Image by jhave2 via FlickrFrom an article by Wayne Muller, "Effortlessness", in Unity Magazine, May/June 2003, pp. 4-6:
Deep within all things there is a natural rhythm, a music of opening and closing, expansion and contraction. Our heart, our lungs, the seasons, the oceans- all life expands and contracts, opens and closes, softens and hardens and then goes soft again. This potent opening and closing cannot be forced to happen, nor can it be stopped. It is simply the way of all things.
We need only remain clear and awake to listen for how things really are, to feel how the smallest changes of energy and attention move in us, in our relationships, in our work. We can learn to follow the spaces between things. Not to fight and push and cajole, but rather simply to wait until the true way reveals itself easily and clearly in this moment.My thoughts as I read this:
This seems to me a wonderful (and poetic) reminder of why it's so necessary for us, as music therapists (as any kind of therapists), to examine and to be aware of our own issues and motivations in our work. If we're not aware then we run the risk of "pushing, struggling and cajoling" our clients into getting better (behaving better, functioning better) instead of simply being with them and trusting that they will move forward at their pace.
When I notice myself reacting in a session with a sense of urgency and "I must do something right now" this passage reminds me: sometimes I just have to wait and be with my client(s) until s/he/the group is ready to move forward.
When I'm not willing to do that I know my focus has shifted to myself and to my own fear that I'm somehow not fulfilling this idealized (and delusional) notion that I have to be "the perfect therapist who can fix it all for her clients."