When Your Season Doesn’t Feel Right

August 19, 2010 by  

Anna (name changed) has just been told that she’s a Soft Summer. She expected Soft Autumn. She is 30 years old.

Anna heads home, reads the document that explains the color analyzed clothes/cosmetic/hair/jewelry that harmonize most beautifully with her natural coloring, looks at her clothes, and sees that nothing is as flattering as it could be. Just like everyone else after a PCA.  She looks at the pictures of what her hair color should be and starts buying the new makeup.

None of it feels right. She can’t see the greyed brown undertone in her palette. Her mother always said she was a redhead. Her husband calls her his Coppertone girl and I suggested that Soft Summer isn’t flattered by traditional bronzers. Suddenly it’s all wrong. In her own words, she feels “like a bird that’s fallen out of its nest”. She knows she’s making it be hard when it’s supposed to make her life easier, but how to relax into it?

Confirm the result

I can be wrong. Anyone can be wrong anytime, doing anything. I usually, but not always, go with my first impression. A new set of eyes, a new day, and I might see something else.

We went ahead and did the drapes again.

For a second draping, I always have someone sit in who is not a colour expert but is sensitive to the optical effects. Everyone can tell when you look better, but not everyone is visually perceptive enough to watch a face blur and focus, or the eyes and teeth yellow and whiten. I try not to talk much because I usually see what I saw the first time. Soft Summer was confirmed.

The tangle is mostly between the 2 best Seasons. Nobody can see their own face that objectively, including me, which is why a makeup purchase decision is so often wrong if you test it on your face.  Anna’s confusion was valid, in that she felt the shadows around the eyes were less visible in the Soft Autumn drapes. You have to be careful here. If the face turns yellow, then (my theory is that) the yellow is canceling some of the purple in the shadows, just as we choose yellow concealer.

Look at the whole face. It should not be yellow at all. Even a trace of yellow gives the effect of mild jaundice, the features seem a bit erased. Neither should there be a greyness in the face, where the drape is pulling color out of the skin, but be careful here too. In its milder form, that chalkiness can give the “clearing the skin” impression. The crispest, freshest, healthiest skin was in Soft Summer. That perfect, delicate, aristocratic bone structure definition that Soft Summer does ultimately well was clear.

It was as though I told her she’d been switched at birth. Her identity, her safety net of what it meant to be Anna, was pulled out from under her.

Expect to need time

Start with knowing what to never look at in stores again. That alone will exclude so many distractions that the right items will become more obvious. Look at the item and think about why you should NOT buy it. “The grey is too blue”, “I see yellow in it”, “the white is stark”. Try to talk yourself OUT of it.

Match your Colours Book the best you can. Don’t be distraught if the precise fog brown isn’t obvious. Don’t try to classify every garment you see to its Season. You’re already looking a zillion percent better than you used to. Your eye is learning. The Book does the mixing and matching for you. Remember your principles for how to combine the colours (these are sent to clients after a PCA).

Accept that you will keep making better and better decisions. The effect will get stronger. I get that doing your job is hard enough. This is like asking you to do your job AND learn a new computer system. Don’t worry. You now understand where you came from and you know where you’re going. This is empowerment beyond describing. The branches can’t help but grow when the roots are this strong.

You’ll make a few mistakes. In your first windsurfing class, the guy in the water most is the one trying the hardest, progressing the fastest, working on moving to the edge of the technique. Mistakes are good. Allow them to be good. This is how we learn.

Leave the hair to last

Hair is the hardest to get right, hardest to adjust to quickly, and often the most sensitive (and least objective) self-acceptance feature. Get used to the clothes and makeup first and your brain will be much more compliant when you correct the hair color. Do it in small steps and your mind will say “OK, fine, she’s done this before and I survived”. If you did a big hair adjustment on day 1, your mind would say “Wrong, off, can’t be right, looks weird, change it back, need to go find someone and pester them till they confirm that I looked better before, get me to a phone, I’ll see a different colorist, can’t be, can’t be, can’t be.”

As a child, the hair was a warm toffee blonde. Nevermind. Anna has different skin now and that hair might not work at all. Besides, children’s hair takes more money to replicate than I’m willing to spend on my hair and searching out that rare colorist who could create it.

She is now more the pine cone in the highlight (should she choose to have them), than the wheat field. Her natural base, just visible at the temple below, is not very dark, a medium ash brown. Her eyebrow is light-medium ash brown. Letting the red fade till she can go back to her natural base color, with those watery grey-green eyes, would be like looking into a misty forest.

(See Soft Summer’s Best Hair Color for more on this Season’s most skin-flattering hair color).

Breaking emotional ties

You can’t get rid of your color luggage that fast. Letting go of the past is shaky for all of us. “I always saw myself as…” needs to be uprooted but it’s dug in deep. Doing something different is always destabilizing, even if it’s driving a new way to work. You can’t hold your balance and your position. It’s uncomfortable.

Release who your parents expected. Never look back over your shoulder again. You’re not her anymore. You can choose what she has that you want to keep. Allow the calm, strong feeling of finding, and speaking, in your own true voice.

Learning to repel the marketing all around us is part of the journey. A much more difficult question, that may take a lifetime to answer, is whether we intentionally, but subconsciously, sabotage ourselves. As women, we seem awfully good at undermining our full potential in beauty, as well as in personal strength, more than we could just blame on our marketing culture. Everyone who saw Anna commented on the beauty in her face, and in her person. We women are better at cataloguing our faults. Inadequacies that nobody else sees becomes our security blanket.

If it were given to you at this moment to become everything you could be, how many would take it? Marianne Williamson’s words are repeated so often to let us marvel at the truth of them. It is our not our darkness that we are afraid of. It is our light. (If you don’t know the full passage, read it here).

It is THAT fear that must be entered. PCA is not for everyone. It takes a courage that you didn’t expect would be asked of you. Your view of the world will be challenged. The responsibility to make it as you want it to be will feel forced on you, unless you choose to see it as Opportunity.

Anna will be treated differently as she separates from her past and realizes that she may have to step up to how beautiful the world sees her to be. It will take about a year.

This is what I saw. Go back and look at her eye.

Anna said,

…the whole experience has given me peace. Not initially, obviously, but upon reflection, I feel at peace. It was like meeting myself for the first time. Or finding out something major about myself, that caused me to have to reintroduce myself to myself. (if that makes any sense). And now that the ”fog” has settled, the “muted and dulled fog” : ), I am relaxed at meeting the new me. And I enjoy to know myself that much better. This was another, fairly large piece of the puzzle I found in me. There are less questions. Less self doubt. And I feel like I can forge ahead now, equipped with a better sense of self. I have been enjoying the last few weeks, walking into stores and looking for the “real me” in there somewhere. And when it is not there, I don’t compromise anymore. It’ll be fun. It’ll continue to give me direction, as now I know the destination. There are lots of ways to get there, but I will always arrive at the same place. Within my palette. Whereas before, I had no direction, no sense of self, little confidence, and depended on second opinions a lot. I am getting there. It will take time. But I feel much better already.

Comments

28 Responses to “When Your Season Doesn’t Feel Right”

  1. Adriane on August 19th, 2010 6:40 am

    “Don’t worry. You now understand where you came from and you know where you’re going. This is empowerment beyond describing. The branches can’t help but grow when the roots are this strong.” Beautiful!

    Thanks for another wonderfully written and inspirational piece, Christine. It’s truly moving to see in this way; to be guided, by you, to see the misty ocean in Anna’s eye.

  2. Jes on August 19th, 2010 7:48 am

    Christine, I have a strange question about yellow. You said that there should be no yellow in the face. Does it apply only to Soft Summers or to all the seasons? My tan is always yellow (or is it golden?..), never too dark, and I just LOVE the way I look when I’m tanned (without tan I’m just very pale, I think I have almost no pink at all in my skin, though my hands stay slightly yellowish even when I’m not tanned). So could this be a different yellow (or I just have problems with my vision?.. :-)))) )

  3. Christine Scaman on August 19th, 2010 12:17 pm

    Thanks, Adriane. To be unafraid of who we really are, to move towards our light while allowing our shadow side. A life’s commitment.

    Jes, I didn’t mean yellow already in the skin. Good point that I should clarify though. I meant a yellow cast that a too-warm drape causes to appear in the skin. It is artificial, but happens when a too warm, or wrongly warmed, color is worn. Correct color “clears the skin” of that yellowness.

  4. Tone Linn on August 19th, 2010 1:36 pm

    Very interesting article. Since there is such a fine line between Soft Summer and Soft Autumn, I would like to know and see the colors that make the difference, like a makeup color scheme or something, comparing the colors which is best for eyes, blush and lips in just these two seasons, side by side. I would very much appreciate it. It would be of great help for me and others who are not really certain of which side we are on.

  5. Tone Linn on August 19th, 2010 2:05 pm

    “Ok, off that soapbox – toffee/cinnamon-peach lips are great on Soft Autumn. I find them unattractive on Soft Summer, who gets dusty plums and desert rose colors.”

    I just read these lines in one of your answers under Soft Summer’s Hair Color. Well, in that case, I am much closer to Soft Autumn, than Soft Summer, because these colors are my favorite lip sticks; like nude, vanilla truffle (Estee Lauder), beige with a hint of warm pink. And as a blush I prefer a bronzer, or something with brown in it, and brownish eye shadows, and my favorite glasses are cinnamon colored (Gucci). Question: Can a True Autumn or a True Spring wear these colors well?

  6. Gigi on August 19th, 2010 2:10 pm

    I have been dwelling on the concept of “clearing of the skin” in the correct colors, which you posted awhile ago. It’s also an issue here as well.

    From my personal experience, I believe color consultants have viewed the color autumn drapes brought to my pale skin as positive and mistakenly think I’m “warm”. I’m trying to sort it out! I see color in my skin with warm drapes (from pale to having “color”), but I always question, “Yes, but is it a good color?” Yesterday, I held up a soft fuschia sweater and a muted warmish rose/salmon to my face and asked my husband which was better. He said the fuschia made my face white and the warm, muted rose/salmon gave my face color. I asked him to describe the color my face looked in the rose/salmon (I was checking to determine if it was a good color) and he said “orange”. Yikes, I don’t think that is good, especially since I have very fair skin. I think warm colors interact with a few of the muted freckles on my face and I turn “yellowish” (…my hair and eyes look great though). Anyway, his final answer was the fuschia was better, but the rose/salmon was okay : >) It seems that people with light to medium brown hair with some natural sun induced golden and strawberry blond highlights usually are perceived by consultants as autumns. Especially when we have freckles and green in our eyes, too! I feel like nothing looks good on this fickle skintone!!!

    Over the years, I’ve been color analyzed mostly CMB, as a spring, soft autumn, deep autumn, and soft summer, but my hair stylist thinks winter??!! Now, nothing feels right and my closet is a mess of colors! I don’t want any other system but yours because of it’s accuracy as you are looking primary at the changes in the skintone in drapes, rather than making assumptions on superficial coloring. After following your blog, I am starting to notice how colors define my jaw. You are right, it’s impossible to know ones own coloring and to know what to look for when seeing how drapes interact with ones skin.

    I have my passport now and hope I can make an appointment some time in the future!! I live near Boston, but I’m afraid of paying a lot of money for an inaccurate analysis again and feeling the frustration of trying to adapt to the colors, wearing them and receiving no affirmation that I’m wearing the correct palette!!! I have received those wonderful and unexpected compliments like, “I don’t know why, but that color looks great on you.”

    All this blogging just to say I relate to the above client and I am so happy for her that she can move forward with confidence, and over time she is going to become increasingly happy with her appearance, wardrobe and grow in confidence!!! People will start to comment on the beautiful color of her eyes, too!!!!

    PS You must have had an adjustment in thinking you were a clear spring and realizing you are a clear winter (I believe that was what it was, and you did look a little like an autumn with your hair) However, you look beautiful in your videos with clearly perfect wardrobe colors for you. I know those two seasons have share some similar concepts, but it was a change for you. It is an matter of adjusting the perception we have of ourselves.

  7. Jes on August 19th, 2010 2:49 pm

    Christine, thank you for your answer! But I have one more question: is it possible that cool colours could cause yellow cast to appear in the skin?

  8. Arlene on August 19th, 2010 4:06 pm

    Hi, Christine!
    I love reading what you have to say; I always learn something new. :o)

    I had a question for you. I had a PCA done recently (I was typed to be a Dark Autumn), but wasn’t given much information other than my color swatches… is there a way I could get a copy of the principles for mixing and matching that you send out, perhaps? I went to a color analyst that isn’t in my area (we were traveling out of state), and I guess she doesn’t offer that same info in the package. I’d, of course, be willing to pay you whatever you think is fair for the information. I am struggling a little with how to use this new-found information, and some guidance would be helpful.

  9. Adrienne on August 19th, 2010 7:46 pm

    Christine, I was analyzed online (I realize online analyses are not even as remotely accurate as a draping) as a Soft Summer, which felt right to me immediately. The style, the colors I leaned toward naturally, what I’ve learned about the skin and eyes and how they react and behave, the makeup, and the personality. My eye looks just like Anna’s. After having a Warm Spring self-perception for quite a long time (but a complete restlessness with the diagnosis. I would often CRINGE in natural light reflections), it was a relief to be told I was something else, and it worked so well. My question comes from hair color. My skin loves Soft Summer colors, but my hair goes against everything Soft Summer. I always knew that, but after this succession of posts, I’m suddenly much less at peace with my prescribed season. My natural hair (I’ve never dyed it) is complex, and changes with the light. It’s a color every single person who has cut my hair has commented on, and many others as well, as being “rare.” It’s red, but never copper red. It’s ashy brown, but mostly underneath the golden strawberry reddish blonde. Sort of. Sometimes it looks like light ashy brown on top, too. In photos, mostly those where I’m laughing, my hair actually looks like it clashes with my face (keeping in mind, I’ve really, truly never dyed it). My eyebrows are a very light (naturally lighter than my hair) version of the light ashy brown, and have none of the red tint in them. I’ve also had trouble with makeup. The proper clearing effect will happen with, say, a lipstick when I’ve held back my hair, but disappear when I drop the “red” back into view. I can’t imagine I’m anything but a Summer, and you mentioned a red that Light Summers have, but seem pretty adamant that Soft Summers never, ever have red hair. My hair is in no way the pinky-brown you described for Light Summer. I get pretty neutral skin-tone wise in the summer, so I’m assuming (possibly incorrectly) that I’m not a True Summer. Is it possible to be a Soft Summer with such a bizarre hair color, or is it more likely the analysis was wrong? And of course, so sorry for being so long winded.

  10. Adrienne on August 19th, 2010 7:58 pm

    I thought I’d correct my description. By light ashy brown, I was trying to differentiate the brown I see in Elizabeth or Louise with my lighter version. It’s not always very “light” at all. I’d say more medium. Medium ashy brown.

  11. Chiara on August 20th, 2010 10:08 am

    Christine, I was wondering whether the neutral undertone in neutral seasons’ skin is always evident…Or does it look sometimes plain cool or warm and not a blend of the two? Because Anna’s skin looks pretty cool, but maybe it’s only the photo or my monitor settings…Also sometimes when I try to figure out the season of the people I see, it’s hard for me to distinguish between neutral skin and sallow skin…the only “safe” way seems the draping process :)

  12. Chiara on August 20th, 2010 10:16 am

    …at least I think it’s not so easy to analyze people just looking at their coloring…it’s when they wear something different than usual that I begin to perceive something…the same also happens to me…

  13. Christine Scaman on August 20th, 2010 1:45 pm

    Adrienne,

    I must write more forcefully than I realize if I insinuated that any Season ‘never, ever’ or ‘always, always’ has anything. If those were true, you could PCA yourself. Doing it from textbooks would work. The only information concerning hair and eyes that is ALWAYS true is that ANY Season can have ANY hair and eye color.
    These posts show you the average and the common, I suppose. The reason that the pictures are truly of so little use to you is that the average person doesn’t exist IRL. You can go look for them, but they’re hellish hard to find. With human coloring, it’s the exception that is the rule.

    Another thing that is ALWAYS true is that your Nature-given coloring is NEVER, EVER less than perfect. It cannot be otherwise. Your genetic makeup colored you skin AND hair AND eyes. A whole new set of pigments was not used for different parts of your body. Part of the reason Sci\ART analysts utterly ignore hair and eye color is that there are so many tones in these, just as you say. You are unlikely to pick out the exact tones that contributed to the final result. That’s why we do Season with skin, where the drapes are the instruments that do the measuring.

  14. Christine Scaman on August 20th, 2010 1:47 pm

    Chiara,

    The glimmer you get when colors change up is exactly what this is about. Neutral skin can be very much halfway between warm and cool, or it can lean closer to warm OR cool. Neutral means there is some heat in the skin, but if it’s a smidgen, it’s not likely you’ll detect it just by looking.

  15. Jeannie on August 20th, 2010 3:34 pm

    I have the same question as Adriene…is there a way to get the ‘style’ for your season (True Winter)? I have Kathryn Kalisz’s book and several others but it doesn’t say anything about the style. You give great descriptions of what a season feels like..is this just your observation or is it written somewhere?
    Example: I bought a sweater with all the right colors and fit but it just wasn’t right because the pattern was just too wild. Does True Winter do better in solids etc. It especially helps to have more guidelines when I am cleaning out my closet because I would hate to get rid of something that is really right…thinking it wasn’t…if that makes sense.

  16. Christine Scaman on August 21st, 2010 2:47 am

    Tone,

    I can work on this but time is short. Soft Autumn wears dull gold eyeshadow, Soft Summer wears fog brown-grey or gentle raincloud purple-grey.

    True Autumn is darker and warmer looking and need spicier lip colors. Paprika.
    True Spring and True Autumn have no overlap at all in Sci\ART. There is no shared palette. True Spring is tropical. True Autumn is tomato, True Spring is fruit punch – those are not exact analogies, but they put a distinction of clarity (low for A, high for Sp) into your head.

    I struggle with how much to give away for free. Ultimately, I am working on building a business, and willing to be quite transparent about it. I won’t photograph the palette books, though I used to. As you may have seen on our Facebook page, there is an australian Sci\ART analyst (the colour commission, I think it’s called) that has posted some of the Books.

  17. Christine Scaman on August 21st, 2010 2:59 am

    Jean and Adrienne,

    I thought about this question for awhile. I’m not averse to the idea in general. Where I have reservations about sharing those documents other than with my clients is

    - certainly, they wouldn’t be sold to anyone who has not had a Sci\ART analysis. Meaning no disrespect to any other system, but I get emails every day from all over the world from people who got analyzed and weren’t sure it turned out correctly, and I’d have to agree with them. I don’t want to be involved with people going around looking even worse, good grief.
    - I don’t want to get bogged down and negative about verifying that the person has had a Sci\ART analysis
    - I don’t know how to place a value on an item that the buyer has never seen. What if I said “OK, send me a cheque for $50 and when it clears, I’ll email the documents.” Then, you get the documents and think “This isn’t worth $20, let alone 50. I know this stuff already, I read it on her website” or whatever. Then you wouldn’t like me as well. Now I’m having conversations about returning the money. Too complicated.
    - The only time I allow myself to daydream freely about the future is when I’m driving. In those moments, I travel about with a full list of clients booked in every city weeks ahead of time. Maybe that happens in part because my own clients got something exclusive for coming to see me (the cost of my PCAs may have gone up). I think many Sci\ART analysts put their own personal spin and interest in their PCA service – personalized makeup, closet makeovers, etc. Those documents are my thing.

    For now, I’ll gratefully decline. If I think of a solution, I’ll keep it in mind though.

    But you know, so much of that material is in the website (like the article Valeria Is A Dark Autumn for Adrienne), and the makeup is often discussed on Facebook where I see you both, maybe you’re missing much less than you think.

  18. Christine Scaman on August 21st, 2010 3:00 am

    I’d add that http://www.ireneeonline.com is a great source for the sort of questions you’re asking, Jeannie.

  19. Jeannie on August 21st, 2010 7:13 pm

    Thanks for your honesty Christine. I can understand you wanting to hold onto info. not to mention the time it takes to distribute the info. I have been on Ireneeonline…I think I just like the way you phrase things. Thanks for your informative articles. Forming a style and learning the best things for your season takes sometime..I think we would all like it to be easy.

  20. Gigi on August 22nd, 2010 5:22 am

    There is not doubt that dispite all the study of ourselves, we cannot be objective enough to accurately determine our personal “season”! Even personal color consutants have have a PCA. Sci/Art seems to be a fantastic diagnostic color tool and Christine, you are analytical, poetic, artistic, kind and extremely thoughtful! Whoever is fortunate to have a PCA from you is blessed for a lifetime….and their closet will be a joy, too~

  21. Tone Linn on August 22nd, 2010 11:55 am

    Hi, Christine, Thank you so much.

    Yes, you are really very generous sharing your competence with us, for free. I appreciate it a lot. I have learned a lot, developed in the understanding of colors, thanks to you. I wish I could have come to Canada to be your client. Just want to say how grateful I am for having found you, and through you “met” so many nice, beautiful women on your facebook site. I am incredible grateful, and I think that all the others feel the same. All the goodness you share, is not paying off to your business, as it really deserves to. However, I believe what you give, you get back, somehow. It’s a law. Maybe not a law of money. But wealth in a much more valuable way. I like money too. It is of course helping a lot. I truly hope you also get paid as you deserve.

  22. Adrienne on August 23rd, 2010 11:08 am

    Ah yes, I do know (from you) that, truly, any season can have any hair color, and that nature did not mess it up, which is why for so long I was ok with the hair color I had; it was just a quirk of my own coloring that I enjoyed. However, with such an intensive on the Soft Summer coloring, it seems much more unlikely that a Soft Summer would have my hair. It may be theoretically possible, but not very probable. And it’s that probability that I know you speak out of. I guess what I was asking was… You characterized the red that a Light Summer would have naturally, so do you have a characterization for the red a Soft Summer would have? And did I miss the point with that question? The way I understand any season, any color is that any season could be blonde, brunette, red, dark, etc., but that the color scheme that influences coloring would have a say on the precise shade of a given category. So to me, if a Light Summer is going to have red hair, it will probably be pretty close to the way you described their red, and so their must be a probable shade of red for Soft Summer, too. And that may be a total misconception. I’m using my case as an example, but to me this is getting down to some interesting stuff about the way coloring works.

  23. Christine Scaman on September 2nd, 2010 2:12 pm

    Thanks for the understanding, ladies. And Tone, I hope so too! :)

    Adrienne,
    No, I have no characterization for anyone’s hair color, especially not with the unpredictability of red…but your Q shows you’re beginning to get the point perfectly. It is a hard piece to accept fully.
    I don’t see a lot of red hair across the Summer Seasons, so I can’t generalize from broad experience. I could expect anything from cool cocoa-red to strawberry blond in the Lights, but really, it could be anything. I think you’re on Fb, right? Recently, I linked to a red-haired woman that resembles a Light Summer I’ve seen. One of the women is a red-haired True Summer who posts often. LMK if you don’t find them.

  24. Kathy on October 8th, 2010 6:11 pm

    I just had a PCA at an Identity salon and was analyzed as a Soft Summer. What is truly amazing in looking at myself in my new makeup colors. They blend and look so beautiful on my eyes, face and lips. Was analyzed as an Autumn by Color Me Beautiful back in the eighties then as a Deep Autumn in the nineties. I always knew something was off as NONE of the Autumn season lipsticks looked good on me. I have done a little clothes shopping and have some clothes in my new SS colors but still have a closett full of Deep Autumn blacks, warm browns, yellow green etc. Do I just get rid of all of the off colors? Scarves wont help as I can’t deal with material up around my neck. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  25. Christine Scaman on October 18th, 2010 9:08 am

    Kathy,
    The short answer is yes, get rid of it. How quickly depends on the type of person you are. Some people can’t adjust that fast, or have sentimental attachments to clothes, budget limitations, whatever. If you’re a Soft Summer, black, warm brown, and the rest will only ever make you look older and heavier. What’s the point? For me, this is entirely a time issue, and maybe slightly money. Go shopping first, when you can spare the time it takes in the beginning, till you’re used to working with your swatches. It will be easier to donate old clothes when you have better new ones. You don’t need a whole closetful to get started, just 2-3 professional and casual looks. When I switched Seasons, I didn’t let myself compromise with shades that might match the old and the new, it was just a step backwards. I’m happy to give suggestions, but I need you to focus in on what the obstacle is.

  26. Nynd Warrego on June 17th, 2011 5:33 pm

    Of all the articles on this site to date, this remains, perhaps, the best. Christine, your virtues as a colour philosopher are never more clearly on display than here – no glib assurances, no sales pitch, no make-up counter blasé urge and urgency, and above all, the client-student’s reservations are carefully, thoughtfully, and sensitively addressed, and not dismissed. “Anna’s confusion was valid, in that she felt the shadows around the eyes were less visible in the Soft Autumn drapes.”

    Always this humility, this willingness to hear and to see the experience of the patient. You have confidence in your system, but the hypothesis is always on notice of test conditions, every time. The exception proves the rule, in the purest and most accurate sense of the expression. You allow the client, and the reader, their doubts. It is safe to be unsure. It is fair to ask. And the proof is so gently delivered, and you so completely understand the need for time to mourn the old skin before a reframing can take hold.

    This is intellectual honesty of the most careful sort, and it is a dream to read. I am so looking forward to your book.

  27. Christine Scaman on June 18th, 2011 4:51 am

    I could turn this around, Nynd, and say that of the many comments you have written, this one also strikes a deeper chord. You somehow merge the very abstract with the very analytical, a combination I am inevitably magnetized by any day, and describe an emotional place with complete lucidity and the perfect analogy.
    If I approach this as I do, it may be in part that I often look round and feel a bit of insecurity, having fewer credentials and less technical knowledge and experience than others.
    Humility is a magical place to reach, often at the price of humiliation, since one cannot exist without the other. The light and the shadow, always together. I would pay the price anytime to get there because I recognize what the Universe would unlock.
    Many women simply cannot make the leap of letting their real self step forward without covering the ground that Anna needed to cover. Who could suddenly let go of all those years of training in the art of concealment? She is more the rule than the exception in my experience, though I have heard that clients and analysts that belong together are drawn together by magical force fields.
    Many clients remain close friends for life, as if we have both really seen one another (in the Avatar sense of “I SEE you”) in the short time we are together. Women (and this includes you as well) have truly staggered me in how introspective they want to be, how spiritual, and how touchingly and honestly they express their roadblocks and discoveries. I always learn more, and receive more, than I give back.

  28. Nynd on June 19th, 2011 12:45 pm

    I see I’ve used the word “patient”. An unconscious substitution, but there’s no little truth in it . (Or as one friend said, there are far less efficacious schools of psychotherapy.)

    More than any other, this is the page I come back to, if not in actuality, then in mind.

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!