Saturday, June 27, 2009
Is happiness a fleeting feeling for you or are you profoundly satisfied with your life---or somewhere in-between?
Try on this idea for size: Your life should fit you like a glove.
Comfortable, not too big, not too limiting---there should be some wiggle room and you are able to function well in it.
The many people I've come to know in my office have convinced me that we are each unique. Yes, of course there are commonalities---that helps us to join clubs, form social groups, and understand each other. But, nonetheless, although most of the problems people present to me are the same ones; the way the individual sees it and the resolution are always one-of-a-kind.
Forget about lumping people together or, certainly, viewing yourself as part of a generality; you are the only one of you. So! What do you need, for this life to fit?
Make an attempt to stand outside of yourself and view your life objectively. Maybe there's too much of something (work? obligated time? drinking?) or not enough (fun with friends, independence, creative outlet). Possibly you live in a place that doesn't express who you are. Maybe you live in an area where you feel like an outsider or, fortunately, you live in a place that feels like home.
Let's consider work for a moment: What are you good at? Some people are quite conceptual in their thinking style---if you are and you can use that in your job (professor, custom car painter, landscape architect) , you will feel satisfied. Some people are able to fit things together, finish the puzzle, find the one thing that's wrong or missing or, just what's needed to add the finishing touch (mechanic, artist, housekeeper). If you have this natural ability to see and deal well with details you will feel effective in a job that uses that skill.
How about your social life: Not enough or, overwhelming or, just right in the amount but the wrong people or activities? Friday night is an automatic high for some people; it is the beginning of a social whirl--- happy and relaxed going from one event to another---a party here, a concert there---and interacting with people, a lot. Others can hardly wait for the weekend to get some 'time to themselves'. Down-time means time alone, curled up with a good book, or taking off on a long, meditative run.
Interests: Do you pursue the things you are truly interested in? A relative of mine has a long-standing and deeply-held interest in trains. He has spent every bit of time he can get off from work researching and reading, about trains--- history, current routes, the future of this form of transportation and so on. His vacations are spent riding each train trip that exists. He will continue until he has ridden them all, in this country and in other parts of the world. Why? He is fascinated.
I have a neighbor who has a garden so beautiful it is a surprise to see. She spends plenty of time there, tending it, developing it, designing it. She gives magnificent bouquets to the people in her life. They are usually astonished, always pleased. She seems to lose herself in that garden.
She is in her joy.
So, there are 2 simple examples of individuals differentiating themselves.
My message to you, my reader: Strive to thrive.
Friday, June 26, 2009
As a psychotherapist, in full-time private practice, my thoughts are stimulated, my heart is touched, new ideas are generated; I am learning, wondering, and reflecting as a result of my days spent engaged with my patients as they talk with me about the most personal and most perplexing aspects of their lives.
Sitting in my office, the world comes in and informs me; I learn of things I would have never suspected. This part might be interesting to you, the reader.
My greatest ambition for this blog, however, is that your intuition will be triggered, your feelings may come into focus, that you will expand, grow, or think something new. I hope it will contribute to the efforts of individuals who are trying to become better at being themselves.
Note: While descriptive examples may sometimes be given, anonymity, privacy and confidentiality of my patients, past and present will always be maintained.
Other times, I will simply be discussing concepts that are evolving out of my work.
Serious and honest responses to my offerings will be welcome and appreciated.