Monday, May 25, 2009

Amazing weekend ... by Glenda Gibbs

It's early and quiet. I've been in a non-stop mode for quite some time, especially this past week.

My weekend was quite a paradox of cultures and lifestyles... inclusive of 6am phone counseling session with a client, several wedding rehearsals and weddings, both local and at a distance (120 miles round trip) and a pre-marital counseling session with an inmate (of a maximum setting prison) and his former wife.

Random thoughts here .... the client - mid-thirty female with whom I've worked with for about 2 years has earned herself confidence, interrupting the incessant dysfunction of her past and putting in place healthy thoughts/behaviors and those choices have launched her into getting her life in balance, being a role model to her family ... implementing boundaries and demonstrating happiness is exclusive of the drama from which she came from. My working with her this past year has been more about 'fine-tuning' ... my listening is most astute to the subtleties and addressing those - her awareness is likened to a lit candle ... she shines

The weddings ... located at the following venues: a back yard; a historic mansion's grounds and steps to the mansion; an old park in Walla Walla WA ... with a gazebo having the main floor up a flight of stairs with a view of the park; a golf course club house; lastly, a river boat.

The prison setting ... while I've attended to other prison and jail settings, this was the first of it's kind. I'm continuing to process the experience - partly due to a written report I need to submit. Interesting thing ... I wasn't nervous - I didn't treat the inmate any different than I would one of my clients. We were in a large room with probably 20 tables where other inmates met with family and friends ... the inmates had to face the guards, I purposely sat across from my client and his former wife to my left.

Rather than begin the session with pointed questions, I asked them to tell me what they wanted me to know. Initially he was tight lipped and said that he wasn't going to share about his personal life to a stranger - which I understood, thinking to myself - if you're wanting to marry you'll need to find a way to share.

The former wife started talking... (they knew of the topics we were going to discuss prior to our meeting) ... as I continued to hold that frame of "what do you want me to know" he started engaging. His eyes were of steel - I looked beyond his eyes. While the human part of me knows it was his way of testing me... an attempt of intimidating me - I never released my eye contact instead I allowed my essence to flow. My mind was present to his sharing. Ultimately, it was their choice to share or not.

A couple of other attempts to rattle me were his religious belief of being Satanic and conversation inclusive of sex. My response to his belief of Satan ... it is his choice and regarding sex - dialogue regarding sex and the situation: imperative - should the conversation become inappropriate I'd say so ...

At one point he said, "you sure are relaxed". I acknowledged that I was (I really was as prior to going to the prison I tapped, said a prayer and I encased myself with golden light). I trusted my intuition.

This man is 41 and has been a 'free man' for 8 years of his life ... the remaining time being in prison settings. A variety of convictions, including theft, armed robbery and assault. He spoke of his life inside vs outside and how his former wife adds to his daily living. She agreed ... though she lives in her own prison, i.e., keeping her private life a secret from her bio family and her work. She's really excited that she has a new girl friend with whom she has shared the truth of her situation ... This couple have been together off and on (mostly on) since 1987 - married '88 and divorced '92. Six months past the divorce they resumed their earlier roles as husband and wife (unmarried).

I've given thought to the information they shared ... I asked myself if there was manipulation of their sharing or left out pieces of information ... probably. There is no doubt I received more information than either of them had even thought possible ...

My task was to determine their suitability for marriage.

I know they are concerned with what my recommendation will be to the powers at be in the prison system - I will write the report recommending that another session isn't necessary because of their cooperation and extensive disclosure of information and I recommend they be permitted to be married.


I recall being in each of the aforementioned environments .. paying attention to the energy .. I observed the conversations ... and the different levels of energy being drawn to support those conversations.

It also comes to my mind how we are all susceptible to being a prisoner to something. The inmate has walls surrounding him... I contemplate what I'm a prisoner to... and to reevaluate my freedom of choice.

Amazing weekend.

And today, I rest and replenish within my backyard... for it is a mecca of tranquility, a sanctuary where I'm privileged to enjoy the fresh air, sun shining, lush greenery, exquisite fragrances of flowers and trees blooming .. listening to the birds chit-chatting amongst themselves ... the bees as they delight themselves with the nectar of a sugar locust tree ..

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