At one point in your life, you, like most people, may have faced an issue or a time of psychological or emotional difficulty which led to them seeking the help of a helping professional.
There are many approaches to psychology and many practitioners. Did you feel deeply understood and acknowledged or boxed into some theory or worldview that left you feeling suffocated or abandoned? Did the person or approach you found meet your needs and expectations? Or, did you find yourself diagnosed, labeled and treated for life? Did the experience lead to deep healing, self-knowledge and a deep, meaningful and sustainable way forward?
Unfortunately, the field of psychology has many limitations and pitfalls. It is all too often practiced with a worldview that is better adapted to the needs of the pharmaceutical and insurance industries than to the needs of our psyche and soul.
The Western concept of psychology is a relatively recent phenomenon, about 150 years old, to be exact. When we decided to make psychology into a science, we extracted the previously holistic worldviews given to us by the wisdom traditions and tried to make something that is scientifically viable.
In my opinion, this left us with a fragmented and partial definition of who we are, why we are healthy and wholesome or suffering and dysfunctional and what to do about it. This is because in the name of science, we reduced what used to stem from our profound and multi-dimensional faculties, to the intellect. And, the mind cannot grasp or see beyond itself. In fact, we are complex, multi-dimensional beings with a very simple core, the soul.
Eastern wisdom, on the other hand, is holistic. Stemming from deep mystical insights of the rishis or seers of India, it grasps the subtlest aspects of the mind and consciousness. Of course, these lofty truths are easier to grasp in a cave in the Himalayas than surfing on a smartphone while planning tonight’s dinner and trying to keep an eye on the kids. While the differences between these starkly different scenarios are many, the key element is silence.
You might ask yourself, with my boss waiting for a proposal, juggling many projects at once, juggling our families, our health and trying to sneak in time to nourish our spiritual lives, where do I get silence? Do I have to make a trek to the Himalayas, a pilgrimage to the Matrimandir in Auroville or turn my closet into a meditation sanctuary (I’ve done that!)? But having undertaken all the hardship to reach these remote places you, like me, might find that we finally settle onto the meditation cushion or under that tree in the jungle to find that our mind is more like a heavy metal concert than the pristine lake with no ripples that we aspire and long for.
With all of the turmoil in the world and many people up in arms fighting to convey one side or other of the two extremes that have emerged as a worldwide phenomenon, it is becoming all too apparent to me that the only way out, is in. In to my inner silence. It’s not out there. It’s not in a cave, it’s not ‘after I get this project done, this deadline met’, it’s not ‘once my spouse finally understands me’, it’s right here and right now. It is beyond the outer busyness, noise, and demands. It is beyond the inner tensions, conflicts, and rocky foundations of our inscape.
Sounds good, right? But how do we get there? Just like our beings, the answer is simple but the way there is complex because we have to learn to understand and keep our minds in perspective. The simple answer is that by giving our attention to whatever we are experiencing—feeling, not thinking—we will eventually find ourselves basking in a peaceful and blissful inner Shangri-La. A lot of patient practice and self-compassion can be sufficient to bring us ‘home’ but often times we may require guidance to show us the way. Either way, it is a most noble endeavour and will undoubtedly bear its fruits in a much more conscious, intentional, meaningful, meaning-making and ultimately soulful lifestyle for ourselves and those around us.
Partnering for your development
If you would like help overcoming any issues that are preventing you from living a happy, harmonious and fulfilling life, or you would like to explore your potential and personal development, you are welcome to fill out the contact form or call Margot to set up a free, 30-minute consultation.