Inside a Conscious Body Session
Here is an example of a Conscious Body session.
Jessica was a gentle, unassuming, humble woman. She had been coming to me for a year to help her navigate changes in her work life—the latest change being a promotion to a managerial position. While she loved her work, she was having trouble exerting her authority over her staff. As she talked to me about it, I noted that she spoke in soft tones that sounded self-deprecating at times.
One momentous day, Jessica appeared at my office, barely able to walk. She hobbled through the office door and plopped down on the couch. “My knee went out again,” she moaned. “I was just stepping off the curb this afternoon after lunch and it buckled right under me.”
Jessica and I had done a number of Voice Dialogue sessions around her work issues, but she had not told me about her knee condition. I was curious about this body symptom. “I wonder if you’d like to work on your knee,” I said. “Perhaps something inside you is calling for your attention.” Jessica agreed to try Conscious Body.
I began by asking Jessica to tell me the history of her knee problem. She explained that her knee had been buckling under her like this for two years. She was mystified. She had sought medical advice, and had tried several complementary therapies. Each approach helped for a while, but the condition would always return.
Then I asked to speak to the Gatekeeper, a part of her that might have concerns about the work we were about to do. The Gatekeeper said it was worried about whether fearful emotions or unwanted memories might emerge in the session. I assured the Gatekeeper that I appreciated its concerns, and I asked it if it had any advice for us. “Don’t push too fast. Go slowly,” it said. I assured the Gatekeeper that we would follow its advice. After the Gatekeeper spoke, I asked Jessica if she wanted to move forward with the next step in the Conscious Body process. She did.
I asked her to move from her sitting position to lying down on the sofa. I explained that I was going to lead her through a guided relaxation technique to help her relax and let go of her rational thinking mind. After five minutes of guided relaxation, I asked Jessica to focus on her knee pain and to tell me what came up. I further added that what came up “could be anything—a color, a feeling, a movement, a picture.” She nodded. After a moment, she said she saw “an image of a male figure striding through a castle.” I asked if I could speak to this image. She said yes. I suggested she invite the image to be present and let it speak as a self. It said, “You can call me Prince Michael.” I could feel that this was not some romantic prince come to “rescue her,” but a royal male energy buried within her.
I asked Prince Michael what he liked to do. I could feel his energy expanding into the room. He filled Jessica’s body with strength and vitality. I wasn’t surprised when he said he liked to take long steps through life and to speak with authority. He said he liked to imagine himself sitting on a throne holding court, addressing the peasants with kind nobility. With that, “his” hands made wide gestures of blessings as he thanked his subjects for their loyal service. After he left, Jessica sat up and immediately noticed that her knee pain was gone. She stood up to make sure. What I immediately noticed was that she radiated a new sense of self-confidence. She stood tall and her face glowed.
The symbol of Prince Michael sparked a sense of power in Jessica—not power over anyone, but a noble inner power that complemented her humble gentleness. Clearly, he was the symbol of Jessica’s disowned authoritative self—a self she needed in order to embrace her new work responsibilities with commanding enthusiasm. Once this hidden self was discovered, its positive male energy flowed through her, healing both her knee and in due time, her life. By addressing her knee condition through the symbolic realm of feelings, images, and movements, Jessica was able to discover a hidden self that was intent on getting her attention.
In our subsequent Conscious Body sessions, Jessica would learn to embody the commanding presence offered by Prince Michael, while at the same time tempering it with her natural gentleness. Holding both energies, Jessica became a model business manager—strong and gentle at the same time. And her knee did not bother her again.
— Judith Hendin