W.A.I.T. (Why Am I Talking)
"Silence is true wisdom's best reply."
Many clients coming to Brainspotting work for the first time are a little taken aback at the amount of silence that can surround a processing session. The implied question is, "Where is my therapist's feedback, opinions, guidance?" Quiet space is not always what is expected in a therapy session!
In actuality, your Brainspotting therapist's restraint is cultivating an environment in which you can learn to trust your own nervous system's natural gradient towards wholeness. Your brain, with its 4 quadrillion possible neuronal connections is so complex and brilliant that while it's in BSP processing mode-- it doesn't need her opinions. In fact her yakking can derail your process in similar ways that an interruption can halt your train of thought!
Your therapist supports your internal process with their full bodied, respectful presence rather than her verbal interventions. Her silence does not signify a lack of care, rather it creates space for a different way of connecting. It is a deeper, nervous system to nervous system, heart to heart, soul to soul connection. She is with you. This connection arises through mindful attention to breath, non-verbal expression, eye contact, and openness to the energetic flow between you and all there is. This is called attunement, and it is the ground of healing.
Susan Pinco, a senior Brainspotting Trainer wrote about this in a chapter in the book "The Power of Brainspotting." She shares a study referenced by her teacher, Francine Lapides. She writes, "In this study researchers looked at the brain activity of two groups of children who were playing in the presence of a parent. In one group the parent was reading; in the other the parent was watching their children as they played but did not speak with them. What was so striking is that the group whose parent was watching them had significantly more brain activity than the group whose parent was reading. The quality of our attention really does matter."
How can embodied silence make space for more brilliant connections or healing in your relationships outside the therapy room? Why not play with it? The first step is your intention to do so. Once that is in place, there are lots of practices like the ones below to support you.
Place your hand on your heart and breathe deeply before speaking.
Focus on your exhale and the pause at the bottom of it
Use a mantra like "WAIT", or "May there be peace in this moment", or "Breathe"...Make it personal, you know what you need
Lift the corners of your mouth and extend the energy of heart warmth throughout your body
Wear or carry a touchstone that you can touch to remind you to pause and return to the moment fully
Use acupressure: H7 (Spirit Gate) is an unobtrusive but powerful point that can balance anxiety or overexcitement. Simply press the inside of the wrist crease, in line with the pinky finger.
Be patient with yourself, this is the work of a lifetime...but there are great rewards. Personally, my highest self emerges in the times when I am most skillfully WAITing.
It is miraculous.
It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still,
and just like that,
something in me settles, softens, makes space for imperfection.
The harsh voice of judgment drops to a whisper
and I remember again that life isn’t a relay race; that we will all cross the finish line;
that waking up to life is what we were born for.
As many times as I forget, catch myself charging forward without even knowing where I’m going,
that many times I can make the choice to stop,
to breathe, and be,
and walk slowly into the mystery.