If you know even a bit about the science of the human body – having even the most basic understanding of how the nervous system works, how muscles and bones are structured, etc. – then you almost inevitably will see the body from the standpoint of awe. We are so incredibly complex and amazing in our aliveness! As a therapist and, in your better moments, as a person, you know that you and your clients are awe-inspiring miracles of anatomy, physiology – not even yet considering psychology
Recent studies of awe at Stanford University have shown that a number of important effects arise from the experience of awe.
“Participants who felt awe, relative to other emotions, felt they had more time available and were less impatient. Participants who experienced awe were also more willing to volunteer their time to help others, more strongly preferred experiences over material products, and experienced a greater boost in life satisfaction.”
The experience of awe slows down people’s experience of time. Change is difficult when we feel that we don’t have the time in which to do it! Once time slows down, people are more likely to make new decisions and take new, more positive directions in life.
When we work on clients, conscious of that sense of awe, we offer them, as a result of deepening their experience of their body, the experience of themselves as wondrous. I often feel when I’m working that this person had been hypnotized out of the their sense of wonder.
With the knowledge of how awe-some we are, a new world of possibilities presents itself to us.
On the other hand, some days honestly rather than feeling full of awe, I simply feel awful – that fluctuating self-esteem which I suspect every therapist goes through is an ongoing challenge. That’s one of my reasons for doing massage – to explore and see if I can get a better handle on the transition from feeling awful to feeling awe-full – and to help other people to develop that skill as well!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywmam4gpJZw listen to Van Morrison’s song “Sense of Wonder”