As a psychotherapist of over 30 years, I have witnessed a trend in our mental health awareness and its impact on the individual and society as we face the challenges of today’s world. Unfortunately, the individuals who are coming into my office seeking help to manage their crisis and/or dissonance are expressing greater frustrations and hopeless, despite the advanced resources offered from the medical field of 2019. At first inquiry, they present feelings of despair, hopelessness and sense of lostness intermingled with heightened fear and angst. Left at this I could easily categorize them as suffering from depression and anxiety, among other disorders. By addressing these symptoms, they tend to feel better and with that relief move on with their lives free from the weight of these negative emotions. Yet, as time goes on, these same individuals, couples and families return when the next critical blip occurs, with a bit more frustration and hopelessness in believing in themselves and in the process of being able to be mentally healthy ever again.
Talk therapy is a great modality for most everyone in seeking mental and emotionally clarity, expansion and understanding for regrouping and rebuilding their lives. And it is also a great adjunct with the use of pharmaceuticals toward rebuilding a mindset as static and fog are lifted from the chemical imbalances of their system. Hence, talk therapy has its place.
However, we are not the people of previous generations nor is the world what it was even a few years ago. As we advance in all areas of life as is evident in the fields of science, medicine, technology, exploration, spiritual awakening, to name a few; in turn, it appears we expose to greater discontent, hidden-“agenda’d” information, world tragedies and terrorism. As a result, we can get lost in knowing where to put our attention, how to cope with what we witness as imaginary entertainment to real life events. We may find ourselves horrified and overwhelmed in comprehending where to take our next step. This bombardment of good and evil type of opposition can swallow us up. In the end, when is becomes earth shaking and incomprehensible and we find ourselves not functioning with joy and ease, we seek professional help.
These individuals are bringing more into the room than just themselves, with them are the pains, frustration and confusions of their family, ethnicity, multi- generations, community, nation and the world! The presenting symptoms of depression and anxiety are now more than the person sitting in front of me. This is a world of many dimensions and if simplified to what worked before as situational or chemical imbalance, then true healing is missed.
We can continue to address mental illness as a calamity for that person here and there and provide a few services of medication and sessions of therapy to bring relief for one person to one layer of discord within them and call it a day. Or we can stop, look and listen. If we commit to observe and integrate what we see—really see and not delude ourselves that we “not a part” of them–we will find we cannot ignore the obvious any longer. We are a community in crisis if just one person walks through my door in pain.
As the world has open to us, we have become intimately exposed to the wonders and tragedies from the living room in our home and intimately part of it. What happens in Haiti happens in California. Yes, we may not be cleaning up the debris of a earthquake, yet we are experiencing the negative ramifications, mentally, emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually, as well as, witnessing the miraculous recovery unfold on national TV and social media.
As our world becomes smaller each individual, in turn, is a bigger factor in its evolution and care from the living organism of the very earth we cohabitate to the developing newborn entering this world and the fight ahead. We can no longer pretend that what happens to another is no concern of ours- we are not deaf to the sounds outside of the walls of our life, we see what was before invisible and learn what was once not known to those who lived before us. We are impacted whether we choose to flip the channel of the TV or not; we shrug our shoulders with claimed ignorance and denial of responsibility or not, or we stand up and take active notice to where we carry one another and every challenge within us, or not.
We are more alike than we give credit. Hence, its not unlikely that the individual that walks in my door is mirroring an aspect of me or my life that acts a a reminder that we are all connect. Hence, the healing modalities must also incorporate the story beyond the heavy-laden individual walking in the door. As we seek modalities for true healing that incorporate the village, multi-generational influences and the individual, we create a domino effect in raising awareness, choice and vibration that ripples out, like a pebble thrown into a pond of water, creating an energy of joy and wholeness despite the storms that come along. The result is we open enlightenment of well-being. This creation is not just jargon. It’s a state that we create as re-establish what we know as peace and serenity for joy and wholeness to be ours.
As I pondered on what to share that would be most helpful in understanding the power of this paradigm for healing, the words that appeared in my mind’s eye is like mindedness. Like mindedness has become a catchy word over the past few years. Yet as I sit with my clients, this is the phrase that becomes the foundation for creating discussions that lead to break throughs, epiphanies and change.
As I enter the world of my client, I am aware of the magic of two minds coming together and joining in seeking understanding, processing and evolving to mend the wounds, fill the gaps and create the blueprint for manifesting their dreams. This process alone opens an awareness, insight and creative imagination where paradigms can present that invites seeing, hearing and knowing what was not previously available. As Einstein shared—“Two minds are greater than one.”
Despite the advancement in technology, social sites, online dating services, overpopulated cities and homes in suburbia built on top of one another, loneliness and isolation are on top of the list as causes to pain and anguish. Divorce rates are high, traditional family structures metamorphosing, the world is “smaller” with all the technologies of internet, flying cars and space travel to name a few has changed the face of society. Although miraculous and wonderful, the negative ramifications of these changes are manifesting in emotional, mental, social, physical and spiritual isolation, pain and sense of lostness.; all resulting in unresolved grief and past trauma.
As individuals feel isolated in midst of so much noise, the wanting to be heard, understood becomes apparent and unbearably painful. As we begin processing the individual inevitably feels alone in this world, which, takes the joy from the good things in their life and cripples them to managing the challenges of everyday living and hopelessness creeps in. This hopelessness is the catalyst for looking at this concept of like-mindedness and how the power of the mechanism behind it may be more the answer than most anything else—if not, it’s the pad to launch from.
What I found is there is an Achilles’ Heel to this magic. In the therapy room, a safe haven can be established as therapist and client dive in headfirst to combat the angst and identify the means for peace and happiness. As two minds come together—the heart follows, and alignment is discovered where a restoration to the clients, day to day functioning occurs. Unfortunately, once the client leaves therapy and goes back into their world, the dynamics and energy of their life outside the therapy room dominates. More times than not, the two-mind connection is displaced in a world where the synchronicity doesn’t exist, and the new paradigm recedes into the background and the client returns to their familiarity. This their world was not integrated into the growth process, the energy of the known despair and angst reigns. The energy of their healing proved to be temporary—Fortunately, there are those few who master the concept of being the changing agent for their world outside to the therapy room and successfully introduce the shifted paradigm into their norm and create evolutionary change. Yet, this is not always, more times than I feel comfortable with, individuals get swallowed up in their old ways as there is no agreed upon contract for their world to evolve with them. Once the client leaves the safe realm of discovery, they walk back into the world they came from and find themselves returning to the role or doe (old mindset) that brought them to me in the first place. Hence the shift they desired just doesn’t happen.
The dynamics of the old world has been with them for a lot longer than the few hours of meeting in a therapy office. The vortex of energy has percolated, fermented and evolved in its force to hold them to the place, role and paradigm that they have been groomed to live. If they shift their single-minded perspective to an evolved like-mindedness perspective, the old world must shift as well. The resistance begins. Without recognizing and respecting the duality of the two worlds—the old and the new—this tumultuous tug-a-war can be interpreted as the problem and counter-intuitive. Then not so long after ending therapy, they find themselves embroiled in a battle of their status quo of misery as their joy is replaced with a rebellious, impossible and improbable belief in being whole and making their dream true.
As I reflect my work with individuals and the witnessed transformations and creation of change, I discovered how the work-no matter how rational, flowing and magical, was not translating into the life-long results the client was seeking.
I realized that what was happening in the therapy room, i.e.; this concept of like-mindedness, was not transferring outside the therapy room for life-altered results of wholeness.
That is where the epiphany hit me, that the work inside the therapy room must be done outside the therapy room. Hence the emergence of my To Love…& Beyond philosophy. Here, my work and commitment with the client occurs outside the four walls where the work is done in their world, using their already strong vortex of energy to raise the frequency outside, matching the creations of the two minds for growth and sustenance from there. So, what does that look like?
To conceptualize where need to define what is like mindedness? According to the dictionary, the definition of being like minded is having similar ideas, tastes, thoughts or opinions. An example of someone who is like minded is someone who has the same views, disposition or purpose as yourself. In other words, two or more people having the same mind or habit of thought in sharing the same opinions, ideas, or interests.
In my work, I define like mindedness as two minds coming together to bring forth companionship, friendship and joining momentum toward a common goal for health, wellness and miraculous wonder in expanding on what we know and creating change.
Taking these definitions as foundation to spring forward from, I begin with starting where the client is at…the world they place their feet on at the time they start their work. Here, we test the strength and depth of their roots, including their historical records—gaining as expansive of a map of their current foundation to begin the work of proactively choosing the new foundation to rise, un-burying themselves from the rubble and ruins.
We next look at their dual reality. What does their current world look, breath, smell, feel and appear to be? We need to befriend our shadow(s) and know our enemy to understand our part in keeping stuck in the muck. Once the client is aware of where they start and end, the trappings they continue to hold themselves hostage to and the comforts of their familiarity, we then can look to the shift desired to create in their world.
As this new paradigm is pondered together using the skills of creative imagination, love and knowledge of abundance and goodness, we can introduce this new vision to the soil of their foundation.
As the client’s testing ground is in their world, they are actively fertilizing the soil from the get-go. The protesting and joining begins and the evolution occur in unison—all at the same time. The metamorphism occurs at an organic level –like a nymph transforms into a dragonfly—As a nymph, it resides in the water and is a predatory to living creatures around. It bites and has a hasty disposition. And through the transformation process, the nymph evolves into a life changing creature of the dragonfly whose home is the skies, where it flourishes with joy and beauty. Although both creatures are opposite, the evolution occurred with starting where they were at, organically nourishing itself, processing through the resistance, persisting until it happens for the beautiful change to transpire.
Taking the nasty dispositioned from its environment to attempt to infuse a happy perspective then place it back into its water land, would not evoke a personality of the dragonfly. It’s the vey rooting, rebounding in its element that encourages the rising into the dragonfly it is.
The like mindedness is created when two minds come together with a mutual commitment for the betterment of the situation. As the individual recognizes how they participate and resist change, they begin to assimilate how the creation of their discord occurred. They can begin to detach from the eternal and tangible elements that hinder their growth and transformation. As they begin to see with new eyes, they can have clarity and accountability of their role as “the nymph” as they can see in present moment where they play out this narrative, the free themselves to embrace a new paradigm, authoring their new story.
Then as the therapeutic work ends, the transfer of the shifted epiphany is established within the clients’ world and taken forward with the therapist is carry forth the rise in vibrational energy of healing to the community as well. This energetic engagement creates a vortex of energy that can raise an awareness of the whole community, which, in turn affects the world and beyond.
This spreading the love mentality will strengthen our resolve to rise above the prisons of our past trauma and live joyously despite the hard things that may come along the way. As a result, the envisioned healing of the like-mindedness occurs and two-minds are greater than one expands to many, many minds in sync healing that expands beyond the therapy room into the vastness of our creation.