Today is my last day with clients for a while. It has been an interesting month of “endings” and transition with clients – some of whom I’ve known for years and others whom I’ve seen a short time. The relationships I get to co-create each day in my work life have always been a true gift to me. I feel blessed to be able to do such deep and meaningful work – my work as a therapist has always felt so “fitting” to my core self. The therapist/client relationship is a fascinating relationship really – it is totally unique and when a colleague of mine once described it as “sacred”, that really resonated. It is sacred. And saying good-bye (even temporarily) is really hard.
I thought long and hard about whether I would share about my Breast Cancer with clients and, in the end, I listened to the deep part of myself that knew I would need to share it. I am so glad that I did. Part of what I value about this work, the therapeutic relationship, and my role – is being authentic. As I become vulnerable with my clients, I am modeling for them something I so often preach – through vulnerability comes connection. As I have told each client, there have been beautiful moments that have emerged about our work, about another grief or loss that has been triggered for the client, or about the fragility of life. These have all been teaching moments and moments of connection – of being real and being human.
It is hard to “let go” with some clients who may be in a more challenging place and yet, as I do diligence on my end with giving referrals and setting up further support, it is a great time for me to also model true self care. For me to be taking this time and focusing on my own healing is so good and necessary! I do know and trust that.
I remember once when one of my Nia students asked me what my definition of Grace was. She was working on her own healing and this was a concept she had been connecting with in Nia and in my classes. I remember really loving the exploration of this concept – and in these last 7 weeks, it has re-emerged as a strong theme. There was “grace” present in a recent client session when upon hearing that I had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, this client said it made him stop and think that “everyone is going through something”.
My friends and family have been so gracious with me – “allowing” me space to find what I need, change plans, cry, laugh – whatever! And, in turn, I have felt that grace begets grace. So when I feel this spaciousness, I then can offer it to someone else. I have LOVED living in this space and can only hope to maintain this sense of grace and allowing.
In fact, the other “ending” that is happening this week is my last Nia class (for a while) at Studio Nia and my Class Focus will be “Finding grace and a sense of allowing/permission in our dance”. So Portlanders, come dance with me at 9:30 at Studio Nia this Friday if you are interested!
Ok, so I started writing this post at lunch and now I just had my last client and am officially on my leave!!! Woohoo!!! I get to spend the week before my surgery in Alaska with my entire family. How wonderful is that!