As a psychotherapist, Life Coach and Yoga Teacher, I can say that I am in the healing profession. Besides “Do No Harm”, which is part of the ethics of my occupations, I also believe in sharing with whom I am working with at the time, the importance of “selfless service” or ,Seva as its called in India. It doesn’t come as easy as you might think. Everyone struggles with there their inner judge and prejudices. Doing service the way my organization “Under the Bridges and on the Streets” does, is not for everybody. However if your really serious about including it in your life, as a therapist, life coach and yoga teacher I would encourage you greatly. “The Frangrance remains in the hand that gives the rose.” Ghandhi
This short piece on the following link is how I and our volunteers bring balance in our lives.
John Shinavier, MA, Executive Director of “Under the Bridges and on the Street”.
After a couple of hours of distributing the 70 plus bag lunches to the homeless, we were finished. Now on our way home I asked a friend who had come along to help, how she was feeling. Kate, an influential lawyer, shows up regularly whenever our group of volunteers make lunches for the homeless population of Los Angeles.
“I feel such gratitude. I realize in giving out lunches how much I’ve been holding onto from the previous week. It’s so incredible, you should write a blog about it.” I heard her window slide open, and glanced in my rear-view mirror at her relaxed face taking in the breeze from the freeway, as if she were leaning into the wind aboard a swift sailboat. Could you clarify, I asked?
“Write about how doing service cures anxiety,” her tone suggested my lack of insight in her change of mood. “It works, now you write it!” She closed her eyes in serene bliss and gave over to whatever fantasy the wind and the sun on her face were stirring up.
The above clearly illustrates to me what I have taken for granted in the twenty plus years doing small selfless acts of humanitarian relief. I often forget, but witness countless friends and strangers all saying the same thing, that when they serve someone else, with no thought of getting anything back, their anxiety about their own lives is forgotten in that moment. Sometimes, these good feelings will last well into the following week.
Rather than go into a whole psychological treatise and alienate a lot of people, I’d just like to summarize the following. I observe that when someone looks beyond their own discomfort and helps someone who is hungry or suffering and lacking in what most take for granted and then follow up with an exchange be it a meal, a blessing, a hug or something else they may need, the universe will hand them back their own suffering hearts now filled to the brim with good feelings.
We’ve all done it; made resolutions bonded by the power of a clock that strikes twelve times at midnight of a New Year. It’s all well-meaning to attempt to change, but to launch that change at a time when perfect strangers, in drunken revelry try to maul you, is just bad timing. Your going to fail and hopefully you’ve kept these resolutions to yourself.
Besides the word resolution as defined in Merriam Webster means: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.. The word that you mean to use is solve, which means: to find a way to deal with and end (a problem).
I vote to amend the date for transformation to the second day of the New Year and not the first. By then your head is clearing up, the pressure is off, and no one cares what you want to change in your life since they have been silenced by their own shame in not keeping their own hopelessly flawed resolutions.
So, worry not about starting anything on the first of any month, much less the first of any new year. You have a few more days to shamelessly act out and lie to yourself that the first day of the New Year you will be reborn like the Phoenix through the fires of a night of professionally making an ass of yourself.
Cut yourself a break as well as, the rest of us who are tired of hearing what you need to change in yourself to get the life that you deserve. The last part of that sentence is a lie in itself. What you deserve is a healthy dose of common sense to go after what ever you think will make you happy and rely less on the statement itself, which sounds like the drunken ravings of a Narcissist!
“Happy New Year”
John J Shinavier, MA, Life Coach, Therapist [please use the following poll or rate the article. It helps me help you.
As a therapist / Life Coach that enjoys helping people reach their goals and re-animate their lives. Therapy can be exciting if you are so worn out from hitting the same familiar wall over and over again. You can perhaps find relief by reaching out to someone who has experience in these matters and can oversee your big picture.
Age sometimes has a lot to do with how much a person can attempt to change their situation. Regardless of age there are some who still retain the mental and emotional flexibility to make changes. I’d like to think when younger in their prime and faced with a challenge they charged into it gladly. Now so many years later they are willing, but need a little push.
Years pass and experiences have been harvested and processed. Choices may have been made to avoid, reject or jump in feet first to what life demanded. Optimism, that battery that continues to be drained, needs a tune-up. Belief in oneself has perhaps drifted apart from intuition and needs to be connected again.
If any of the above resonates with you, then be aware that your not alone in this. Without consciously being aware of it, we’ve hunkered down, and held tightly to what we have known, keeping anything unfamiliar out. Distrust has taken the place of optimism. Another way to clarify this condition is that our pain, depression, and anxiety is known and therefore there are no surprises. It has a kind of fuzzy comfort to it. What I hear as a response to questions requiring change is; “That’s not a problem, I’m fine with the way things are.”
Once we identify what is holding them back (image of self, deeply flawed belief systems etc.), then the choices come into sharp focus and they either will continue in therapy or cease attending.
In pondering, as I do after a client has left, what else I could have said that could have made them more of a warrior in their own process, what intervention, what sage advice could I have given? I then realize my own limitations in the time that I have had with them and can only hope that they return.
What I would like to impart to a client resistant to change would be : “You have a year left to live, now be honest with yourself, nothing stands in your way.”
John Shinavier, MA, RYT, Life Coach [please take a moment and rate the blog with a star or two. By leaving me your E mail and a response to a blog, it helps me help you more specifically.
Working with clients that are plagued by depression, as well as having a life long relationship with it myself, I think I can speak with some experience as to the effects that it can have on one’s life. For myself, I found that living without treating ” it”, was a huge waste of time. Depression, among other side effects, can stop one from getting on with the life that they want.
Because of licensing agreements, most therapists cannot discuss one antidepressant against another with clients. This is, as they say, a doctors field of expertise. I have often found the local Pharmacist to have more time and more information when comparing the side effects of say Prozac or Lexepro to a potential consumer, than a doctor who doesn’t have the time for such a discussion.
So, hopefully, without too many changes of medication, you find the one that works for you. It gives you choices, that months prior to taking the medication you never thought that you had. It raises your tolerance and enjoyment of life. You have hope and dreams that now don’t seem all that impossible to achieve.
What I’ve yet to find is an easily understandable discussion or article that illuminates what a client who is beginning to feel better should explore while in this new state of awareness.
More specifically, I will address the tools that a client might work towards acquiring, while they are on an antidepressant that is working for them. Because I myself have plateaued on these drugs, and have, over the years taken myself off of them as an experiment to see, if, in the absence of taking them, I can continue to “live free” of the medication. I have learned that the more I have practiced using newly acquired tools while on the medication, there stands a very good chance that I will rely on them more as I get older, rather the antidepressant.
For this blog I will simplify, rather than expand on what each behavioral change can do for a client, by using bullet points. While on an antidepressant a person should:
Go back to school, or explore another field of interest.
Return phone calls*
Change their diet
If one or all of these resonate with you, than this article is dedicated to you. All have proven to increase a persons mood and range of feelings about themselves and the world they live in. [*Returning phone calls is a personal one, and is more linked to the amount of internal energy that I had, once on a medication.] If you were never disciplined before, than now is your chance to bring this into your life with a vengeance. More than anything else a disciplined person is one who no longer procrastinates but uses their time well. If you have been depressed most of your life discipline does not come easy. It’s not something you can take for granted. You’ve possibly spent more of your life depressed than not, which makes the above points even more important to adopt into your new lifestyle.
The flip-side of taking an antidepressant that relieves the symptoms of depression for a client, is that it can fuel addictions just as it can fuel a structured healthy life. It can make them more reliant on a partner, since the basic depth of darkness is no longer their daily companion. They can choose not to adopt any of the above tools and become dependent on other prescription drugs to fine-tune their days. The only problem with this choice is that there is a shelf life, as we all know, to any drug that is taken on a daily basis.
I hope that I have not only illuminated what the effects can have on one that is no longer depressed, plus a few of the tools to implement for any future battles with the dark one.
John Shinavier, MA, RYT, Life Coach Please take a moment and rate this blog by pressing the stars at the top of the blog. Thank You..To receive a new blog follow me.
You’ve been out of work for a long or a short time. You’ve been afraid to think that you would never work again, now you have actually secured a face to face interview. You might have lost your confidence while trolling through job site after job site and cleaning the house before the wife comes home. You don’t know who you’ve turned into, but whoever you were a few years back, you’re not the same man.
Somehow your resume, after numerous re-writes, has garnered the attention of someone in the position to hire you. You don’t know whether to cry in relief or rush out and charge a new suit to wear to the interview.
It might be as much as a decade since you went through this vetting process and your awkwardness may throw you off while you’re giving your 30 second summary of why this company should hire you? What should you do?
Barring everything else you should practice your opener with your wife/husband/partner, coach or a peer whose opinion you respect. You’ve been out of circulation for a while and much has changed.
This morning I was coaching a very talented middle aged man for exactly this scenario. He has worked sporadically, his wife is pregnant, and he definitely wants to be secure in a company for at least five or more years having gone through their savings and a few loans from relatives. He had all it took to land this job and he rehearsed in front of me, I didn’t believe him and what he was trying to pitch me.
Clearly my office is an artificial setting but the stakes were too high for him to walk into an employer’s office without some practice. Throughout the 90 minute session he learned a lot.
Assuming that you’re wearing a suit that fits you well and shoes that are comfortable and
Polished . If you are sweating make sure your hands are dry, forget the rest. Real men sweat.
Read up on the company. You may be able to bring that knowledge into your pitch. This knowledge is expected.
Before you leave your car, take a few very deep breaths, this will calm you.
Be “on” as soon as you leave your car, say “Good morning” to any strangers who you may pass. (Anyone could be working in your boss’s office.) This removes your attention off your nerves and on to someone else.
Instill in yourself the time in your life when you felt powerful.
Check your posture. Stop bending forward, hold your head up. Now you look great!
Remember, the interviewer might take a phone call or interrupt you. Don’t let this throw you.
A firm handshake and good eye contact as you’re introduced.
Don’t let yourself get lost in a large couch or chair, sit on the edge of it with your back straight.
Start with your strongest goals that you reached in your last job. (this says you already know time management and how to work well within a group)
Everything that you say from then on should be from the angle of “This is what I bring to the table”.
If he doesn’t ask you if you have any questions, ask him if he has any questions about you.
It’s over. There may be more interviews or this one could be it. It’s not important. You’ve done your best, and you should be proud of yourself. Most of the time, it’s a crap-shoot anyway. How you were in the interview is all you got. The rest is out of your hands.
Just read up on the company that you’re interviewing for, and how your skill set would be a fit there. Good Luck!