The field of permission


What if, as parents and educators in general, we applied the principles of biodynamic craniosacral therapy to help a child grow into its true potent self, in a field of permission, full acceptance and trust?

Once the relational field is established, words are often superfluous during a craniosacral treatment, they arise as a reminder of presence, awareness, and resources. They are an encouragement to safely stay in the felt sense, always orienting to one's inner truth.

As I hold a shoulder, an elbow, I feel the potency in the joint, the bones, the fluid reveal itself and I sense its response to gentle contact, to the subtle, light attention I am giving while widening my perceptual field to encompass the rest of the body and the surrounds.

It sometimes feels like an energetic whisper to a frightened animal and a holding of its delicate presence or absence, giving it all the time and space it needs to ‘show up’ and communicate, reveal its patterns, emotions, its stories...

It really feels like this spacious patience, this non-verbal and aware attention is loved by the system. So much so that it feels safe enough to trust, respond and change.

I, as the practitioner, am not expecting anything, not wishing to fix anything. I am completely present in my supportive touch, open to anything that might arise and although I am very often surprised and in awe of what is unfolding, I am conscious not to let it interfere with the quality of my holding, keeping my still awareness in check while facilitating this surrender, encouraging this dialogue between different parts on their way to coherence, to resolution.

I love this work precisely because it is not like any other work. It functions outside the parameters of the known and that is why conventional medicine cannot get its head around it.

It is profoundly mysterious. I remember Steve Haines, my senior tutor from Body Intelligence, repeating to us to let go of the “why?” and to simply listen, be with and constantly open to the system’s willingness to change in its multifarious ways.

For the patterns very often result from a protective reaction to traumatic events and incidents that just happened or that occurred a long time before, sometimes, in the case of trans generational trauma, before the person was born.

So we are here to gently facilitate with profound respect whatever the person’s body decides to do and we offer nothing but complete acceptance of the outcome(s). We trust the system to trust itself and whatever happens is welcomed. Therefore right or wrong are bypassed, needless not even considered because the Breath of Life knows best.

So I repeat my premise: what if these qualities of gentle loving attention, trust, full acceptance, openness and full permission/allowance for what is and what can be were applied in our education system and in parenting?

What if they consequently rippled into other realms in society?

I listened recently to the interview of a renowned French pedopsychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Caroline Eliacheff, the daughter of the French feminist, writer, and journalist Francoise Giroud.

Caroline married actor and director Robert Hossein, 19 years her senior at the tender age of 15 in 1962.

She met him during the shooting of a film produced by her father the year before.

"We didn't have any problems with my mother or with society which is quite extravagant in hindsight." Caroline says. "No bizarre reaction in the media."

Caroline recalls that her mother, then editor of Express magazine, was surprised at first. She then consulted with close family members and friends but in the end thought, "Either I send her to boarding school in England and we stop everything or I consider her a responsible conscious being and trust her judgement and not only will I let her go ahead but I will also help her."

"She helped me to 'become a young woman'," recalls Caroline Eliacheff. "By talking to me and by dressing me differently. I dropped my Galeries Lafayette little girl dresses to wear Chanel and Dior."

She adds with laughter in her voice that in general her mother, "never criticised her choices even when they were catastrophic."

It seems society reflected this approach. The journalists who reported on their country wedding spoke about her Dior dress (see photo below) and the famous people who were there but the only comments regarding her age were speculations around whether she would continue her studies.

Caroline said that in fact that was the only condition to her mother’s permission to marry.

The whole interview was part of a France Inter show called Une journée particulière (https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/une-journee-particuliere/une-journee-particuliere-25-novembre-2018) during which the guests recall one significant day in their lives and how it subsequently impacted on the rest of their trajectory.

It is beautifully held by interviewer Zoé Varier and there is such ease and warmth in the communication, such openness and fluidity it is a breath of fresh air.

Caroline Eliacheff says at one point that although her mother was a very busy working woman and was often absent from home, she always felt loved and supported.

It would indeed make sense that once there is coherence and consistency in the expression of love, acceptance, support, encouragement and attention, the foundations are there for a child to trust, to feel safe enough to grow without shame, without guilt and other stunting factors.

What results is a lightness of being, a joy, an inner radiance that you will no doubt recognise should you search for images of Caroline Eliacheff or listen to her speak. It is truly quite delightful and my whole being couldn't help smile and relax during the whole interview.

This field of permission, of allowance that we are taught to hold during a craniosacral session could unlock and foster the growth of such marvels don't you think, should it be applied throughout the educational field?!


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