.. ust stay with all of it. Just notice it. Let yourself feel the sense of all that.¦ ?It-s the paper. The paper I am suppose to write over the break.
The one I am not doing. The one I am avoiding! I feel it. All sorts of things in my body. ?Great. Now what is the handle? What is the word that would describe the quality of this felt sense? Try different things and stay with it till it feels right.¦ ?Hmmmm-.
Anxious? Yes, but not all. Hmmmm-. resentful? ? ?It-s simpler than that. Stay with the felt sense, not your interpretation. Is it sticky? Contracted? Hard?¦ ?Hmmmmm–tense.
Tense and tight. Yes, tight. Sort of heavy. Well, not really heavy, but a pulling down tension. Restless. It is sort of restless.
Like I want to move and I can-t and I can-t sit still and relax. Hmmm-. Kinda- grabbing. Yes, grabbing.¦ ?And what is it about this paper that feels grabbing? What makes the whole problem grabbing?¦ ?It seems to be grabbing like, grabbing my energy. I feel tired. Yes, tired. It seems to be grabbing my energy and I am just tired, but not able to relax.¦ ?Do you feel a felt shift with that?¦ ?Yes.
Actually, the grabbing changed. It seems to have let go a little and moved into a different sensation.¦ ?So notice that. Notice the felt sense you have now and stay with that. What is that, what would be the word to describe what you are feeling now?¦ ?It-s a feeling in the bottom of my stomach. A sort of caving in feeling. No, not caving in.
More like it already has caved in. Like the stomach acids are up and there is a hole or a cave in. ? ?And-.¦ ?There- that-s it. I don-t know what my instructor wants. I feel like I don-t know what he really wants, so I can-t deliver.
It is so open ended and I don-t want to put in all this energy to doing something that might be wrong. Might be unacceptable and only mean I spent my energy for nothing, when I really want to be able to just do what is required and relax and enjoy the holidays.¦ ?Oh, yes! That is it. I feel different. I get it! Maybe I can-t resolve the whole thing, but I feel different. Thanks, Dr. Gendlin.¦ ?My pleasure.
I will see myself out.¦ The cold wet swashing of Mutt-s tongue across my face jerked me from a lying position straight upright. The cup falling over, splashed the last cold ounces of my toddy across the rug. ?Stop it! Stop it!¦ My protests seemed to only inspire more wet enthusiasm all over my face. Tail flying, and front paws tackling me back down to the floor with laughter, muffled barks, and squeals. The sound of one exploding cookie dish, finally inspired the needed shift in my mood and voice.
?NO! Stop! Stop! ? I stood up, pointing my hand to the ceiling, palm in, ?Sit!¦ There was immediate obedience. In perfect attention she looked directly at me from the floor, tail moving under her, like a controlled giggle in church. ?That-s better now. Let-s clean this mess up.¦ She watched me collect the broken chards and upended mug. As I walked into the kitchen, she trailed me silently, tail still giggling. ?Dustpan-.Dustpan-.Maybe in the pantry? Yes. There it is.
Broom? Ah, yes. Now, paper towels. Life is messy, my dear. No matter how much we try to clean it up. Always something!¦ I enjoyed the sound of the beat, beat, beating of her tail against the doorway tapping out it-s own rhythm as I cleaned up the last evidence of our fun.
?So, who wants to work with me now? I-m available.¦ I looked at this man and thought to myself, ?Another crazy German Jewish physician! What-s up with that?¦ My time with Carl Rogers had been so soft. His non-invasive style had been quite gentle. Never had I been so impressed by the hidden power of questions asked with acceptance. Although he was not an overtly spiritual man, there was a sort of wisdom to his approach. He behaved as a person.
I felt his personhood. This was something quite unique and different, as I hadn-t felt it from any of my previous therapists. He seemed to be genuinely interested in understanding me. Really allowing me to bring out what was true inside myself, instead of interpreting it for me or pushing me into some body position or other technique in order to get somewhere. I found that when I could give voice to my feelings and have him fully understand and accept them, I could accept them too.
And somehow myself and my feelings would then change, effortlessly. His client centered approach affirmed me, the client, and my inner capacities for insight and self healing. I felt that I had entered into a very genuine relationship with him and as a result, with myself. After this mild mannered Midwesterner, California with it-s Big Sur coast line, naked hot tubbers, and the famous Fritz Perls was a bit of a culture shock. I quietly chuckled inside ?So who has some unfinished business or perhaps dream they would like to explore?¦ I don-t remember how I got myself into the hot seat, but here I was. ?Now be the garden hose.
You are the wet garden hose. Tell us what it is like being this garden hose?¦ ?Well, I feel very, uh, alive. There is a lot of juice running through me. I am just bursting forth with what I have to offer.¦ ?Anything else?¦ ?It feels really nice to have her, the woman, holding me. She has nice hands. I like her singing.
I can feel her warmth. It-s quite sensual really. Yes, I feel quite sensual!¦ ?And now, will you please be the withered rosebud.¦ ?I am almost dead. I am dead, but somehow I am still conscious. But I am dry and brittle.
I have little to hold me. I have nothing to offer, because I am so empty of life. I am different from all the other beautiful rose bushes here. They are all thriving. But I am shriveled.
Dried up and shriveled.¦ ?Could you talk about this more? It seems to be something very important. Your being different from the others. Being shriveled.¦ ?Well, I don-t like being here. I don-t like this at all. I am not happy.
I am almost dead. But it doesn-t seem to matter. I am depressed and ugly and useless. All the others seem to have all they need to thrive, and I am not able to be like them. It is so distressful for me. .
Something is missing in me.¦ There was a lump in my throat now. My eyes were dry. Like the dry bud, I didn-t even have enough of what I needed to cry. Mesmerized by the flames, I added more logs to the fire. The colorful dancers undulating from the wood seemed to be having a party. So many costumed souls.
It was an incredible party. Everyone was invited. Everyone? Yes. Everyone in their most essential form. A parts party.
People where dancing and singing and flying and doing all sorts of hilarity and celebration. I moved through the crowd. Jokesters, Magicians, Emperors, Priests and Priestesses–.It was like walking through a living Tarot deck. Things were so mobile and multiple. Groups of two or more gathered to exchange and express themselves and then moving apart to form other groups with new dances, songs and activities.
And there in the midst of the crowd I saw James Hillman, laughing, joking, smiling, signing books. I moved on into another room and saw a different set of furnishings. Several people were sitting quietly. Some reading. Some writing. Some painting or drawing. To the right, there was another room.
In it was a slide show. I could hear the voice of Arnold Mindell. He was explaining the dreaming body. But someone was standing now, raising their hand. It was Dr.
Stan Groff. His impressive size a contrast to slight little Arnie. He was reviewing his research on drugs and experimentation that led to his latest breath work. Arnie was patiently smiling. ?Yes, and that is also a contribution to our world community. I would love for you to present. What is your secondary process as you wait now? Stan, I look forward to your contribution.¦ There was a musky scent somewhere nearby.
I noticed a stairway at the far wall. A cellar! I descended. Lit dimly by candle sconces, the steps were stone. No they were wood, but old wood. Old petrified wood.
As I descended they became larger and turned to granite. At last I reached the landing and looked down to discover Dr. Jung on the lower floor. He was looking down, and as I followed his gaze I observed what he was so intently watching. A man.
Someone who looked like Merlin, pouring over a book with symbols strewn around the room and on the walls. There was a deep pool beside him, and in the pool the moon and stars and all the cosmos seemed to be reflected. Upstairs behind me I could hear the clicking slides and lecturing sounds-.beyond them, the muffled revelry of the party. But below me was a focused almost undisturbable silence that seemed to emanate from the magical pool. And then I noticed it wasn-t a silence at all. Imperceptible at first, I realized it was a sort of hum. A hum that seemed to carry both silence and sound.
Light and darkness. Something so numinous and mysterious that it took me into itself and carried me further in. Further back. Back to visions of cave paintings with shadows of men dancing like animals. Dancing in the firelight before these magnificent ancient paintings. Pulsing, beating sounds. Drums.
Pulsing. Pulsing. Pulsing- The sound pulled me into itself and now I was the paintings. I was the bison. The lion. The mammoth.
The deer. Peering into the night. Peering into the flint blade that was drawing blood from my side. Running. Feeling every sinew in my body moving and flowing with life as my blood moved and moved me forward.
I was running with absolute abandon. Running with intention. Running for miles and miles through veins and arteries. Running into capillaries. Exchanging with cells. Giving and receiving.
Life and death. In and out. Moving faster, faster, faster. Whirling and orbiting around a center. Around THE center. And going still faster, I was breaking through the barrier, the barrier of sound, through time, expanding -.exploding-.into light-. into silence-.
into space-.into the cosmos-.into infinity-. into-.Ein Sof. Staring up from depths of the pool, I flew into Merlin-s eyes. Upward, penetrating Jung-s countenance. Leaping into the hands and arms that were gripping the rail of the landing above him.
Turning back to ascend the stairs, as this body made its way through the room of students, filling everything, bursting through the slide presentations and lectures, into the celebrating crowd. And there I was with all the dancers, reveling. Among them so many familiar faces: Virgina Satir, Milton Erikson, Fritz Perls, Carl Rogers, Richard Bandler, and so many others. We were all dancing together. Dancing on the floors above the pool. Always moving together and apart in kinetic ecstasy.
So many of us. Bodies were dancing all around me. The heat of everyone-s body warming my own. Raising my spirit. Raising my heartbeat.
Raising my temperature. Burning. I jerked back, banging my head and back against the day bed, the odor of singed hair invading my senses. Mutt was immediately at my side, anxious, excited by the sudden movement and strange smell. ?It-s OK, honey. I-m OK.¦ I wrapped my arms around her soft furry body reassuring myself .
?My hair. My singed hair! My hot skin.¦ I suddenly felt the loneliness here, by myself in this house. Me, the dried up single middle aged woman. Separate. Alone in this isolated environment.
Suddenly, she was beside me. Standing above me. Singing. With her hose. From her arms the great wet green snake was gushing water through its open mouth.
Pouring its wetness all over me. Penetrating my singed hair, onto my head, cooling my face, running in rivulets everywhere down over my body. Over every inch of my body. The water kept pouring forth. Penetrating, deeply into places inside of me. I could feel it soothing my skin.
Deeper, something inside was filling. And from the bottoms of my feet, through the floor, as if from the earth itself, the spent waters were moving upward into me, into my tissue; muscles and bones. I was growing fuller and richer. Something mysterious, something special, was expanding inside. Something important was reaching me.
A thirst being quenched all the way into my groin, my belly, my heart, and up into my head. I was coming alive. Opening. Blossoming forth. Bursting with energy. The smell of roses everywhere; in me, around me, from me, permeating the world.
The early morning light penetrated my skin, and as I opened my budding self to the new day, I awakened to the fresh bouquet of roses on my nightstand.