I often tease my clients about requesting McTherapy. A fast, drive-through fix. I sometimes wish it worked that way . . . One billion sold. Happy meals. Happy lives. And my work would be finished. I would be the hero.
It does not work that way and anyone who has spent time on my couch knows what I teach: A process toward balance. Thoughts, emotions, and body working together in harmony.
When I was 18 years old, the summer following my freshman year of college, I learned to fly a small airplane. It was lesson #2 and Instructor Jim taught me about airplanes and balance. We were thousands of feet above ground in a small Cessna 150 when he told me to close my eyes. I could sense that he was twisting the plane, straight toward the ground.
“Now open your eyes,” he said. Nose dive, barrel-rolling, altimeter spinning wildly.
“Let go,” he said.
“Are you kidding?” My heart was pounding, but he was the instructor. I let go.
Eventually, the plane leveled. Jim explained that airplanes are built in perfect balance. Given enough time and space, they will always self-adjust, flying straight and level.
Likewise, humans are designed for balance. Sometimes we become off-kilter and need to self-adjust.
Clients struggle. How many times will it take? How many times will I sabotage my healthy eating regimen? Blow off my exercise program? Slide into addictive behaviors? Return to a destructive relationship. Why do I lack follow-through? Why can’t I keep my life in balance? How many times will it take?
My answer is always the same. It takes as many times as it takes.
This is what I observe: when our choices cause us to become off balance, we tend to hide and shame ourselves rather than address the causes of the imbalance. In order to begin our leveling back toward balance, we must first stop shaming ourselves and hiding. We must accept that even a small movement toward balance is good, a call for celebration.
Over the next few weeks, I will outline the five essential dimensions for a balanced life.
Next week’s blog: All about the physical.
“Next to love, balance is the most important thing.” ~John Wooden