A blank page waits here for words that will convey something of my way of working, something that is useful for you, the reader. What will this be?
I like to find myself in front of the blank canvases of life, make some marks, and follow them till it is done, complete, whatever it is.
When painting or drawing, first nothing is there, then - something is there. Colour, line, texture. It's thrilling to watch the marks appear on the page. It's important to know when to stop.
In daily life I seek a kind of freshness in my experience. Not that I want to sweep away all the blessings of my circumstances, nor the challenges, or to turn away from enriching practices that help me centre, grow and open my heart. I do want to continue to cherish the dear people in my life. And yet I aspire to come to these people, circumstances and practices with freshness.
There's some kind of creative potential nestled in the fresh moments. The 'not knowing' loosens the grip of the externals and the habits, and gives room for an inner knowing to emerge. A deeper breath. A clearer vision. A paradox - not knowing in order to know.
When I work with people - individuals or couples or families or groups - together we move carefully and respectfully through the jungle of fixed places - the assumptions, the judgmental thoughts, the criticisms of self and of others. Blame, anger and shame soften. A sense of self worth and of respect for others emerges. There's a clearing in the jungle. Movement seems possible and purposeful from this place. A path appears leading into a new landscape.
As I am the listener, the visitor to the other's inner world, so I can also be the guide. The other person's jungle is not scary or confusing to me like it is to them, so I can help them spot things that had been camouflaged in their jungle. I can sit by the river with them while they rage or weep. When it's time for ideas, I can offer ideas for new ways to live difficult moments. The signs of hope appear in their face. Hope to live in a fresh way. They feel more themselves again. They can imagine it is possible to bring this 'more-myself-ness' into their daily life.
Here is a quote that reminds me of the value of deep listening. I changed the gender from male to female.
It is as though she listened
and such listening as hers
enfolds us in a silence
in which at last
we begin to hear
what we were meant to be.
Lao Tze, 6th Century B.C.
Deep listening touches and gently heals the emotional and thought-generating aspects of being. It stimulates the possibility of presence as an additional way of being with oneself, others and the wider world.
To sustain the healing shift usually involves some learning, and some new behaviours, and requires a growing awareness and mindfulness. We also focus on this practical level - what to do differently.
Working with my hands
I also offer sessions where my hands touch and communicate a new sense of energy and well-being, and a more spacious, easeful way of being in your body. (This touch happens with you fully clothed, standing, sitting, moving, lying down). This way of working is a blend of several of my long term practices: the Alexander Technique, energy healing, meditation and prayer - depending on what you want and what is needed. The focus is on opening stuck or cramped areas on the physical or energy level to restore the flow of wholeness through the whole body-being, and the health-full vitality that space-length-width brings to the body. Sometimes simple daily life habits are dragging you down, crunching you up, or otherwise distressing your physical well-being. Re-learning some of these daily habits is surprisingly liberating.
Prayer, meditation and manifestation
I run workshops called 'Prayer-Making' where people of any religion or none explore and share together their practices of prayer, and where I share several maps I have developed about prayer. Meditation is a wide word and refers here to a range of practices of mind, heart and body that I am familiar with from my own life journey, and sometimes share with others. Manifestation is one of those 'I want it' things - but don't forget the tragic story of King Midas who could turn everything to gold. I do my best to support people to approach this powerful area wisely, while having the courage to reach out for their dreams - their soul dreams, not the illusions that surround them.