The story of the upside down bird

A bird flying upside down.
A tightly wound coil.
An open lake.
A powerful dragon getting flight and exploring the world for the first time. 

What do these have in common?

These are all inner images that clients have found during sessions in the last few weeks.

Clients often are surprised in Focusing sessions when I help them tune in, and the images come so easily. The images always hold special significance for the person, and become a way they can engage with their own experience, and help change it. 

A woman struggles with a long-standing addiction. She’s ready for change and has been clean for 3 days but is understandably scared. What is it to live without the substance? How would she manage? She has some plans but is unsettled. In Focusing the image she finds is of an upside down bird flying.

The upside down bird is struggling to fly, belly to the sky, head stretched back uncomfortably, eyes unable to see the ground or trees to rest in. Tired. Yet it can’t seem to rollover or land. It doesn’t know how.

What does it need?  It doesn’t know. 

What would you like to offer it? A parachute. 

As I imagine it this would be the bird coming down by parachute. Photo credit to Margie Carroll http://margiekcarroll.com/hummerupsidedown.html

The bird’s legs flutter in front as it’s wing tips hold the parachute strings. It comes down to land softly with the help of my client who is now able to imagine catching it and kindly stroking its wings.

The bird feels calmer and settles in her arms. My client is calmer too, and upon opening her eyes, looks truly delighted with her images.

She leaves my office saying she feels more in charge.

From my perspective she seems to have shifted her attitude towards herself, from being annoyed that this is so difficult and being submerged in the suffering, to an appreciation and a caring concern for her struggle.  The latter is much more conducive to healing. With that outlook she has more chance of building different coping strategies and making good choices, since she is now the caregiver.

…..

If you’re interested in learning Focusing, please join me this Fall in a small group I will be leading. Contact me for more info. 

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