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Who Are YouA Little Book on Love

by Jacob Needleman

Delta Press, 163 pps.
ISBN: 038533432X

It seems fitting to us that, it being February,  we should look at the topic of love. Years ago, when I was an apprentice consultant, the big and wise man who was my mentor said to me, “you know, this work is all about love.”  I have never forgotten his words. He was right, and this book by Needleman not only supports that conviction, but explains why love is the only way to bring ourselves and our world into greater harmony.

Needleman explores love based on the belief that love is the work we do with our significant partner that supports our search for unity within. And while the book focuses mostly on this partnership, Needleman’s questions and observations lend themselves to the work of coaches. Two concepts key to coaching - mindfulness and self knowledge -are key to love and compassion.

Needlman takes on, in his philosophical, spiritual,  yet practical way, all of the issues that we struggle with around love: passion, trust, communication, money, sex, power, work, and beauty. He expands our relationship to the idea of love in ways that help us to see that as humans, we are the instruments in bringing about more compassion and love in our relationships and with everyone whose lives we touch. As coaches, our ability to find compassion within allows compassion to express itself outwardly, which begets more compassion.

One beautiful concept in the book is that what Needleman calls “intermediate love,” which is all about supporting our lover in their search for wholeness. If we view love as a search, love takes on a depth that is simultaneously mysterious, comforting, spiritual, and compassionate. For as soon as we recognize the struggle, Needleman writes, we cannot help but love.

And so it is with coaching. This book will open the eyes of any coach who reads it. As coaches, our compassion is fundamental to helping our clients feel more whole. We are helping our clients develop their inner strength and harmony. We see their struggles and their joys, and we feel their experience. In numerous ways, we are partners in their search. As my wise colleague said, “you know, this work is all about love.”








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