I am not sure about your own experience, but for myself and many others that I know, this one has kind of “snuck up on us.” Suddenly we realized that it was Advent, and now in one week it will be Christmas.
As I ponder this situation, I sense that it has to do with the speed with which the world is proceeding, and the myriad “happenings” unfolding all around us. Everything seems to be moving so fast now, and thanks to technology we are now able to see and hear about all of it; all day, every day.
There just doesn’t seem to be much time and space to sit and breathe, nor does there seem to be a sense that slowing down is valuable. Everything is just “go, Go, GO!”
Now, I am by no means opposed to healthy human progress. We are indeed created to co-create, which ultimately requires action and activity. A balanced sense of motivation and intensity surely have their place in modern life.
However, the operative word here is BALANCE, which is very closely related to what many of you know to be one of my favorite words and concepts: INTEGRATION.
I share here my own operative definitions as they inform an Integrated Psychology:
“Integration, as a verb, refers to the process of purposefully combining concepts and methods from the vast array of human knowledge and capabilities in order to have access to and make us of the highest and best that is currently available.”
“Integration, as a noun, is a state of being in which all aspects of a self or system exist and operate in homeostasis, equilibrium, and optimization.”
This verb/noun dichotomy is very useful in understanding the bi-directional nature of Integration when applied in our lives, for as we “draw from without,” we also “draw from within.” The inside affects the outside, as the outside also affects the inside. Simultaneously.
Now dear Reader, because it is Christmas I will offer you the gift of me avoiding my tendency to “wax theological, philosophical, and psychological” at a point like this, and I will simply “cut the chase” and “bottom line it.”
(Someone, somewhere has audibly exclaimed, “Thank-you, Dr. Mik!”) 🙂
“Drawing from without” and “drawing from within” are equally necessary in our quest for the Integrated Life. There is KNOWLEDGE available from the outside, and there is WISDOM that can be accessed from the inside. As we run these processes concurrently we continue growing and expanding via what Jung described as the “tension of the opposites,” which is actually a very good thing, for without it nothing would ever grow and/or evolve.
Therefore, Seek, Discover, Learn, and Grow (SDLG) regarding all that you can find from without, but also Pray, Meditate, Think, and Feel (PMTF) upon the treasure that can be found within. In doing so, may you be blessed with the gift of the Integrated Life as you continue to embrace the Therapeutic Lifestyle.
I close with the words I often share in the treatment room this time of year:
“I invite you to take the rest of the year off! 🙂 Settle in and create a space where you might fully embrace the beauty, the warmth, and the joy of the Season. Immerse yourself in the full experience of your faith and your family. Then, step into the New Year refreshed and empowered to create the life you most deeply desire.”
A Blessed (and Integrated) Christmas to you and yours!