Tuesday, September 24, 2013

We Want To Live In A World...

We want to live in a world where... How would you complete this sentence? What kind of relationships, families, neighborhoods, and communities do we want for ourselves and others? As part of counseling, I often do some envisioning work with clients. Looking ahead to the people we want to become and the kind of lives we want to create can be extremely useful in helping us get there.

All of us come into the world with a mix of nature and nurture that gives us a unique set of core beliefs about ourselves and guides our thoughts and behavior. Some of us received more love and attention in our families than others and we adapted accordingly. That's okay. Wherever you're starting from is great because change generally begins with noticing where we're coming from!

Think back to the formative events in your life. What messages might they have conveyed to you about yourself? Maybe you learned that you're not important or it's not okay to show your emotions and now you'd like more intimacy and sharing in you life. I have a helpful list of beliefs that I use with clients to help us discover the often times unconscious bunch of beliefs that impact our experience.

Often times, we feel most anxious when we're already in the midst of inner change. Things becomes easier as we let our values direct our decisions rather operating from the perspective of past experiences- particularly if our past experiences left us unhappy. Sometimes we don't have a clue how to move forward and that's okay, too. You're the only one who can figure it out!

Who do you want to become? Just imagining puts you on the road to getting there.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Cultivating Abundance in the Age of Inequality

Are new age beliefs such as cultivating an attitude of abundance and concrete activism mutually exclusive? Leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi suggest that having both makes the most effective change-maker.

My hometown of Athens, Georgia sure could use some abundance, right now. I remember coming across this article  about Athens' poverty rate during my final year at Naropa University and getting all fired up. If I was going to become a helper, I wanted to become a helper in my home community.

I was lucky enough to obtain a position at The Banyan Tree Center, where I am happy to report that I love what I do. And, I'm still aware of my desire to get involved in larger community building efforts. So, my eyes and ears are open to who is already having a positive impact and how I might lend a hand.

Gandhi said, "poverty is the cruelest form of violence;" we can change this.

Here are some folks who are already doing big things:

Community Connection
Project Safe
The Cottage
Athens Health Network

How can we be the change we wish to see in the world?