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5. Person, presence, & praxis

 


Andrea’s person, presence and Praxis

Some of my noticing about how Andrea’s person, presence and praxis come together.

 

 

Agree

 

 

 

Not
agree

 

 

Not Sure

 

Noticing my inner responses to these aspects of Andrea’s person, presence, and praxis. 

 

Andrea willingly offers herself (her person) in Carol’s service in ways that are gentle and humble (her presence).

She quickly moves into relational solidarity with Carol and with Carol’s unfolding story (her praxis).

Andrea enables Carol to bring her worried and anxiety-filled story into an ambience of rest (presence-praxis).

This opens a relationship space in which Carol can stand back a little from what has overwhelmed and trapped her so as to be attentive to what is emerging in front of her (presence-praxis).

Andrea is carefully following and trusting Carol’s emerging story thread. She doesn’t introduce any additional content (praxis).

Each part of Carol’s story content, observations and feeling responses are valued by Andrea. She takes seriously her task of encouraging Carol to be attentive and awake to everything that emerges (praxis).

Andrea places high priority on engaging Carol in her own conscious self-awareness, enabling her to become the transcendent observer of her own person (praxis). There are moments when Carol is witnessing the person of herself re-enacting parts of her story!

Andrea is keen to enhance Carol’s inner knowing, intuition, resourcefulness as well as awareness of her inner beauty (praxis). 

 

 

 

 

 


The conversation continues
 

I was struck with the way Andrea creatively used the person of herself in the open and free relationship of presence she was offering to Carol. Her reflected-upon work—her praxis—helped me appreciate that companioning is an art rather than a technologically-oriented endeavor. It was a little more difficult to find a way of asking Andrea questions about this.

Author: Andrea, in your way of companioning, you don’t seek to exert control. Neither do you move into expertise or offer your informed analysis of Carol’s situation. You don’t problem-solve nor do you give affirmations. Instead, you somehow use your own person and the relationship you developed with Carol to foster and facilitate something which emerged from within her. There is something very creative in that. Could you could say something about how you use your own person creatively in Carol’s service.    

Andrea: (Deep in thought for almost a minute). It’s hard to speak about yourself in such a way. But on the other hand, companioning is more of a relational art than a method or technique. It is important to be aware of yourself and of the relationship you are seeking to offer a pilgrim. The creativity I see most is that of my guide, Jesus of Nazareth. I seek to learn it from him. He is very self-giving and humbly offers the person of himself in the service of the pilgrim. He does this in a highly creative and transformative way. Central to his praxis is that in each and every encounter he reveals something of the kingdom of God.[1]

Author: A highly creative and God-oriented praxis. Could you say something about your own praxis?

Andrea: It is the invitation to participate in Jesus’ restorative purposes and to learn his ways. My companioning practice is one of the gardens or arenas in which I grow daily as a disciple of Jesus, in ever deepening relationship with Jesus— the Jesus of the pages of the gospels.[2] For me, it is a privileged arena in which the faith, hope and love that Jesus reveals in his person hopefully becomes embodied and enlivened—real and tangible—within me through the work of the Spirit. This is what makes my practice a live and growing “praxis.” Jesus always seems to be inviting us to new thresholds!  There is no place for complacency!

Author: Can you say a little more about learning his ways in the context of your own companioning work; in your own companioning praxis?

Andrea: Let me give you an example. I would take my part in Carol’s story and invite Jesus, through his spirit, to guide me to one of his “companioning” encounters. I would indwell that story by coming as close as I possibly could to it. I might become a character in that story and, in that close-up way, ask Jesus to reveal something of what he was doing. Then I would return to my companioning of Carol and ask Jesus to reveal how I might apply what he has been teaching me. It might sound complicated but it is actually very simple. (Andrea paused). You asked me before about the creative use of my person in the service of Carol. This is one of the most profound ways of learning how to be that creative companioning practitioner.

Author: I would certainly like to try this out for myself.

*   *   *   *

A personal response to Andrea

You are invited to make a simple drawing or poetic response in your journal to Andrea from where your own person, presence, and emerging praxis has been enlivened by her companioning of Carol, and by her personal sharing about her own person and her work.

Notes:

[1] See the earlier definition of the word “praxis.”  Andrea’s companioning is her “praxis” as she continues to prayerfully reflect upon it and seeks to further develop and grow both as a person and as a practitioner. 
[2] Segundo Galilea. The Way of Living Faith. New York: Harper and Row, 1988, 34.


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