The Presence-based approach
Meeting ourselves from and as Presence is rooted in the intuitive understanding of who we truly are as nondual Awareness. This direct approach takes the recognition of undivided Beingness as its very foundation. Our intrinsic wholeness is prior to any sense of lack and fragmentation.
It is based on the profound knowledge that all of our experience emanates from our true nature.
A Presence-based approach recognizes the unity of body, mind and soul and their inseparability from the unbounded source from which they come. Our sensations, thoughts and feelings therefore serve as portals to more fully embody our deepest knowing. This is especially true with the wounded, disintegrated aspects of our selves that are waiting to be acknowledged and welcomed into the light of our awareness. As long as these vulnerable, often young parts are not included in our self-exploration, they prevent us from experiencing the liberating taste of an unshakable wakefulness in our daily lives.
The way we perceive ourselves and the world is directly connected to our thoughts, feelings and sensations - particularly the ones that shaped our sense of identity early on. They are stored as impressions in the body and its nervous system. The body has an intelligence in which all the different parts of ourselves are interconnected as a whole. In a continuous dynamic process of unfolding, the body self-organizes and self-directs towards growth and healing.
The Presence-based approach acknowledges the inherent goodness and wholeness of every being that in the natural state is wired for love and connection. When we are thus attuned, a felt sense of well-being, aliveness and groundedness spontaneously arises. We are open and connected to the current of life. However, very often this is disrupted when our basic needs haven’t been met by our primary caregivers, particularly early in life and over a longer period of time. If there hasn’t been a conducive environment that provided for enough safety, secure attachment, affection and room to be oneself, we find ways to survive and cope. We shut down or compensate our sense of lack.
As a result, we develop a distorted relationship with ourselves. A negative self-image forms that reflects the loss of connection to our inner core, authenticity, autonomy, and most deeply, our true nature. This distorted relationship can express itself on a somatic level as energetic blockages, bodily tensions, and health challenges that are held together by our underlying limiting core beliefs. On an emotional level we may carry feelings such as worthlessness, fears of abandonment, grief, distress, shame, anxiety or anger.
In a counseling setting we create a safe space of unconditional acceptance and loving attention for our body-mind and shadow aspect. As we tune into Presence and allow everything to be as it is, we become increasingly aware of and sensitive to our present-moment experience. In the process, memories, emotional states, and bodily movements emerge that have the chance to unfold, find expression, and be supported - sometimes for the very first time.
They grant us access to deeper, suppressed core issues in the unconscious that are able to be relived and released. Intergenerational, collective, archetypal or universal themes may also arise. As most of these issues arose from our relationship with our early caregivers, they need to be met within a mature healing relationship that counseling offers.
By mindfully and compassionately inquiring into our experiences, we create the opportunity to review and update our beliefs and discover a clearer and kinder way of relating to ourselves.
As we tap into our inner wisdom, old conditioned patterns and strategies release and new experiences are integrated. The veil of separation begins to lift where we can more easily inhabit our body and relax into open, spacious clarity. We are able to get in touch with our soul's purpose. This is how we become truly available to the gift of life.