When I have listed Spiritual Counseling as one of my services, in any past brochures, flyers, websites, etc, I have been asked if I was a Priest or Pastor or if I had Theological training. The answer is that I am a Minister of the Free Church (and yes, it is an online certificate, for protection purposes and I was requested to oversee a couple ceremonies), but more importantly, the answer lies in me helping my Patients to become the best version of themselves. There is nothing I have done that is more rewarding than helping someone find their sense of purpose and to walk their path. In other words, feel a sense of esteem or self love they haven’t known or felt in long time. (Save helping a number of women have babies that were told they wouldn’t be able to do so, or helping people with migraines or other debilitating health problems overcome them…hmmmm, ok, it’s a tie) The key question when we examine ourselves is: “Am I living my life by design or am I simply reacting to what is going on around me?”
A dear friend and I have communicated regarding this. It actually (and unintentionally) shamed me as I realized I’ve been living MY life in contradictory fashion. I have fancied myself as a powerful creator, all the while using the Daoist description of living life as “a leaf in a stream,” to define my existence. It is an excuse…at least that’s what I think when I’m feeling guilty or “less than.” After walking the beach near me at 6:30 this morning, 49 degrees with a stiff wind and pounding surf, it hit me that being true to myself is much more difficult than I’d previously imagined!
I am a believer in the power of intention and to life a life by design is simply forming intention, making a plan, mapping out the steps and taking them. For some, this is boring. For others, it is medicine! Take the addict, for example. That person, left to meander and feed off of their fears and low self esteem is going to find distraction after distraction and “numb” their way through life. They need structure and discipline, at least enough of it to find their balance point (that place where we can maintain health and happiness). The thing we can’t lose sight of is that we also have to be true to ourselves…our nature. By knowing who we are and honoring it, we can live a life that is mostly free of conflict and hurdles. If you or someone you know always seems to be battling with something or someone, they are likely not honoring their true self…or in other words, they are living a lie.
The difference between living your life by design; as a creator, filled with intention versus living your life as the proverbial leaf in the stream; the nomad, the wanderer, the Artist, the “take what comes my way,” person is that wherever you land on this spectrum, you need to recognize the ups and downs that come with that territory. The creator is often the great business person. They are likely more organized and need to live inside a construct. It gives them a sense of security and safety. They know what they’re supposed to be doing, for how long and what the results will be of their work/efforts. The opposite end has more surprises. It is less secure, however. Those are the people who have had many relationships, jobs, moves, changes. If they are smart, they have grown through those changes and have benefited from them, just like the creator learns from the confines of their structured life. The question once we’ve defined who we are and where we are on this spectrum is, am I happy and if not, what can I do to change my place on the spectrum?
Change in life is inevitable. Life is dynamic; ever-changing. But on one level, this brings fear to many of us. We don’t want to lose our stability, security, love, family, sense of self, etc. Loss is a part of life so we must learn to accept loss. Most of us fight this lesson…some, intensely. This is where the design side of the spectrum needs to kick in. By forming intention, we can set a course towards what we want. Some will say to use the law of attraction and act like your already there. The Universe will simply give you more of what you resonate/are. If you act wealthy, you will be wealthy. I think it’s a bit more complicated than this (there are a multitude of Universal Laws, remember). We can, however, make changes, both subtle and large, to change our direction. A fresh start…a new mindset…a new set of behaviors all equal a new outcome. The question at this point will be, are you happy?
When the answer to that final question is a resounding yes, then and only then are you honoring your true self. I have spent so much time helping others find their way, I have often ignored my own path. I miss the soul connection…the deep love I have felt for another and felt in return. There is an incredible gift we have been given and that is the ability to love (give) so profoundly that it makes us break forth from our old shell and live life in that raw state…where one of the other Universal Laws kicks in and that is the one where all life struggles to find homeostasis or balance. Ride your highs while you have them, but remember, honor yourself and find and accept your balance point and you will be as happy and healthy as you can be.
Paul Gerst L.Ac. is a licensed Acupuncturist and Natural Health Practitioner of 20 years. Paul is also, both a certified Meditation Trainer AND a certified Mediator. He has lead classes and workshops for 15 years and loves helping people be the best versions of themselves. nenhs.com or 774-283-2726