Let mystery grow in you

Linda Rabin

We’re renovating a small bedroom in our home, turning it into a therapy-coaching-music-guest room (yeah!).

And while I’m not completely incapable of manual work, let’s just say it’s not my preference. And my partner is just soooo much better at it, that when comes time to renovate or build anything, I surrender 100% to their leadership.

In that domain, I literally must be told what to do — each steps, the sequence, which tools to use, how to use them, all that jazz.

Also — and I realized this just recently — I must be told to « do it » too.

The Need for Support

1

There’s a strong part of me that would rather be on vacation, all the time.

That’s OK, I love that part of myself. And I get a lot of things done (for real) when I’m on vacation/free mode. However, renovation is not one of those things. Unless I’m being told to do it.

Being told to do things certainly helps me to get going.

As many parents I presume know this truth: compassion can take the form of telling others to do stuff.

Doing it

2

So here I am, doing what I’m told: unmounting some shelf, executing the dull and tedious task of removing tiny screws and « L » shape things that were keeping it together.

It’s actually harder than I thought. I find it quite difficult to apply the right amount of pressure on the drill’s trigger.

The screws spin as if in butter. I’m feeling desperate and discouraged, and I’m just starting.

At some point — don’t ask me why — I try to go at it while looking in the other direction, blindly, and it works like magic.

The Insight

3

There I have it: looking directly at problems, with the sharp force of the visual-linguistic-logical-rational (mental) mind is not always to most efficient way of going.

Switching to the right side of the brain, the irrational part of us, that seems to know « how » to execute things, sometimes does a better job.

Your Unconscious Knows Best

Action is non-mental.

The performance part of something demands a soft focus.

The Right Kind of Magic

4

The body connects directly with a deeper self

Geneviève La

My neighbour-friend-osteopath and dancer extraordinaire Geneviève told me a story that resonates with this.

She was practising a choreography and was struggling to find the « right kind » of magic in the execution of the piece.

Her teacher at the time Linda Rabin told her: « Let mystery grow in you ».

Right away, it unlocked something in her and she nailed it, moving more gracefully.

So next time you are struggling to do something just right, relax, close your eyes, and let your body work, as if all by itself.

Healing — It’s a Process

5

I can’t help but make links with what I’m learning in my training these days.

In September of 2020, I embarked on a three years professional certification program, at the Centre de Relations d’Aide de Montréal (CRAM), to become a therapist, to help me evolve as a personal coach and a more compassionate human in general.

I’m in my first year, which is basically a mega personal therapy in itself, devoted to healing oneself, before learning how to assist others in healing themselves.

These days, I’m learning to look at what is hard to look at: my own negative feelings of discomfort and suffering, my irrational fears, limiting beliefs and defence mechanisms.

Attention Please

Personal therapy is a tool that sustains the work, it provides support for you to do it yourself.

You’re doing the work but you’re not alone. The full attention of someone else proves to be extremely supportive to do the work. Also, just showing up and having someone there to report to — that goes a long way for motivation and mobilization.

Just like bae had written down all the steps to renovate the room, yet I still needed to be told to « do it » to get going.

Cleaning the Tool

6

At CRAM, undertaking a personal therapy with the Creative Non-Directive Approach (ANDC MD) — created by Colette Portelance, founder and director of CRAM — is mandatory for students, so they can become therapists themselves.

I see it as cleaning the tool before using it.

I’ve had 10 one-on-one sessions so far. Right away, in the very first sessions, I dived into it, being transparent and direct with my therapist, denouncing myself — admitting that I have such and such behaviours, patterns, defence mechanisms, etc.

In my head, I’m super good at this, I might even be the best of my class (which is typical for my type of « superiorization defence »).

I’ll be honest (What?!), I thought I was doing great, that I understood the process, having studied and practised a myriad of personal self-help methods. I have even been coaching people as a side line for a couple of years now and I see the results of the work with my clients.

The Wall

7

During my last session, just before taking a break for the holiday, I found myself at a wall, incapable of going deeper then rational knowledge.

I know I have such and such fears, related to my desire to « be good » to « be the best » at stuff. But I can’t seem to actually « feel » what’s underneath.

I also know that the superior complex is actually an inferior complex.

It makes sense: one is so sensitive about one’s worth, that they defend themselves from deep feelings of worthlessness — by right away projecting that they’ve got this, that they’re better than, and/or trying real hard to become good, the best if possible.

This performance mindset is not helpful to appreciate reality.

I also know that I do all this probably in order to avoid being rejected, ashamed and alone. I say « probably » because I’m not able to contact these feelings and fears. I « presume » that that’s what it is.

And that’s the wall.

The Mind (Alone) Can’t Heal

Knowing I have these issues doesn’t help me dissolve them.

Actually, it does help.

What I mean is that the realization is just one part — and a detached one — of the process.

Like the difference between a map showing a lake and drinking its water to quench your thirst.

Leading a Horse to Water

8

It’s as if I had brought the proverbial horse to the lake, the horse is looking at the water, yet won’t drink.

And I can’t force him to drink.

Right now, I remain thirsty and dry, unable to feel my deepest feelings of unworthiness, or whatever it is that I’m feeling — whether it’s my fear of losing love and ending up alone in the dark, or something else.

Accepting

This thirst is not a bad thing, it acts as a motivation to do the work and keep digging.

And accept that things take time. It’s an invitation to let go.

So that’s where I’m at now. I accept that these things have their own schedule and rhythm. I accept that healing my mind and heart will take the time it takes.

Eventually, this horse will drink.

Useful Struggle

While the struggle is real, Geneviève tells me how this will prove very useful later.

When I’ll be assisting clients going through this frustrating phase — of not accessing their deeper emotional self — I will be able to really connect and empathize with them.

Oblique

9

And I have a new trick: at my next therapy session — instead of the laser sharp stare of my rational judging self — I might try a sweeter and gentler focus, while trying to contact my insides.

Letting my internal armour soften with an oblique soft gaze.

— Éric

Images

  1. Éric Bolduc, Ange destructeur, 2021
  2. Éric Bolduc, Tools, 2021
  3. Éric Bolduc, Destruction 2, 2021
  4. Alain Décarie, Geneviève La — En répétition pour La synesthésie du dragon, 2015
  5. Éric Bolduc, Me and Gato, 2021
  6. Éric Bolduc, Relation d’aide et amour de soi, 2020
  7. Éric Bolduc, Walk, Fall, IDK, 2020
  8. Soledad Lorieto, 2019
  9. Éric Bolduc, Oblique, 2021