Creative Connections & Client Communications
Counseling Insights. March 31, 2007Allowing Inspiration
When a fine “piano player” sits down at the piano and begins to improvise, things can happen, sometimes beautiful things; where do they come from? When a writer faces the keyboard, something happens; where do the words, the ideas come from; how do they come forward? When an astrologer makes a creative connection during a consultation, it may change a life perception for the client; how does that happen; how does the idea come in to be given back to the client?
It’s inspiration … no two ways of naming it.
This word inspiration comes from the Latin, “to breathe in.” We take in the life sustaining air, we are full; then we exhale, we give it back to the world. It’s the first response to being born, taking in the air, being inspired. It is the moment of death, when there is no more inspiring that can be done. The process of taking in is complemented by giving out; these are the East and West Hemispheres of the horoscope, the I and the Thou, the existential interaction we have with the world. Inspiration defines our being.
I have pondered this process for many years. After all the study, it’s wonderful to be able to ‘turn it on,’ so to speak, to know that the right words will be there, a thought of significance, a memorable melody. To be inspired, more often than not.
In my analysis of inspiration, the key is to expect it to happen! The pianist’s hands can introduce the telling notes and the accompanying harmony more and more reliably with repetition, with practice, with trust. The pianist has been there before; listened, observed, internalized. --The writer knows he or she can turn the phrase… For example: I just thought of the word ‘peacock’…. I respond: It is so important for the peacock to know its colors well, to justify being proud. --Not earthshakingly profound or impactful, but, just the same, it is an instant response that clearly has a ‘touch’ to it, a flourish. It’s not, “Uh…a peacock … Uh??” And that response comes from thoughts stored within me; I’ve listened, observed, internalized life principles … “to justify being proud” … hmmm.
The astrologer stores constantly accumulating experience, reactions within life circumstance, and must know that those observations and insights will order themselves in the subconscious and be readily on call, if we trust the process, if we practice the process, if we allow inspiration to rise up and be expressed. --How full we must be.
The other day, a client was lamenting how depressed he had been for some two weeks. My client had been a diagnosed manic-depressive since he was a teenager, some 50 years of medication and treatment ago, etc., which never really got in the way of his career but made him vulnerable to tremendous periods of self-doubt and withdrawal.
I commented that, from all he had shared with me, his time now was gearing up for some exciting change; things were going quite well, a new idea which we had in high focus together was flying higher into the sky. Neither the horoscope nor his life suggested any reason for feeling so debilitatingly down. –And he agreed! Yet he averred, “But I’m a manic-depressive!”
Then inspiration!!! I was conscious that I was waiting for something to come up and out of me, to help us in the consultation discussion. A planet wasn’t going to come and rescue me; understanding and learning were. Inspiration came: “Jerry, let me ask you this question please: how much of this depression now is chemical, and how much of it is habit?”
--The silence measured in at high decibels!
“A remarkable therapist pointed that out to me ten years ago, ” Jerry said.
“Do we know why you haven’t remembered it.”
“Point made, Noel. Thank you. You’re so right..”
“WE’re right, Jerry. Now let’s get on with this…..” THAT helped.
Very often for inspiration to occur, we need a moment of time and/or a bit more understanding … something will click in “in a moment”, when we learn a bit more detail about a situation. We sometimes must give our subconscious time to work.
Try one of these phrases: “Now, please help me understand this.” Or “How can we see this more clearly?” --This gets the client to dig deeper and discuss more.
Then, be ready with, “What if we looked at it this way: …?” Or “What keeps this reaction pattern alive?”
We must know that inspiration will ride out of us on these words … from our engagement with the client situation, accessing the storehouse of our life experience and learning, from study and case involvements past.
--Remember now, no one is saying anything astrological. No one is hiding behind measurements of this or that. The measurement organization (see “Analytical Techniques”, please, the current essay) has taken care of all that; you and your client are now into understanding. You’re not trying to prove that astrology is descriptively accurate; or that you’re doing a marvelous job. You are trying to help your client take his or her internalized horoscope home with a sense of self-respect and the panache of resolve!
One of the great moments with inspiration early in my career was an idea that flowed into client discussion with someone who was desperately self-disparaging, mainly because he was grossly overweight. --What could I possibly do about that condition? Sure, I know about nutrition and diets, and discipline; sure, I’ve got cases studies at my fingertips of people who “made it”, who took off tons of weight. But my client can get that anywhere. And the client doesn’t want the astrologer to be a surrogate preacher!
I remember forcing relaxation within me, knowing inspiration would take place. I consciously was letting it happen. I got out of the way. It came. I said, “Michael, let me suggest something that is really most pleasant.” --It had been quite some time since Michael had heard something like that, I assure you!
“When you have a peaceful time some evening, tonight, tomorrow, sit with your wife, perhaps sharing a glass of wine. Be quiet together, and then ask her … ask her most sincerely and gently to tell you, please, why she loves you.”
Well, we were both stunned with the power of that suggestion … the significance of it. –And I have used it many, many times over the many years since, and every single time it is unqualifiedly helpful (husband/wife matters not).
Think it through. Think of what will happen, and what will remain thereafter in connection with the resolve to respect oneself enough so as to plan seriously to lose the weight.
--As you read this, I think you probably feel quite calm right now. That suggests you understand and that there’s some confidence brewing in there with appreciation of the process … I hope so!
Next Update: April 30, 2007