Last year was my first year going to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. I was invited to join this group of amazing seasoned psychotherapists from around the world. Mary Goulding (one of my teachers) started this group more than 25 years ago. The warmth and care that has gone into keeping this group going is inspiring. And, it took boldness, as several people told me.
My traveling companion faced a family crisis at the time of our departure and couldn't join us. This meant that I would be traveling alone. I'm an army brat. That's no big deal to me. My only sticky points were my concern for my friend and her family and selfishly missing traveling with a friend I was looking forward to spending time with. Yet when I told others, they mentioned how much courage that took. I didn't see it that way. What's bold for one is normal for another.
I've been thinking a lot lately about being BOLD, the courage it takes to be bold, and the necessity of this quality for healing arts practitioners.
Doing what we do demands a unique kind of boldness.
Sitting with others and walking with them through their darkest fears, wounds and sorrows required a kind of BOLDNESS. We all acclimate to this. We learn NOT to take it home and take it on as OURS. Or if we don't we don't last real long in this most satisfying profession.
It takes BOLDNESS to—- In the past year, I've found that for me to do what I'm doing – encouraging a NEW view on OLD ideas of helping. Stepping out as a teacher, it wasn't easy. I had to find and install this beautiful human quality of BOLDNESS. However, if I didn't, I don't know that I could bear the karma of NOT teaching what I've learned.
- travel alone to a foreign country to spend a week with people you don't know
- say #metoo and watch our clients do the same – this is particularly evident as we march alongside silver haired beauties claiming their TRUTH for the first time
- ask the most intimate and personal questions
- witness and walk with clients through their darkest pains with a wide open heart and curious mind
- surf the edge of empathy and indulgence (this is worth exploring more...stay tuned)
- stand up as a teacher
- stand up as a student
This week, listening to ON BEING with Krista Tippet, she again wondered aloud about all how surely we will soon find spiritual technologies to transcend our pain. If she only knew. There is and I used it to heal the limitations and wounds that inhibited boldness in me. I use it EVERY day to walk clients into and out of their wounds.
It takes BOLDNESS for clients to walk into our offices. It takes boldness for them to expose their vulnerability. It takes boldness for them to try the things we ask them to try.
Encouraging boldness comes in many forms from our friends and family. It is all those subtle and not so subtle ways we FEEL another's belief in us and that is emboldening. But it's NOT enough.
It's not the kind of encouragement that hangs with us when we are making a BIG leap. In those times, we need more than being able to lean into others. We need boldness grown up. Boldness that is quality of humanity that we see in our finest athletes and most inspiring leaders. It's a quality that's available to ALL of us once we untether from our limited ideas about who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing.
Imagine what life might look like if you installed BOLDNESS into your being, if you had ready access to this quality ...
How do you think healing arts practitioners and our clients would benefit if we were just a bit more bold? What do you think holds us back?
A year ago, I introduced my Isla sisters to Acceptance and Integration Training.
A year later, I am BOLDER.
A year later, I KNOW my clients and the students of my clients are finding quicker relief.
A year later, having found access to a rich boldness, I can see more clearly where lack of boldness inhibits my clients and students.
Where is lack of boldness inhibiting you?
If you know the Deliberate Embodiment Practices of AAIT, you know what to do with this. If you have questions or comments, please share in the comments. Share your insights, successes and curiosities too.
For those of you who don't know AAIT, play with sentence completions. Don't edit. Don't even write full sentences. Just fill in the blank several times and see where it takes you.
My lack of boldness is inhibiting—-
If I were 5% bolder today, I—-
Let us know what you discover.