"Our Unfolding Potential" by Shobana Nuland, LMHC

The dictionary defines "potential" as the inherent ability or capacity for growth, development or coming into being.  As humans, we are innately born with the potential to realize our true self - our divine nature.  Although saints and avatars come in every age to demonstrate this divinity, it appears that the rest of us are here attempting to remember this truth.

Those of us consciously choosing the spiritual journey must meet the responsibilities and challenges of continually becoming more than we believe ourselves to be.  This process of unfolding potential then becomes the core of our life's work.

Life, with its varying amounts of painful experiences, becomes the classroom for us to understand our limitations and to then use this understanding to catalyze our transformation.  In reflecting upon the image of the yin-yang symbol one sees that within the black shape there is a speck of white and within the white, there is a speck of black.  Similarly, latent within the darkness of our limiting and fearful experiences, are the seeds to our freedom.

Many years ago, when I was first learning sandtray as a therapeutic technique, Edith Sullwold, my mentor and wise elder, showed slides of a sandtray done by a young girl with whom she had worked.  The child had filled the 2 by 3 foot box of sand with an inordinate amount of miniature figures.  Rather than creating a scene, which usually occurs, there was instead total chaos.  The clutter was so profound that one could only feel utter hopelessness in observing the tray.  The consciousness of this child was obviously in a state of great turmoil and despair.

A fellow student, feeling her own sense of helplessness as to how to deal with the situation, asked Edith how one could possibly find healing in such extreme pain.  Edith's profoundly simple answer, that the healing potential is literally within this chaos and despair, speaks directly to the heart of our unfolding process.  Hidden within any dense and frightening emotion is the key to realize potential happiness peace and love.

Four years ago, I participated in several workshops with teacher and author Vernon Woolf, PhD.  In experiencing his work, I felt he had created an extremely effective method for bringing forth light and clarity from emotional pain.  It was the first time in all my years of working on myself that I consistently experienced movement through emotional pain and suffering to a freer and more expansive state of consciousness.

It was at these workshops that I learned to facilitate myself and others in unfolding potential through a process referred to as "tracking". Tracking necessitates intuitively guiding oneself or another through several specific steps in consciousness.

A 38 year-old male client came to the session one day feeling very fidgety and anxious.  After giving him full permission to be with his discomfort, I asked him to allow an image to present itself which would be a pictorial representation of his emotional discomfort.  The image of a black sword appeared.

In communicating with the image, it was disclosed that the black sword first appeared in this man's life when he was a fetus.  During that time he often heard his parents discuss how much they did not want a child.  The black sword image reappeared at one year of age when the client's parents left him with a grandmother for an extended period of time.  The client subsequently grew up feeling unwanted and abandoned.

In dialoguing with the black sword further, the client discovered that the true intention of the image was to protect him.  Because the image was an "immature" one, it was simply incapable of providing genuine protection.

I then asked the client to allow a fully potentialized image of protection to appear, at which time a Christ-like figure presented itself.  This new figure not only fully embodied protection, but it also has the inherent qualities of unconditional love, strength, peace and compassion.  The energies of this mature image gave the client a sense of protection appropriate for this time in his life.  His body relaxed.  The tenseness on his face softened.  He had imbibed the energies of the Christ-like image.

From this vantage point, the client was now able to compassionately understand the limitations of the black sword.  In this new state of awareness, he was then able to allow the black sword to transform by having all of its energies dissolve into the Christ-like image. By deeply examining the source of his pain, this client was able to move beyond it to a more expansive place within himself.

I have found that tracking is an extremely powerful tool for breaking up old patterns and for opening to ways of being in ourselves we had previously thought unattainable.  As in the example, the moment that the client felt the expansive energies of his Christ figure, he realized himself to be more than his limited beliefs would previously allow.

We know we have "let go" of a burden when we feel lighter, more expansive and loving.  If we attempt to let go with the mind alone, sooner or later we will realize we have been fooling ourselves.  We must delve deeply into our feelings to discover what is keeping our hearts closed.  What are the positive intentions of our long-buried wounds?  Once we experience the freedom that is possible by deeply engaging with our emotional selves, the journey becomes a place of familiarity and comfort.

As evolving souls, we can fight the process or choose to assist in the journey with as much consciousness as possible.  There are numerous valuable and effective tools to accelerate our growth.  What's most important is that we first commit to uncovering the potential expressions of love within us and in so doing, that we next discover what techniques most suit our personal needs.

I have heard it said that if we take one step to God, God will take ten steps towards us.  In being willing to transform our pain, we create the space for God to come forth and thus we become conscious co-creators on the journey of unfolding potential.

For more information about tracking: http://www.holodynamics.com

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For more information or to make an appointment, call Shobana Nuland, LMHC   206-546-5390

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