I have had patient after patient come into my office talking about what a harsh and relentless winter this has been. I can’t agree more! It is always interesting to see how people talk about the weather. There are two classic perspectives that get presented: How cold it is on the thermometer and how much energy is being used by the thermostat. What an interesting way to understand ourselves as well!
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I decided to dedicate a blog to answer this question. As I began considering my own understanding of the concept of mindfulness, I was forced to first consider what mindfulness is not. I found myself doing multiple things simultaneously. I focused part of my attention on the television show that was playing in the background. I ate a bag of chips while typing notes. I ensured that my cell phone was at arm’s reach, checking it for the time every couple of minutes. The general population calls this “multi-tasking”, a “skill” that many of us feel fortunate to have mastered. Still, I wonder, is attending to multiple tasks depriving us of the ability to fully experience each one?
Do you ever find yourself avoiding people that you feel close to because you have a truth about yourself that you are afraid to share? In my practice I work with lots of people who are on a path of self-discovery and trying to live a life with integrity. This journey often brings new truths and/or challenges to important relationships because being open and honest about something that feels emotionally charged is scary.
Even in the best of times, life can be challenging. Being able to make difficult decisions, manage stressful situations and developing deep and meaningful relationships requires a certain inner core and foundation that often takes a lifetime to build. Weathering the storm and enjoying the celebrations as you experience all that your life brings to you is a result of living with integrity.
There are many times that I sit with clients who are stuck, living with anxiety, depression or just feel like they don’t know how to move forward. The ongoing narrative in their head tells them a story that keeps them in that place. They tell me that they don’t know what to do and are anxious about change. It is hard in that moment to feel confident and quiet the negativity they feel. We have all been in those moments when we are unsure of ourselves and feel a strong lack of confidence – which makes forward growth seem impossible.