Monday, May 19, 2014

Living Your Own Script

You know how when someone else tells you what to do, you automatically feel less likely to do it? Even when you asked for the other person's advice? Is it in our nature to resist other people's well meaning advice? I believe that for our answers to be true they must come from within us.

From deciding what to wear to whether or not to stay in a job or relationship, answers are meaningless unless they are our own. We may ask for others' input from time to time but part of us knows that our happiness depends on our ability to make the right call. We are the ones who have to live with it.

Often times, clients come in to counseling with a pressing question. Together, we observe the dilemma from all angles, compare it to their own and others' experiences, and practice skills and strategies to assist in arriving at their own answers in their own time. There is no magic formula involved but, together, we find relief in choosing the the most beneficial path to creating the lives that we desire.

Is there a source of stress that's been occupying your mind, lately? Maybe an issue you've thought long and hard about? Or, perhaps something you've been ignoring, hoping it would go away on it's own (we all know things don't usually work this way- but that doesn't stop us from trying, right)?

If something comes to mind for you, hold the situation in your mind loosely. Take a breath and just notice what thoughts and emotions it brings up. Does it bring about changes in your breathing or posture? We're not judging this information, just observing the feedback. If you can, open up to your experience without trying to change it. Accepting rather than fighting your experience.

I invited you to do this, because, ironically, it often isn't until we stop trying to "fix" a given situation that the answer comes. There are definitely things that we can do, such as seeking out our own and others' time, space, support, and expertise. But, ultimately, we're the expert of our own experiences.

Consider this quote from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, "There is grace in denial. It is nature's way of letting in only as much as we can handle." Life happens on its own time. We may want an answer, now, but if the mind is flooded with the racing thoughts and black-and-white thinking of stress hormones, it makes it difficult to think clearly and make a decision (when this is the case, there are ways we can do to calm down, such as reminding ourselves that we're safe, now, if we aren't in direct physical danger).

You are not a visitor here. You are the leading role in your life, not a supporting actor. There are no right or wrong ways to do life, only different options. You are writing the script of your story as you go in how you respond to life's circumstances. I invite you to take a few creative liberties with this process (is there any other way to do it?). This is your life. Your story. Your time. If you don't do it, who will?

I invite you to shine.