10 Essential Qualities to Look For In An Authentic Spiritual Coach

How do you know you’ve found an authentic healer or spiritual mentor? And what are the best practices every lightworker should undertake in helping others?

I’ve visited a variety of spiritual mentors, healers and life coaches over the course of my journey and made some observations. This year, as I too, step into the role of a spiritual coach, I’ve been reflecting on the kind of experience I want to create for people that reach out to me.

This is the foundation I want to set, as a bare minimum. And what you should expect, whether you work with me, or anyone else.

And if you’re a lightworker stepping up in the spiritual community as a healer or coach yourself, this also acts as a checklist of what people will look up to you for.

Note: This post isn’t about medical professions like therapists and counselors that follow different formal guidelines and an ethical code of conduct. A relationship with a healer or spiritual coach will be much more personal.

#1 – The right spiritual coach will push your buttons.

Every time I talk to my healer, I have to push down my ego, because boy, it feels attacked! When inner work and healing is initially triggered through another person, it can feel like being shown the mirror, in a deep and moving way. The ego doesn’t like it, but it’s essential for your soul.

Mirror, Man, Darkness, Light, Look, Shadow aspects, Healing, Self-awareness

I learned about the depth of this while reading Paramhans Yogananda‘s experiences with his own teacher, and how hard it was for him to navigate the journey.

Good spiritual mentors can intuitively see our gaps in a way we cannot, because they’ve done their own intensive healing. They can see straight through the ego-mind and all its gimmicks.

If they’ve been doing their inner work long enough, they won’t be afraid to bring out these shadow aspects to you.

#2 – When they push your buttons, you’ll be inspired to take action.

I know every healer or coach has their own approach, but compassion plays a big part in the way any truth is delivered to us. It’s one thing to reveal someone’s shadow side to them, but it’s even more imperative to help them see it with kindness and persistence.

I don’t resonate with coaches that demean the person, yell at them or threaten them as a ‘tactic’ to make them overcome shortcomings.

A good spiritual mentor must be heart-centered.

One who not only directs you towards what’s better for you but makes sure you get there NOW! (Or yesterday, if they had it their way)

#3 – They’ll be generous in helping you heal.

I am all for earning as a spiritual practitioner, but there’s also a fine line between earning versus becoming greedy. Some people have turned a sacred profession into a business, and if that’s the vibe you get from the person you visit, they don’t qualify to serve you.

An authentic spiritual mentor understands that they are an infinite and abundant being of wisdom, and you can never draw enough from their sacred well. They will thus, NOT scramble to share their wisdom, but offer it generously.
Water, Drop, Blue, Liquid, Clean, Clear, Wisdom, Knowledge, Authentic Healer

I’ve spent hours outside my sessions with her, and my healer never hesitates to impart the best of what she can at any given moment.

Caveat: That’s her level of generosity, but it may not be another’s. Nevertheless, you should feel satiated, not unheard in every interaction.

#4 – They won’t keep upselling services to make you stay longer. They will empower you to serve yourself (and others).

If you feel like you’re always investing a lot of money, and always hearing about how you’ll heal once you do their next workshop, trust me – they’re not worth your while.

Money, Commercialization, Transactional relationship

You won’t need to spend endless money into your healing, to no avail. A few modalities into the work, you’ll begin experiencing greater self-awareness and feel more confident to work independently on yourself.

Also, if a healer guarantees a quick-fix to your problem, that THEY can heal you, there’s something fundamentally missing.

We can only give you tools, but you’re the one trying them. And YOU will be the one that heals yourself.

#5 – Your spiritual coach will be from your soul family.

You may have never met them before, but once you do, they’ll fit right into your life. You will be able to open up about things that you couldn’t have with anyone else, even if you’re just slowly beginning to trust this person.

Think of it like this, that even though there are countless spiritual teachers in the world, not everyone can resonate with just one teacher. Every teacher, based on the extent of his or her own inner work, will be able to serve a group of people.

That group may or may not be yours. But you have your own group, and you’ll know when you find it.

After I met my healer, I knew an important soul contract had come into fruition. Conversations happen at a different depth and dimension.

Friendship, Hands, Union, Love

#6 – They will LISTEN more than they speak.

Everyone that goes to a spiritual coach first goes to be heard, then to be healed. No exceptions.

Sure, a mentor is knowledgeable, but there’s an important lesson every genuine teacher knows. And it’s the art of listening.

Portrait, Face, Listen, Talk, See, Human, Authentic Healer

You cannot teach unless you know where to begin. Your coach should be asking you lots of questions, getting to know parts of you that you may have not reflected on yourself before, and have a consistent curiosity to learn more about you so that they can help you better.

Most importantly, they will not be quick to push solutions on you and treat you like a ‘classic case’.

Side Note to Healers: Don’t make coaching revolve around your experiences. It’s nice to share a lot of personal stories, but the ultimate goal isn’t to make it about ourselves, it’s to make it about the person we’re helping. So be mindful of what you share and make sure it only benefits the person in their life.

#7 – A good spiritual mentor will practice what they preach.

It’s easy to talk, but true healing and inner work is a process. An unhealed healer does more harm than good simply because they’re going to project their opinion on you, and talk to you from a place that’s still hurting.

In My Honest Opinion, Imho, Healing, Hurting,

Some examples are:

  • If a person talks about compassion but on the contrary is getting a Spiritual high from insulting you (because that’s their style), you better get yourself out of that space. There’s nothing sacred about it.
  • If somebody keeps making disappointing faces when you tell your story, in a way that’s making you cover-up your truth and grow protective, they’re NOT your healer.
  • If a person brags or boasts about their own healing capacities (all talk, no display), or if you sense the fluff, they are NOT the right healer for you.

When you connect with somebody that is non-judgemental, compassionate and humble, it’s safe to say that you’ve found your person.

#8 – A genuine spiritual coach will also have their own mentor.

Our learning NEVER stops, because we are constantly evolving. Enlightenment isn’t a destination, it’s actually the beginning of a journey of authenticity, accountability, and awareness.

So no matter how good you get in any profession, having a mentor is key to your growth. Then, one good way to gauge whether someone is worth investing your time and money in, is by understanding how invested they are in their own development.

Reading, Bookworm, Man, Books, Learning

Even if your coach doesn’t have a personal coach, they will at least be eager and open to learning new things. And what’s the best way you can tell that? They will bring more to the table, every.single.time! It shouldn’t feel like they’re repeating the same two lines like a broken record.

#9 – A good mentor will not feel threatened by you.

It’s natural to feel apprehensive and want to ask deep, challenging questions.

I’m not suggesting you be rude, but you can take your time to trust this person. If a healer or spiritual coach gets easily provoked or acts from a place of self-defense when you raise questions, they aren’t ready to help you. It’s evidence that they are not in their power.

People, Cover, Cry, Desperate, Scared, Fear, Hide

At other times, a person just doesn’t click, even if they’re really good and may have been recommended by someone you trust.

But a genuine healer is powerful, grounded and confident enough to know that you may or may not resonate with each other. Which means you’re always welcome to move-on. If you’re getting a desperate, needy or clingy vibe from them, you’ll know they’re not the one.

#10 – They will NOT act supreme or holier than thou.

Having a Spiritual Ego is counterintuitive. But it does happen to the best of us. Which is why, whether you’re taking spiritual advice, or the one giving it, it can easily begin to sound preachy.

Whoever you seek help from should be grounded, admitting to not always having answers, and accepting if ever they were wrong. Is being wrong a big deal? No. But accepting it can be.

Woman, Write, Pen, Hand, Self-Esteem, Ego, Arrogant, I'll do it my way

The same goes for wisdom. A healer might listen to you and not know how to help you right away. However, through openness and determination, they may be able to guide you through tools that start bringing results.

Concluding Thoughts

Having spent a lot of money on my healing, I can tell you this. It can take you a while before you find the right mentor for your journey. Don’t stop searching! And it’s okay to have multiple mentors or to keep evolving and needing someone wiser to coach you.

Very few people are fortunate to have a consistent mentor for years on end, someone that can continue shaking them.

At the end of the day, a healer shows you how powerful you’ve been all along, that you were acting like a victim!

As you experience that power for yourself, they will cheer you on and let you move forward to do your thing. But they will always be remembered as one of the most significant people in your journey back Home. 🙂

Should you feel inclined to work with me, and give me an opportunity to be of service to you, you’re welcome to setup a complimentary 20-minute telephonic discussion with me. I hope you find my work in the image and standard that my spiritual coach set for me through her incredible work! 🙂

Are You Being Authentic? 5 Mistakes that Can Sabotage A Relationship

Are you being authentic in your relationships? What are the mistakes that can make relationships unhealthy? Here are 5 tips.

Have you ever noticed how nice we are to people when we first befriend or date them? And then, as the ‘honeymoon’ period in any relationship ends, we start showing our true colors. Is it safe to say that we weren’t being authentic enough? I think so.

Our need to get approval from the society we live in, is perhaps the only reason we create a facade around our identity. If we could stop fearing being ostracized, we wouldn’t be as prone to inauthentic behavior.

And we wouldn’t set such unrealistic standards. Then not being able to meet them, wouldn’t disappoint everyone involved, including ourselves.

That being said, here is a list of 5 mistakes we make and how they can get in our way of being more authentic in relationships.

#1 – Don’t use passive aggressive behavior. Get to the point.

Teasing someone for being late “again”, or passing a sour remark sugar-coated with a laugh to hide our annoyance, are pretty common.

But if you have the habit of continually taunting people for how they are, as a workaround for expressing your needs, you are giving up your right and power to communicate freely.

You might be doing this because of the fear that calling someone out for their behavior may lead to an argument, or that they’ll like you less. But in the long run, a relation built on resentment and unaddressed elephants in the room won’t be very healthy anyway.

So take a deep breath, and in a very calm, firm and compassionate way, express your needs and how someone may have fallen short to meet them.

hug, embrace, healthy relationship boundaries, authentic behavior

People want to make relationships work, and you have to show them how without avoiding confrontation.

#2 – Don’t share too soon or too late.

Sometimes, we might rush to give away our deepest, darkest secrets as an attempt to win trust in a relationship. Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, we might share too little and end up appearing cold or disinterested. Let’s dissect both the possibilities.

Vulnerability doesn’t come naturally to most of us, because of our conditioning. But you know the best way to let someone see your real self? Let them in.
couple sitting near the body of water, authentic relationships

If you were going to share a story about yourself, you may cover the convenient details at first, trying to downplay your presence in the event. But try retelling it with a little more detail. And a little more. Then, a little more. Eventually, you’ll learn how to say things as they are. And you will realize that the person listening will be able to appreciate you more, for being authentic.

You’re essentially building your vulnerability muscle. 🙂

Even if you were just 1% more vulnerable every time, imagine how authentic you’d grow to become in your relationships!

And is oversharing a real thing? Yes! If you’re the kind of person that goes into minute details the moment anyone asks you “how are you”, you may need to evaluate how much someone is invested in the conversation.

While it’s good to look at people as listeners to your story, you need to be mindful and acknowledge how much of their time you’re taking in the process.

So, essentially, authenticity is about being unapologetically yourself, without overwhelming the other person or wearing a mask.

#3 – Don’t lie. It’s not cool. Not even the white lies.

It can be tempting to lie, because our inner rebel wants to get away with something. But when we do that, two things are happening.

One, we’re dishonoring someone and taking an action at the expense of their trust. And two, we’re giving too much power to another person’s right to intervene in our choices.

upset, hurt, inauthentic behavior causes pain, dont lie, disappointment
When we give our personal power away in this way, it weakens our solar plexus and it can become difficult to trust ourselves in these very relationships.

Overtime, we forget what it’s like to be honest, so we resort to lying.

But, lying isn’t the solution. Setting up healthier relationship boundaries is. And so is learning the art of being assertive. Consistently being able to self-evaluate and tweak the do’s and don’ts of a relationship are much better than snooping around. Or not saying anything at all.

#4 – Don’t shy away from difficult conversations.

A relationship can not always be effortless and smooth. Even Gottman highlights that it’s perfectly healthy to argue and disagree, as long as there’s a desire to reconvene and resolve the differences.

two men talking

We are scared to have difficult conversations because we either don’t know what we’ll say in anger, or we’re afraid it’ll escalate to the point of a break-up.

But not acknowledging our needs is going to break our relationship anyway. So are we really doing anyone good by not expressing our needs or trying to understand theirs?

It’s time to practice your right to speak and be heard in the relationship.

#5 – Be authentic, but don’t be unfiltered.

Understand the difference between authenticity and unfiltered blabber.

Authentic doesn’t mean you say the first thing that comes on your mind. As adults, we need to remain accountable for how we are expressing ourselves.

We are NOT being authentic if we are profane, vulgar or disrespectful. Authenticity means acknowledging your pain, without trying to hurt someone else or create new pain for them.
anger, not authentic, unhappy, screaming, yelling, unhealthy relationship habits

So while it’s important to express oneself, you may be putting on a different wall around you, when you come from a place of self-defense or high ego.

The best trick in the hat, is to take a 20-minutes cooldown period and come back later with your thoughts gathered.

I also love Sonia Choquette‘s advice, to take a walk together with the person you’re conflicting with, to bring a harmony between your energies.

Concluding Thoughts

If we step back even further and look at it deeper, the number one obstacle in being authentic with others, is the fear of not being good enough. We’ve put ourselves on a pedestal, and we want to be perfect. But healthy relationships aren’t about the perfection, they thrive on genuineness.

While I encourage you to open up to others, I also want to emphasize on the need to be open with yourself. Start exploring self-acceptance and self-love, the key to a healthier relationship within, and around.

7 Spiritual Lessons I Learned During My Self-Isolation

Here’s a spiritual take to my self-isolation journey under quarantine. I hope it brings you hope for the future and strengthens your spiritual growth too!

The first year of my marriage was quite long and anti-climatic for reasons beyond our control. Not only did I NOT get to live with my husband for 14 months due to visa processing, I also had to wait for 14 more days in self-isolation, once I arrived.

It has been one heaven of a ride, for sure.

But now that my quarantine period is done and dusted, I’ve decided to talk about the spiritual lessons that my isolation taught me, because this situation may happen for many more people in the upcoming period.

7 Life-Changing Lessons That I Learned From Self-Isolation

Whether you are under self-isolation yourself, or your loved one may be, I hope this post inspires you to keep going, by looking at the spiritual value of all that is happening.

Because, as the saying goes, nothing is by chance. Then let’s strive to find the underlying lessons and messages that the Universe has in store for us.

Lesson #1 – The universe may not unravel things as per your plan, but the Divine Plan is always pretty awesome.

In my case, my moving was rather melodramatic because we were constantly missing meticulously planned flights. But then the actual flight was like an overnight miracle. It almost came out of nowhere!

calendar, highlight, plan, spiritual agenda, journaling, handwritten

In March, my visa arrived 2 days later than assured to us by the team processing it, so I missed my original flight. And we rebooked, but lo-and-behold, 3 days before the second ETD (estimated time of departure), the nation went under lockdown.

Then, India kept extending its lockdown one phase after the other, and international travels kept being put on hold. So as more months passed by, we too, kept having to cancel one flight after the other.

So, after 8-odd travel plans being scrapped, it finally manifested for us.

As one of my friends so wittily said, and I quote, “when the world was traveling, you couldn’t. And now that the world is at a standstill, you finally made it”.

We can make all the plans we want, but sometimes, life isn’t about planning. It’s about preparing for what the Universe has planned for us. And though hearing this truth may not be flattering to our ego, the Divine Plan is perfect as it is.

It’s a strong reaffirmation from the age old saying that what’s meant to be, will be. And what’s not meant to be, will not be. All we can do, is go through all of life’s challenges with a little grace, and have faith in the Divine Plan. 🙂

Lesson #2 – We need a LOT less than we think we do.

To put things into perspective, I moved across an entire continent. To the other side of the world, to start a newly married’s life. With just 3 bags of essentials!

My original luggage plan was for 5 bags. But under quarantine, the travel restrictions became tighter and I only managed to take the bare minimum stuff I needed.

suitcase, self-isolation, travel, live out of a suitcase, minimalism, plan

I filtered out everything. Less clothes, less shoes, and dreadfully, less books. As a bookworm that wanted to carry over a 100 books from my collection to my new home, I eventually only brought a handful.

I also learned that bare minimum is a lot less than the bare minimum we assume. Imagine planning for a trip, and then having to filter out 40% of the stuff!

Also, I eventually only used 1 of the 3 bags to live in my 14-days period of isolation, and all my others bags were moved to a separate place of no-contact. So I literally did live out of a suitcase, for two full weeks!

Lesson #3 – Not just materialistically, we need way less spiritually, than we think we do.

My sister-in-law had lovingly lined up my bedside table with a great selection of spiritual books for me to enjoy through my self-isolation. But to my shock, as I started reading through one of them on Vedanta, I kept feeling saturated.

“All the books say the same thing”, I said to her one day, with my expression masked under the surgical mask, but my disappointment unmasked by my voice.

reading, books, spiritual insight, guidance, hobbies, passion, self-isolation activity,

Then, she taught something so simple yet profound to me.

There are 3 phases of knowledge. Learning, applying, becoming. In today’s day and age, with an overload of information out there, we spend a lot of time learning and very little applying.

I know it can sound counter-intuitive, but take this period of quietude to not just fill your time with more knowledge or wisdom. Also use it to enhance your grasp on the lessons you’ve already learnt.

I would even go as far as saying as use this time to create, not just consume. Empower yourself and the others around you with your inner Light. Whether its through an existing hobby or exploring a new one, find a way to bring more of your creative Self into the world.

What hobby did I pick up, you ask? Gardening! I’ve officially learned how to weed-out a river and plant new flowers, amongst other things. 🙂

Lesson #4 – We touch a lot of things which we don’t need to.

Self-isolation is basically about limiting your sense of touch.

One day, I was walking around the backyard, and I extended my hand to touch a peculiar looking flower, before I reflexively pulled back. Ofcourse, there wasn’t anything wrong with touching a plant, but I had become habitual of refraining.

purple and white flowers
While our sense of touch is rightfully given to us to enjoy our existence, most of the times, we end up mindlessly touching so many things and leaving our energetic trace everywhere we go.

We create karma whenever we engage our energy with something through touch. For me, this was quite underwhelming because it felt unrealistic to always keep your hands to yourself. And yet, here I was, living like a monk. Which brings me to my next realization.

Lesson #5 – Self-isolation is very similar to living a monk’s life.

Here are some interesting observations from the past centuries, that came full circle for me:

  • Like monks, one must learn to wash their own clothes and dishes, also owning very little garment or utensils (minimalism).
  • The period of self-isolation is about facing our own escapism. No more traveling, no more partying, no more mindlessness. When you have so much time on your hands now, it becomes important to be still and reflect. Even if you can’t meditate, there are a number of other spiritual practices that can support your self-reflection at such a time.
monks walking near people holding baskets on street, spiritual lessons from self-isolation, minimalism
  • In some spiritual communities such as sanatana dharma, sages covered their mouths to avoid causing harm to others, themselves or the natural environment with their breath. Face masks are fulfilling that role in our world now.
  • Like monks, we must keep our hands tucked in and to ourselves, refraining intimate human interaction like handshakes or hugs, to prevent the karma from extending.

Self-isolation may seem like an extreme way of living, but it is an opportunity for us to revive the great wisdom of the past and reincorporate it into our daily life.

Lesson #6 – Even in self-isolation, there are still numerous ways to feel satiated with love.

This period was an interesting challenge for my family to find new and creative ways to spend time with me, without crossing the guidelines. And boy, did they take on this challenge really well!

My husband made me a care package, loaded with my favorite snacks. Throughout the 2 weeks, he would send me a daily, quarantine check-in video from work, filled with fun tips and encouraging words. He’d make smoothies and sandwiches for me to have for my breakfast, and bring dinner from all the places he had been wanting to take me.

sliced cheese on brown tray

My sister-in-law hosted me for the full period, having decked a dedicated room with books, cozy blankets and all the essentials I could possibly need. She would also engage me in activities like gardening and meditation, which didn’t require proximity but at the same time provided companionship.

My parents-in-law would spent countless hours sitting around the boundary of my quarantine space, chatting with me from a distance. And every other day, the other family members made their presence felt by dropping by more of my favorite food, chit-chatting from a distance and celebrating the countdown with cake!

I felt so pampered and satiated with love, that by the end, the whole experience actually felt more like a blessing. 🙂

Whether it is a virus, or any other reason, our relationships are constantly challenged. But it is our responsibility to seek every change as an opportunity to make the relationship stronger, instead of becoming a victim.

Lesson #7 – It can be a period of immense transformation and reflection. Or you can let it pass by through a different form of escapism.

I’ve heard people talking about how many TV shows they’ve finished watching or movies they’ve binged on, during the period. Remember, it’s all about balance. None of that is bad, but you’re trading it off for something that could have added more value to your life.

Personally, as an introvert, I enjoy my time and space. But I realized I have escapism tendencies only recently. After spending nearly 1.5 years working around the clock towards my blog, I had to temporarily unplug. And it was overwhelming at first.

For the first three weeks, I wasn’t able to commit time to my work. And that period showed me how little attention I had been paying to the rest of my life.

So then, I took the opportunity to start changing my habits.

I had regressed on my own advice about self-love habits, so that’s where I began. I created more space and time for myself to do things that matter, to experience my multi-dimensional existence, instead of limiting myself to one life role.

green leaves on brown wooden surface

Don’t let such an amazing opportunity to self-reflect and live more consciously be taken away by your autopilot tendencies.

Concluding Thoughts

As someone who’s always been fascinated by monks and has been repeatedly asked about my perspective about renouncing life to go to the Himalayas, this was probably as close to living the life of a monk as I’ll go.

And not just me, but so many of us will be under self-isolation. It will be challenging for the mind and body, but it will be true spiritual resilience that will get us through.

Ofcourse, you don’t need to self-isolate to gain greater self-awareness. I’ve been practicing periods of maun vrat, observing absolute silence for a few hours at a time, in attempt to deepen my spiritual growth.

And let’s be honest. At the end of the day, it won’t matter how productive you were or how much money you made, but how you evolved. So make it count. 🙂