In my work as a psychotherapist I often see individuals who are plagued by a relentless measuring of themselves. These people carry on an internal dialogue whereby their critical voice is enslaving; judging and measuring most aspects of their lives. In such circumstances, these people rarely get to be present. Even when in conversation with others, they are only partly there; for a more private aspect is carrying on a self-critique at the same time.
The passing of Tim Russert inspired a very unqiue and extraordinary response in so many of us. He truly integrated so many core features of a life well lived. His balance, expressed through his passion, incorporated his zeal for his profession, his friends and of course, his family. One aspect didn’t suffer for his attention to another. This is a gift well worth emulating. And a lesson, perhaps, in the art of living well. The word, integrity is often used to describe Mr. Russert. Integrity suggests a quality of wholeness, or a lack of splintering or fragmenting. His life was devoted to such qualities of wholeness.
What we refer to as our comfort zone becomes at times not quite so comfortable, as it is familiar. Old habits and behaviors that we struggle to transcend become impeded by the barriers of this comfort zone; which I now more aptly refer to as the familiar zone.
Typically, moving out of the familiar zone causes us disquiet if not outright distress or anxiety.When asked why we don’t engage the changes that we claim we seek, a common response that I encounter is, “It makes me anxious,” or “I feel uncomfortable doing that.” From this perspective we might consider that we need to shift our relationship with the discomfort.
Certainty and predictability, the dominant motifs of Newton’s worldview are deeply rooted in our culture and in our thinking. These deterministic features are sought after and prized. We base our lives upon such predictability and they provide for most people a sense of comfort and security.
Ironically, this is not only a false security, but moreover a self-limiting philosophy that impoverishes our lives. Certainty dulls our life experience, for not knowing the result in advance begs us to be present and mindful.
Emergent Thinking (R) is a transformative process that I have developed to assist people in their personal evolution and self-actualization. The foundation of this approach is based very simply upon learning to utilize and integrate many of the remarkable discoveries of the emerging sciences (quantum physics, complexity theory). I do so by bringing the academic loftiness of these sciences into a useful, practical everyday approach.
Mel Schwartz Psychotherapy & Marriage Counseling • 246 Post Road East, Suite 275 Westport, CT 06880
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