The Importance of Being in the Moment

Future thinking and past reflection certainly has its place in the process of self-betterment as well as moving forward in life.  We learn from what has happened to us, what we have experienced in our lives while looking to apply these lessons to our forward thinking goals.  However, there also exists a tendency to not reflect on where we are standing at this very moment.  And so much is lost when we neglect our current environment and what it can bring us.  People who are able to appreciate the present for the lessons and guidance that it carries are often able to be more at peace with painful experiences of the past while preventing themselves from becoming overwhelmed with all that may be coming down the future roads.  Being in the moment means a sense of being grounded and secure.  Take in what is surrounding you right now…the chair you are in, the light coming through the window in front of you, even the very breath in and out of your body.  Becoming aware of such simple things in the moment provides a temporary place of fewer distractions and deeper thinking.  Great contemplation can result from such a simple meditative process.  By giving your place in the present its just due, you facilitate the path between the lessons of the past and opportunities of the future in a way that will make being in the moment a place you will strive to be.

Namaste!

Advertisements
Standard

“But I Don’t Need Therapy!”

Who does?  Well, maybe a small number of us truly need to be in the therapeutic process, maybe for the safety of self and/or others.  Many times, though, individuals walk through their therapist’s door to find themselves sitting face to face with the thought, “Why am I here?”  This is actually an important question that should take place, not only at the beginning of the therapeutic journey, but many times along the way.  Failing to consider this question often results in the patient not being able to convey their pain nor their goals to the therapist in a workable way.  This can lead to the patient feeling like the therapist doesn’t understand him or her, that this endeavor was a big waste of effort, and perhaps to not return another time.

Sit with yourself and concentrate on identifying the origin of your discomfort and discontent.  From where is it coming?  From that exploration, you should find it easier to devise goals that are meaningful and worth the effort to you.  This will provide your therapist with the necessary tool to help guide you in your healing…and make it worth it for you to return another time.

Namaste!

Standard

Natural Aggression in Childhood

2013-12-04 18.43.44

The recent spate of shootings in malls, schools, on the streets and in theaters has everyone from psychiatrists to mothers and fathers wondering and worrying. Questions frequently include; what is happening in society that this is occurring, what is happening with our children that this is occurring, and what can be done to curb the tide of the seemingly endless episodes of violence by youth in the United States. Processes to deal with troubled children range from alternative schools to mainstreaming, from medication to therapy. Another such remedy has been more of a Band-Aid than one that truly addresses any deeper issues is the so-called “zero tolerance” policy that has been applied to schools, community centers, and most places public and private. This involves bringing the hammer down on any child that engages in “expressions of aggression”. These, of course, are judged subjectively by adults, both trained and not. It can range from suspension for true violence (hitting, threatening, displaying weapons) to some pretty liberal interpretations; one such example is an elementary school student being suspended for pointing a chicken tender in the (somewhat) shape of a gun and saying “pow pow”. The first thing that should be noted is this: Both sets of actions earned the same general consequence. The question is this; is that reasonable? Does a 2nd grader, in a flight of imagination, really rise to the level of a 15 year old bringing a switch blade to school or a middle schooler writing a threatening letter to a classmate. Does this not de-value, if you will, the more extreme acts to treat them the same as a child make-believing a rifle out of a tree branch while playing cowboys and Indians on the school playground?

What kind and amount of aggression is normal to childhood development? After all, aggression is, to some degree, part of the natural state of humans. Aggression may very well have been designed by evolution for our very survival. So, if this theory is accepted, by attempting to quash all things aggressive in childhood are we not forcing children to develop in an unnatural state? Aggressive play is observed in the young of almost all species. It is during this play that the young learn what is acceptable in regards to aggression and what is not. We are not giving our own children in our own species the same learning opportunities. Instead, we have designed an artificial system that attempts to completely repress a natural part of the human make-up. When the aggression does finally have the opportunity to bubble to the surface untested and unabated, the result can be explosive. These children and teens are now expressing their aggression without any guidance, teaching, or understanding of social expectations. Aggression, like most things in early human development, must be recognized and guided-not repressed and ignored. To continue to do so will remain at our own peril.

Namaste!

Standard