As I have continued to work with others, there is one aspect of the human heart and soul which speaks most clearly to me. It's what I see when you get off the table and you are standing taller with chest more upright, with a sort of grounded spring in your legs, and a new sense of open aliveness. It's the quality of Innate Dignity of the heart and soul of each person that has a feel, an impulse, and an honesty. As I listen to our stories about our own selves and about each other, with our judgments and even well-intentioned criticisms of each other and why relationship has failed or why another is less mature or less ethical or less in any way . . . or when I hold the amount of pain and suffering you are in given a certain problem like a herniated disk or hip joint with bone-on-bone . . . when I work with the person whose life is in struggle with cancer, Lyme's disease or Parkinson's or some other nervous system disorder or a handicap . . . no matter what the journey, there is always an honesty about the body and a Dignity about what's true and natural self.
I do not know the roots of this word and perhaps after writing this article I will look it up. However as I look and feel this word, I see its inner pulse as "IGNITE". The "D" with it's "I" reminds me of Dios or God. So in my mind, "Dignity" refers to a sort of Ignited Godness inside of each person. It touches the spiritual practices I have worked with regarding the "Violet Flame". Dignity is a connection that each person, as a human soul on a journey in this body, has with his or her own sense of rightness, of an inner relationship to God and Self, to his or her own Inner Teacher, and also to one's sense of love.
As humans we discuss love all the time. Often the love we feel for another is based on what is called "transference" in psychology. One "transfers" the feelings one had as a child for an important other -- parent, sibling, favorite aunt, uncle, grandparent, friend or teacher -- onto another later in life. Often we feel as if we know someone else far better than we do because there is transference. Transference suggests certain patterns of relationship and it helps us know how to be in relationship. As we mature in our friendships, however, we begin to develop relationships which are based more on what I would call our natural dignity, a connection between our innate and honest selves. These connections take time to form and have a different "feel" to them than the love we might transfer onto another based on our unfinished infant, child or adolescent wounds, gifts and hopes.
When we hold a certain knowing of Dignity about one's own self and then feel it in the others whom you know, one creates more space for each person to be, to live, and for us to all come into a more refined relationship of friendship together. If you ever offend a person's dignity, you might have lost a friend. When we uphold each other's natural dignity, we uphold the natural goodness and honesty that is inherent to each person.
In sessions, I might talk to you about Dignity. It's something I am very aware of as I do my work, laying hands on you. YOu are another person, not of my family, and if it's the first session, we may have not even met before. It can take a lot of courage just to call me and then come do a session. I am truly aware of the vulnerability we both feel as we begin to know each other. Dignity, however, is an impulse between us both as we respect each other, the gifts we both bring to the conversation, and a chance to grow into more honest and real and good people.
Perhaps another way of describing my work is that I am helping your body release the strains which have limited or inhibited your natural Dignity. I am wanting to help you Ignite more of your own Inner Godself and your God Impulse and Your Basic Very Good Human Heart to do good and honest work and life together. When you walk away from your session--going Home-- I am always hoping that you walk with more dignity and poise, more joy and hope, and an ever increasing sense of well-being.