I am a Soul Coach. And I’m very good at what I do because I learned to listen. I wasn’t taught to listen at home. Like most of us, I had to learn this somewhere else but it wasn’t always this way. In fact, I was very good at ignoring myself, my feelings, my body and my needs. In 1991 I began my training as a Rubenfeld Synergist, which is what practitioners of the Rubenfeld Synergy® Method are called. It is a technique for opening a dialogue between body, mind, emotions and spirit.
First I Dreamt
When my psyche and my body knew they had my apt attention, the communication flowed and the listening began. I was always a dreamer who dreamed frequently but remembered seldom. Most of my dream images would quickly evaporate in the light of day. Once in a while, though, one would stay with me, shadowing my day and tracking my every move, as if to say, “Look at me! I am important!” When finally a dream challenged me enough to remember it, I surrendered and wrote it down, thinking about it as if it were a riddle to unravel or a puzzle to solve.
Nine months before I started my training, I wrote in my journal,
I’ve denied so much of myself over the years that I doubt that I’d allow myself to recognize whatever might present itself [as the path to follow]. So I think I’ll try this Rubenfeld thing…shake myself up…do something new. One thing may lead to another.
I went to bed after writing that and had a flying dream! And so I began my training in this fertile dream soil that I had barely begun to till.
My Body Has A Few Things To Say!
As part of the training, we were required to have a minimum of twenty private sessions a year. These sessions took me beyond the intellectual interpretation of my dreams and added to my awareness the physical and emotional dimensions that had been lacking. I would sometimes look back in my journal and see that insights that I had- and soon forgot- were brought back to the surface to my conscious awareness when my body was involved. It was as if my body was listening (it was!) and was ready to remind me of those insights when I was ready to integrate them.
Through the use of touch and by focusing on my awareness of my body, my feelings slowly began to emerge from the dreamwork. My feelings were key and I could no longer ignore them. They became less frightening than I had feared because my body was engaged in the process in a way that was grounded and focused on the “here and now” of the Gestalt therapy tradition from which this work sprung. In the words of one of my clients, “I wasn’t alone. I had my body.”
Let The Dream-Catching Begin
During my three year training, I recorded over one hundred dreams in my journal. While it wasn’t a daily “catch”, that was a HUGE number of dreams for me to catch, relative to my “once in a blue moon” dream-catching from before my training. My dream journals became my “State of the Union” address- the “union” of my conscious and subconscious selves.
I Learn To Listen Even More
If that’s all that happened in my training, that would have been enough! But of course, I was learning how to listen to others as I learned to listen to myself. I learned to shuttle with my awareness from my clients, to myself and back to my clients, in an on-going dance of awareness. Ilana Rubenfeld taught me how to listen to the body’s “score”, as she drew on her own training as a musician and conductor. We learned to pay attention to the notes, but equally important, how to listen to the silence between them. Forever grateful for Ilana’s brilliant work, I continue to use these skills in Soul Coaching®. I became adept at seeing patterns in my clients and myself.
I’m Still Dreaming….
Some time after my training ended, I dreamt,
There is a performer, a combination of Joan Rivers and Judy Garland, who is rehearsing onstage for an upcoming show in an open amphitheatre that feels like Vegas. I am on-stage with her and treated as an honoured visitor. I don’t understand why I am there nor why should be honoured. The star asks me to do something like sing or dance and I’m confused and embarrassed, not sure what she wants or that I can do it. I see a crow fly by. I tell her that’s a good omen. It seems that being able to read the omen gets me off the hook in some way… [There is] something about the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. I am unsure. Do I sing it? I explain to her that it is a song expressing hope.
If I’m not quite ready to integrate my “star” parts, I am willing to be on the stage of life and read the “omens” and the signs! By turning my attention to the powerful work of Denise Linn in Soul Coaching®, I teach my clients how to listen to their bodies, minds, emotions and spirits. They listen to the art and creative beauty of their lives.
Ok, now it’s your turn. Do you listen to your dreams? Is listening to your body something your easily do? How about listening to your emotions? Or your spirit? Would you rather tune out to your body and emotions? See if you can find one small way to listen to yourself today, whether it’s simply following your breath or acknowledging a feeling. Listen to all your notes……The whole notes, half notes, the quarter notes, even the grace notes…and the silences and spaces between them. That’s how I learned to listen. One note at a time.