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I had a rather remarkable Polarity Therapy session a couple months back that I would like to share with you. Often I will dialogue with a client if I pick up certain sensations, emotions, images or words during a session. However, in this particular session my client dearly needed some rest and I did not want to disturb her with conversation. She gave me permission to write about what happened . . .

The client seemed to have drifted off. My hands had arrived at her right knee and I sensed emotional distress swirling inside it. Curious, I turned my attention to an image that arose in my mind’s eye. A young woman was weeping by a stream, her hair and tears flowing into the water. Silently I asked this woman why she was crying. Immediately I saw a hand mirror floating downstream. “I lost my hand mirror,” she said. I asked what would happen if she had it. I saw her lift the mirror to her face. She broke into a joy-filled smile seeing her own beauty and the mirror shattered. The woman was still joyfully smiling. The energy in the knee calmed and settled.

A little later on in the session, I arrived at the client’s pelvis: one hand underneath her sacrum (the central keystone bone of the posterior pelvis) and the other resting on her lower abdomen. The sacrum felt very much locked in place. There should be ease and some play in the sacrum between the two pelvic halves, but this sacrum felt very stubborn, as if it was refusing to move. I backed off on my desire to make it budge and lightened my touch. Once I had given the sacrum more room, another image came to me. This time it was a boulder.

I initiated another silent conversation: “Hello boulder,” I said. “Hello,” it replied. “My,” I said, “you really are a tremendous boulder. You are so good at being a boulder.” The boulder proudly replied that it was. I gave it more of my admiration and it began to glow. I asked the boulder what its job was. “To protect,” it replied. “Protect what?” I asked. I then saw that it was blocking the entrance to a cave. “How do you feel protecting this cave?” I asked. Its reply surprised me. “Sad,” it said. I could sense and see that the boulder was protecting the treasure of the client’s inner life. Here was another metaphor for the client’s desire to be seen. It seemed time to rouse her.

I told the client about these two silent conversations. She began to cry. She said that it sounded like it was about her husband. She was going through a period of grieving that her husband was not acknowledging the fullness of who she was–particularly as she was growing into a new part of her life that was deeply important to her. I spoke of the importance of reflection, that we need people–ideally including our partners–to acknowledge and reflect back our beauty, emotions, thoughts, our vibrant selves. To feel acknowledged, seen and known often is a relief and joy. Who we are is confirmed and welcomed. We can allow ourselves to shine and enjoy that shininess.

Continuum teacher and somatic practitioner Mary Abrams recently described it this way: “Being seen with interested, compassionate and accepting eyes is . . . required for human life to thrive. When one experiences the genuine acceptance of another’s interested attention and trusted touch, the joy of self-recognition can flow freely.” This was the joy of the woman see her reflection in the mirror. At the time, I could not fully cognitively comprehend the metaphor’s meaning, but when I read Mary’s words, I felt she had described its essence. That is why the mirror shattering is particularly beautiful: once it had fulfilled its role, it was no longer needed. The woman had been brought into the joy of self-recognition.

As a Polarity Therapy practitioner, this role of reflection is often an essential part of what I offer to my clients. I am meeting my clients through the touch of their tissues and energies, by words both spoken and unspoken, and by images. I reflect back to the client (if the client is open to dialogue) that which arises to my attention so that we can explore and discover together the fullness and richness of their being. It can be a deeply satisfying process for both the client and myself. For me, this is the heart of somatic work and the beauty of what Polarity Therapy has to offer.

This was posted February 15th, 2012.