If we look at ourselves and other as unique, creative and filled with positive potential, do we give ourselves permission to soften or do we shoo away this perspective? It’s easy to to look to our mistakes, areas of stickiness and conclude that this is pie in the sky thinking, that when it comes down to daily life with its duties and obstacles, there’s little room for creativity, let alone living our potential because it’s either not within our reach or we don't believe it be true. But it is true.
In denying ourselves of being what we are, we cut ourselves off from a perspective that honours every creative, unique act we have done so far to be where we are now. From the perspective of Gestalt Therapy, we make ‘creative adjustments’ when growing up in the face of difficult, painful situations, creating a new way of being to adapt and protect against hurt. We learn to minimise ourselves to avoid the disappointment of being judged as too much, become solitary to prevent the pain of rejection, or elevate others with qualities we were unable to experience or not allowed to inhabit. All of these, as well as the countless other examples were creative adaptations that helped us to be as well as possible in our environment.
Then we forgot that these were creative choices.
Our creative adjustments became default modes of being with ourselves and others. We forgot that these were choices to a particular situation, and went on to apply them to most or every situation believing that this is who we are. In this act of becoming fixed, we lose our spontaneity, the ability to bring our full being into contact with others and environment because we have forgotten we are multifaceted self always in process. It’s like turning an abundant river into a dam and believing that the river never existed.
A method I use to tap into particular aspects of forgetting is to identify ‘enduring’ modes of being. For example, I see that when I’m with new people I have a tendency to minimise myself, be self-deprecating in order to not be overwhelming. When I do this, my energy is lacklustre as I’m expending a lot of intra-psychic energy on resisting urges to express myself in order to adhere to the more safe, tried-and-tested option of minimising. I am blockading my inner river to maintain the dam.
Through Gestalt personal therapy and embodied movement exploration, I’m working with bringing awareness to this particular enduring quality, as well as others, to uncover the ‘how’, some of the ‘why’ and get in touch with the entirety of my life force so that I not only meet myself afresh, but I meet you, us, and the world afresh.
Does any of this sound familiar?
This life is too precious not to experience it as the unique, creative, and filled with potential beings that we are.
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