- By Michael Jason Sherman
How Mirroring Practice Can Be Healing
Tai Chi, yoga, meditation—these and other arts can be deeply healing and revealing to us in a meaningful way over time. When you practice a form or a structure that induces healing, you open door ways to new dimensions of yourself the deeper you enter the practice.
“Mirroring” is a communication practice. It’s something I’ve been teaching for over a decade now as a kind of listening martial art, or really, a listening yoga. It is a structure of talking about a topic in your life, a kind of interpersonal ritual where two people (and others watching in a workshop), will choose to set aside typical day to day communication and instead, choose who sends and who receives on a given topic. The receiver then simply mirrors back to the sender what he or she heard.
End of story.
Well, not really.
When we learn and follow this communication form — as a sender, sharing slowly, clearly and responsibly on a topic, as a receiver, mirroring back what our partner just said with no negativity or adding our own two cents, then a kind of healing resonance happens, a feeling of connection. Because of that connection, we are given a chance to open a doorway in our emotional body and our busy minds to access a place where we trust that we are being heard. For real.
When that happens, there’s a kind of inner permission that we give ourselves from within. A sense of knowing that “I count, that what I feel is real, that what I am about is being confirmed, and I can now trust my own relationship to my inner life more and that I know what I feel is my truth.”
This can feel really great. This knowing that I am being heard lets our body relax. It lets our mind think, “Hey, I’m being taken seriously.” It creates a kind of momentary pause between you and your partner that lets you feel like you can go deeper.
Deeper, meaning into your own truth and authenticity and real feeling.
So in this way, the practice of mirroring can get us to an emotionally aligned place, simply by the witnessing mirroring happening in a workshop or by getting a chance to practice it with a partner or a teacher. I have seen moments in my workshops where participants have found a place, their deepest truth and their greatest light. It takes a kind of inner-permission to get to that healing space, and mirroring gets us there.
Through mirroring practice, we discover how much space we really take up emotionally, and how that’s not only ok, it’s simply amazing. We sense an awareness about our lives that makes things more acceptable. Through practice, we can discover a place of deep knowing on a topic that we’ve been resisting, perhaps about a relationship to a person or a situation that we are called to leave.
One way or another, the practice of mirroring helps both the sender and the receiver (and those watching in a workshop) to find a way back to themselves. The healing comes from being witnessed, like the trees witness us in the forest. We can be ourselves, we don’t have to prove anything, we don’t need to be reactive, we can simply be heard. And that itself can be a powerful healing solution.
Mirroring is simply a mind/body practice, a way of using language that breeds connection. When you hear someone say back to you, “This is what I heard you say,” and then you hear them say your own precious words back to you, when you get that inner, “Yes, that’s it, that’s me!” — the structure and the pace and the present moment does the rest and triggers a healing awakening that simply feels wonderful.
I hope you join us for Mirroring Circle at Isis Healing Temple, upstairs in Suite #48 Sunny Brae Centre in Arcata, CA every 3rd Wednesday of the month as an ongoing, drop in workshop. $5-20 suggested donation. Nov 20th & Dec 18th are the next two. Thank you!
Michael Sherman is a writer, private coach and workshop leader. He is the author of the book, THE ZEN OF SOLO TRAVEL: A JOURNEY FROM ANXIETY TO ENLIGHTENMENT. He has a Masters in Teaching and a Coaching Certificate from Imago Relationship International. Learn more about his books, seminars and coaching at www.MichaelJasonSherman.com