By Tonda Chin, MS, Licensed Professional Counselor February, 14, 2017
“We are stars wrapped in skin. The light you are seeing has always been within.”
Virginia Satir, you always knew this. You saw things through the eyes of Love. You called forth the best in people with your gift of seeing that we are all unique , we are all worthy, and we are all on a journey. A sacred journey. A spiritual journey. You held the light for us.
Little did I know how this Transformational Therapy would send me on an experiential journey that would change and challenge me in so many ways. On the first day of Level One Training I sat eagerly awaiting information that would help me be a more educated, knowledgeable therapist. Ready to write it all down. It soon became apparent that everything the trainers had to say was so profound and their every word was validating everything I thought therapy should be but could not put into words. It began to be an out of body experience. Is this for real? My left and right brain were trying to work together, writing down this magic. Pages and pages.
From the first day we were reaching inside ourselves, becoming aware of our expectations, observing our reactions, acknowledging our self-judgements, setting our intentions, shifting our energy, setting our personal and professional goals into motion, to name a few. During a wonderful meditation, it came to me that being “nice” was a shield that had long protected me from the dreaded ‘disapproval.’ However, it limited me and left me with a feeling of being incongruent. I felt separate from myself! The answer that came to me was “Love from the heart, not from the gut (a place of protection).” I could feel the shift inside like a light bulb going on, and I no longer wanted to pretend. I wanted to be more real. I no longer needed that protection and wanted to risk a new way of being. From that came a goal to set my intentions to “hold” my clients in a place of Love, acceptance, hope, and healing. Just as I would now begin to do for myself.
I have become much more aware of my expectations for myself and others and how this can result in anger of disappointment when they are unmet. The person who does not meet my expectations the most is me!! I am forever grateful for this insight during my training. I am becoming gentler with myself. A bit kinder, more nurturing. I am feeling more peaceful inside. This intrapsychic, experiential therapy brings the heart and soul to healing. So gentle but so powerfully transforming.
For the first time, I had a framework for therapy. It validated the spiritual part of life that is the core of all of us. It is how I wanted to use myself as a therapist, it seemed natural to me. Importantly, I learned that I did not need to have all the answers as a therapist. I could draw from many clinical interventions and various types of therapy but it was not about the “answers”, it was about the divine intelligence within the clients. It was about me letting go of the pictures in my head about how things were “supposed to be”. Switching from being in the head to being in the heart, the seat of the life-force energy. Accessing divine wisdom, an unlimited resource. Therapy would not come from the therapist’s agenda but from the “wisdom within”. Life speaking to life as Virginia would say. She was a wise woman.
I will leave you with a short story that I found many years ago:
The Wise Woman’s Stone
The wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream.
The next day she met another traveler who was hungry and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food.
The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him.
She did so without hesitation.
The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
“I’ve been thinking,” he said. “I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious.”
“Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone.”
I hope this story is an encouragement for the journey.
Blessings, Tonda Chin