From Surviving to Thriving: Finding the Joy in Your Life
- Do you have a nagging feeling that there must be more to life?
- Have you reached your goals and feel like something is still missing?
- Are you surviving, but not thriving?
You met all of your big goals. You have a good home, a good career, and a family you love. Your friends are supportive and you take your vacations every year. Your health is okay. Everything is going well enough. Why does it feel like there should be more? What is missing? This vague sense that something is stuck can haunt you and make life feel grey and unsatisfying. When you've worked hard all of your life to get to where you are, but it feels empty, the satisfaction bleeds away. You handle problems well and go through the motions of life. It looks like you've succeeded but it feels vaguely disappointing.
You try yoga, go on retreats, read the spiritual books and self-help websites. You've had your astrological chart interpreted and had a psychic tell you about your life. Maybe you started attending church groups and reading the bible every day in a search for meaning. It feels good for a short time, but fades away. Maybe you've tried medication to lift the malaise, but it does not help. Your friends tell you not to worry so much and your family worries that you might depressed. You read up on the symptoms and they almost fit, but not quite. You aren't suicidal, after all. You are able to function in your life. It just feels like something is...missing.
This is the "next step" in your personal evolution
At some point in our lives, many of us reach our goals and wonder what comes next. When you've overcome the struggles, it can feel like life just coasts, with less pain, but without Joy and fulfillment. We live in a problem-focused society. It's all about fixing anything that is wrong. There are few guidelines for living beyond that survival mindset. You've lived a successful life of facing obstacles and overcoming them. It feels good to beat the odds, but it doesn't satisfy you for long. You don't just want to survive anymore. You've succeeded at that. Now, you are ready to Thrive, to experience Joy and fulfillment.
You are ready for the next step. It's time to push past the limits of daily existence and experience each moment of life with Joy and Wonder. The human existence is full of beauty and despair, love and passion, profound moments and intimate interactions. Each of these moments can be fully experienced and savoured, like a fine meal. Life can feel full. When you discover your own unique brand of perception and creativity, you can use it to taste the world like never before. Your senses awaken and you see more, hear more, feel more, taste more, smell more. Colours are more amazing, food tastes fantastic, your love for your family becomes completely overwhelming and overflows from you. This step into a vibrant, full life requires courage on your part. You will have to open up and accept in order to receive the Gifts all around you. It can be incredibly frightening and you might wonder how to go about it, which is where I come in.
Grabbing your courage and taking that step
The development of Psychology was based on exactly this kind of journey. The study of the human mind grew out of a search for meaning and for growth. Pioneers like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Viktor Frankl all wrote about the search for understanding, meaning, and purpose. They discovered that the answers are found in the process of exploring. When you share your questions and struggles with someone who listens and understands, you feel better about life. When someone joins you on your journey, you can dive deeper and find that meaning. This is generally refered to as Depth Psychology. It's about the deeper, inner workings of the human psyche and it goes beyond healing illness and into the infinite world of the unconscious. It can be a dark journey, but it ultimately leads to more light than you have ever imagined.
Why you should take me along, as your guide
I begin each session with mindfulness practice. This helps both of us calm our minds and be present in the room together. It begins the journey in a safe, simple manner and gives you practice for incorporating mindfulness into your daily life.
My style is best described as compassionate, balanced action. Understanding how you got to where you are helps to satisfy the mind, but it does not create meaning because it addresses only the mind. When you grab your courage and listen to your heart, the world opens up in a new light. This can be fully realized and experienced by taking physical action and implementing certain actions, incorporating your body. Finally, engaging your spirit is essential in the pursuit of Joy and Fulfillment. This includes exploration into how you experience spirituality. It does not mean that you believe in God, or any diety at all. It just means that you begin to explore that sense of being part of something bigger, something more than the obvious. I call the integration and exploration of all of these aspects Wholistic Psychotherapy. Finding the right balance in these 4 areas of your life increases Joy and helps you thrive.
My clients tell me that they feel safe with me. This opens up communication so that we can work with even the most difficult, private issues as they arise. When you need a listening, caring ear, I am here. A good therapist will do more than listen, however, once you have expressed yourself. I will ask questions that lead you to deeper understanding, then push you to act on your insights so that your own actions prove to you that you are more capable and stronger than you ever imagined. My purpose is to support you and guide you through the process of exploring and discovering the best version of yourself.
I have always had a knack for helping people through their journey. I was drawn to psychology with the question of why people do what they do. Over time, this has evolved into appreciating the beauty of each, unique journey. In 1993, I started training a martial art called Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen, with the guidance of Mas Goeroe Aegong Barbara Niggel. I have continued to train in this martial art, using the lessons to improve my own mental, physical, and spiritual health. My formal psychological training began in 1997, when I started graduate school. I studied under a gifted depth psycholgost, taking part in a weekly meeting to discuss the deeper meanings and explorations of psychology. More recently, I participated in a 13 month seminar on Embodied Awareness, working closely with 12 other women to explore the parameters of Mind, Heart, Body, and Spirit. This work is deeply rewarding for me and I am always grateful for those who ask me to share their journey.
Therapy is too expensive.
How much are you worth? If life was about things like owning a home, having a job, and just surviving day to day, you would not feel the emptiness. Part of you knows that life is about much more. Are you worth that exploration?
When you take the time and spend the money to take care of yourself, everything in your life prospers, often including finances. As you develop your sense of Joy, you realize that the simple things are worth more than money ever could.
Sometimes, the reality is that your finances simply will not allow for regular, long-term therapy. That's okay because you have options.
- Health insurance often covers at least some of the cost. You simply pay me, then submit the receipts I give you for reimbursement from your insurance company.
- Free! 20-minute consultation. It is important that you find a therapist that fits you, but it can get expensive to pay full price to meet someone while you are shopping for the right therapist. I will gladly meet with you for a free 20 minute consultation so you can get an idea of how I work before paying anything.
- If we work together for a few sessions and you find it is helping, but cannot afford to continue paying the full fee, let me know and we can work together to find a solution that works for both of us.
- You can choose less frequent sessions. This usually means slower progress, but it can still be effective- and easier on your pocketbook.
- If you would like to pay for 10 sessions up front, I can give you a discount. Please note that your insurance will likely still want receipts for each session. They don't like paying a lump sum for a service that has not been utilized, yet.
I'm not crazy
You don't have to have a diagnosis in order to benefit from therapy. Everyone has times in their lives when they can use some extra guidance. When you have reached your measurable goals and are ready to find the meaning and Joy in your life, it helps to have an expert on your team. This isn't the kind of guidance you can get from just anywhere; it requires knowledge and experience to know which questions to ask you and where to lead so that you can find your path to Thriving.
You might find that it's getting more difficult to enjoy your life the way you want to, even though you are managing to survive. The question is, do you really want to live your life just getting by? Therapy can help you find your purpose, so that you can thrive in a life full of Joy.
It's your life. Are you ready to love it?