“In reply to the Presence in Stillness article, a longstanding student sends the following, which delights me as I am aware of her struggles to find stillness first in herself.”
I enjoyed reading your latest article on your website, it is great. You mention on one page about listening from your heart when working with a client if your head is busy .Well I thought I would give you some feedback from a treatment I gave to a 10 year old boy on Monday evening.
Will came to me because his mother said he seems so stressed and had developed a ‘shaking the head tick’ and she was finding it all a bit much to live with. I saw him 11 days ago and apparently, after that initial session he had said to his mother at bedtime that his tummy felt lighter. So he was booked in again for last Monday evening. I happened to be re-reading your article in the afternoon and the ‘listen with your heart’ resonated a little deeper than it had first time round.
When Will came his mother settled down in the chair in the corner of the room and Will jumped straight onto the couch and started to interrogate me as to what I was going to do, was I going to repeat the same as last time, how does this work etc….. the usual I seem to get from kids! I was feeling quite insecure as I settled into the session and then I heard your voice say ‘ listen with your heart’ so I started to pay attention to my heart and how it felt and then had an intention to just receive the boy.
He ended up on the couch for 45minutes, I really don’t know where the time went but over the last 15mins of the session he gently talked to me/at me and we had a conversation about acids and ph I think it was. It was interesting as I felt one part of me was having this conversation and could converse but another part was fully listening to and receiving this child, both could happen simultaneously. His mother said at the end ( when Will went to the hall to see what his patient little brother was up to) that she had never seen him engage with another adult so freely and seem so relaxed in the company of an adult he didn’t really know.
When they came to leave Will asked me if ‘his mother had arranged another time for him to come back’ and gave a lovely shy smile when his mother said to him ‘you like coming here don’t you’. I mention that because children are very honest and make it quite clear if they don’t want to come back and he had been very wary the first session. More interesting was an email I received from the mother about an hour later. She said when she tucked Will up in bed she asked him how he felt and he said that his heart felt nice (which made his mother quite tearful) and then later how nice his tummy and head felt. We never talked about hearts during the session and I never contacted (with my hands) his heart area so I find it interesting he mentioned that as I had approached him from my heart, the first time I have consciously done that, so thank you for your writing!
I think I experienced at a deeper level what you always say about letting the work do the work and it works in ways beyond our knowing. All we have to do is get out the way and trust and I suppose that’s all our journeys in life are but being a therapist one gets the opportunity to work with insecurity and not knowing more intensely perhaps than most people.. (it’s that trust thing that seems to swing in and out but I guess the trust seems to be deepening that little more with each passing year but still has a way to go !).