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Supervision – finding our internal plumb line

I am thinking about what listening is, from a transpersonal perspective, something I talked about the other day on the CSA Diploma in Supervision Training. The extract below captures it perfectly. To me it says something about how, as Coach Supervisors, it is so important to go inside a bit deeper and to listen out for that individual ‘note’ not just in our supervisees, but also in ourselves. It is so easy in the heavy weather of life right now to get knocked off course, even if it is temporary. A client brings a ‘big’ surprise, a contract is not begun due to organisational cuts, a client doesn’t come for their last session, or says they weren’t ‘happy’. Supervision is a great place to come back to ‘centre’ and find our course again; get re-aligned. I guess you could call it coming home to ourselves. I sometimes use the analogy of finding our imaginary internal plumb line – a way to re-affirm what ‘true’ is for us. This extract from a wonderful book by Naomi Remen called ‘My Grandfather’s Blessings’ is a collection of her patients, and her own inspiring stories about strength, refuge and belonging. I offer you this one.

 “ Integrity is an ongoing process, a dynamic happening over time that requires our ongoing attention. A medical colleague once said to her reclaiming his integrity reminded him of the moment before a concert when the concertmaster asks the oboist to sound an A. At first there is chaos and noise as all the parts of the orchestra try to align themselves with that note. But as each instrument moves closer and closer to it, the noise diminishes and when finally they all finally sound it together, there is a moment of rest, of homecoming. That is how it feels to me, the man said, I am always tuning my instrument. Somewhere deep inside there is sound that is mine alone and I struggle daily to hear it and tune my life to it. Sometimes there are people and situations that help me to hear my note more clearly; other times, people and situations make it harder for me to hear. A lot depends on my commitment to listening and my attention to stay coherent with this note. It is only when my life is tuned to my note that I can play life’s mysterious and holy music without tainting it with my own discordance, my own bitterness, resentment, agendas and fears

Deep inside our integrity sings to us whether we are listening or not. It is the note that only we can hear. Eventually, when life makes us ready to listen, it will help us find our way home. “

Naomi Remen,M.D.(200)  from ‘My Grandfather’s Blessing’ Riverhead Books, NY

Karyn Prentice Assistant Director CSA.  February 2012