Exploring relationship…

I often work with people who want to find out more about their relationship patterns. During the arts therapy session, they may create representations of ‘self’ and ‘other’ in the relationship, and then interrelate with and within, the relationship.

A relationship can be explored using a variety of modalities that help the inquirer understand their existing ‘patterns of being’, and most importantly, gain understanding through being ‘intersubjectively’ present. The process gives the inquirer a real felt sense and understanding about the emotional and interactive content of being in relationship.

Here is an excerpt from session 4 of a recent relationship inquiry of my own. Here I explore the ‘space between’, using movement and resonant music. The experience amplified my pattern of wanting to ‘keep the peace’ by ‘rolling around’ in the relationship, instead of my ‘preferred way of being’ with the ‘other’ in a loving and authentic way.

I feel curious and apprehensive about exploring and inhabiting the space ‘in-between’. I need to select a piece of music that reflects what I think I know about the relationship so far. However, when I awoke this morning, I still hadn’t found a resonant piece.

I turn on the radio and start to make my coffee. Then it happened!  Melancholy arises within me as a melody draws my attention… I turn the volume up… I hear the words “… waiting on the world to change”.  I notice a tingling under my skin… the words and the melody resonate…  my chest area fills with sadness… “I keep waiting…. waiting on the world to change…”  Yes, this resonates deep within me.

During my art therapy inquiry session I play the song; John Mayer’s ‘Waiting on the World to Change’… waiting for world to change

So we keep waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
It’s hard to beat the system
When we’re standing at a distance
So we keep waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change

I sway to the rythym… I feel a strong pull to get down on the floor between ‘self’ and ‘other’… a part of me says ‘I can’t do that” and before I know it I am here… on the floor…. I feel good… comfortable… I roll back and forth… I am rolling around… on the floor… in the relationship… the resonance of this realisation reverberates throughout my entire body… this is what I do… I roll around… waiting for the relationship to change!

 I roll back and forth… I notice the representation of ‘self’… soft… sitting there… a rabbit… it’s soft…  childish… a scared rabbit…  I roll around a bit more… back and forth… I see the ‘other’… a clay figure… grey… can’t move… can’t change position… something changes in my heart area… a shifting… understanding… compassion.