“I don’t’ know how you listen to people’s problems all day.”
If I had a dollar for everytime someone, usually a client sitting across from me, said that, I could quit working and live on it for the rest of my life.
But the thing is, I wouldn’t.
I know it’s trite to say I love my job, and when I hear the words fall from my mouth I am aware of their inadequacy, how they don’t begin to capture the privilege imbued in being invited into a client’s inner life, the meaning I find in watching someone practice and integrate new, healthier beliefs and behaviours, and the joy and calm that fills me when I’m in the room, working, utterly focussed and connected.
I think of it as mindfulness in action, and I notice how my own brainbots (anxiety-driven thoughts and beliefs) settle down in the morning as I begin my workday. The stress of public transport, urban life, domestic chores, and construction clatter, quietens into the distance as I immerse myself in the present moment and focus.
Why are we here together?
How can I help?
I’m curious. Please tell me more.
Let’s look at it from this angle. Now that.
Ah! Did you catch that glimmer too? That bit of insight?
The hour melts. I imagine my calmness enveloping the person across from me.
The thing is, you don’t have to be a psychologist to find that space. Be curious. Allow yourself to be utterly present, either alone or with someone. Or even with your cat.
It really does make things better.