By Jonathan Bessone
If you work in the helping professions as an energy healer, facilitator, coach, or therapist and if you want results, you are going to need the ability to ‘track’ energy and consciousness.
My sister Eliza took this photo, capturing a story that had been captured in snow. If you were to read the footprints and featherprints, what would you guess that story is?
‘Tracking’ energy and consciousness is a term borrowed from the practice of identifying and interpreting animal tracks, but, tracking goes far beyond following the footprints of bobcats, squirrels or humans. Figuring out “what happened here” is just the beginning. By reading the landscape, a good tracker may even be able to guess what will happen next.
In the outdoors, tracking includes the ability to observe the symphony of life going all around us and to be able to read the signs that ‘something is happening’, even if it is beyond our normal visual or auditory range. A good outdoor tracker can know that a house cat is on the prowl in the underbrush or a hawk is circling an area without ever seeing or hearing the hawk or cat. Tracking involves knowing the patterns of nature and knowing when something has upset the pattern.
In my work with clients and students, I think of tracking energy and consciousness much like the wilderness survival skill. The difference is that I am not immersed in a remote boreal forest, but rather in the vast wilderness of human consciousness. I am always looking at movements of thought, feeling, body and energy. I am always alert for telltale signs that informs me something is moving in the underbrush of a person’s emotional processes.
It’s almost comical to watch humans (including myself) when they get outdoors and clumsily tromp through the forest. It isn’t just our footsteps, conversations, or breathing that is noisy – it’s also the psychic space around us. Many of us spend much of our time surrounded by a noisy bubble of thoughts and feelings, so preoccupied with ourselves and ‘our lives’ that we completely miss the life around us. This goes as much for missing other human beings as it does for missing wildlife.
So, the first step to being able to track patterns in nature is to become aware just how much you yourself are disturbing things and learn to minimize that. A outdoor tracker must learn to attune their senses to encompass a wider sphere of the landscape around them. At the same time, they must draw their ‘psychic noise bubble’ in towards themselves, in order to hear the wind rather than the argument they are having in their head with their partner, father-in-law or co-worker.
A facilitator must likewise be able to expand their energetic awareness to include a client. The facilitator must also learn to regulate their own personal process in such a way that it minimizes disturbance of the client’s process. Learning to regulate one’s personal process while working with clients can be challenging at first, but it is a skill that can be learned, ideally with the support of a mentor.
This doesn’t mean that, as facilitators, we stop having noisy thoughts and feelings. That would be an impossible standard to try to live up to. Rather than being completely immersed in our psychic noise, we become still enough to at least notice just how much of a wake of disturbance come along with some of our reactions. As we learn to do this, we become much more aware of what is moving within the client.
A client’s body, mind and energy system inherently wants to move towards wellness. Our work as practitioners is to notice those movements, however subtle. Our work is to help the client to unblock and amplify those movements. If we are surrounded by our own psychic noise, we are just as likely to miss those movements, or worse to add obstacles to the unhindered movement towards wellness.