Antidote – a rich internal life

Seth Godin, former dot com business executive and author, said,

Instead of wondering when our next vacation is, we should set up a life we don’t need to escape from.

What a challenge!

A rich internal life is an antidote to the pervading sense of dread and anxiety that we come across each day. When we are in touch with the richness of our internal life, we will no longer be dependent on an external life for escape.

The present external life

No matter where you are on this quest of setting up a life which you don’t want to escape from, you’re likely experiencing a degree of disappointment and dejection in the current environment. The prospect of the next vacation is bleak, and international travel almost non-existent.

Where do you go now, when options to escape from a high-stress or dissatisfied life are narrower than before? The distractions you allow yourself as consolations or rewards, the activities you indulge in to remind yourself that the way you live is worthwhile indeed, the activities you attend as temporary anesthesia – they are now severely reduced.

Even the most outward focused of us are compelled to reconsider our options. We now must find our respite from our work and in our home, and to maintain our sense of connection and belonging within a smaller social group.

Why an internal life?

This is the epoch to return to our internal life. 

It is time to return to greater appreciation of introspection, depth and meaning. It is necessary especially when we have to keep our own company more often than before.

And this internal life can be scary. Consciously or otherwise, many of us have taken quite resolute steps to not peek into this space while others have been oblivious to the need for it. And many more are tapping into it to varying degrees.

Where are you?

An internal life is the world within us, encompassing the mental and emotional spaces and spiritual by nature.

A rich internal life means you are self-aware and clear about your values, and well-equipped to manage your emotions. It means you have a calm and focused mind, with optimal level of resilience. 

To attain a rich internal life

Here are the preconditions to having a rich internal life:

  • time alone – in this place where  you are not performing nor entertained, and you are required to keep yourself company. 
  • independence – you must do this exploration and interrogation of your internal life on your own; no amount of discussion with close family and friends will assist in a resolution, in fact it may be counter-productive. Take time to nurture your ability to comfort, discipline, inspire, educate and entertain yourself.

Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is and pass some time in his own company. ~ Seneca

  • curiosity – and here, you will give yourself permission to explore all aspects of yourself, the desirables and the undesirables. Let your imagination and fantasies take flight.
  • focus – you will spend time making friends with your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Learn to discipline your thoughts, and to choose what you pay attention to. Most importantly, focus and choose your daily behaviours and habits. They matter.

Remember that at any given moment there are a thousand things you can love.  ~ David Levithan

Necessary growth

When we emerge from the current environmental restrictions, will we be more aware? Will we know ourselves better? Will we like ourselves better?

This is the growth to aspire to. 

© Transfigure Therapy 2020

 

Finding fulfillment in your work

I facilitate growth, whether personal or professional.

This is the simple answer to the question I get asked often, “what does a psychotherapist or coach do?”

This is then followed by, “why do you do it?” Because it makes me happy, which of course begs the question, “but why?”

Clients have come to me wanting to know how to make their life “right”, to be happy or how to make the right career decisions, how to climb the mountain in their way, how to achieve certain career goals, how to feel less discontent, how to overcome their malaise… And yes, there are interventions, techniques and strategies which I employ.

And in their questionings, there is one thing underpinning the multitude of wants or desires – it is to move on, to be unstuck, to grow.

Every client at some point in their journey with me expresses the need

  • to experience being alive in their everyday life,
  • to feel a sense of accomplishment in their personal or professional life, or
  • to know there is a reason, the why, to their existence.

This is to find their raison d’être.

I am the sounding board which provides a safe space for clients to  give voice to their life – past, present and future.  I am the mirror upon which they see who and what they are and could be. Clients test out and then spread their wings so to stretch beyond what they know, to explore and take some risks which they are emotionally or psychologically ready or prepared to take.

When the necessary conditions are created, when there is fertile soil, the growing will happen. Each person’s growth is unique. There is no comparison.

This work that I do (which is echoed in my other life as an educator) – to create, to lift, to give others the necessary tools, to give them space to explore and find their way, to create systems or conditions which motivate them to be better versions of themselves – is my raison d’être.

The immeasurable privilege of being able to hold space for another, to be a repository of another’s story, to be an agent of another’s personal or professional growth is second to none.

Social reformation or organizational change always begins with the individual. My work means much and has greater ramifications. Within it, I find great joy and fulfillment.

Find your raison d’être. Seek work so you can live it. There is your fulfillment.

 

© Transfigure Therapy 2020

What’s more than a book group?

I love books, and reading. I love where books take me.

In my psychotherapy work, books and poetry become my tools. 

Yet  sometimes with the responsibilities of home, parenting and work, reading for leisure takes a back seat. In fact, it can feel like a luxury dabbled with a little guilt, as we take time away from the “shoulds” of our lives.

I know (as you do) that self-development or personal growth or “dealing with my stuff” is helpful not just for myself but also to those with whom I come in contact. I cannot give when empty.

I need to give myself permission to grow, to work on being my best self. Only then can I be in  my best self with others.

No better time than now, as we are required to stay home and some of the “shoulds” have been taken from us. Maybe there’s a little time saved from our daily work commute. Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to but can’t justify the time. This may not even be at the top of your leisure list but being restricted from the outside world, this is a pleasurable option. 

Come join me, (a psychotherapist trained in group facilitation and an avid book-reader) in an online book group which serves the purpose of leisure and personal development. 

Stories can shape your lives. Here, you may come upon your tribe. You may gather some new insights. You may experience a certain liberation. 

Ready to read books, have robust facilitated conversations, and share insights in a supportive space?  There will be a selection of books which I will curate for the group to explore aspects of living life, which will inspire and motivate you to be better versions of yourself. 

Interested to find out about More-than-a Book-Group? 

Complete this Expression Of Interest (obligation-free) form, and I will be in contact to explore further.

~ FlorenceT

 

© Transfigure Therapy 2020

Be who you are and empowered

What an incredible weekend!

Spending time with my sisters in Law at the Aust. Women Lawyers Conference reminds me of why I chose to be a lawyer. The stories these amazing women told also sadly reminds me of why I left the practice of law. Though I am never far… for I am inspired to create change. These familiar stories are not intended to reinforce “victimhood” rather to make our, and women’s stories in general, visible. They are told in the spirit of recognition, solidarity and support.

They and the many actions women lawyers have taken to stake their claim to their rightful inheritance in the law, and to better the lives of women add to my inspiration and motivation. There was much discussion, and provocative and innovative ideas.

Some key messages (taken from my Tweets as I live-tweeted the event):

Lawyers need to engage their curiosity, be adaptable to change, collaborate, be inclusive, develop business acumen, have great communication skills and to not lose sight of the humanity in law.

These are essential human skills, salvaged from the trench of the “soft skills” label.

I will not be defined by the many labels you may put on me. I am complex.

And knowing who we are and what we stand for, are precursors to being fulfilled in our personal and professional lives, to being successful.

Inclusion and diversity require – in the words of Aretha Franklin, RESPECT.

Respect is a conscious act. What does it look like in practice? How do we do it?

Investing in the future (as was the theme of the Conference) begins with investing in the now, in ourselves.

Do we value ourselves enough to proclaim through our words and actions, “I am worthy”, “I am enough” and thus, “I belong”, feeling comfortable in the space we inhabit.

Sounding much like the work I do in Transfigure to empower professionals. Perhaps this is the reason why I am now more energised than before, to create change by facilitating others

  • to engage with their human skills,
  • to own their true selves and stand tall,
  • to practice compassion and kindness on themselves and others, and
  • most importantly, to take time for themselves for personal and professional development.

Fuelled by the passion of these incredible women, and to quote the AGS AWL Award recipient, the estimable Fiona McLeod SC, I will “get to it”.

~ FlorenceT

 

© Transfigure Therapy 2018

To be a great leader, you have to be…

S . E . L . F . L . E . S . S .

According to best-selling author of “Servant Leadership in Action” Raj Sisodia, great leaders possess

  • Strength
  • Enthusiasm
  • Love
  • Flexibility
  • Long-term orientation
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Systems intelligence
  • Spiritual intelligence

Check out this article in Inc.com for what each means.