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How Not to Be Deadly Serious?

So much uncertainty. So much anxiety. So much irony.

This blog post stems from the simplest idea.

I am hoping to shift my business model. Just slightly. Move away from only offering hour-by-hour one-on-one therapy sessions to something longer, richer, more intense. Really all I am talking about is adding more group work to my individual work. Group work in the form of day-long or weekend-long intensives. It seems like the work I often do in my office--work around living according to one's values and balancing attachment & authenticity, mindfulness work about where you are, where you want to head, and how to be more kind, gentle and loving toward yourself--might be really enjoyable stuff to do in a group. Especially after the two-year deprivation we have all just endured. Connection sounds like a salve.

Again, this seems like such a simple shift. Design a day-long intensive. Put it out there and maybe prototype the idea. Maybe do it once or twice for free. Maybe with folks I already know. See what works. See what doesn't. Then add it in to my current business model. Actually sounds enjoyable.

So it strikes me as at least mildly amusing JUST HOW DEADLY SERIOUS I have been about this. My idea for "helping people as they attempt to bring about meaningful change in their lives" has me nearly paralyzed with anxiety and indecision. I have been thinking about this for a very long time. What if it doesn't work? (It WILL work--if by "working" I mean creating a space where folks can ponder their own lives and values and what is next for them. I do this daily in my office.). Worse--what if some of my ideas are bad ones? (Guaranteed. Some of my ideas ARE bad ones.) WORST--WHAT IF IT ISN'T EXCELLENT? How many times throughout every week do I sit in my office and talk with clients about the paralysis of perfectionism? If I can't do it perfectly, even on the first try, I better sit back down.


This blog site is actually a great example of perfectionist paralysis. Since 2017, I have written about 2-3 posts a YEAR---in part because of a lack of discipline but even more because I fear it might not be inspiring. In those same years I have filled hundreds of journal pages. Zero risk when no one reads it but me. I struggle with all kinds of things when making my writing public--narcissism, humility, vulnerability, shame, hubris, fear--the voices in my head being deadly serious. "How dare you?" "You?" "Really?"

Just yesterday I was listening to Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach's podcast ("We Can Do Hard Things"--it's great--listen to it) and was thinking about all the joy it brought. Their humanity. Their fallibility. Their openness. The joy this brings us when we just open ourselves up and get curious about other people's lives and our own. Left alone with our thoughts--we get so serious. But when we share them, and see/hear/feel recognition from people around us--there is joy in that. And freedom, purpose, meaning, joy is always what I am after. It is what I base my practice and my life on.

What I would like is to commit myself to this kind of open curiosity. A bit of levity. Kind of just let my words and ideas float out there--for the purpose of encouragement--as a kind of loving support--and if every one of those words is not helpful, if some of it is frivolous or self-indulgent--okay. This is not a disaster. This is being human. Some things are helpful. Some can just let float right by. But commit myself to a consistent voice. Here. On this platform. Rather than timidly putting things out there a couple of times a year. And offer some day-long groups. Gather some folks together. Do the work.

There it is. If you are reading this and, like me, you feel a need for WHATEVER IS NEXT, feel free to get in touch. Let's spend a day as a group exploring where we are, what we value, where we might head, what could be a next step...this could be fun. WHAT WOULD THAT BE LIKE????

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