Case #49 - The stiff doll, and the soft hands


Annabelle was distressed, very sad. She brought a little doll with her, with stiff little wooden arms.

“This is me,” she said. “My arms are stiff, like a zombie. My heart is sad.”She revealed that her parents fought terribly when she was growing up, and that created a lot of fear and frozeness in her. In her adult life, she felt too tough, and wanted to find more softness. But the doll showed just how stiff she felt.

I listened deeply to her, and felt my heart very open - she was indeed very sad.

At the same time, I had a playful thought, that seemed almost irreverent - that of zombies walking around, in the kind of stupid, funny image one might get of zombies.

So I shared with her both my deep connection and care for her, as well as this crazy and playful thought about zombies. I didn't want to be disrespectful, but I also wanted to include this other part of me.

She was open to hearing this. I suggested that perhaps we might even play with this. So we stood up and, side by side, walked around being zombies - walking towards people in the group. Most people were laughing along, enjoying the funny craziness. There were a few people who actually got scared, so we steered around them. Mostly though it was a silly, funny experience.

Annabelle sat down, and I sat facing her, attentive to how she was.

This experiment had softened her, opened her up even more. She sat with the little doll, feeling its little arms, talking about how stiff they were.. but how, if she rubbed them, they might soften.

So I took this as a cue, and took both her arms with my hands and softly rubbed them. She clung onto my arms with her hands, like a small child seeking comfort. I looked at her to gauge how this was for her, and could see her softening. I continued rubbing her arms, and talked to her about softening. I could feel the intensity of the energy in her hands. So, as she reported her arms softening, I placed my hands face up in my lap, and allowed her to rub her hands against my hands, which she did, back and forth, slowly. I remarked on how much energy was in her hands. She was very deeply connected to her heart, her feelings, and stayed in contact with me during this process.

She talked about how each of my hands was one of her parents, separated, but both present. She touched each hand lovingly, and sadly. Then she got the little doll, and put its face on each of my fingers. Then she took the doll’s two arms, and put one connected to one of my hands, and the other arm connected to my other hand.

She said, “even though my parents are separate, I can connect to both of them.”

The moment was profound, her sadness changed quality from stuck and collapsed, to open-hearted, and flowing. Her arms were relaxed, and every part of her was breathing, present, and connected.

This was a profound experience for her, as well as for me, and afterwards she felt a deep sense of peace and integration.


Posted by Steve Vinay Gunther