Because sometimes soul work requires heart to heart, eye to eye, and hands on, I traveled quite a distance this last week to meet with a new client. In our phone consultation, this new client described a long list of medical conditions, as well as the emotional/psychological challenges that she sensed were underlying these conditions. She shared that her body almost shut down completely and that she had come close to dying recently. She mentioned that yoga and meditation did not help as she felt she was “unable to breathe”. Talk therapy kept her spinning and recapitulating the old traumatic stories and perceptions of her life. Conventional medicine was only making things worse. She seemed to have a lot of self- awareness and yet could not implement what she knew to be true.
Usually people find me because they are what I call “ripe”. She was no exception. I had the sense that all she really needed was an unconditional, non-invasive holding ground to let her system feel safe enough to begin to relax, let go and re-orient to the vital forces of health. To remember the breath that is indeed breathing her very life into being. To allow this wisdom intelligence that knows that to heal requires feeling. This is the delicate space that requires accurate mirroring and sensitive attunement such that she could see and experience herself clearly.
Humbly, I confess that providing this quality of a holding ground is essentially my vocation. Let’s just call it, being with another exactly where they are, AKA sharing real love.
When she answered the door, I could immediately see and feel her beautiful heart shining through her tiny, frail body. Encumbered by the burden of moving at the pace of her over-stimulated nervous system and therefore faster than her heart’s truth.
I have an intake form that asks clients’ to “please state your intention for today’s session.” She got to this part, looked at me and said, “I don’t know–being here?”
I smiled and said, “That’s perfect.”
She went on to describe how she has never really felt herself present here, in her body and in her life. How she is showing up and doing all “the right things” for her kids, but that she knows that what they really need is for her to be here. And that what she knows she needs to heal is to actually land in her experience.
I spent the rest of the two hours attuning to her breath and the subtle nuances of “feeling” emerging in our shared field. Holding her belly and heart with just enough space and contact to give her a chance to catch up with herself. To feel through the layers of fear and shock that had kept her on the outside, far from her center most of her life. To let the blessing of grief come and be received as the necessary cleansing for letting go of the past.
She discovered that she could breathe indeed and that feeling herself here was not so dangerous after all.
Slowly we thawed and melted through the layers of unmet experience and un-felt feeling just like this: heart to heart, eye to eye, body to body, and human to human. Just being together in the most natural and kind way.
Slowly she began to fill up with her own vitality and life force and discover that it was safe to be here. That there is a choice involved with filling up rather then depleting and giving herself away in the name of love and the fear of being selfish.
I share this with you, as I see this woman and her scenario as a common representative of the zeitgeist of our times. The displacement from our own being due to collective, ancestral, and personal trauma runs rampant on our planet. For most of us, our traumas took place in a relational context and thus our healing and homecoming also occurs in a relational context.
Even if this is not your “vocation”- it is up to each of us to provide a context for wholeness to be the emergent principle, rather than recapitulating the old trauma of separation and fragmentation.
May each of us be relaxed as we are, open and available to allow love to live itself here as we reclaim our world through all of our relations.