I love quotes from wise folk, and my blogs are often inspired by one or another from my extensive collection. I’ve decided to use one of my own this month. Part of me is quite surprised by this decision, but I’m simply trusting the sense of rightness.

“[One of Eugene] Gendlin’s fundamental questions concerns what is most likely to create the space for living forward energy to unfold. And I’ve become convinced that for some people, some times, a sense of spirit gently emerges and facilitates the way forward. This power greater than ourselves is called many things: Higher Power, God of our understanding, Allah, Yahweh, the Buddha, Muhammad, Jesus, Confucius, etc. My yoga friend speaks of the divine feminine, another friend references the power of the universe. To each their own. That of which I speak may be called by these names, or something else, yet those of us who have a sense of whatever-it-is (I’m going to call it spirit) have a clear knowing of its presence. My hunch is that others, like me, may not know how to summon it [yet know when it makes an appearance].”

Love & Imperfection: A Therapist’s Story – Clare Myatt [2019] p.56

Amidst a client session recently, I had the distinct sense we were both dancing around something, like awareness of the elephant sitting in the middle of the room and not quite looking at it face on. I felt fluttering around my solar plexus, images arose, thoughts assessed them, and eventually I invited us to pause. We sat in a moment or two of silence, both acknowledging whatever it was that didn’t quite have words. In stepping back from the customary conversational exchange, making space, taking a few deep breaths, we were with something unusual, together.

I wondered out aloud if they noticed the shift, the “something” that arose out of our back and forth, more especially from the space in-between the thoughts and words. They didn’t quite know how to explain those sensations, images, thoughts …. which turned out to be similar to my own. One might say “remarkably” similar, but I wasn’t surprised in the least. There are those incredible moments in my work where we both seem to be in flow, simultaneously. Is it synchronicity? Serendipity? Not quite. Something more like synergy.

Snowdrops in the gardenOver time I have come to trust synergy emerges not just from the space between the words and thoughts, but in moments I can only describe as spiritual. Something greater than me, and my client, is present. I am not a spiritual director or “qualified” in any such modality, yet increasingly as I continue to do my personal therapeutic work, receive robust supervision and other support, these precious moments arise more frequently. I wish I had them on tap, but they really do only come in their own Right Time.

Back to Gendlin’s concern about “what is most likely to create the space for living forward energy to unfold.” Therapeutic presence and attunement of course, alongside empathy and unconditional positive regard, and for me, that all important living forward energy (life force, life flow) responds deeply to inter-connectedness with one another, with nature and yes, with spirit. (Whatever that means to you).

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