BodyTalk: Partnering in Wholeness

Jul 17, 2014

By Mary Shields, Ph.D.

In BodyTalk, the convention has long been to talk about doing sessions "on" someone else, or "for" someone else, but I realized a long time ago that this statement is not accurate. BodyTalk emphasizes that we aren't "doing" anything--we are facilitators highlighting places in the body that need to be in better communication with each other. We are, in fact, partners in a co-creative process with the person with whom we are working. Because of that dynamic, and because words do matter, I have consciously changed my language about how I do my work. I now say that I work with a client (even in a distance session), and I use that language both with my clients and in my teaching. I would love to see all the textbooks changed to reflect this language for a whole host of reasons, not least that it much more properly describes what we are actually doing (or more importantly, not doing) in a session.

Similarly, in BodyTalk we talk about priority, not problem, because we simply hold the focus while the person themself does the actual linking and then moves forward from there. The person thus heals him- or herself. Moreover, we acknowledge that the person who comes in to us already is in balance or they would not be able to function at all. The balance may not be optimum (hence the need for BodyTalk sessions and/or other treatment), but it is present nonetheless. What we are really recognizing is the underlying wholeness in each of us. Our goal is not to fix problems or find solutions, but to work with the person to allow them to remember (actually to re-member) their own wholeness.

Lately my thoughts have turned to wholeness and blessing. From my Hebrew Scriptures background comes the word "Shalom," which tends to be translated as "peace" but more precisely means "wholeness." Over and over again in the Scriptures, Wholeness (or Shalom) is both the way the world was created and Spirit's or the Divine's (or whatever you call that which is beyond us) goal for the world--and that wholeness figures in every area of life. Our personal and spiritual journeys as humans are really our journeys back to wholeness.

Unfortunately, most healing work, including not just allopathic (Western) medicine but many complementary modalities as well, exists to "fix." But the fixing isn't about fixing the dis-ease. Instead, the mistaken presumption is that the person who suffers from the disease is broken.

Nothing could be farther from the truth! Each of us has within us a spark of the Divine, a wholeness that cannot be broken. Each religious/philosophical tradition sets forth this concept using different language. Another way to say it is that we are (part of) Universal Consciousness. If we truly treated one another as whole people, rather than as broken people needing to be "fixed," I believe it would be transformative. We would both receive and become blessings.

Rachel Naomi Remen is a physician whose most recent practice focuses primarily on cancer patients. She has discovered that even when we feel most broken, we are still whole and a blessing to each other. In My Grandfather's Blessings she writes, "A blessing is not something that one person gives another. A blessing is a moment of meeting, a certain kind of relationship in which both people involved remember and acknowledge their true nature and worth, and strengthen what is whole in one another. By making a place for wholeness within our relationships, we offer others the opportunity to be whole without shame and become a place of refuge from everything in them and around them that is not genuine. We enable people to remember who they are." She also says, "We do not serve the weak or the broken. What we serve is the wholeness in each other and the wholeness in life. The part in you that I serve is the same part that is strengthened in me when I serve. Unlike helping and fixing and rescuing, service is mutual." And "when we offer our blessings generously, the light in the world is strengthened, around us and in us."

I see this principle at work every day when I either teach a class or work with a client, or in my day-to-day interactions with the Starbucks barista, the restaurant waiter, the airline attendant, the store clerk, or the mail carrier. Meeting others as whole people is transforming me and enabling us to be blessings to and for one another. I encourage each of us to remember that we are whole, and to both receive and be blessings. In so doing, we each contribute to what the Kabbalah says is our collective human task: Tikkun Olam- sustaining and restoring the world.



Author: Mary Shields, Ph.D.

Adv. CBI, RMT, CBI, BAT, CBP, Parama BP, AdvCBP
To find out more about Mary including her teaching schedule Click Here

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