12:41 PM)
3. Having compassion for ourselves opens the door to G-d. For we are all worthy of the same compassion that we feel for others. Feeling for ourselves allows us to accept who are.