Male Announcer: You’re listening to From Pain to Possibility with Susi Hately. You will hear Susi’s best ideas on how to reduce or even eradicate your pain and learn how to listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream. And now here’s your host, Susi Hately.
With this episode I want to dig into the concept of responsibility. Especially as it relates to the healing relationship between the client and the professional. For me it’s very straightforward and simple what I am responsible for as a professional and what my client is responsible for, but I can honestly say that it hasn’t always been this way. I am a results-oriented person.
I have in the past taken more responsibility for my clients’ results, unbeknownst to me, because I tied a lot of my self-concept to the results that my clients were getting. Now, that helped me have really, really great results. I helped a lot of people reduce pain and move on with their lives. And I also was depleted. I also got drained. I also had a certain amount of martyr energy going at that time.
And then about 10 years ago something changed. There were a few factors that were kind of a perfect storm you could say that coalesced to have me realize what it was that I was doing. Because all of this was happening under my level of awareness. And then I realized that I'm actually not responsible at all for my clients’ results. Not one single bit.
And the reason I'm recording this, this is now 10 years later, because I really had that insight initially about 10 years ago and I've refined it since then. But because I was able to recognize my own martyr and my own self-sacrifice in the process of helping my clients achieve the results they wanted to achieve. I've really been able to see with very, very strong clarity, how much compassion fatigue exists in the healing and medical profession as well as martyring exists.
And so this is an episode to shine a light on that and to shine a light on this other way to be that can make one's job, like mine, really, really, really fun. And I actually get better results now than I ever have. Because I think a big part of it is knowing what I'm responsible for.
So let's actually look into that then. What am I responsible for? What I'm responsible for is showing up. That's it. I am responsible for showing up. Now if you look at the definition of showing up just in a simple Google search, you'll find something like being conspicuous, clearly visible, intentionality. So take a pause and consider what that means for you. Are you being conspicuous? Are you being clearly visible? Are you approaching your work with intentionality?
For me when I really sit with it, and the words that I've been using for almost a decade or more is, it's all about being present. And being present is about feeling myself, being aware of my inner world, being aware of how my day has been with me and how I've been with my day. It's about who is the me that is me that is showing up for a session. And in my ability to be with myself has a direct correlation for my ability to be with another.
Because in being with myself, in being able to witness myself, in being able to listen to my inner world, I am able to bear witness to another. I am able to truly listen to another. But it all stems from the work I do with myself. And really, it's what I can control, what I can measure, and what I can monitor.
Remember what I said at the beginning of this episode, I'm a results-oriented person. Right? So I like to be able to measure where I am at as a way of being able to improve. I'm inclined towards mastery. I value clarity and sometimes I need to step into a scenario with courage. But it's all in this pool basking in love. So in order to be able to incline and to move myself towards consistently improving, not that where I am now is bad, not at all. It's just the opportunity to really push the boundaries of what I'm capable of.
I've really seen what my mettle is, like who I am. But there needs to be clarity on where I'm at now and to see the gap of where I want to be. Right? So when I can tune into this ability to be with myself, of listening, of bearing witness to another, of being prepared even for a session, these are things I can monitor and my ability to monitor that enables me to grow that capacity.
Now, you might be wondering, okay, well, how does this have anything to do with your results? Well, profoundly, because when I can listen to another what I'm listening to, the quieter that I am inside I should say, the more that I can listen to another. What I mean by listening to another, I am listening not only to what they're saying, but also to what they're not saying. To the nuance, right?
And I don't know about you, but when I've been in a space with another person who is listening to me in that way, for someone who can bear witness to me so that I feel seen, it can make a huge difference. Such a subtlety, such a nuance can make such a valuable difference.
And I see this time and time again in my client sessions, my one-to-one sessions. I see it in my trainings. I get feedback from my clients, as well as my trainees about how uncommon it is for them to experience the state of presence that I have. To experience the state of being and the deliberateness in my words that I use when I am with them.
So much so that what some trainees have said to me is not only are they so fascinated by the content that I'm teaching them, but it's the how and the how that I'm being that they've gained so much understanding. Because they can take that as an example of what's possible, and then utilize that with their own clientele. And we see as a result, the results that they're getting just getting better and better and better and better. There's this trajectory that's just growing in a really remarkable way.
So to say this another way, it's like showing up is about being clear on my inside world, so that I can be clear on the world of the other person. Now, I need to refine that a little bit. Because it's not that I am getting quieter inside so that something happens on the other side. But it ends up happening that way. That what is happening, just the act of my becoming quieter provides less debris in the space, right?
Because in any healing relationship, there is me and there's another person, and there's what we bring into that space. So the clearer that I can be on what it is that I'm bringing into this space, the better. Now I might be having a bad day. I might be going through something with my family or with my husband. I might have had a life curve ball come at me. I might not be in the best frame of mind. But that does not mean I'm not present. That can still be all there. I'm not pushing it aside, I'm not suppressing feeling, I can be with it, and go into a session and be with another person.
And in fact, I would argue to say that the more able you are to do that, and not suppress it and try not to leave the baggage at the door, to not suppress the feelings, it's actually more vitalizing than suppressing the feelings. So what you'll often find is that people who tend to suppress their feelings, to suppress their emotions, as what they think is about being present, and only focusing on the person at the expense of themselves. That is what actually becomes very, very, very, very, very depleting. That's the energy draining, that's what leads, I find, to a lot of exhaustion.
What makes this really interesting is that a lot of people think that the impact that they have arises out of their skills and their capabilities. And while their skills and their capabilities will have impact, and they matter, it's the application of that skill, the way you use that skill that comes down to who you are, and how you show up.
So what I'm talking about here about showing up is that this is an internal process. Your beingness and your presence. What I'm not referring to are your externally driven states like what you wear, or whether you smile or not, or about creating a state. Although for some that might be useful.
But the reason I'm not referring to those is because like I said, those are externally driven, and you can manufacture a smile. You can manufacture looking good by the clothes that you wear. But if you watch closely, those people who it's more a manufactured state to make you look a certain way, you'll find that they aren't wearing those clothes as much as those clothes are wearing them. That the smile just doesn't seem to be authentic. There's just something not quite right. That the happiness just feels a little bit more plastic. Like there is an integrity that's lacking.
It's almost as if you kind of know that something is up but you can't quite pinpoint it. And ultimately, what's interesting, I find that those states are not sustainable. And as I’ve mentioned, they don't actually lead to the result that you want.
As healing professionals we are asking our clients to listen, and to be aware, to pay attention. So if you're doing all of that manufactured items, like the manufactured smile, just looking a certain way but not coming at it from an internal space, then you're not eating your own cooking. And the thing is, as I mentioned, your clients will feel it, how you are showing up is not the true, integral, authentic light that you actually are.
And I realize that sounds Goofy, a little bit woo woo. But it works when you come at it from this internal space, this space that is your light. Because when you do that, you quite literally give permission for the other to do the same.
So to summarize, what I'm talking about here is simple. And it does require some work. Show up, pay attention to your inner world, be responsible for you. Be responsible for how you are responding to your day, and how your day has responded to you. Allow yourself to be an example of what is possible. And something cool will often happen. That by way of demonstrating your way of being that example, that your client will show up as well.
You'll find that they end up doing their programs a lot more consistently. You'll find that they share a lot more information, and that you'll be able to hear on a level that you couldn't hear before or didn't hear before. And with that collaborative opportunity there's less of this authoritarian or authoritative power over relationship and a much more collaborative healing relationship.
And you'll find that the job that you're doing just becomes so much more fun, so much more meaningful, so much more significant. Because the impact that you have on someone becomes like juicy and really, really real.
If this inspires you, if you want more of this and you are a health professional, we are running our therapeutic yoga intensive this coming April for health professionals. You could read more about it at therapeuticyogaintensive.com or you can send us an email at [email protected]
Enjoy the practice.