I must be a mermaid ... I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living - Anais Nin
If you're reading this, I imagine you're someone who is drawn to the mysteries of life, just as you are the depths of your own inner world. You're a seeker of sorts. I get that. Me too.
Maybe you dabble with tarot cards or oracle decks, jot down your dreams intrigued by their messages, or spend time in nature attuning to the world around you. Maybe you meditate or maybe you pray to someone or no one in particular. Still, you've been longing for a more formal container to apply these practices to your own healing and personal growth. This is where PsychoSpiritual Counseling comes in - my version, at least.
Wait, that's a real thing?
While many approaches to therapy integrate spirituality or existential issues into the work, PsychoSpiritual Counseling in my practice focuses on and is rooted in matters of the spirit, developed specifically to support women as they delve deep and cultivate the kind of personal insight and power that helps them change their lives and ultimately, the world they live in.
This approach dovetails beautifully with Feminist Therapy which positions the client as the expert on her own experience, and with Expressive Arts Therapy which emphasizes 'other ways of knowing' and accessing our own inner wisdom through creative process.
So, what does this all look like in practice? Good question. It really depends on you.
Let's say, for example, you're a client struggling with trusting yourself and your decision-making process. We may look toward practices such as tarot cards to help you access your own inner knowing or connect with whatever higher power you feel akin to (if you do). In a situation like this, we may also pay closer attention to your dreams and utilize guided imagery to re-enter those dreams in a wakeful state to gain additional insight.
Maybe the insight is just what you're looking for and we stop there, but if you're someone who is action-oriented, we can go the extra step and discuss concrete strategies (i.e. therapy homework) to integrate the guidance you've accessed into your daily life. We'll take wisdom to pragmatic action.
I want to pause here before continuing just to make clear that the PsychoSpiritual Counseling I offer is based in therapeutic principles and ethics, it is not about me telling you what will happen, what to do or how to do it. If that's what you're seeking, there are absolutely folks out there who provide those services. Ultimately, I am here as a psychotherapist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist to support you in accessing your own answers, which I truly believe you have.
So, here are some hints that PsychoSpiritual Counseling may be right for you:
- You find yourself feeling energetically drained and want to learn new ways to take care of yourself.
- You want to develop a stronger level of intuition.
- You feel drawn to a more spiritually-connected life, but are unsure how to move forward with that desire.
- You were raised in a specific religious/spiritual tradition and you are now questioning that path. Maybe you're questioning everything.
- You feel stuck in grief and loss and need to process on a deeper level.
- You struggle with symptoms of anxiety and trauma, and want to reclaim a sense of personal power.
- You're just plain curious.
If you're interested in learning more about my PsychoSpiritual offerings, please check here or reach out here. I'd love to talk with you!
Till next time, wishing you health & ease,
I don't know about you, but I'm late to the planning party this year.
Normally by February, I've engaged in my visioning process for the upcoming year and am on my way to moving toward my goals. This year, however, not so much.
Like so many other folks, 2020 left me feeling deflated and at times just plain stuck. So I've been easing my way into this new year, tending to those feelings with radical self-compassion, while also wrapping my mind around how to set meaningful goals in such uncertain times.
What I've come to is that to make plans, to set goals or intentions or pursue dreams right now, it requires a heightened degree of creativity, flexibility and openness in how these goals are met, as well as how quickly. But that doesn't mean we can't begin moving toward them. In fact, by navigating the process in a more fluid way, we are opening ourselves to opportunity instead of focusing on limiting factors. This is what is often referred to as "growth mindset."
So where to begin? Well, one of the exercises I regularly offer clients (and that I engage in myself), is that of daydreaming. I mean it! Despite what we may have been told as kids, daydreaming is valuable.
One way to engage in this practice is to set aside some quiet time in a comfy space. Ask yourself, what do you want your ideal day or month or year to look like? Shut your eyes and let your imagination do its thing. How do you feel? What spaces are you in? How do you fill your days? What colors, smells, textures, symbols or literal images come to mind?
Another way to begin is by utilizing tarot cards to access your intuition in this planning process. Before shuffling the cards, ask yourself : What is the highest wisdom available to me for the coming year? Note your response to the cards, your own associations and if it feels appropriate you can research the traditional meanings. If tarot is new to you, feel free to check out my blog post about therapeutic tarot.
From here, I suggest externalizing what you envisioned either through writing in detail or creating a visual representation - a drawing, vision board or sculpture are all possibilities. Lately, I've been encouraging clients to utilize Pinterest to make vision boards if they want a more portable vision board to glance at.
Once you've got the vision, the goal setting becomes easier and more fun! For instance, if what you want is to feel energized, take a moment to list out a few enjoyable actions you can take to help cultivate that feeling. If what you want is to travel (and physically that is not possible at the moment), perhaps you are actively putting aside funds to be prepared for when you are able or you're learning a new language or reading about cultures and taking virtual tours.
I will add here that no matter what your goal or intention, it is very helpful to schedule in your action items so your calendar is reflecting the life you're intending to cultivate. Even if it's just a half hour here and 20 minutes there, scheduling activities and tasks that are meaningful to us help create a feeling of living on purpose, with purpose.
As poet Mary Oliver wrote, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
I really do want to know.
Till next time, wishing you health & ease,