Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in Reflections | 0 comments

This is part 2 of an article about preverberations. For part 1 please go here >>

OK, so that was the woo-woo! For some people that sounds like a pile of nonsense that doesn’t align with their worldview. For those folks, here’s an alternative view of preverberations.

For this alternative view we need to agree that our subconscious is constantly doing stuff we don’t fully understand. My belief is that our psyche is extremely intelligent and is constantly trying to find integration – particularly for those parts of us that are still fractured or cut off from the rest of us.

So when we sign up for a workshop, our psyche takes in a lot more information than we can consciously digest and stores it. We might think it’s going to be a fun, interesting or even sexy experience and have the intention of experiencing lots of cool stuff during the weekend. Meanwhile our psyche has different plans for us, knowing exactly what we need to work on to become more integrated and whole.

As we get closer to the experience itself, our psyche starts bringing things forward that have laid in the subconscious for a long time – for example, our fear of conflict. Suddenly we find ourselves creating or being involved with little conflicts, whereas before we’d studiously avoided them. Why is this shit happening? we wonder. Our psyche, however, isn’t wondering. It knows full well that we’re about to go into a space where we can take a good hard look at these patterns of behaviour and potentially change them.

Because our psyche wants to transform tendencies that are potentially damaging and maybe even dangerous for our emotional and physical health, it starts to show us what we need to learn ahead of when we’ll enter that particular ‘classroom’. A dance is happening between our conscious and our subconscious, little things being ‘leaked’ that were hidden before. Here you go, the psyche says, have a look at that in preparation for the weekend: you’re going to have the chance to work on it soon.

So this is the more psychological explanation of preverbations: no fields, no woo-woo, nothing mystical at all. In fact it’s a perfectly good and useful way to understand this phenomenon – though I believe it doesn’t fully explain all the things that happen before a workshop!

Whichever way you approach it, it’s useful to understand and recognise preverberations. It’s really common for people to get freaked out by the intensity of their feelings or how shitty they feel in the run-up to a workshop – and often, they want to run away or not come to the workshop as a result. In fact this is usually the worst thing to do! Having big preverberations means that something is coming up strongly for you to transform. Seeing it through by attending the workshop is much better than backing off and waiting til another time. You can be absolutely sure it’ll still be there in the future – so why not face these things now, when your psyche is actually presenting them to you?

I genuinely believe that we’re only ever presented with what we’re ready to work on – so if it’s coming up, it means it’s ready to transform. If you remember that, keep breathing and don’t panic too much, the workshop will be less bad than you fear. (Often the preverbs are worse than the thing itself!)


Preverbs often come in the form of insights or situations; but sometimes they come in the form of physical ailments and difficulties. People often ask me why they got sick before a workshop! This is definitely a good question: it seems like a dumb thing to happen, whatever the complex set of reasons for it. And it’s also common enough to be worth mentioning.

As with so many of these questions, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. One explanation I like though is that our bodies often process what we can’t quite handle another way. So in those cases where we’re trying to be shown something but it’s just too difficult, painful or whatever, it often comes to us in the form of a physical issue.

In a way it’s simply the only place this strong energy can go: it’s not found a way to come into consciousness so it goes to the body instead. The body can process things without having to understand them and this physical processing happens whether we like it or not. In addition, being sick forces us to slow down and to rest, allowing us to take our focus off other things and bring our full attention to our healing.

The other thing about illness is that it weakens us. This might seem like a mean trick – after all, you were so looking forward to being fit and sexy for that workshop, weren’t you? Instead you turn up sniffly and a bit battered, wishing you weren’t there. What kind of joker is spoiling your party?

Sometimes it’s necessary because we’d be too resistant to the things we need to learn if we were in better shape. Getting sick is a great way to lower our resistance, leaving us susceptible to feelings and ideas we wouldn’t normally allow in. It’s a way to create some internal cracks so things can get inside.

So it’s true: in a way it’s really unfair when we get sick ahead of a workshop … and in another way it’s perfect!


So these are what I call preverberations: the feelings we have as we approach a workshop, preparing us for it and bringing the things we need to look at into the light. Now I’ve mentioned them, I bet you’ll notice them all the time – and not just before workshops, either!

By its nature this article is short and far from comprehensive. There are many other types of preverberation you might have experienced. So ask yourself: what happened to me and how did I respond to it? Did I have a sense that it was the workshop working on me ahead of time?

I’d love to hear some of your stories – feel free to email me or mention your experience in the comments below.

And remember: when the preverberations come, knowing them for what they are will help you not to freak out!

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