Choosing Your Whole Life
By Being in Your Body
Everything starts with the body, an organism through which all of life experience is processed, mostly at breakneck speed and often out of our own awareness. Before we even know it, we can respond to a situation or person without thinking - breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, surges of emotion, gaze, muscle tension, movements, facial expressions - can all influence our interactions with others, ultimately defining our own sense of self without our even knowing how it happened, if we are not aware of our bodies.
By Expanding Your Awareness
Awareness begins with the body itself, then reaches out to the world around us. Who is that other person? What might we learn from each other? Can I trust him today? Can he trust me? If not, where else can I thrive? With whom? Random thoughs and questions compete for attention. But when I reach for awareness of others and of the world beyond myself through dialogue and interaction, something always comes back to me, asking me to make sense of it, to make meaning of what I experience there, or to retreat and zone out, leaving my behaviors to fend for themselves, out of my awareness.
By Trusting Your Own Experience
Once we have learned to listen to our bodies, to foster awareness of others and of the world around us, we begin to question the "objective" realities of everyday life. If my experience of a musical concert is one of sublime transcendence, yet the newspaper critic pulverizes the performance, what am I to make of the concert that we both attended? Where do I place my value - in the "expert" interpretation of the music critic, or in my own physical and emotional experience of the same event? What might emerge if the crititc and I were to have a conversation about the concert? How the world looks through MY eyes becomes AS VALUABLE as any suggested or enforced perception imposed by others, once my awareness capacities are developed and put to use.
By Becoming Yourself-in-Relationship
Finally, by having learned in therapy to move through each relational interaction with body, awareness and trust intact, it now becomes possible to know and accept where you stand at any given moment. The unexpected intrusions of anxiety, depression, guilt and shame, can remain as gauges of how you navigate uncertainty, but not as constant impediments to any feelings of wellness nor as unwanted custodians of your free choice. Furthermore, by choosing to seek out and experience the DIFFERENCES OF OTHERS, you will know and enliven yourself as a thriving co-creator of your own relational world. Learning how to find and recognize the necessay support to help you achieve that world, will take you beyond therapy itself.