Saturday, January 14, 2012

Being Present to One's Heart

"The most important therapeutic ability is the capacity to be present with the heart and to be grounded in our inner being, in the authentic self, in the meditative quality within, in the inner source of love and truth, through which we can meet another person." says Dhyan Giten, from his new book “Presence - Working from Within.

I agree with Dhyan, and I would say, in addition to being present in the heart and grounded in our inner being - a part of the work I do in SHEN Therapy-  be present to the "Now" (a/k/a mindfulness, what's objectively happening, "what's so"), and be aware of one's physical and emotional sensations. Have whatever comes up be ok (and in fact, these sensations are valuable teachers, as they can clue you to your authentic feelings).

I work with trauma survivors as well as highly sensitives. Some of my clients come to me habitually disassociating from their bodies, with panic attacks, and/or feelings of frequent overwhelm.  I've facilitated clients who were traversing a dark night of their soul and those in the midst of struggling to emerge from a history severe abuse. Some come to me out of touch with value in themselves and/or meaning in their life.

An insight I've received and shared is that those who have survived traumatic experiences bring an authenticity to their communication which is reassuring to others who have similar experiences  This authenticity is unmistakeable, and it can help other survivors of trauma to come to listen and to trust, and to realize recovery and healing is possible for them as well,  because someone else has been through it and understands. If it's their heart's desire, my clients can reach those who perhaps would not let themselves be reached a therapist who comes from academic theory only.

And at the very least, the experience of surviving incest, distorted caregiving, etc. can teach you what you don't like, and how you don't want to be. I tell my clients that now they have the glorious, gorgeous opportunity to discover for themselves what they do like, and what does nourish them. My clients start to do just that: in their exploration, they discover what their authentic self enjoys and what their heart enjoys doing. Some have gone on to become therapists, others have become speakers,  writers, artists, advocates and nurturing parents.

We can bloom out of a history of suffering and defilement, just as a Lotus grows out of rich muck, its blossoms, fragrance, and beauty inspiring all.

From Dhyan Gitan's Facebook pageSwami Dhyan Gitan was trained in modern psychology at the University of Stockholm, and in Eastern methods for awareness in USA, Sweden and India. He has 22 years of experience in individual counseling and teaching awareness.