Unhappiness can occur when people are not living their lives in a way that is congruent with their authentic selves. This is what I have learned after providing psychotherapy to a diverse clientele for over 20 years.
Also, I've noticed many people get stuck on the proverbial "hamster wheel" of life--an endless cycle of work and household responsibilities and obligations. Seldom do they pause to reflect about who they really are or why they do what they do. The lack of deeper meaning or connection to their work and life roles causes them to shift into autopilot--a state of unconsciousness and stagnation. They become disconnected from their true selves, their relationships and even the world around them.
A man came to me recently for counseling--an educated, articulate, likable guy in his 40s. He'd never seen a therapist before and wasn't quite sure what to expect. He hated his lucrative job but felt stuck in a pair of "golden handcuffs" because he has a family to support. He reported his wife was unhappy that he doesn't help more with tasks at home--they bicker and had become emotionally and sexually disconnected. He felt badly about himself at work and home. Some bright moments with his children seemed to keep him trudging along. Having cocktails with colleagues a few days a week was apparently the way he coped with his stress, disappointment, and loneliness. It seemed hard for him to even identify his feelings, let alone express them in session. He appeared boxed-in by fears, self-limiting beliefs, and all the thoughts of what he "should" be doing and feeling... It was if he had shut down and lost his voice years ago--twenty years ago, to be specific...
Sadly, I see this scenario frequently in my practice. It's my deep honor and pleasure to help people:
- Reconnect with their true selves through "mirroring" how I see and understand them, their strengths & unique gifts.
- Re-engage their important relationships via empathy, authenticity, vulnerability & open/effective communication.
- Rebalance their lives with hobbies and leisure through the setting of healthy boundaries and time management.
- Refuel themselves through self-care practices and making them a top priority.
- Realign their work with their greatest gifts and life mission through positive thinking, tapping into their courage, and engaging in proactive behaviors.
- Revitalize their passion for the great gift of life by practicing gratitude and connecting with their essence or spirit.
- What a gift to help people recover and awaken! I love my life's work....
I recommend the following to free yourself and live an authentic and amazing life:
1. Let your inner light be your guide. Connect with the fire inside your heart through quiet reflection, meditation or prayer. Consult the wisdom of your heart-center when you are faced with important choices and decisions.
2. Be your highest self. Remember who you used to be before your thinking limited you. Remember who you wanted to be long ago. Live as this aspect of self. Detach from your ego and connect with the authenticity deep within.
3. Let go of patterns and relationships that no longer serve you. Let go of unnecessary guilt and anxiety. Surround yourself with those who love you, believe in you, and want the best for you.
4. Speak your truth. Find your voice and use your words. Express yourself. If what you are saying is spoken from a place of truth and positive intention, do not censor or limit yourself. The truth will set you free and you will watch yourself blossom.
5. Open your mind. Tell your inner critic to buzz-off, as we are all our worst critics. Let go of judgement and exercise compassion for self and others. Nurture creativity. Dream big. Expand your thinking--the sky is the limit!
6. Open your heart. Let down the walls you think are protecting you, as they are only limiting you and your connections with others. Open your heart to giving and receiving the love you deserve.
7. Connect with your gut. Rely more on your intuition and less on your mind as your compass. The mind is overrun by ego, whereas the gut houses your uncensored feelings about your relationships.
8. Free your spirit. Sing, dance, play, stretch, move, make music, create art, breathe, laugh and cry freely.
9. Tap into your strength. The world wants you to be joyous. Everyone who loves you in this world and beyond wants you to succeed. Your thoughts are what is limiting you. Shift your thoughts to those that empower you to live the life you want. Access the support of your higher power.
10. Recognize synchronicity. Look for the spiritual web of connection between people and events in your life. Understand this is the way the universe gently nudges and guides you towards your greatest destiny.
11. Understand you are of the greatest service to those you love when you are happy and well. You and your life are sacred. It is your primary responsibility to care for yourself with great love. When you do this, your capacity for loving and caring for others will be strengthened, not diminished.
12. Choose love over fear. Reflect on the wisdom of Elisabeth Kubler Ross, "There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It's true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it's more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They're opposites. If we're in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we're in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear."
13.Live courageously. Ask yourself, "What would I do if I were not afraid?" Take risks (the fear of rejection is ego-based and limiting.) Expand your comfort zone (it's normal to be nervous; do it anyway.) Be open to new experiences (live a great life.)
14. Practice gratitude. Train your mind to see the good part in everything. See the goodness, the beauty, the kindness, the light, the love, and the joy.
15. Celebrate the awesome gift of life. Honor yourself and the life you have been given by committing to living an authentic and amazing life. Live each and every day to the fullest.
It takes effort to live authentically. Remember we are all works in progress. Strive each day to live consciously. You will reap tremendous rewards and blessings as you watch the unfolding of your greatest life.
"Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it." -- Buddha
Twitter: @Joyce_Marter and @Urban_Balance
Websites: www.joyce-marter.com and www.urbanbalance.com
Facebook: Joyce Marter, LCPC and Urban Balance
Free Webinar! Advanced Private Practice: Take Your Practice to the Next Level Get one month free at TherapySites with PromoJM.