Developing and sustaining a practice of being curious about our internal experience is often the beginning of a pathway toward new possibilities. In contrast, pushing away, trying to ignore, distracting from experiencing certain thoughts, sensations and emotions often leads those parts of us to become “louder”, to ooze out, and we then can be reactive and rigid in our response to others and to life. Instead, in a safe context and at a safe pace strengthening the capacity to tune in to those parts of ourselves can become a pathway to healing and greater ease in work, play and relationships of all kinds.
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A wonderful quote: “I can navigate the river of feelings because I know how to swim”. I know that paying attention to difficult thoughts, feelings, sensations and experiences can be scary and sometimes feel overwhelming. But, in a safe setting and at a safe pace, tuning into, examining, being with and expressing those difficult things is liberating because they will no longer have the charge over you/within you that they once did. You will experience the truth that who you are is much bigger than all of that. This experience over time builds confidence about your ability to “swim in the river of feeling”. Then you can move more freely in your relationships, in your work, in your life.
Did you ever watch Mister Rogers when you were little? He was so kind and wise and patient. Here is one of my favorite things he said: “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know we’re not alone.”
“The irony is this: if you don’t go in, you can’t find out”
— Richard Stine