By: Rebecca Liston
I’m not going to lie to you, Dear Reader: It’s a weird time for me right now.
My eldest is flying to Scotland on her first-ever “going-abroad-without-her-mama” trip, only to return to Graduate from the private school that we chose to hold her for the past 11 years of her precious childhood. (Eleven years!!!! Tell me where that went?!?)
My youngest is madly rehearsing for not one, but two, theatre performances that are happening concurrently, which means my house is full of singing and dance moves and costumes being flung about amidst screams of, “MOM!!!! Where did you put my script?!?!”
And then there’s this other thing that Stella keeps having to remind me about because somehow I still think it’s only January: I am getting married in five weeks! And wow, there’s a lot to do when you get married, even when you’re having just a small wedding. So. Many. Details.
Oh. And we had to get a new car because the old one didn’t fit in the garage. And my dear friend’s wee one is in hospital. And…and…and…the list grows from there.
And so I found myself at my Bowen appointment with Donna Costa last week…crying.”There’s just so much to do, Donna. And all I really want is to sit down and eat a peanut butter and jam sandwich on fluffy white bread.”
I admit I felt a little ashamed at my confession. Ashamed that I was overwhelmed, that I couldn’t remotely manage my cravings, and that I wasn’t…wait for it…coping perfectly. And Donna looked at me and held my gaze. And in that pause, I created an entire dialogue between us.
“White bread? Who eats that crap anymore?” is what I imagined her saying. “And do you have any idea how many chemicals and how much SUGAR is in that peanut butter you like so much? Geez, girl, that’s a crap-ton of calories.”
And in my own mind, I felt myself shrinking. “I know, I know. And I’m gaining so much weight, Donna. I know you’re right. I’ll stop and get some carrots on the way home from here. That’ll do the trick! That’s a healthy choice! Look at me! Making good decisions!”
I felt as though I was propping myself up with flimsy toothpicks or something but I was propped, darn it! In my mind, I was propped up and positive and “saying all the right things.” I would get carrots! I would make a healthy choice! I would do the right thing!
That’s not what she said to me.
Not at all.
Instead she said, quite simply: “Then just eat the PB & J.”
And in a flash, it was as if my entire system rebooted. What had she just said?!? Did I hear her correctly? Just eat the sandwich? The one on the crappy bread that’s full of sugar and who-knows-what-else?
Did she mean that it was okay to just do what I felt I needed to do?
Did she seriously just not judge me, at all?
I must have looked a bit dumb-founded. But Donna? She just got on with our appointment, asking me more thoughtful questions, making careful notes, and mindfully preparing the space for our session.
And as for me?
I exhaled for perhaps the first time in hours.
I had just confessed to her what I thought was some terrible secret.
I had felt vulnerable about not holding it all together. And about craving crap to eat.
And I had been heard.
And space was given to me to just Be me.
And I was not judged.
And I was not shamed.
The day after my session with Donna, I felt better than I had in weeks. I felt rested. And calm.
And capable. And happy.
Such a simple thing it seems, to be held by another, without judgement.
But it makes all the difference, Dear Reader, all the difference in the world.
More of that, please. For all of us.
Rebecca Liston is cofounder and business intuitive at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. She specializes in anchoring folks in a clear-eyed understanding of which path is theirs for the taking. She’s got one foot in the land of the subtle and unseen, and the other foot firmly planted in the land of ruthless pragmatism. Oh, and she swears like a sailor, which makes us love her more.
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