Before I answer, I’d like to ask you to bring to mind a time when a loved one placed a gentle hand on your cheek. What were you feeling at the time? How did that gesture make you feel?
For many of us, myself included, that gesture evokes a sense of feeling safe, seen, and cared about. I notice a warmth and relaxation in my belly and chest, accompanied by sort of an inner “Ahhh” as I recall such moments in my life. Occasionally that sense of safety allows me to shed tears I’ve been holding inside and I’m left feeling lighter and more open.
What would it be like to offer that gesture to yourself in a difficult moment? What a precious gift it is to feel seen and cared for by ourselves – to acknowledge and allow ourselves to be touched by what is in our own heart.
Taking it a step further, imagine how it feels to allow your heart to be touched by someone else, and to know, to feel, deep in your heart that someone else truly sees and cares about you.
Bringing the two together – feeling your own heart and feeling felt by someone else’s heart – is the relational alchemy that is at the core of how I coach, and facilitate change.
The outer circle of the logo is called an enso and it comes from the Zen Buddhist tradition. The circle is drawn with one brush stroke and requires that the artist relax the mind and allow the body to create.
If you’re a meditator, you’ll know that relaxing the mind is much easier said than done, but in those moments where we can relax, there is tremendous spaciousness, full of possibility. (If you’re not yet a meditator, and would like to learn, ask me!)
It can also be said that the incompleteness and imperfection of the circle are actually very much a part of the circle, they belong there and are part of its beauty.
The invitation, then, is to allow yourself to relax into the space, whether it’s the one created by being in one of life’s many transitions, or the space of the container of the coaching relationship, allow yourself to be seen, just as you are, and let your innate worth, beauty and potential shine!
Bamboo, pictured in the header image here, is often thought to represent the perfect combination of strength and flexibility. What might be possible with that combination?
When I guide meditation, I invite people to feel into the strength of their back as they sit with an upright, relaxed posture, and the soft openness of their front, and consider the same question: what might be possible with a shape that is soft, strong and open?
A little story for you. Last year, on a meditation retreat away from home, I went to a grocery story to pick up a few things, one of which was going to be a bouquet of flowers to place in the meditation space. As I stood looking at the bouquets, I glimpsed a display of glass containers each with two or three bamboo stalks that stood about 3-4″ high. I’ve long been inspired by that perfect combination of strength and flexibility, and was actually in a difficult period of my life, so I had to have one.
Fast forward 12 months, I’m living in a home that doesn’t get a lot of natural light, the bamboo has outgrown its glass (and the ceramic pot I put it in 4 months ago…) and is the only plant that I’ve been able to grow in my new home!
That brings me back to the question I posed a couple of paragraphs ago: