This week I hosted my first Hakomi practice group. This came about because of some feedback after I did a short experiential workshop for the Ullet Road Therapy Forum where I practice from: people wanted something regular. This was not really a surprise, given how nourishing I have always found Hakomi to be, and how difficult it can be to find rest and self-care. It always blows me away how moved people are by the practice and how powerful they find it.
So my focus at the weekend was rest. I think there was something for me coming up about wanting rest after a busy week last week, and I was also thinking about who might be coming; Hakomi often attracts counsellors and those who are giving out to others. It felt good to be able to offer something that might help people find rest, and explore what things come up for them that stop them from getting the nourishment they want and need.
So we started with a body scan, a way of getting in touch with our body. I don’t know about you, but I often find I can switch off and tune out of my body. A body scan is a way of noticing what’s going on and giving attention to all of the body and where the tensions might be. At the end I offered a verbal experiment, something we often use in Hakomi. A verbal experiment is a way of offering words to someone in mindfulness; words that have the potential to be nourishing. In that mindful, spacious place, we can notice more easily what happens when we hear those words. The phrase I offered was, “you can rest now”. Everyone had some time then to check in with how that felt for them, what they noticed as they sat in mindfulness and got in touch with all parts of their body, and what came up in response to the verbal experiment.
After this, I offered some more verbal experiments about rest, and then people had the opportunity to experiment with these, hearing them in mindfulness and changing them to get them just right, either to explore what would be nourishing or to self-study what was coming up in response to them.
The last part of the night was taking this further with a more embodied exercise that felt like it brought the other two parts together. People were invited to get mindful and explore an area of tension in their body. We were experimenting with increasing or decreasing the tension, and talking about how we might do this.
It was lovely for me to be part of the group; often in workshops I am facilitating and don’t get to take part. It was also great to meet new people and share with people I already know a practice that I love.
Since then I’ve thought a lot about my own bodily tension and how I might explore that more. Noticing where it is, and experimenting with increasing it slightly, by imagining it, or by tensing muscles in that area, or softening and trying to relax it. I’ve also been asking the tension what it wants to say to me and offering it a voice.
If you want to find out more about how Hakomi could support you to explore your own tension and what stops you from finding rest, I offer one-to-one Hakomi sessions. Our next practice group is on the 1st June at the Eco Offices from 5:30-7:30pm. Please email if you intend to come along so I can keep track of numbers!
I also have a day long workshop coming up on the 22nd June, facilitated by myself and Lynne Moore. You can find out more details of this on my events page.