As James Hollis starts to speak there is a hush of reverence due to the resonance of only a man who truly walks his walk can inspire in those who may not even not why they are so enraptured with such a speaker. He stirred such a varied multitude of insights within that it is with great difficulty that I am writing only an article and not a book. What perhaps spoke most deeply to me at the time, though contemplation on his words have given rise fruitfully to much more, was his emphasis on self-care, giving self permission to have personal authority and the pure lack of ego from which this must ultimately stem and be surrendered to.
As an Instructor BodyTalk, BreakThrough and Reveal & Release, it was with great incredulity that I realized the stark differences in the places from which I was teaching these seminars. Self-care was an integral part if not at times the main focus of these seminars. Yet was self-care really being practiced in my own life? It didn’t seem so. This struck me as complete irony given the fundamental philosophy to all healers, practitioner heal thyself. Indeed in every healer there is the wounded healer and this is what practitioners must be most aware of: that we are bringing in our wounded part when we step into the role of healing another. Hollis’s point was that we can’t set it right in the other unless we set it right in ourselves. This process of consciousness deeply requires a strong commitment to self-nurture. How to nurture yourself you ask? Take time to feel and have the patience to allow the healing to happen, all of which happens despite ‘efforts’, take time to listen to the wisdom of that 2 million old person inside of each of us, perhaps meditate, wash yourself clean of the day with exercise, light reading before bedtime, recognize your limits, use all of our tools from Breakthrough and Reveal & Release to MindScape and BodyTalk and perhaps most importantly participate in the mystery of life. Seek the mystery to find the entry points into simply being; perhaps this is the place of encountering that which does the healing.
Another step in caring for yourself is to live your life. Not someone else’s but yours. To do otherwise is to invalidate that which you most deeply seek, the truth within. I always carefully listen when a teacher repeats something and time and time again throughout the day Hollis constantly referred back to the point that “the greatest service to others is a life fully lived”. To fully realize this would require first realizing your personal authority. We have spent most of our early lives being shamed so as to adjust to the demands of our social and cultural settings. The process of socialization is not a ‘bad’ one. Just the opposite viewpoint may be taken. It’s only in “losing ourselves” that we get inspired to “find our Self”. The process of redemption is the process of not taking the shame personally and ultimately finding the authority within ourselves. This means that as an adult the process of redemption must be carried on by giving ourselves permission. Permission to be, think, feel, wonder and question. Questions like what if I got it wrong? What if what I’ve been living is wrong? Whose life am I really living?
To ask such questions also requires discernment between the answer that seeks to provide comfort versus the honest answer which will likely make you uncomfortable, demand risk and without a doubt require the surrender of who it is you think you are. It is easy to be seduced by “the story” which is all too easily woven and clung to readily by practitioners; to be exempt from this seductive process would require the dishonest negation of your humanity. It is with utmost vital importance that “the story” is kept in perspective. Despite abandonment issues plaguing us all and leading to feeling unworthy and insufficient, it is crucial to see that if you become identified with what happens to you, this is in essence becoming identified with insufficiency. Clinging to the story keeps you stuck in thinking that indeed you are not good enough which leads to the creation of more stories and the cycle continues seemingly unstoppable – this is the tremendous danger of “the story”. So I beg of you to see “your story” for what is it, meaningless, so that you may indeed experience you, fully surrendering to who it is you really are.