Skip links

Navigating psycho-emotional rapids with AAIT

Learning to paddle an oar boat on the Colorado River was one of the funnest and most challenging things I ever did. I spent many summers in high school in a canoe, but a big oar boat in big water, that was new territory.
Sometimes, working with a client can feel like we are moving in deep and rapid water. Having AAIT gives us the means to put both oars firmly in the water, find the current and navigate the psycho-emotional rapids of being human with a bit more ease.
One oar is our connection to our client and the other is our connection to the work we are doing — staying alert to all of the little intricacies and details that can make sure that the work holds.
Part of how we do this is engaging in our own solo embodiment practice. This does two things — it makes us very familiar with the territory we are leading clients into AND it helps us resolve our own problems and strengthen our ability to navigate even very challenging personal rapids.
When I was learning to paddle an oar boat, Bob was one of my teachers. At one point, he suggested that I paddle us through a rapid blindfolded. Surprisingly, I was game. I felt ready. I had sat behind Bob many times and listened to him describe the water. I’d paddled alongside him and soaked up instructions like my skin soaked up the desert sun.
Sometimes learning something new can feel like paddling blindfolded and backwards. However, keeping both oars in the water, connection to client / connection to the work, will steer you clear. That means engaging in your own solo embodiment practice. It means keeping your instructions nearby when you are working.
Pro-tip on solo embodiment practice, you are learning to handle your own boat. To that end, don’t skip any steps. Make sure everything is tied down. This might mean using pen and paper as part of your personal practice. It might mean vocalizing your responses out loud as you move through an integration practice.
What questions do you have about learning to navigate tricky psycho-emotional waters with greater ease? Message me or drop a line in the comments.
P.S. Somewhere there’s a pic of me and Bob all those years ago — someday I may find it. In the meantime, my young cousin Skylar captained this boat for us for a recent paddle trip in the Smokies.