I don't care if my clients change. I don't care that they are suffering from their beliefs. If I don't care if they get divorced, or stop having anxiety attacks, I get so clear and insightful. Go figure!
This doesn't seem right though, does it? It seems like the more you care the better you are or the more you care, the more helpful you are, right? But this kind of not caring, equals acceptance. If you accept the person for whatever they are feeling or believing, it puts you in a nonjudgmental feeling and you just see what is in front of you. Caring is something in your mind that gets in the way of seeing what's in front of you. This not caring experience was so counter intuitive to me that I had to have it happen a number of times before I saw how true and reliable it is for working with clients and students.
I realized that not caring about how they did, even though it went against my self image (went against my idea of how a nice person should be), allowed me to have peace of mind about whatever was happening with my client. This peace of mind gave me clarity of mind and my wisdom became available.
When I got concerned about my client, insecurity came in and my mind wasn't as clear and my flow of helpful thought stopped. Also, the client is reassured by a peaceful state of mind and disadvantaged by a concerned state of mind. What I mean by disadvantaged is that my concern added to the concern that the client already had about themselves. I think being peaceful about what is happening with a client is not only reassuring, but stabilizing. And most important, if the client stops being concerned about themselves and settles down, they will have their own flow of thought to solve their own problems.
I remember a call I had with a woman who wanted to come in to see me because she and her husband weren't getting along. I told her not to worry, that her relationship problems could be sorted out. My feeling was so causal and unconcerned compared to her serious state of mind, that at first she was taken aback and I could tell that she was rethinking coming to see me. But the thing is, I knew in my heart of hearts that she could find answers to her relationship problems, that she could gain insight and understanding and I told her so. She was disbelieving, but somehow came to see me anyway, and twenty years later she is still happily with her husband.
Remember, you must see how not to care. It's not a technique. You can't fake it or the client will feel your insincerity. You must understand the relevance of not caring and then it will happen honestly. Again, the principles are not a technique, they are an understanding, not a doing.
The feeling of your understanding impacts the client. Your understanding is what you bring to work. Before I could see how not to care about how my client was doing, I had to stop caring about how I was doing. I had to see something for myself. My first experience of this was around my experience of being self-conscious. I hated feeling self-conscious and the more it mattered, the worse it got. At some point I had the insight "love what you hate". At the time I thought this was a pretty crazy thing to think "love what you hate", but the meaning unfolded as a beautiful truth. "What you resist will stay, what you love will sort itself out" and it happened. As soon as I accepted my self-consciousness, it started to go away. So it was the opposite of what I thought. If something really mattered to you, you tend to fight it and try to conquer it. But this never worked for me. No matter how much I fought my self consciousness, it never went away. I realized that the more you fight with yourself, the more you tie yourself in knots. It didn't start leaving until I didn't care. And I don't mean resignation. In the past, not caring as a good idea felt like resignation. As a truth it felt like freedom. The difference between a good idea and an insight is that insight imparts understanding and that is all the difference in the world. It's the difference between reading about love and being in love. It is the difference between imagining Africa and experiencing Africa. We as principles based teachers work from our understanding, our experience. Not our good ideas. Good ideas have no power unless they are realized.
Written by Linda Pransky