Christmas before last, my husband bought me one of the best gifts ever.
I was touched not only by the gift itself, but also by the fact that he’d taken my much-expressed need to heart, done a whole lot of research, found a supplier of a quality product and actually bought a gift, all without my knowledge, all on time. That’s quite unusual in our house. I normally know everything that’s going on.
So there we were on Christmas morning, two adults and four furry children exchanging gifts. While there wasn’t the familiar chaos of an extended family Christmas, there was still excitement and fun and oohing and aaahing. As I wrestled the last of the debris from the claws of a cat consumed with pouncing the crinkly stuff into submission, I heard the thinly veiled glee in his voice he as he tried to announce quietly, ‘I’ve got something else for you, but it was too big to wrap.’
He shepherded me out of our bedroom into the living area where I saw a thin wooden pole, a rectangular blue thing and what looked like a coloured fishing net. I will admit. The tone of the ooooh may have changed somewhat.
Then I got it! I saw a picture on the paper inside the blue thing’s wrapping and the tone changed again. Think decibels many octaves higher.
As I ripped off the packaging, I could already feel myself in my gift. Suspended. Cocooned. Swaying gently. Restful. Relaxed. Revitalised. I felt the book in my hands, the anticipation of the story already building. I heard tweety things, buzzy things, moo-ey things, barking things and bleating things. I smelt summer all around me and I saw luxuriously rolling green meeting fluffy blue. It was perfect. I was in heaven.
And then… reality struck. My new hammock chair with its fancy blue cushion (can you believe – a cushion in a hammock!!) might have already transported me to bliss, but there was one vital ingredient missing. The anticipation of it all… and the frustration of a public holiday with nary a shop able to provide the missing link. For two whole days. (I didn’t know it then, but this was the first of many lessons from the blue chair.)
Eventually the time came. The necessary suspension device was tracked down, purchased, transported home. The deep breathing was all mine. In, out, In, out.
‘Leave him be’, the voices in my head said. ‘You will get in that chair today… Impatience will not serve you.’ In, out. In, out.
A few last yanks to check the beam and the hook would really hold. The pronouncement. ‘It’s all yours.’
Excellent. I felt like we needed a ribbon and an official declaration!
I stood next to the blue chair. I watched the blue chair swinging gently in the breeze. I reached out an arm to hold it steady. Took a step to the side to see if the view was different. Tried the other side.
Nope. Still a suspended, moving target. Mmmmm.
Were those the flutters of fear I felt?? Surely not. I didn’t need to turn around to see the wry grin on his face. I could feel it in my cheeks.
I took another deep breath in and puffed out my chest with fake bravado. Something whispered gently, ‘Eventually you’re going to have to take a leap of faith and sit your ass down.’
So I did. And it was wonderful. Until I moved…
My first very short moment of bliss showed me how little elegance there is in getting acquainted with a suspended chair. Finding the sweet spot takes practice, falling out, getting back in and trying again. Several times. Eventually I realised I needed to FEEL my way to balance and comfort.
Real life was far, far removed from my blissful imaginings on Christmas Day.
Eventually, though, I found my balance. I realised I could surrender myself to the chair AND retain some control over what my body did. It worked better when I worked with the chair instead of against it. Several small adjustments produced greater comfort levels than one big sudden shift. Comfortable positions eventually became uncomfortable. What seemed impossible initially eventually became easily doable (if you’d told me on day one that I’d soon be adept at sitting in my chair, typing, drinking tea AND enjoying the view, I would have thought you were a hopeless dreamer!)
And so a new relationship was born. Me and the blue chair. I had no idea then what this combination was to spark in my life. In fact, the more our relationship develops, the more I realise that the blue chair is capable of producing magic in the lives of my clients too. And no, wrangling swaying, suspended chairs doesn’t actually form part of our sessions (yet…), it’s more about what the blue chair opened up in me and what it helps me open up for my clients.
It’s hard to explain exactly but what I find in the blue chair is that my world looks different – or maybe I’m just different. I think that’s the point. When I’m in the chair (and sometimes even when I’m not, now), my mind goes to places it doesn’t usually go. Solutions appear seemingly out of nothing and inspiration strikes in ways that don’t fit with the usual me. I’m still trying to figure it all out but I think it has something to do with what I allow to happen, in and out of my chair.