The Dutch version of this story will appear on my website soon. My webdesigner and I are working on a way to make it a little less bulky. Last February, I announced that I had worked out a schematic approach to my vision about how people grow and change and how I can help them with this as a coach and counselor. Here is the extended version:
Each of us has the (latent) urge to lead a meaningful life. Sometimes this happens all by itself. But most of us find ourselves tied up (at least once) in a life that is directed by the needs of others, not our own needs. At the same time, we see things happening in the world that make us feel sad or angry. We try to do something about it but don’t know how. And, in the center of our lives, is always the need to give and receive love. That and the need to discern between that which nourishes us and that which doesn’t.
Sooner or later, we become confused. And this confusion is always the first sign of something new emerging. I have worked this out, schematically, on a wheel. This wheel is an age-old symbol for the continuous cycle of live and change: day and night, the seasons, the rhythm of the moon, etc. In the East, where the sun rises each morning, confusion and the need to change something can emerge in one’s life.
If you want to do something about the confusion, the next step can be to ask someone for help and work out goals for this together. You could also try and solve this without help. But then you won’t meet me in the role of coach. So in this schematic approach, I am assuming that you will come to me for help. And sometimes it’s a good thing to admit that you can’t do everything by yourself…
You are now very much in the process of change and nothing feels stable. An important step to take now is to honor your pain, fear, sorrow, anger, or other emotions that awaken in you. We all want to live without pain and strong emotions. So we hide the emotions, stick a Band-Aid on them, look for healing. But these emotions are your guides on the path towards growth and change. I use focusing, mindfulness, Systemic Ritual® and other methods to help you be with this pain without it overwhelming you.
On your path towards wholeness, you will learn to accept your shadow. Your shadow is that part of you (and you usually have more than one) that you are convinced is not you! For instance, you are someone who goes out of their way to support and care for others. Somewhere, deep inside, there is a part of you who wants to be very selfish and just look out for Number One. This sub-personality may haunt your dreams or you may find yourself disliking someone intensely who seems selfish and self-serving. Perhaps you suddenly act like this when you’re feeling especially vulnerable and you think, How did that happen? I’m never like this! Learning to see your shadows and to understand how they bring balance into your life is an important step. I can help you with this, using dream work, active imagination, Voice Dialogue, and body work.
It’s also essential to learn to accept your gifts. We tend to only concentrate on that which is wrong with us. We usually see our qualities, those things that are very right with us, reflected in the people we admire. But these qualities are the gifts we have to offer the world. So, using dream work, active imagination, Voice Dialogue, and body work, I can help you learn to accept your gifts.
And once we have learned to accept ourselves as we are, we can start making important choices in our lives. Choosing to leave that mind-deadening job or maybe stepping into the challenging job you weren’t sure you were good enough for. Ending a relationship that is hurting you or maybe daring to start a relationship. You make your own choices. I can be a sounding board, a mirror, so that you understand and accept the consequences of the choice.
And so you start walking your own path in life. You have something to offer the world, your own, unique sound.
And this is the point that you find rest. Well-deserved rest from all the confusion and need to change yourself. You can just be. Until the moment comes that the cycle begins anew…