Neutral sounds like such a boring thing. A car in neutral doesn't go anywhere, when a dog is neutered there are no puppies and the color neutral has none, (color that is). So when the instructor said the objective of a good Craniosacral therapist is to remain neutral I thought he was insane or boring.
"What the hell is he saying?!"
This was asked of my good friend and fellow snickerer Betty.
"He's saying we care too much I think."
At this point I believe we considered a full body tackle, but instead continued whispering and writing notes.
"How can we do the work if we don't care about them getting better?"
I shot back.
"Look, the guy is a cold fish, who cares what he thinks Deb. Maybe it works for him, we just work differently."
We engaged in our version of judgemental tennis for the majority of class though did concede several times the guy had a great set of hands for therapeutical purposes.
Four years later I continued to wrestle with neutral. In my work it became a daily struggle to find a place not involving an end game. When someone came to see me because of a long term physical issue I didn't see how it possible to be in a place of not caring how the session turned out. What I soon learned is that it's not about caring, it's about leaving open any outcome.
In my home life I would describe myself as someone who likes things a particular way, other members of my family would call me controlling and judgmental. I prefer my version for obvious reasons. On any given day I'd find myself needing someone to be something other than what they were at the moment. Inevitably this meant I wasn't able to enjoy the person the exact second they were in front of me. Then I read a book by Eckhart Tolle called, The New Earth. My expectations were minimal and was surprised when upon finishing the tome felt the need to repeat once again,
I am human. I don’t know everything.
When is the human fallible thing going to stick?
While relearning to live in the moment, I say relearning since we are definitely born with this skill, (ever see a kid fixated on a snail?), I also tried out Mr. Tolle’s other ideas as well, one being attachments to things, people and outcomes. Pondering the concept of attachments I looked through my emotional junk drawer. There were people, namely my husband and children I would describe myself as desperately attached, obsessed even about their existence. In my experience, once attachment to an individual occurs there comes the opportunity to create deep and penetrating tendrils of emotional history with the potential to become the sixty pound back pack of pain carried throughout life.
Is it possible for a person to have an emotional connection to another soul and not become attached?
The Dalai Lama voiced the same message in a documentary. I could see the dangerous path of being overly attached to things or emotions. In the cases of helicopter moms injecting themselves so completely into their children’s lives there is no division between them or when a partner consumes a spouse in what is mistakenly construed as love; but carrying a child for nine months does carry the attachment of an umbilical cord doesn't it? If the Dalai Lama was answering my question he would undoubtedly say, “But the child must be born and the cord cut for both mother and child to live.”
Though connected through genetic structure and spiritually, we must each live our piece of the journey separately. On the day of my death I will investigate the next stage quite utterly alone. If to truly guide my children towards their own wisdom, then I must free them to discover their path without tendrils of emotional enslavement from me. It is a representation of acting as a juror of my own experience. Sitting in the courtroom of life without a lean one way or other, witnessing the evidence.
How is this possible if bad things happen?
That is exactly when neutral is most profound. Events are merely aspects of life, neither good nor bad, humans in motion interacting with human foibles.
Doesn't that mean people who do terrible things get a pass?
When someone steals from another, a life, a pen, a goat, they are stealing from all. As such, in my part of the world, there is a flawed judicial system which can only work if jurors are seated with an open mind. Once the evidence is heard, judgement must be rendered as the law states, innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Pretty tough objectives in that statement, with long reaching consequences if not followed.
As a spirit having a physical existence there is pain, laughter, snot, agony, beauty, terror, hell and rainbows. The object is to find the calm spot in the middle, neutral. It means holding life with an open thought. In my work that would look like being a facilitator in a body's process towards healing; whatever way that body chooses. If I choose in foolishness a person should "get over it" and be done with pain, the soul on the table may not be ready or in fact may have a better plan. There is no way of knowing my own long term plan, let alone another human's. When truly in the moment there is no plan, there just IS. It is egocentric of me to decide for friends, clients, family what may be best for their journey in this lifetime. This does not mean disengaging as a facilitator, but to remain open to the process and just BE.
But isn't that wanting bad things to happen?
Being neutral means being open to ALL forms of living. During a long period of horrifying anguish, I have been able to have equal periods of joy. Showing that "in the moment" living is a form of art. There is an interesting thing about being present for hardship as well as cupcakes. By opening the doors of experience to all realms of a moment I am not missing a single beat and to me that means really living for the first time.