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Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Doing great…..

A student today got us seeing something differently - I heard myself say, "You're doing great!" as she walked down the steps. We laughed, sagely now after the work we had been doing. It might be a lovely and reassuring thing to hear, but if the main challenge is one of perfectionism, it really doesn't help. Being told we are brilliant might be what we all want, but it carries a heavy demand; 'I can never, ever, let myself be anything but brilliant'. I was so glad we took the time, even on the doorstep as we were, to clarify my words into this: ''Great' isn't about being the best student ever. This 'great' is about being brave enough to go within when being anywhere but in the head is scary, and being willing to go to that often-to-some terrifying place within our body where we feel things. It's about agreeing with ourselves to be soft, to open a little, to suspend the impulse to achieve long enough to consider other choices, and to experience ourself falling short of the huge expectation - 'failing' - and not react to this, but just observe what happens within. We can't change anything until we know it is there, and touch it, sense it, fully make its acquaintance, This takes being in our truth, fully present to all of it as it is. This student is 'doing great' precisely because she is giving herself permission to sometimes not be great, and to experience the disconcerting feelings that brings up so they can change in the light of acknowledgement. But she is also now feeling all all the softness and unconditional kindness most of us crave. Only this time it's coming from herself to herself. :-)