Welcome to the heartbeat of Integrative Counsel, our blog where tranquility meets transformation. This is your sanctuary for insights and wisdom on nurturing a harmonious connection between mind, body, and spirit.
We have all been there—stuck, dissatisfied, unsure, and feeling like we are constantly on a treadmill. It’s tough to feel like you don’t know where to focus your time and energy. You want to find meaning, be successful, feel socially involved, have loving relationships, and experience joy beyond the consumption of alcohol or marijuana, but you don’t know what to do to get there. There’s so much you have achieved in life already, yet you still feel lost, anxious, and depressed. We all go through phases and transitions in our lives that leave us feeling unsure of where to go next.
When you’re younger, you don’t have to build a structure for yourself, it’s built for you by the adults who take care of you. You find fulfilment in your achievements at school or in after-school activities. Now, you’re well into adulthood, yet you find yourself craving the structure that was provided for you as a child. Bottom line, something feels off, and residual triggers keep resurfacing. What do you do now?
We were not built to work constantly. We need to make the things that bring us joy and fulfilment a priority in our lives. When you are organizing your work for the week, schedule time to rest and play, and make it as important as your work. It all comes down to what you are passionate about and what you value. Do you value adventure or spontaneity? Then maybe fulfilment comes from going somewhere you’ve never been or don’t go often, or creating a staycation for yourself. Do you value spending time outside and potentially seeing something novel? Then maybe fulfilment looks like going for a slow, mindful walk in nature. Fulfilment may also look like going out for dessert, connecting with your community through volunteer work, stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking a class on something that you’ve always wanted to learn, or reading a book for fun. The point of it is to just let yourself be without worrying about doing something productive, or perfect. We allow imposter syndrome to get in the way of going after the things that light us up.
When finding fulfilment, you are dedicating yourself to the things that matter to you and that you are passionate about. This comes from inside of you and is not dictated by the external world. Once you determine what you value in life and what matters to you, you are no longer at the mercy of finding happiness in things outside of yourself. This will be more sustainable for you in the long run.
Making sure you have a solid foundation of self-love is incredibly important when you aren’t sure what you are doing or where to go. Perhaps what you need is to focus on accepting yourself as you are and finding out how you can best support yourself so you are able to handle it when you’re faced with unexpected circumstances. When life becomes confusing or slows down, follow suit. The universe might be telling you it’s time to rest. Listen to that, and rest when you need to rest. Eat the food that you want to eat, that makes you feel happy and nourished. Listen to yourself and your body, and become comfortable with being an imperfect work-in-progress. Loving yourself means accepting that you aren’t meant to know or control everything, and you’re not bad for not being able to do those things. You just are! In Narrative Therapy, one of the main principles is that you are not the problem, your problem is the problem. When you can come to terms with that, loving yourself gets a lot easier.
Your shadows will try to sabotage you. Your shadows are self-loathing, guilt, shame, and fear, and they manifest into what Eckhart Tolle refers to as “the pain body.”
“The pain-body, which is the dark shadow cast by the ego, is actually afraid of the light of your consciousness. It is afraid of being found out. Its survival depends on your unconscious identification with it, as well as on your unconscious fear of facing the pain that lives in you. But if you don’t face it, if you don’t bring the light of your consciousness into the pain, you will be forced to relive it again and again.” –Eckhart Tolle
If you don’t have a solid foundation of self-love, shadow work will only exacerbate your wounds. If you do have that foundation, shadow work will help you become more self-aware, and develop even more self-acceptance and self-compassion.
“The moment you observe it, feel its energy field within you, and take your attention into it, the identification is broken. A higher dimension of consciousness has come in. I call it presence. You are now the witness or the watcher of the pain-body. This means that it cannot use you anymore by pretending to be you, and it can no longer replenish itself through you. You have found your own innermost strength. You have accessed the power of Now.” Eckhart Tolle
This digital course, created by licensed therapists Dayna Wood and Jennifer Carey, will help you learn to access your inner wisdom, trust yourself, and get in touch with your authentic Self. You will learn how to reconnect with your body so you can heal and access your inner wisdom, how to heal your heart and listen to emotional patterns without letting them hijack your life, how to get rid of the clutter in your mind and identify the beliefs that hold you back and review where you are, where you would like to be, and how to get there.
Here’s what is included in the course:
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Michael specializes in Anxiety Treatment, Depression Treatment, Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling, Grief and Life Transitions, Mindfulness, Meditation, the Yin and Yang energy connection and Self-acceptance. Michael is a Registered Social Work Intern who has a background in Martial Arts and incorporates those teachings into his therapy.
“I remember going through the motions of living life how I thought others wanted me to live. I was always putting others first and myself second, and although I gained joy from some of these experiences, knowing that I was not true to myself and who I wanted to be made me feel lazy and unfulfilled. It wasn’t until I began practicing and learning the martial arts that I felt a calling to use the energy I was working with to incorporate it into my daily interactions and introspection. While I was working on my Masters, the teachings of martial arts and eastern philosophy coincided with my academic lessons in a way that gave me perspective on how I could better myself, my mood, and hopefully the lives of those around me. Since then, I have felt a great improvement on my outlook and my ability to assist others in battling their own struggles and crossroads.”
Click here to learn more about Michael.
July 27, 2022
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