Monisha Mittal is writing a book about what she discovered, Room To Reside: a journey about finding belonging and how the body communicates. Monisha is an organizational and internal communications expert with 20 years of managing consulting experience linking organizations to solutions in the federal and non-profit sectors. (In the first blog of a four-part series, she explored the point of support that we can find amidst the push-pull of tension, particularly when viewed from the lens of a physical experience. In this post, she explores tension as a meeting and tension as an agreement.)
Tension as a Meeting The creators of InterPlay, Cynthia Winton-Henry and Phil Porter, teach about push-pull through forms involving contact. It’s through these forms I experience how satisfying oppositional forces can feel. One is called Counter Balance. Here, two people find a way of making contact while also holding onto each other (for example imagine you standing with your right arm outstretched by your side, grabbing someone’s outstretched left arm), and then pull away from each other. We support their weight with our pulling just as they support ours. The tension between my body and the other meant I could go “away”, in a different direction of my choosing, and still feel the pull of someone “wanting” me back, like an anchor. In turn, my body is similarly serving as an anchor to my partner while they pull away. Here I found a middle that felt immensely satisfying, where I felt welcomed back, tethered to a reliable, strong home base, without it holding me back, or feeling smothering or limiting in any way. For a person who spent most of her life not being supported while she went a different direction from the herd, it’s hard to describe how incredible this felt in my body. Exhilarating really. Perhaps even something I’ve thirsted for.
Especially for managers or supervisors, I want to relay how, in my first introduction with CounterBalance, my partner made me feel held and supported no matter how much I pulled or pushed or what direction I wanted to take it. When you think of how much energy we exert into pushing away from a situation or a relationship or pulling something in we want for ourselves, it is stunning to realize this type of support can be available. Because this was an embodied experience, I still have access to what that feels like in my body. This experience alone fuels my interest in bringing this type of teaching to managers….