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The Power of Witnessing

One of my most effective tools I use when creating healing spaces for women is the power of witnessing. I remember being in undergrad and learning about 'The observer effect,' which in short demonstrated that the act of looking at something changes it. This has been shown to be true for people, animals, and even atoms.

A quantum mechanics experiment back in 1998, not that long ago, showed that a beam of electrons behaved differently when being observed by the scientists, and that the greater the amount of "watching," the greater the observer's influence on the behavior of the electrons.

The idea that our behavior is heavily influenced by other people observing our behavior, really blew my mind! The implications of this phenomena on healing is truly beyond what we can fully comprehend I believe.

Later, in my graduate school years, as I began to study the benefits of the horse-human relationship, I had to be hyper aware of how the simple and natural act of my observing the horses I was working with, was somehow changing their behavior. I spent many hours sitting in the pasture, on the outskirts of the herd just observing them, gathering any little bit of information I could about their nature, their ways of being, just from watching them. But I knew that even as removed, and quiet, and careful, and distant as I was, my presence and my observation was influencing their behavior, even if I couldn't discern how. And I also began to understand that it wasn't just me doing the observing. I was also being watched by the horses! How was their witnessing of me influencing my behavior?

I have always carried with me this foundational understanding that in witnessing and being witnessed, there is incredible power and influence, down to the atomic level of our being. What happens when we are conscious of this fact? Can we use it to our advantage? Can we become masters of this phenomena of Witnessing, wielding it as one of our greatest allies in our efforts to improve upon ourselves and to help others?

A simple example in the context of self-work might be reading a self-help book vs. participating in a therapeutic relationship or group. Surely, reading the self-help book can offer us new ideas and open up new ways of going about our self-work, but what happens if we add into the equation, observation from another person or persons? Well, in my experience, that extra ingredient of being witnessed by other people levels up our ability to enact real change in our behavior and our thoughts. Self-help on steroids.

And what really changes the game even more, and this is where I believe we can become conscious allies with the power of witnessing, is when we can step into intention together. Coupling the power of shared Intention with the power of Witnessing is atomic indeed.

I think this is also why we can be so hesitant to work on ourselves in the context of a group, because deep down, we know that things will truly change, and the resistance is against that inevitable change. The change is what we are seeking, but we fear it because it is unknown. And the real change in our behavior is brought about by truly being seen by others. So, we opt for the list of self-help books to read in the safety of our aloneness for fear of being seen, for fear of change.

In conclusion, if you are ready to really open yourself up to the power of Intention and Witnessing, consider what that could look like for you in the context of your self-work. My seasonal virtual women's groups are a great way to dip your toes into the waters and experience this healing and transformative power.

My Summer group, 'Summer Bliss,' is going to be all about inviting in joy and pleasure and BLISS! These groups are so easy and effortless to participate in and I promise you, being seen is not as scary as we think it is.

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