At a recent coffee with my friend, a hard working, also highly accomplished person, exclaimed, with much frustration, “What I want is ‘over there’ and I’m ‘here.’ How do I get what I want?!”
My business is mostly about helping people get where they want to go. They have desires and hurdles to overcome in order to fulfill them. I have a natural tendency to become easily bored and have an itch to do the next thing, achieve something or create something and become easily frustrated ‘getting there.’ The two most helpful practices for anyone, myself included are: 1) Be Where You Are and 2) Tell your story
1) The quickest, most effective way to get where you want to go is to Be Where You Are. This is the most frustrating practice for most folks, me included. We truly believe we can effectively rush and skip steps to arrive where we want to without adjustments and experiencing growing/changing pains. But noticing and experiencing are precisely the processes that are teaching you how you get ‘there’ and ‘be’ the person you need to be when you do. The example my daughter likes to use is; If you are interested in a University level subject, you have to learn everything in Grades 1 – 12 first. You might get to skip a grade, but If you try to skip today’s classes, you arrive unprepared for the next, higher classes.
The most helpful thing for Sharon, in our session, was her realizing that she was resisting what it will take for her to potentially meet a partner. In fact, Sharon saw that much of her self-improvement motivation was to avoid facing her resistance. We did no further ‘work.’ Sharon will spend some time just noticing her resistance thoughts and actions. Realization and understanding is a great first ‘be where you are’ step for Sharon.
2) Tell Your Story
People are becoming increasingly isolated. Being connected to our devices, even though we think we are connected to our people, is not fulfilling our innate need for interdependence. Talking directly to a friend or relative does so much good for us physiologically. It keeps us healthy in so many ways. The most important part of telling your story to someone, especially a few consistent someones – a best friend, sibling, parent, coach, therapist, etc. – is that you can track your story. You and they can see your progress or where you are stuck. This kind of self-awareness, self-reflection has been and continues to be the practice that has helped me the most. I have a few close friends and some health practitioners that keep me from slipping into, what is for me, habitual negative thinking patterns. Writing/journaling are great beginner steps if you are not ready for the intimacy/trust of sharing with another.
With my friend, at coffee, I was able to give her examples of how far she’d come, how much progress she had made since the last time we’d talked. She, like all of us, is so busy inside of her own experience she has not noticed the incremental, yet accumulative steps that have helped her progress toward her desires.
The therapist I visited recently was very adamant that I acknowledging how much work I have put into my mental health and how much progress I’ve made. She also stressed the importance of sharing my story with others, because you never know who may be helped by it—another significant and important reason for sharing your story.
And that, dear ones, is why I write today. You may find help with finding your progress through your own struggles here: "Depression Your Personal Message."