When not helping is the best approach…

I just got back from spending a week working as a teaching assistant for Danielle MacKinnon’s Soul Level Animal Communication Level 1 class. I expected to be there to assist the students in their process of learning and exploring the area of animal communication. While I certainly did witness some amazing transformations and growth, I was not necessarily prepared for my own “stuff” coming up in the process. You see, I was really excited to help and to me that meant jumping in whenever I saw a student struggling with the reading or looking uncomfortable. I would notice this and move into “fix-it” mode – which meant intuitively getting into the reading and helping them parse out the intuitive information they were seeing, hearing, feeling. Sounds helpful, right? Well, as it turns out, there was a better approach for helping the students and myself.

About mid-week, Danielle and I had a discussion about my desire to go into “fix-it” mode. Through listening to her insight and my reflection on her comments, it became clear that this was a pattern for me. It became clear that sometimes my motivation to help others was based on the desire to make sure they didn’t feel any pain or discomfort. My own familiarity with experiencing deep pain and struggle was causing me to swoop in and rescue them from experiencing these feelings. What Danielle helped me to see was that part of the student’s process was sitting in those uncomfortable feelings and figuring it out on their own. This was a huge aha moment for me! I started to see that I went into “fix-it” mode every time I encountered another person in pain or hurt.

The real learning and take away was that by recognizing this belief and pattern I was able to create some space between it automatically driving my behavior. By the end of the week, I was able to step back and notice the urge to “fix-it” and then make a decision to choose a different approach. That is really the whole beauty of awareness. You don’t have to force yourself to be different or work hard at making changes. Just by observing and having the awareness of the belief driving the behavior, everything starts to shift. I was still supporting the students, but not by rescuing them from the situation. I allowed them to work through the uncomfortable situation in their own time by following their own process. In a roundabout way, I ended up learning that sometimes the best way to help is to step back and let the process unfold. And in my case, to notice what belief is behind the driving need to be so darn helpful.