How is it possible that after doing so many sessions I could learn more and venture into new territory? Because Ursula knows what she's doing. She guides me and directs the conversation to best suit my inner growth. It feels like each session is tailor made to my personal subconscious. You might say - "of course it's personal - you're talking to her about you." What I mean by this is - there are twists and turns in this healing work. Even Ursula doesn't know what will come up. But because of her experience, her gift and her kindness - she is able to "mentally tailor guide" each session so I grow more and more each time.
I feel we are now embarking on part 2 of this subconscious work. After the image of "the lake" we took a break. Now we are back.
We didn't do subconscious work this time. I needed to speak with Ursula about something that had to do with her. I had to talk to her, the facilitator, about Ursula, my friend.
I got irritated about something - with her. That part is personal - between us. It's nothing bad. It's just - I don't want readers to take sides or come back with opinions. However, I want to describe the work. Because really - it wasn't so much about the who, what, when and how - it was about me venturing into new territory - setting boundaries, communicating and working through my fears about being angry or irritated with someone I care about.
I began the session with a preface. I told Ursula I was very nervous about the conversation. I was upset about something, with her, which made it feel sticky. I told her it felt important to discuss it with her and get through the fears about her leaving me if I was upset with her. I told her I had one close friend and we call this discomfort "The Cherry Pit". We say - okay - I have a lump in my throat (metaphorically) and I'm nervous because I want to talk to you. I know there was no ill intent from you but I feel strongly about working through my feelings with you. I'm hoping to do this in such a way that it strengthens our friendship - and after we work through this - we can pull that pit out - plant it - and it will become a tree. (metaphorically)
Ursula said she hadn't heard about "The Cherry Pit". I told her it was something we made up. Well, she was on board and ready talk.
We discussed the topic - going back and forth. It wasn't always comfortable. I was trying to figure how to release my feelings. Ursula was trying to read me and figure out what I wanted and needed. I was burning inside for a while. I felt so scared. I felt more anger rise within - that old stuff - which I learned from my father. "Cut them out! It's done! They don't get you! Leave!" But I hung in there. Ursula hung in there with me. She allowed me to communicate until we figured it out. And we did figure it out.
Once we figured it out - the burning began to subside.
Communication can be tricky.
But it is with non violent, clear, calm communication - I was guided to figure out what I was asking for, what I needed from this conversation, and to move forward. It wasn't easy. The old stuff kept rising to the surface.
What if Ursula gets mad at me for being upset with her? She didn't.
What if Ursula and I don't see eye to eye? We don't have to on everything - but we did see eye to eye on a resolution.
Should I run now? - No.
This is scary. - Sure. But what's on the other side? I wanted to find out. Ursula guided me to stay on course and be patient - and we will get to see the other side.
We got through it. It was a beautiful exchange. And a tree was planted.
Ursula complimented me on the preface I gave in the beginning. (that felt so good) She said I set up the conversation beautifully. As the conversation got knotted up a little, and I was getting frustrated, she guided me and gently explained - it is a good idea - if I can - to relay my needs. It helps the other person - so they don't have to try and figure it out.
She complimented me on waiting to discuss with her my strong feelings, instead of doing it right when it happened - when it might have gone a different way - because my anger and irritation was too loud. (that felt good too) I told her my old approach would have been to roar in the moment. She reminded me - of my parts - those strong parts- that sure - it's understandable to "want" to roar in anger. But what is the goal? If it is to get closer, than why roar? I was so clear, there was no ill intent. I just had feelings about something. So why roar? She reminded me - when you roar - the clean up after might take much longer. If I wait - calm down - sort through my feelings and thoughts - get clear - get concise and proceed to use non violent communication - the resolution will come much faster.
I felt those tingles after the session. I love those tingles. It means healing has taken place. I love it.
The little girl in me still wanted to make sure - "are you still there Ursula?" Yes, she most certainly is - and she felt growth in this session too. Even though she has experience in this work - she is the facilitator - I get the impression - she appreciates the growth too. She doesn't play the game of being above me. She sits besides me.
We closed the session with thanks. It was lovely.
And Ursula's feedback:
Always up for growth, is the best approach to life, because we will be challenged. Instead of dreading the school of life, if we get excited about it and breath through anything we can take it on and come out with cherry trees all around us.
When Rebecca opened with I have something uncomfortable to talk about and listed out her feelings, I automatically could feel myself sit back and go into space holding and listening parts of me. I could tell something was important and I need to be gentle and aware for my parts as well as her.
If she just started the conversation with arms swinging, my parts would have naturally jumped into defending and the whole point of any goals would have been lost. When we preface a difficult conversation with our hat in our hand, in a humble space, then we will get the result we are looking for.
That's the biggest piece in the puzzle of why people don't communicate. We don't know HOW. It's surprisingly not what we say that hurts others, it's HOW we say it.
Rebecca and I were in a social setting together and something happened. Instead of reacting, she had an inner talk with the activated parts and then presented to me and spoke FOR her parts instead of FROM her parts.
Sometimes we have no idea why we are upset about something. Sometimes we don't even realize that we are upset in the first place, but it comes out sideways and we may pick or criticize our family or friends who we are upset about. Can you see in your own life how that happens?
The way this rolled out was that we were able to lay out the different parts and explain what happened and get to a place of understanding all the parts involved. Most of the time when there is a problem or conflict it is based about a misunderstanding and an unmet need. So when we were going through the discussion, I was listening for what could be the need and where was the misunderstanding. We got caught in a loop where things were just being repeated, which often happens. Then we stopped, slowed down even more and were able to further clarify everything. Once I was able to understand what was going on, I could speak from three different parts of myself. That's what's great about doing this work, you can have parts conversations and everything makes perfect sense. I was able to speak from which parts were alive in me and what they were experiencing and why those parts were behaving in that manner. I defined three different parts of me so she could be clear about my intentions and actions.
Then we talked about the whole conversation and saw what was working, what was scary, what was useful, what happened to each of us as things were being said, where the connections were, what pushed us away from resolution and what brought us closer to resolution. That after-discussion was more helpful than the actual discussion. Navigating through conflict can be very intense and disrupting to our parts and our relationships. It was so helpful to process after the conflict to connect us again.
The one thing is we discovered when approaching a person with an uncomfortable conversation, is to add what the NEED is.
Which brings me to Non Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.
The steps are
When (facts times places quotes) happened.
Would you be willing to _____
I have a need for _____
So happy we had this experience together. It was good to exercise these parts.