The Mirror of Relationship (part one)

Have you ever had the experience of seeing a stranger across tbeauty is skin deep - bulldog looking at herself in the mirrorhe room at a workshop or a party and you instantly decide that you don’t like them? Or maybe you find yourself moving across the room to meet them or to ask them to be your practice partner in the workshop. People are great reflectors. They reflect back to us things we like about ourselves and things we do not like about ourselves

In our lives we regularly encounter clients, friends, family members, or lovers that “push our buttons”. We might find them annoying, pushy, demanding, needy, or aggressive for example. Our tendency might be to become defensive, shut down or to avoid them. Or we might find ourselves bending over backwards to please them all the while judging and resenting them.

Did you know that those “button pushers” can become our deepest and best teachers? The mirror of relationship is an important tool for personal growth and transformation if we are willing to bring some consciousness into the relationship.

Let’s look at the mirror of relationship. I will briefly go over 4 mirrors.

The Clear Mirror: This is someone you are attracted to, you move toward them. They are someone you like to be around. They are reflecting back to us aspects of ourselves that we like or admire, or parts of ourselves that are ready to bear fruit.

The Smoky Mirror: This is where we are repelled by someone.They are reflecting back to us aspects of ourselves that we do not like, aspects that are shut down or laying dormant. They could be aspects we are in denial about or aspects that we wish we had.

The Split mirror: This is a mix of smoky and clear. We like some aspects of the other person and there are aspects that we don’t like.

No mirror: This is where someone is invisible to us. Nothing is reflected back. You might have been in a weekend workshop and at the closing circle you see someone that you did not notice all weekend.

Let’s look at Smoky Mirror since this is likely to be the one to grab the most attention. It usually brings up the strongest feelings.

The Smoky Mirror can get in the way of deepening a relationship because we are often on the defensive, busy criticizing ourselves or we are busy judging the other person. A sense of self-righteousness is often a clue that a smoky mirror is in action.

Look at a relationship in your life – your spouse, a challenging client, a sibling. A useful exercise is to inquire into a relationship that elicits a strong emotional charge – someone that “pushes your buttons”. Take a moment and write down all of the traits that bother you – annoying, pushy, rude, impatient, they don’t speak up for themselves, needy, complaining, manipulative, controlling, etc.

Now … ask yourself, “Do I possess any of these qualities?” If we are honest with ourselves, we will likely see that we also have exhibited these qualities of rudeness, impatience, etc at one time or another. These behaviors often emerge when we are under stress.

If you find yourself saying, “But I would never behave that way”, it is likely denial at work. We have probably behaved that way and feel embarrassed or ashamed and can’t quite admit it to ourselves.

When we can gently accept that we may at times be pushy, demanding, or needy, liberation is at hand. The more we accept ourselves – the negative and positive, the more authentic we can be. You will find more ease, grace and spontaneity in your life.

If we are willing to inquire into the nature of the relationship, we get to see that we have more in common than we have differences. And if we are gentle, accepting and forgiving of our “faults” then we can be kinder, compassionate and understanding in our relationships.

You may come to a point on your journey that you welcome the Smoky Mirror into your life. What an opportunity for self exploration! You will learn to recognize yourself in other people. You will be given opportunities to heal and come back to wholeness.

Enjoy your Self!

The Healer’s Report Card

Are you living a balanced healer’s life?sweet_white_trillium

When I use the word “healer”, I am referring to anyone who uses their intention, presence, intuition, touch, words and/or heart to care for and help move another toward wholeness.

The Healing work that we do whether it is massage, energy work, counseling, etc calls upon every part of a healer’s being. It calls us to be a clear vessel. It calls us to know how to set our agenda aside. It calls us to see our clients with new eyes. It is a calling and when we say ‘yes’ to the calling there is a hidden unwritten ‘Healer’s Contract’.

There is a clause in the contract that states that the healer must include themselves in the healing container. Healer Heal Thyself! (This must be written in 8 point font because it is so often left out.)

Burnout is very common in the healing profession. It is the tendency of healers to be givers. We feel called to serve, to give, and to make people feel better. But it is often at the expense of our own energy system. Chronic fatigue, adrenal burnout, and physical pain are very common complaints. There are limits to giving.

Think of yourself as your vehicle. For every 10 gallons of gas out, at least 10 gallons of gas need to go in (maybe even 11 or 12). If you run on reserves for too long, you will run out of gas.

It is important to live a balanced life when we are doing healing work. It is important that we are disciplined for self-care. Body, mind and spirit must be cared for and balanced.

We don’t have to be impeccable to be a healer but we do need to be earnest in our efforts. It is important to aware of how and when we override our inner knowing of what is enough and what is too much. If you listen closely enough your body will tell you.

Below is a Healer’s report Card. Don’t worry, nobody will be standing over you to reprimand you. You get to rate yourself. Be open and curious. Be honest, kind and gentle with yourself. This could be quite illuminating.

Rate yourself on a scale of 1 – 10 . 1= rarely , 10=regularly

  1. I engage in physical exercise (yoga, walking, biking, swimming, etc).
  2. I eat whole foods (veggies, fruits, organics, etc)
  3. I drink plenty of water.
  4. I get plenty of sleep.
  5. I limit the amount of mind altering substance (alcohol, drugs, TV, etc)
  6. I limit the use of caffeine.
  7. I engage in energy exercise (tai chi, chi gong, etc).
  8. I receive healing work.
  9. I find time for solitude.
  10. I find time for quiet (meditation, prayer, etc)
  11. I spend time in nature.
  12. I cross whole days off in my calendar to engage in wholesome, replenishing activities or rest.
  13. I have an awareness of my emotional state and tend to those emotions in a kind and gentle way.
  14. I tend to my emotional life (heartfelt conversations, counseling or therapy, NVC, etc)
  15. I am on a personal healing journey (to heal trauma, wounds, conditioning, belief systems that don’t serve me, to understand my emotional/spiritual being, to heal and open my heart, to fully love and accept myself, etc).

So… How did you rate on the Healer’s Report Card?

150 points: Awesome! Your mind, body and Spirit deeply thanks you! You will likely have long and fruitful journey as a healer.
70 Points: You are hanging in the balance. You are doing some self-care. Yea! Now, look closely at the missing pieces and kindly add a few.
15 points: uh oh! It is time for a deep inward look. Why are you neglecting yourself? Find some support to help you learn to care and love yourself.

Here are a few good questions to ask yourself on a regular basis: What can you do to nurture and care for yourself better? What can you do to maintain or build your energy reserves?  What boundaries do I need to set so that I don’t give all of myself away?

Every day choose a minimum of 5 things that you can do to care for yourself.
Fill in the blank and then put this into your written schedule:
Every day I refuel myself by:
Enjoy your Self!

“Do you take regular visits to yourself?” ~Rumi