Isabelle wanted to work on sadness. Friends had often told her she looked sad – the girl with the sad eyes, they would say. She wasn’t sure why she looked that way to others but she did feel that underneath, somewhere, there was something that was not quite right.
Usually, I begin my Skype sessions by guiding the body and mind into relaxation and then suggesting we go to a beautiful, safe, comfortable spot, perhaps in nature. But instead, this time, Isabelle found herself in a dark forest. The forest was dense and the sun did not penetrate much; it was chilly.
“How do you feel?” I asked.
“I’m uncomfortable. I feel that something scary is going to happen.”
I reassured her by saying that her ordinary mind knew that she was in her own room where nothing terrible could happen. But it was important I said to move toward what was uncomfortable because her deeper mind was presenting material that needed to be seen.
“Wolves. A pack of wolves. They want to attack me. One in particular is very angry. He is looking at me with great anger. I am really frightened.”
“Are you sitting or standing?” I asked.
“Try sitting down,” I suggested.
“OK, I’m sitting now.”
“He is not angry any more. It’s a ‘no-expression’ face now.”
“What about the other wolves?
“They’re gone. There’s only this one wolf left.
[Now this is one of those junctures where the facilitator (me) says to himself, ‘OK. That’s great. But now what?’]
“OK Isabelle. I think we need to move back in time now, back and back and back in time and space, right back until we reach the source of the sadness you spoke about before we began. One, two, three. What do you see?”
“I don’t see anything. I just feel myself back here on my bed. There’s nothing.”
[From where does guidance arise? There’s a part of the mind that is full of “bright ideas.” Here was one of those bright ideas. Seemed perfectly reasonable, logical. But of course that was exactly what was wrong with it. It was not following where the story was leading us. I was not looking at the signposts.]
“OK. I think we need to go back to the forest, Isabelle. Is the wolf still there?”
“No. He’s gone.”
“OK. Is anything else different?”
“Well, I see a clearing in the distance. A place that’s open and where the sun is shining.”
“Great. Why don’t you begin to move in that direction. Can you do that?”
“Yes, I can move. But I can’t get there. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get there.”
“Why do you think that is? What is happening?”
“It has been like this all my life. Things slip through my fingers. I can’t hold onto what I want. Things slip away. It has always been this way. I don’t know what I can do.”
“Maybe we need to ask that wolf to come back. Can you see him again?”
“Yes I can. … He is with me now.”
“Perhaps he has something to communicate to you.”
“He is silent. Nothing is happening.”
“Well, just be with him. Feel his presence. Things are communicated not only in words. In gesture. In movement. See what happens as you remain with him.”
“I reach out to him. I touch him. I stroke the fur on his head.”
“Why don’t the two of you move to the edge of the clearing.”
“Yes, we are in the clearing now. I can feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. We are both very happy. We dance.”
[The following message came the next day]
In the hypnosis on Friday, I noticed something I had not seen before, something about how I use my eyes to look for what is happening. This noticing seemed very important for me.
The next day, as I was trying to respond to someone’s question, I remembered the “wolf.” At the same time, I brought my attention and sensation to my heart. I really tried to connect with my heart, with the part that finds an answer. I felt very clearly the movement of energy from my heart to the throat and to the head. As I spoke, my voice was trembling a bit, but I was able to speak and I said something that I felt came from my heart and possibly from somewhere in my mind. It was not from an ordinary part.
To be able more often to have the intent of connecting with this special part that I felt for just parts of a second at a time: it really means I need a “nourished” seeing.
Then… being able to search using the eyes and at the same time to see, to understand. In hypnosis, the sensation of searching with the eyes and coming to something was very clear – it was very interesting and shows me that every time I can go a little farther.
I send you greetings Jack. And maaaaany thanks.