{I’d like to share with you an experience in Compassion Coaching with a client to give you a feel for the slow, organic, spaciousness of how it can be to not feel alone anymore…to feel a sense of inner freedom.  This session is used with her permission}…

“I have felt like I am alone my whole life,” she said. 

“Notice what it would be like to look up,” I invited her. “See how it is now to have another human being sitting with you in this.”

She paused. She looked at me. She started to tear up. “Part of me wants to take this in. I’ve wanted to have someone with me – a kind soul – my whole life. No one gave me this when I was growing up. I was never seen.”

“The part of you that wants this – to be seen, to be regarded – what would it be like to let her have a bit of this…notice what happens as you look and see that I am here, holding space with you, that you are not alone,” I said. 

Slowly, without rushing anything, without hurrying anything along, we held space to allow her to take in this experience – just a few drops of it. 

Then I saw her exhale fully. I could see the relief in her and on her. We did not rush this or quickly run to name it. It was important just for her to experience it first. 

Then she said, “It’s…a relief…I feel relieved.”

Pausing, allowing her to experience this new experience of being accompanied, having someone gently see her and regard her with no agenda, we gave her expansive space to explore this landscape of “not being alone.”  And for her to feel what relief is like. 

“My whole body relaxes. I have wanted this my whole life,” she said.

And then she started to cry.  The tears allowed space for so much that had been bound up within her – righteous anger, sadness, and grief. 

This is where Somatic work differs from traditional therapy. She needs to feel each of those – sadness, anger, grief – and even the shame that is always weaved in there. NOT all at once. That would overwhelm her again. Instead, slowly, each one, building a new relationship with each one over time, so that she can access her anger and harness it for “right action.”

  • So that she can access her grief and tend to it.
  • So that she can hold her sadness with regard.
  • So that she can navigate the landscape of shame and slowly, organically, remember her innate goodness – not just with her head and with affirming works like “You are enough,” but with her whole body KNOWING she is enough.
  • And so that all the energy bound up in keeping down her shame, grief, sadness, and anger can be freed up to flow as Life Force energy now available to her – to love, to create, to deeply enjoy her life. 

Read that again!!!!  This takes time. It will not be rushed. It will not happen in a single session or two.

It takes a careful and skilled presence to hold space for such a delicate yet organic process.

It takes time for the tenacity of the soul to be accessed and harnessed.

It takes time to experience the integration and welcome home parts of her she had denied or had been cut off from.

It takes time to feel all that power now in a rooted, present and embodied way – all that Life Force energy now freed up and available for intimacy with life. 

Today, as she had an new experience of not being alone, and “taking in” this experience, her system now felt safe to feel the emotions that had been bound up within her.  We took one piece of that sadness – righteous sadness.  She had wanted to cry for decades. She had wanted to feel safe enough to feel some of that sadness. She had wanted her sadness to be seen and witnessed by someone who loved her. 

“I am here,” I said to her. And together we knew that this was a new experience for her that she was ready for – she had reached a point where she wanted to allow someone to be alongside her. 

Slowly, I could feel the shift in her presence. She smiled. She looked up at me. We gave her time to look at me, to feel how it is, to integrate this experience that was healing old, old wounds. We gave time to feel how her posture was different – not by my or her suggestion and conscious “tweaking” of her posture, but rather by the organic new embodiment taking place.  Her breath was fuller, “going” to more places in her body. There was an inner strength that I could sense and see through how she held her spine, how her shoulders were expansive, how her belly had room to breath, and how her was breath flowing fully to her lungs.  I could feel the energy of her heart. 

“I feel strong,” she said.

She paused. She explored this new landscape. Her system was experiencing what she did not have as a young child: a safe space within her to experience safety, feeling sad (or mad or hurt) and to not be alone.  Safe space to be seen and regarded. Safe to ask and reach out for help. Safe to not “deal with it alone.”  Safe to feel the strength that arises when a parent can appropriately and tenderly mirror a child’s experience and provide a safe container for it all. Safe to feel relief. 

This is what we hold space for to unfold in sessions. It is sacred work.

One day after a session with my own practitioner who I see for ongoing accompaniment, I felt embarrassed.  I told her, “I know this stuff!  Why can’t I just do it (and lead myself through it)?”

And she said, “Lisa, we aren’t MEANT to do this work alone!”

And she was right.

I have kept that experience close to me for several years now.  We aren’t meant to “heal” ALONE.  We are relational beings. We don’t heal in isolation.  We need each other!

Let’s go for connection over “having it all together.”  Let’s risk deeper intimacy over the “safety” of working on our stuff in isolation.

Risking intimacy and connection, we experience what it’s like to not feel alone, and a deep sense of peace begins to take up residence in us that we carry into our everyday lives and relationships.

Dear Readers, if you sense that this kind of work resonates with you, please take a look at Compassion Coaching and Somatic Psychotherapy.  From Monday, November 13 through Monday, November 20, 50% of proceeds from ALL my offerings (coaching, psychotherapy, poetic wrist wraps, online courses, poetic greeting cards, meditations) will go to Sophie and Madigan’s Playground.  Sophie and Madigan were sisters.  They passed away in a tragic house fire.  In their love and grief, the Lillard family and our community are creating a playground where families can come to play and connect, while honoring the spirits of Sophie and Madigan.  You can find you more on their website. 


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