Aliveni Enthu Chaivvuu…the music from a dance recital wafted by – “dear friend, oh beautiful one, what do I do”. Music lingers and ignites
My bestie seeks … compelling me now to find out why her beloved hasn’t arrived yet, sharing her longing, her fears. In another instant she chides me for not talking to her, frowns at me, some angry outbursts, some joyous expressions shared. I am reprimanded and I am loved. She reveals her deepest self, I am her bestie and she is herself when she is with me, her Sakhi.
“Oh Sakhi oh beautiful one, what do I do”?
I notice, I hear, I understand, I goad, I support, I tease, I nudge. Holding space always. I shy not from speaking the truth, always walking beside her, in her dance towards insight.
Sakhi The Friend
My bestie ruminates… ”When I am overwhelmed and caught up in my whirlwind can I really see with clarity, can I hold myself steady when the wind blows hard, can I even begin to fathom my own feelings when they flood me. I need to step out and then step in, when I step out I want to see the real me, a dispassionate reflection, a true reflection. I seek a Sakshi, a witness to the goings on within me and around me, at a certain distance where I can see myself”.
“Oh Sakshi oh dispassionate one, show me what I am”!
I see it for what it is and reflect it as it is. I am not overwhelmed, just present there if you care to look at me, I have no colour, bias, thoughts of my own. Sakshi is in your service. There is no ‘I am’. I exist because you do. My meaning comes from you.
Sakshi The Witness
I have mused over these concepts that is so endearing and inseparable in a classical dance repertoire and as a dancer I feel deeply connected to this universal recurring roles. In my work as a professional Coach I see this play out so much as well and I wondered why I didn’t see it before. It begins to dawn upon me how I am both a Sakhi and a Sakshi when I am Coaching. Such a beautiful relationship between the Client and the two identities of the Coach.
The client seeks the Sakhi-The Friend in the Coach, a friend who creates the psychological safety and trust for her to share and vent and be herself. Coach communicates understanding, nudging, teasing, challenging, encouraging as the Client dances towards her insight. Sakhi, the friend who walks beside.
The client recognises the Sakshi- The Witness in the Coach. When she sees the truth for what it is, a reflection of what transpires within her inner world, the client makes conscious choices. The Coach as a dispassionate Sakshi enables this for her, mirroring and ‘just being’. The witness is just present and in being so, the client connects the dots, seek the truth – her own truth, steps out of her conundrum and then steps in, to take charge of her life. The Client recognises the Sakshi in the Coach and eventually the Sakshi within herself.
As the music fades I am also becoming aware that a Coach’s sthayi bhaava (natural state) is perhaps Sakshi though the client starts the relationship with seeking and seeing the Sakhi. The graceful movement forward of both from Sakhi to Sakshi is in the mastery of a Coach performing her dance.
Sakhi & Sakshi.
I am at once beside you as I am behind
I am at once around you as I am above
I am away from you but I am all about you.