The cleaner the mirror the easier it is to see ourselves. I often train other transformational coaches, and regularly reinforce this fact, reminding them that learning all the sophisticated change methodologies in our toolkit will never be as powerful as when we apply them to Self. The more of our stuff we have cleared, the more fully present we can be in the space, and the more quickly those we hold space for can come to true awareness of their Self. This is the magic of the work we facilitators get to do at IBI.
Yesterday I had an experience where I had a coffee with a woman in the morning and she confessed that in my silence she felt awkward and like she was being judged. As long as my lips were moving and sound was coming out, she felt fine, but when we had both stopped speaking and I just cleanly held her gaze, her internal dialogue began chattering away and she started to worry, “what is she thinking?” The idea that I was without thought – just sitting and being with her in the moment – seemed foreign to her.
Indeed, in my current experience when I’m with another, thinking is often more effortful than stillness. And these days, I speak in real time – thinking and processing whilst the words emerge from my mouth. I discover what I’m going to say as I’m saying it, trusting my unconscious to conjure up a sentence with a sentiment that makes sense. Fortunately, I speak slowly, wielding my words wisely (and holding the knowing that they can only ever point to my experience rather than fully capture it).
I shared my love of hosting silent retreats with her. My intention to connect with people as the truest expression of Self – seeing through the stories and into the spirit that resides within. And I reminded her that in any instance of deviation from a calm, centered, and content state, perception is projection. Her unconscious is bringing to her awareness her work around judgement. She had missed that – mistakenly imagining it was me judging her rather than her judging herself in my presence.
That same evening I met a woman at an event and we started casually chatting. I smiled and silently held her gaze. “Oh my God, I feel like crying,” she confessed as the tears began to well up in her eyes. “What is it you see in me?” I asked her. “I just feel so much love coming from you,” she said. I reached for her hand and held it as the tears slid down her cheeks, I reminded her, “It’s your love, darling. I’m just reflecting it back to you… The cleaner the mirror, the easier it is to see ourselves.” She was glowing – radiating love. And she missed that about herself, fooling herself into thinking it was me.
In between these two, I saw another person who was struggling to relate with her teenage daughters and questioning, “Is it me? Or is it them?” We cannot answer this question honestly unless we meet our Self – beyond the stories. This is one of the reasons its so valuable to have a clean space to do our inner work. When we recognise the truth of us, we can sit comfortably in our skin, no matter what environment we find ourselves in.
And like with the mirrors in our homes, they need to be cleaned regularly. My version of spring cleaning is the 6 Senses Retreat – four days with yourself in a quality space. Each person present mirroring back at you what they see in you whilst they be with you in stillness. You cannot escape yourself. You stop kidding yourself with the stories you hold. And in the letting go, there’s a releasing, relief, peace, and comfort that inevitably emerges. It’s powerful beyond words. But maybe, just maybe, this video can offer you a taste of it…