Did you see the movie Avatar? I loved that they said I see you as a greeting. Not “hey,” not “what’s up?”
I see you.
Acknowledgement and appreciation as a social norm, I loved that.
I loved those big blue people because they were in my first-ever 3D movie and because they rode those cool gigantic birds. I also loved that they were so evolved.
I wish we, too, would stop to really see each other, to appreciate our fellow flesh-colored people. We’d be more apt to show ourselves, too, if we knew we could do so without fear of judgement and ridicule. Comparison can be such a soul killer.
More than any “technique” I use in my work, the thing I want people to experience most in my treatment room is the feeling of being seen and appreciated. I want them to relax into themselves, safe from criticism or silent attack. In the end, we can never release anyone from feeling criticized. We must do it for ourselves, but that’s often a life-long trek. It’s nice to have places to rest along the way. I hope I provide a comfortable rest stop.
Here’s another phrase I love: holding space. I first heard this in a workshop I took in Colorado called Trauma Touch Therapy. It was like new life to learn that someone had named that special thing I hold so precious, that unspoken pact that’s subtly felt but hard to name.
In that workshop, we spent five days holding space for another person, supporting their experience (in this case, whispers of hurt from their pasts). We did not try to inform or advise them. Or change them. We simply accompanied them. We witnessed them. We honored them.
The hardest thing to do in my work is to hold space. Some people are intent that you “do” something. In massage they want the disappearing pain act. In Reiki they are waiting for a miracle or a visit on demand from their deceased grandmas. They miss the profound healing of just being, and being truly seen.
Instead of cowering in the world of doing, I want to be promoting the world of being. I hope I am doing that, even a little. It can be tough living up to that expecting-a-miracle thing.
No matter what I or any other practitioner does or doesn’t do, this is the only way to heal: You must see yourself for who you truly are when you finally stop doing and just be. And when you see that person you must love her. This you must do alone.
However. Although no one can else can fix your life or body, there is something powerful in having a witness to your process of healing.
A while back I became fascinated by some old little books by a woman named Florence Scovel Shinn, an early 20th century metaphysicist. As most healer-types do, she named this truth: that a person must tap her own energy to heal.
The energy expands, though, in the presence of another! Somewhere I have heard a New Age person describe this phenomenon in terms of some law of physics. Don’t ask because I wouldn’t remember which law that is, but I certainly have felt the truth of it.
I am regularly asked for advice. How to relax, how to stretch, how to get rid of pain. The little I know about these subjects, I am happy to share. More importantly, I want to share the idea that it is ok to just be how you are. Right now. Uptight, unstretched, in pain. Of course we want those conditions to leave us. But if they don’t right now, it’s still ok. It’s all ok.
I see you.
Sometimes I see you before you do, your perfection.