When do two hearts move to the same beat? What occurs when one person shares about a loving gesture towards loved one and the other is moved to tears? What occurs when a person is in the ocean on a surfboard feeling engulfed by the tragedy of a loved one’s illness and two dolphins appear out of nowhere? Is it magic? Is it resonance?
Recently, I was working with a client who was sharing her decision to turn towards her husband after a painful fight and my eyes sprung tears. As I reflected on what moved me to tears, I realized I had also chosen the softening of a connection with my own husband. I resonated with the beauty of her gesture, able to savor the beauty of my choice as it was reflected in her story. When I asked how that felt, my client shared how uncomfortable that was for her. When I shared that it was the beauty of her choice that had moved me in that moment, my client was able to see how unfamiliar it felt to her to see a beautiful reflection of herself in my understanding of her. I then validated how unfamiliar this experience was in her repertoire of love and all of sudden, my client was able to see her unmet longing for resonance in her own self and in her relationship with others. Now, she could hold her longing with understanding instead of self-hate. She left feeling truly at peace.
Another time, in another session with another client, I became aware of my client’s shame as she voiced a deeply critical thought of herself. I turned my gaze up at the window in contrast to her downcast eyes. I then invited my client to slow everything down: breath, thoughts, feelings. I was aware of the thickness of shame beneath the murky waters of her experience. I slowed myself down as well and looked at my toes. Slowly, my body started to sway gently, ever so slightly as I experienced the need to find a way through the murkiness. One foot then moved back and forth from big toe to small toe. I allowed myself to experience the pleasure of that movement, remembering how lovely it had felt in my dance class the day before. I then gently asked the client if there was a memory that she could retrieve that was associated with this harsh critical voice. She nodded. When she was young, she had attended ballet classes. She remembered a harsh description given to her by a dance teacher. My movement had stopped when I asked her to retrieve a memory. When we reflected on the hour, we had spent together I asked her how it felt to see me start to move. She shared she had been dismayed by it at first but at the end of the session she could embrace the message of flow through shame that my body had expressed. How profound the magic of resonance can be! Attunement to oneself, attunement to another being, attunement to a creative muse is part of the dance of love and connection. I remain in awe of our capacity as humans to tune in to one another and how love and magic respond when we do.