Author Archives: Heidi Fischbach

I Spy, I Spy: Courage

My clients amaze me. They learn to drive in their 30’s. They date again after years of being alone. They join a chorus. They learn a new dance and perform it! They quit jobs. They have babies. They have babies in their 40’s. Sometimes the baby thing doesn’t work out after a long time of trying, and somehow they find it in them to go on. They come back after chemo and laugh as they pull their wig off before getting on my table. Sometimes they cry and that amazes me no less. They get divorced after 10, 15, 20 years married. They get up out of bed after job losses, after miscarriages. They learn to walk again after accidents, after surgeries…

Every day I spy amazing acts of courage.

But today I want to tip my hat to an act of courage that might often go unrecognized, but which deserves every bit of hurrah as the amazing things I just listed:

Every time you show up for your life in the most relaxed, undefended and open-hearted way possible, you are practicing a gorgeous act of courage.

You are amazing. I’m not just tipping my hat here, I’m throwing it way up in the air for you.

Our world is a better place for having you in it. Thank you!

Warmly yours,

Heidi

Same place, new look. Heidi’s Table 2015.

Happy New Year, my people!

On January 1 I took over the lease for my office. Even though this did not come as a surprise, a few days before the actual date when my dear office mate of the last year would be moving out, I found myself feeling quite anxious. After waking up really early (again!) and not being able to fall back asleep, I enlisted the help of a really good listener:

I told my really good listener exactly how wobbly and scared I felt. (What a relief to say things just as they are to someone who listens and wants to understand.) Then I told my really good listener that I could feel it like this heaviness in my middle. I pointed and put my hand there and my really good listener (named Jeffrey), just kept listening.

Then I told Jeffrey about how something in me was scared of taking on the added rent. (Again, relief! So helpful to say a fear out loud.) That scared part of me said things like, “What if you fail? Then what?!” Jeffrey just kept listening. Then I told Jeffrey that something in me was afraid that people would stop coming to me altogether…that they’d stop liking my massages and that I would never be able to convey how amazing a thing Focusing is. (Yup, also felt good to say that, even though something else in me felt embarrassed to admit that I was afraid people just wouldn’t like me anymore.)

Listening and being with everything inside me just like it was really brought relief. I hadn’t wanted advice and Jeffrey had not given it. Instead, Jeffrey had been present with me in a very Focusing kind of way, a way that allows things to change seemingly on their own. Listening in that Focusing kind of way is engaged. It’s active. It’s interested. It’s curious. It’s present.

The next morning, as if out of nowhere though I’m quite sure as a result of having been with everything just the way it was, I asked Jeffrey if he’d help me do something brave and big to mark the change for my office.

And that is the story of how my office came to look like this… I loved it before, and now I get to love it in a new and all-of-my-own kind of way.

Same office, new look!

Same office, new look!

I hope you visit soon. My table very much looks forward to having you on it.

Make an Online Appointment

Warmly yours,

Heidi

P.S. The paint color is called “Wheatfield.” Maybe one of these days I’ll tell the story of how we picked it!

Volver a los 17. A translation.

One of my favorite songs of all time was written by the late Chilean poet Violeta Parra and made famous by the now-also-late belovèd Argentine folk singer Mercedes Sosa (affectionately known as “la negra”). This song makes me incredibly homesick. Homesick for Chile, for Latin America. Homesick for smells and sounds I can only, maybe, find in dreams. It even makes me homesick for places I’ve never actually been. (Honey, I think we call that “longing.”)

Over the years, I’ve played “Volver a los 17” a few times for people —usually lovers at that point in the relationship when they show you theirs and you show them yours (music, people, music!) — who don’t speak Spanish. Invariably I end up feeling tongue-tied and rather inept at the prospect of simultaneously translating its rapidly flowing metaphors, and certainly not without detracting from the melody and the kick-your-heels-up Chilean folk-dance (“la cueca”) rhythm, which the song springs into every time the chorus comes around.

So usually I just end up mumbling something about how it’s about going back to being 17, and then I sigh and drift off to a nebulous place of homesickness and longing for the length of the song.

But, back to now…

Finally and actually having given its translation a whirl, if you were my lover today and it was my turn to show I’d tell you that yes, it’s a song about going back for yourself at 17. But also it’s about the moment —so fragile and powerful at once— and about how an instant can change everything. Oh and too? I’d tell you that while the whole thing is about love, it’s not about the shiny and brand spanking new ‘oooh baby I’m so in love with you’ kind of love that usually gets our attention, but rather the giant and gnarly kind that includes the shiny bits, sure, but also the heartache-y dark stretches between the shine. Also? I’d tell you that there are many words whose beauty get lost in translation, if they can be translated at all.

I tried to translate the poem in a way that allows you to read in English to the meter of the Spanish verse. A few times I favored meter and meaning over literal accuracy. I press “publish” with a bow of apology to Violeta Parra for what is lost in translation.

One last thing… I chose this YouTube version of the song not for its recording quality but because of the gorgeous energy of these five belovèd Latin American singers: Mercedes Sosa, Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Milton Nascimento and Gal Costaand. There are many heart-melty moments –many!– but my favorite might be when Caetano softly reaches for the higher notes and his voice cracks (at about minute 1:35 or so).

Volver a los 17 (Violeta Parra)

Returning to seventeen
after having lived a century
is like deciphering signs
without the competence of wisdom
to be suddenly once again
as fragile as a second
to feel things so intensely
like a child in front of God,
that’s what it is like for me
in this very fertile instant

Chorus:
Entangling entangling so it goes
like a thick ivy on the wall
sprouting and sprouting so it grows
like tender moss covering stone
like tender moss on a stone ay sí sí sí.

The steps I take go backwards
while yours continue advancing
the bow of alliances
has penetrated my nest
in all its colorful swagger
it’s taken a walk down my veins
and even the hardest of chains
that destiny uses to bind us
it’s like a fine diamond
that lights up my serene soul

What feeling can bring about
knowledge never has,
nor the clearest course of action
nor the grandest of thoughts.
Everything is changed by the moment
like an affable magician,
it sweetly steers us away
from bitterness and from violence
only love with its science
turns us into such innocence.

Love is a swirling whirlwind
of primal purity
even the wildest animal
will whisper and trill its sweetness,
it stops pilgrims in their travels,
it liberates those in prison,
love, with greatest of care,
turns the old (wo)man into a child
and only loving care will turn the bad
into pure and sincere.

The window was opened wide
as if by some enchantment,
then love entered with its blanket
to give cover like a warm morning
to the sound of its lovely reveille
it made jasmine burst into bud,
and taking flight like a seraphim
it placed earrings on the sky
and my years of 17
were transformed by the cherub.

[Translation (c) Heidi Fischbach, 2014]

Heidi’s Table

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Cambridge, MA 02140

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