Counselling and Psychotherapy for
Body, Mind and Spirit

Ina Stockhausen, MTC

info@positivelifechanges.ca
778-558-8207

Ina Stockhausen R.P.C. offers spiritual counselling and body psychotherapy or somatic counseling in Burnaby and North Vancouver.

dream

We live in financially unstable times. If you have invested in the stock market you probably feel somewhat powerless regarding the outcome of your investments. You can only hope that, as usual, with time things will stabilize again. Your losses will recuperate and become profits.

When you struggle with depression, anxiety or addiction you might want to consider taking a look at the distribution of your funds on the emotional stock market.

How are your investments faring? I once attended a lecture by Carolyn Myss where she shared a metaphor about emotional currency. Her comparison resonated with me and I use it regularly in my work counselling North Vancouver and Burnaby.

Imagine that every day the Universe (i.e. Life, God) gifts you $100 of emotional currency.

How are you using that $100?

Very few of us actually use our “daily emotional currency” which is comprised of our thoughts, our energy and our feelings to live and enjoy the gift of another day of life.
How about you?

Here is an example of what “diverse” emotional investments often look like:

You use $50 to finance the past. That means, you spend 50% of your mental and psychic time and energy thinking about the past.

You accomplish that by beating yourself up about a mistake you made or by being angry with someone else.

Rather than enjoying the present, you spend time grieving and longing for things that are over.

Now you take $40 to finance the future. This is done by worrying about all the What if’s. What if this goes wrong, what if that doesn’t happen, what if I lose my job, what if…

So now you have a mixed portfolio with $10 left to invest in the present moment.

The emotional stock market is similar to the financial one. If you want to go with absolute no risk then you invest in things that will not change. In return you will have very slow growth.

The past my friend is over and it will not change.

If you’re not well informed and have money to spare or perhaps you have a gambling nature, then you might dabble.
You try a bit of this and a bit of that. You invest in obscure companies that will probably not succeed. You buy stocks that have extreme fluctuations with very little predictability.

In return your growth is hit and miss.

You can hit the jackpot  but  more often you walk away with nothing.

You have no control over the future, no matter how much time you spend worrying about it.

When you spend your emotional currency in the past, you’re in a familiar place. Worrying or dreaming about the future can also become a familiar place. But these investments do not offer a return of joy and connection. Rather they fill your coffers with depression and anxiety.

If you want to make the most of your “daily $100”, then I encourage you to invest as much as possible in the present moment.
Be fully present when your child, spouse or friend talks to you rather than multitasking and thinking about the future. Be emotionally available to participate in your life with mindfulness.

You have no control over the past or the future. You do have control over the thoughts you think in the present moment.

Yes, not every moment in the present is filled with joy and happiness. But that is the cycle of life.
When you don’t give away your resources to the past or the future, you have a lot more strength for the NOW.

You can find the courage to trust that you will be ok, you will survive to manage the joy AND the pain.

Just like with finances, sometimes it is useful to turn to an expert who can help you balance out your portfolio. If you struggle with depression and anxiety, consider getting some support. There are many resources available ranging from self-help groups to counselling for depression and anxiety.

As usual, I would love to hear your feedback and comments to this post.

To your health,

Ina

Ina Stockhausen, Marriage Counsellor Vancouver BC

 

Do you have a vision, a passion, a desire to do something? Do you have a Dream?

What are you doing to make your dream become reality? 

If your answer is “nothing”, because

  • It’s just not possible right now
  • It’s just a silly dream, it’s not realistic
  • I can’t afford to have dreams, I have responsibilities
  • I don’t have the time
  • It’s never going to happen anyway…

 I urge you to reconsider. Not answering the call of a passion that lives inside you comes at a price. If you always have to push down something that wants to come out in your life you will pay for it with your health. 

Ignoring a dream or sitting with a permanent longing is painful. While your rational mind may have reasons and your inner critic may have comments, you are living in inner conflict.

You are torn between a “I would really love to do this” and “I can’t”. 

This kind of inner conflict takes away hope.
Hope can be a soothing balm for an aching soul.
While one part of you may be busy extinguishing your dreams, another part of you is grieving. 

If you are forced to always push down an energy that wants to emerge, you risk suffering from depression at some point.

Furthermore, this kind of inner conflict is painful. It’s only natural that you’ll try to make the pain go away. If you repeatedly try to make the pain of unmet needs in your life go away either using a mood altering substance such as Alcohol, drugs (prescription or otherwise) or a particular activity you might one day find yourself addicted to your method of coping. 

In the beginning that shopping trip to the mall makes you feel better, or the thrill of the gambling table distracts you. That drink allows you to mellow and that pill may help you forget for a while.
But when the effect wears off, you will be right back in your place of conflict between the pain of an unmet need – in this case the realization of your dream and the rational voice that tells you it’s not going to happen. 

I invite you to set aside some time and explore:

  • What parts of you are you trying to ignore?
  • What parts of you have been overly concerned with trying to please others at the cost of putting your own pleasures last? 

As you contemplate the idea of making some changes you might get stuck in a place of black and white thinking or being overwhelmed by your inner critic. 

Try this exercise called a cost and benefit analysis. Take a sheet of paper and draw a large “+” sign creating two columns and two rows.

In the top left quadrant make a list of the benefits of not following your dream or giving energy to what you are not expressing. (e.g. being responsible, being “a grown up” etc.)

In the bottom left quadrant, write about the costs of not following your dream (e.g. depression, sadness, irritability etc.)

In the top right quadrant write about the benefits of taking action and following your dream (e.g. excitement and passion in your life, new opportunities, etc.)

In the bottom right quadrant write about the costs of following your dream (e.g. anxiety, people judging you, etc.) 

Sometimes it’s useful to enlist the help of a trusted friend or partner in this exercise, someone who can help you find your blind spots and/ or encourage you to look at the possibilities.

 You always have choices. Even when it feels like you don’t have a choice, you are still making one. Often just the reframing and getting in touch with your current choice and the need that your current choice is meeting can shift the energy. Rather than being powerless you become empowered. 

Your own dreams deserve the same respect and loving attention that you give to everything and everyone else that you love.
Allow yourself the thrill of your own passion…and breathe and ground thru the feelings of anxiety that can arise with that excitement. Don’t focus on all the what if’s. Instead activate trust in yourself. Activate your confidence in the possibility. 

A great way to do this is by creating a vision board. Here is a link where John Assaraf explains how to create a vision board. http://tinyurl.com/yagc5y6  

Give yourself permission to go for it. Allow yourself to dream.

It is thanks to the visions of someone’s dream that today we have internet, can take trips to other parts of the world in a plane and get x-rays ….just to name a few.

Here’s to Happy Dreams…