Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Welcome to Emotional Crosstraining®...Doing the Work to Feel Better

The process of healing, growth and change can feel good and be tremendously rewarding, yet it often involves hard work. Much like training one’s body for a marathon--emotional awareness, strength and resilience can be developed through sustained attention to self-care, consistency and dedication to the process. This is sometimes surprising to people. It might even feel unfair or upsetting to realize that it will take concerted effort to make things different in your life. It is important to keep in mind that the more time, intention and commitment you are willing to put into the work of healing and growth, the more positive, fulfilling and lasting the results will be.

So what is this process of healing, growth and change?  It starts by identifying what is working in your life and what's not...which attitudes, which behaviors, which relationships.  It looks a little different for everyone.  For some it involves psychotherapy--sitting with a therapist (with whom you feel comfortable and can imagine having a good relationship) who can guide you in telling your story, help you to link past events to your present every day life and assist you in the development and application of new approaches and strategies to existing patterns and problems.

For some it's more about self help and discovery.  Listening to yourself and learning what feeds your mind, body and soul in a healthy way and pursuing those things.  Being in nature, practicing yoga and/or meditation, exploring your spirituality, playing sports, writing, painting, singing, dancing or acting.

For many of us, it is some combination of the two.  The most important question really is--what will your process of growth/healing/change be?  One way to find out is to brainstorm.  Make a list of everything you enjoy doing, and why you enjoy it.  It can be a list of 20, 50 or even 100 things.  Do you enjoy talking and crave another's input into your experience?  Maybe its time to connect with friends or family members with whom you can share what's going on for you--or to connect with your old therapist, or find a new one. Perhaps you like knitting because it feels peaceful and brings focus and creativity to your experience.  Perhaps you can imagine joining a sports team, offering you the opportunity to meet others with common interests outside for some physical exercise.  
Once you have your list, prioritize it.  What are the top ten things that you enjoy?  Are you pursuing those things presently?  If not, your opportunity to start begins now.  Just one new thing will do, it can be overwhelming to take on too much at once.  Start slowly, or go at the pace that feels right to you.  However you decide to begin, acknowledge that this is your process toward growth, healing and/or change and be open to investing time and effort in its pursuit.

"You do not become good by trying to be good, but by finding the goodness that is already within you, and allowing that goodness to emerge."  ~Eckhart Tolle