You may have heard the adage that the Eskimos have over 300 words for snow. Spoiler alert: according to linguists, that is one big myth.* However, I kind of wish the Eskimos did have 300 words for snow because I like the idea of having many options to choose from to express ourselves. How many times do we come up empty-handed when looking for the right words? Language is quite limiting, and therapy is, essentially, putting our thoughts, experiences, and feelings into language. I often hear clients try to come up with words to describe their sensations or thoughts, “No, my stomach is not exactly grumbling… It’s not really churning… It’s like if grumbling, churning, and pinging were combined into one word.” Sometimes a thought gets turned into a feeling, “Is ‘want-to-stay’ a feeling?” However, plenty of times, through no fault of their own, clients report, “I can’t really describe it.”**
When I talk to friends and acquaintances about therapy, I often hear these comments. Do any of them sound familiar?
- “I can talk to my friends about my problems.”
- “Why would I talk to some stranger about my problems?!”
- “I’m not crazy.”
- “Therapy is cool for others, but not for me.”
- “The therapist is going to ‘psychoanalyze’ me.” (here, ‘psychoanalyze’ means to discover something I’m ashamed of)
- “The therapist is going to think I’m crazy.”
- “I am not in crisis.”
- “I don’t need therapy… It’s my husband/wife/boss/co-worker/fill-in-blank who needs to change!”
Recently I watched Caroline Myss’ “Energetics of Healing” DVD. Myss is most known for her book Anatomy of the Spirit, and is renowned as one of the first practitioners to pull the mind, body, and spirit together and reach the masses.
In this DVD, her premise is that we have a set amount of energy coming from the Source to us everyday that is managed through energetic chakra centers. Each chakra manages a specific category of information. Good management of the chakras leads to well-being and equilibrium in your daily functioning, whereas poor management results in energy “leaks” that drain cells of life force and leave us depleted, tired, unhappy, with low self-esteem, and with unbalanced relationships. Taken to an extreme, these “leaks” lead to illness and disease.
While subbing a vinyasa yoga class a few weeks ago, I noticed that the majority of the bodies in the room fell into two categories: flexible and stiff. While this is an extreme oversimplification, being the therapist that I am, I began to draw conclusions to life off the mat, and to relationships in general. What I outline here can be seen as literal, metaphorical, and/or sexual.
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