I will admit that the first time I invited clients to get out of their seats to walk around the four-dimensional Wheel I was a little nervous… okay… a lot nervous. To ask my clients to leave the safety of the soft comfy couch that I myself tested and tried was HUGE. It was huge because it meant that I had to leave my own safety zone. My own over-sized, perfect-shade-of-chocolate leather chair was MY space. My chair helped me feel “safe” and I felt more knowledgeable, and well, powerful while I was sitting in it.
My clients too had come to love their couch. I often observed how each approached their space and sat in the same predictable position. Some had a specific way of fluffing the pillows to use as fortresses. This was especially funny with couples. It was helpful for me to see that the more pillows the clients used, the higher their degree of conflict had been that week. Yet the scariest part of leaving the chair was a belief that I would not know what to say or do if something happened while I was not in my chair. I also had to be honest about the parts of my own body that I disconnected while I sat. So for weeks I contemplated asking aloud “Want to try something new? Shall we stand?” And, every week, I would come up with reasons why I needed to continue to sit in my chair (Of course it was really because the client was not ready… wink, wink).
All these stories dropped the moment I began to realize how more present, engaged, and genuine my clients were in session when we got out of our respective chairs and actually moved around the Wheel. My couples were able to connect in more authentic ways. The best part… as my clients moved, I moved and I was able to feel the room in a richer way. The more we moved, the more creative I became because I was able to access more of myself and the wisdom that only my body in movement can access. I had clients embody different emotions, states of being, and let’s not forget The Goddess Walk. This was THE MOMENT when I knew with every inch of my being that there would be minimal BIC (butt in chair) moving forward.
I had invited my client, Meera to stand up. Her belief was that she was too masculine to ever be loved by a man even though this was her deepest desire. Her “masculine” side had helped her create much success at work, but it was difficult for her to soften in relationships with men. We had gone a few rounds with the 4-D Wheel and yet there was still something that needed to be unearthed. My client began to tell stories of some mystical Goddesses she has admired. Bam! It hit me. “Walk like a Goddess,” I said. “How would those Goddesses move, speak, walk?” She looked at me shocked and then slowly began to make circles with her wrists. She truly embodied those Goddesses or perhaps the Goddesses took over her body for she began to saunter and undulate in ways that even surprised her. She walked out of that session a new woman. She would have never accessed that new woman to that degree had she been sitting.
For me, none of this would have been possible without the use of the 4-D Wheel. The Wheel allowed me to begin to incorporate movement in a structured way. It gives enough for my mind to busy itself with so that my body’s wisdom can speak louder in the room. It also helps clients recognize the difference between the mental, the physical, the emotional, and the spiritual. I love hearing clients say “oh that’s an emotion!” or “I wasn’t aware my body was speaking to me.” The 4-D Wheel is an invitation to walk – to move and speak from the different quadrants, to help clients actually step-into new ways to explore, identify, and express an issue, a desire, and possible solutions.
Here is my invitation to you – get up, leave the chair, say enough to the BIC. It doesn’t matter if you practice the 4-D Wheel or not, the point is for you to access all of your wisdom. In doing so, you invite your client to do the same. Take a breath and say, “Want to try something new? Shall we stand?” If you panic and do not know what to say next, no worries, there is always the Hokey Pokey. Trust me… your clients will love it.
Jacqueline N. Mendez, M.A.
Professional Life Coach
AASECT Certified Sex Therapist
21201 Victory Blvd, Suite 200
Woodland Hills, CA 91303