The Courage to Change

Posted on September 16th, 2012

In theory, it sounds easy. Conjure up a dream, the vision of a new life, and achieve it. In reality, there are always obstacles to overcome. One type of obstacle in particular can be quite difficult: the obstacle created by your past.

Childhood is an inherently risky time, due to our relative powerlessness. In childhood we all learn a great deal about how to protect ourselves and accommodate forces and situations beyond our control. We learn particularly how to avoid behavior which will result in our being punished or rejected or ridiculed or shamed. Much of this learning goes on without awareness, but it still can shape our behavior for decades to come.

Sometimes this shaping creates such risk aversion that we repeatedly delay pursuing our dreams and desires. We want something—career, marriage, pleasure, accomplishment—yet we avoid taking action to get it. Sometimes it means getting only a part of what we desire—we create the marriage we think we want, but it becomes an unhappy marriage. Sometimes this avoidance results in outsized accomplishments in one area of life while avoiding other areas—the successful careerist who never marries, or the mother of several children who doesn’t venture out into the world of work.

This may not be what we want, but it is what we create. It is as though we are in a trance, helpless to change—the trance of unawareness. So how can we awaken from the trance of unconsciously motivated, repetitious behavior and perception, and greet the present moment with fresh energy for productive change?

There are many disciplines, techniques, and methods for increasing our ability to stand more assuredly in the present moment, mindful of risks but not shut down by them. The therapy I provide is one of these methods, a simple and yet subtle method for paying closer attention to what is going on right in the moment, seeing how you entrance yourself and making changes now which can free you up for the life you actually want, not the one you’re living as a consolation prize.

Posted in Change

Please remember, this is a blog. It is not psychotherapy or treatment of any kind and is not a substitute for the individual treatment you can get from going to see a good therapist.