Everyone has a story.
I just love hearing people's stories, their life journey, and what made them who they are today. For whatever reason, I find people fascinating. Maybe it's because, despite the over 7 billion people on the Earth today, each one has their own unique story, their own experiences that have colored their world and made them different from everyone else. Experiences that impacted them in some way enough to shift their mind set, creating beliefs, morals, ethics, truths, and opinions. Everyone has a story, and I haven't yet met a person who didn't like telling it.
It's interesting to listen to people telling their story, and discover what they place importance on, what they hold as a priority, or consider a key point in their life. These moments of significance may change from day to day, depending on what is going on in their lives, what their mind was preoccupied with before they began telling their story, or who their audience is.
One of the aspects of my consultations involves listening to these stories. It helps me gain a perspective on what the individual is going through mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and how it is impacting them physically. My whole "thing" is nourishing the body, mind, and soul, so I make it a point to address all three areas when we meet. Everyone's focus is different, and some may need more support mentally and emotionally than they do spiritually and physically, or the other way around, and that's totally ok. That's what I'm hear for. I think it sometimes surprises new clients when we end up talking extensively about emotional issues, and they leave their first appointment feeling like they had a therapy session.
Emotional health is important!
I place such a big emphasis on mental and emotional health because it ties in so closely with physical health. There have been numerous research studies for many, many years now showing how closely the mind is tied to the body. And while it is not impossible to heal the body without addressing the mind as well, it's much more difficult to really truly progress and heal completely.
Everyone goes through stress and various experiences that have a negative impact on our emotional state. It's part of being human and living in an imperfect world. And with the invention of news, social media, and the internet, we have a hard time avoiding negativity. People need emotional outlets and support. It's in our basic DNA as social creatures. Unfortunately, as a society we are inept at providing these outlets, and are taught from a very young age that we should suppress negative and extreme emotions because it is not socially acceptable to display these emotions. Thus we've created a culture of adults who no longer know how to process their feelings, and end up exploding them all over the wrong people at the wrong time and at the wrong place, sometimes in the form of violence.
Feelings are ok.
It is my job to help people understand that their feelings, ALL of their feelings and emotions are valid and acceptable. And to help them find an appropriate outlet to express them, one that suits their needs, personality, preferences, and wishes. I'm not going to recommend a kickboxing class to my 90 year old Grandma who occasionally gets frustrated with Grandpa's hearing impairment. But I might suggest it to a young person who has built up resentment towards a parent or sibling (along with some visualization techniques and other methods).
Addressing our old and current traumas is very important to life long health. When we suppress these emotions and don't deal with them, they (sometimes literally) eat away at us, from the inside out. Digging up old traumas is no fun at all, trust me. There's a reason we suppressed those emotions in the first place. It's not pleasant. But it IS necessary.
I don't force anyone to deal with their issues. We talk a bit and if the conversation heads organically in that direction, I let it go there. Sometimes people have deeper seeded issues that are beyond the scope of my practice and I will refer them out for more extensive therapy. But I have plenty of tissues, and a listening ear when they do want to talk. And tons of ideas on how to begin their healing journey. The reward is so worth it when they are able to truly move on and find healing.