Guides and Mentors

untitled,  2000, 14" x 4" x 3", ceramic

untitled, 2000, 14" x 4" x 3", ceramic


Yesterday,  I saw a physical therapist recommended to me by someone I respect highly.

After a number of years dealing with many,  many body workers,  doctors,  etc.,  I notice that I have a built in litmus test that tells me within minutes whether I am sitting with a person who can help me move toward wholeness or head for the nearest exit.

People that love me will often relate stories of people they know who have experienced amazing results working with a particular regime or person.

In the beginning,  just after my diagnosis and thereafter until fairly recently,  I listened hard and watched for when I was drawn to act and made an appointment.

I gave my attention to the particulars asked of me by the practitioner as best I could and watched for results.

During the almost ten years of my relationship with MS,  out of all the people I have sought guidance from,  I have stayed the course with 4 people.

What is it that these practitioners have in common?

They can get out of their own way.

By that,  I mean I am,  over time,  THE MAIN EVENT.

This is not to say that I pay people for the ego solace of undivided attention.

I am talking about the difference between someone who gets a great charge  (and identity)  out of having a ‘following’ of patients doing what they are told to do.

If the results are not forthcoming,  likely it is the fault of the patient.

This very common experience I speak of has a very STICKY quality to it.

There is usually a sense of performance anxiety because when good stuff is happening,   the tone is affirming and pseudo-electric.   LIFE IS GOOD!  What I am doing is WORKING for this client!  I am GOOD at what I do!  YEAH, me!!

And the patient is going:  I AM A GOOD PATIENT!!!!  YEAH, ME!

When results are not forthcoming,  a sort of pall slips in… disappointment for both parties and usually the responsibility settles with the client because the practitioner’s ego is so bound up in  ‘success’  that they CANNOT BE WRONG.. So guess who is?

The alternative to this less-than-ideal experience is to work with someone who does not carry the agenda of needing the client to heal or behave in a way that makes them feel good about themselves.

The woman I saw yesterday was a good example of that.  She had nothing to prove to either herself or to me.

She took a brief history and began with a trust in the work that she was doing with me that was palpable.

Her work seemed effortless and I felt safe enough to relax into the unknown.

We both just listened to my body and registered movement and changes.  We both had stepped aside energetically into the witness mode.

The work was not personal.

Big results happened for me.

My body began to unwind and let go of some of my familiar tension and holding patterns.

I heaved big sighs.

I was excited!

She was pleased but not overly so.   She didn’t have that sort of manic  ‘I DID A GOOD THING!  I AM A HEALER!   energy about her.

I really felt like during the session everything about me was respected and she wanted NOTHING from me personally;  only to hold the possibility for a shift toward wholeness and the innate integrity of my body.

This experience felt like something I’d like to repeat so I made another appointment.

Absolutely NOTHING is carved in stone..  not weakness,  strength,  health or illness.

I just follow the threads that I register as having possibility for me to move toward God, really.

Some prove weak and the tension breaks under pressure.

Others stay strong and I keep pulling myself up,  hand over hand.

Destination, unknown.


One Response to “Guides and Mentors”

  1. marc on August 16th, 2009

    Cathy, well put. Sifting through practitioners until you find a good one can be maddening, but is vital. Putting yourself in the hands of a doctor or therapist who you do not trust, or cannot build a positive relationship with, can be more damaging than not being under any care at all.

    I’m happy you found somebody that you can work with. I hope you see continued improvements in mind, body, and soul…

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