When I first started to play the role of a coach/healer, I was inspired by the first time I acted as a coach/therapist by accident. Everyone starts somewhere. The people closest to me benefit earliest and simultaneously serve as Ginnie pigs in my early practice. I have the chance to be the present listener and affirmer the people interacting with me regularly need. Sometimes it happens without my intention. Those are the best teaching moments.
I remember one summer, I had a long conversation with a cousin who was caught up in the arguments between her mom and an aunt(her mother’s sister in law). The cause of the argument is unimportant. It was completely nonsensical to bystanders. To both participants, the attachment-based wounds and paranoia were very real. My cousin was caught up between being objective and her loyalty to her mother. She was a bright and kind soul, forced into the corner by fearful and negative energies, caught between two families she loved dearly. Her mother was attacking her own sister in law because of her own defensive coping mechanism. In the process, her dominant energy was beating down my cousin’s positive one. I was initially trying to convince my cousin in law of the rational perspective. I wanted her to see both sides and not get in on the gang fight. The more I pushed the more she resisted. She firmly wanted to support her mother. 45 minutes into it, I realize this was not working. So I gave up. And I focused on listening to her with no more agendas. It was a last-ditch effort to keep the peace rather than any conscious strategy to heal. So it was completely unexpected when she broke down. She cried after just a short while of my listening to her, affirming her feelings and without trying to convince her to think otherwise. She proceeded to tell me how she was just feeling she needed to support her mom out of love. That was when it dawned on me, I was doing therapeutic work. After that, I was more determined to not push anything on her and just stay present with her feelings until she is ready. When we finally hung up after an hour and a half, I felt genuine love and support for her stance as a listener even if I disagreed with her as an observer of the family feud. To my even greater surprise, she messaged me later to tell me she had reconciled with the other family.
Later when I recounted this incident to my own therapist at the time, she helped me realize even more the cruciality of that moment when you shift focus from result to present. It was the golden moment that I must cultivate more as I interact with everyone in my life. The default engagement in every daily interaction is my mind, led by my ego. When I detect a potential threat, such as a comment perceived as an insult or an action interpreted, rightly or wrongly, as an inconsideration or devaluation, the ego likes to engage the mind to develop defense strategy through negative emotions and combative words. Similarly, as a therapist/coach, when clients describe the problem, the ego would ward off insecurity by immediately creating solutions. The golden moment happens when my body can take control back from the busy mind. It can then make the shift to the most important and wise thing to do at that moment: staying present with my own or my clients’ feelings. The opportunity for change will come when all the present energy is accounted for and acknowledged. It will naturally find the direction it needs to go in order to find balance. Nature is wise. I am learning to stay back and let it do its job. I, as a human vehicle for this unique assembly of energy, must learn to be the observer before I can be the enabler.
Because of that, I was proud of myself. It was a pivotal moment when I realize I could be good as a healer. I started to develop a new perspective of everyone around me, close confidante, old friends or new rivals. Even as I recognize limitations in each and everyone of us, I recognize even more our strength and potential for growth. I feel love for us all.
My energy is starting to flow more unrestricted every day. It is hard not to feel joy in this newfound freedom.