Know yourself . Oracle of Delphi

Becoming aware of what we really think and feel is necessary for healing. This website tries to show how that is also sufficient.

non-verbal awareness
Few experiences find their way into words. The complex ways that other animals remember, plan and communicate show that there are other ways to think.

Most of the information in the therapeutic conversation is not so much in the meaning of the words or their syntax but in their delivery. Their intonation, volume, hesitations, accent, cadence, pitch and speed. And their timing - where and where they are said.

Words are not so much the message as the vehicle for the message. And what is not said is often more telling than what is said.

Everything about a person speaks to us. Clothes, eyes, size, shape, skin, hands, posture, smells, sounds of movements and the movements and micro-movements of bodies and faces. Heart rhythms find their way into our transactions.

Words can drown out these communications.

listening and feeling
A body-map of sensations from our skin to our inner organs and from toes to nose continuously registers the world and people around us

The strength and type of these sensations estimate the nature and importance of the attractions and dangers around us.

This map of sensations and emotions changes in the presence of another person. Our body empathetically mimics other people. It copies how they feel and sometimes even copies their posture.

As well as seeing and hearing them, a sensation-representation of them plays out in our internal sensation-picture-screen as our body calculates who they are.

Their past experiences, and important influences like parents and partners can be sensed in our body's response. Meanings are glimpsed that are not in the words of the conversation.

Therapy is a meeting of subconscious minds where the exchanges that underlie a conversation can be felt by a therapist monitoring subtle shifts in their own thoughts and feelings and noticing the memories that are triggered.

A therapist reads these changes in their own internal feelings, not to understand and explain but to be more present and responsive. As a therapist allows themselves to notice their own internal impressions they allow the other person to notice theirs. 

the first instant
We can evaluate a face and other aspects of a person in a fraction of a second.

In the first moments of an encounter before hopes, fears and the censorship of politeness and social conditioning kick in we know each other intimately through seeing each others fleeting micro movements and feeling the responses throughout our body. These fleeting emotions, sensations, and thoughts are also windows into our subconscious.

the present moment

At any moment (even now) you can expand awareness by capturing these reflex calculations before they are censored.

  • Am I in the present moment right now?
  • What is the smallest or most fleeting feeling I can detect at this very moment? 
  • Are there any sensations in my body?
  • Where do I feel these?
  • Are there any fleeting trains of thought?
  • Are there any feelings, desires or ideas or tensions in the body that have not quite fully come to conscious awareness?

what is this feeling?

  • Am I mimicking the other person's feeling?
  • Or is this my reaction to them?
  • Or has the encounter reminded me of something else and I am wandering off into a train of thought of my own?

enhancing awareness
Senses can be enhanced with practice. Blind people are aware of the faintest sounds of movement and map the space and objects around them by the way sound reverberates.

The deaf develop a refined understanding of the meaning of the movements and facial expressions of others.

Most of us don't realise how much we rely on smell. For most people losing the sense of small is the most disturbing sense to lose. A few people are consciously aware of a landscape of human plant and animal pheromones and other smells and their significance,

In busy industrial societies we notice and remember less. 

The body intelligence page practices sensitivity to small cues. The centering and relaxation exercises on the stress pages calm and clear the mind through which we view the world.