There are several words for mind in the Tibetan language. Two of those words, sem and rikpa, highlight a distinction that speaks to a common result of coaching.

Sem can be described as small mind. It is the rambling stream that is always present and exists to reinforce an image we hold of ourselves. Every single person carries around an image of themselves - constantly. Most of us don’t have a relationship with that image. We see it from time to time in persistent thoughts or recurring patterns but our understanding of our mind stops there.

Rikpa translates to intelligence or brightness. It is the part of the mind that holds a wisdom that always exists. This part of our mind is a cave of insight that must be discovered. This cave holds the strengths, drivers, perspectives, and experiences that are uniquely ours. It is the gold that celebrates our individuality. Uncovering this portion of the mind is one of coaching’s many gifts.

Most clients goals in coaching can be boiled down to a desire for more “control” over their lives. The distinction of these two facets of our mind is a step in creating that control. It allows us to ask ourselves “who is running the show?” When sem is in the lead, we are on autopilot with no control. When we build tools to see and invite rikpa into our lives, as coaching enables us to do, we can better relate to our circumstances with wisdom as our leader.

What part of your mind is active right now?