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guiding philosophy

Our approach to therapy is guided by a strong set of universal paradigms that we believe are essential to health and wellness...


Be you, but know who that is first.  Understand and own your “stuff” – the good and the bad.  This one is simple, but profound and a surprising amount of people can attribute much of their life dissatisfaction to lack of clarity surrounding the question “who am I?” They’re living a life out of alignment with their deepest desires and are shocked at the realization that they don’t have a firm grasp of what they really want out of life or how to position themselves to get it.  False living, even on a subconscious level, will tear apart the psyche.


Vulnerability means exposing our authentic selves – deepest, truest, most fragile selves including our biggest insecurities and especially our shame.  There is no love without vulnerability and it is essential to meaningful human relationships.  Being vulnerable means taking risks.  It means opening ourselves up to being hurt, but having confidence in the value of vulnerable exchange and believing that the risk is worth the reward for meaningful connection.   As Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is the having the courage to show up and be seen, to ask for what you need, to talk about how you’re feeling, to have the hard conversations.”  What could be more essential to therapy than this?


Unrelenting and cruel, the world seems to turn it’s back on us sometimes.  While pain is a constant, suffering is our subjective experience of pain.  In other words pain is unavoidable , but we can strive to change our experience of pain so we no longer suffer.  We retrain our body, brain, and heart to experience pain differently.  We learn lessons from it.  We allow it to be part of our story without being defined by it.  Considered another way, when we no longer feel we can trust the world, we learn to trust ourselves and build a future on the back of this resilience.  "A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not in the branch, but in its own wings." ~ Unknown


In the darkest clouds, the silver lining can be hard to find.  Practicing gratitude can be the silver lining of the stormiest most menacing clouds.  It is one of the simplest and most profoundly transformative practices.  Gratitude is correlated with life satisfaction more than any other indicator!  It is an essential part of feeling connected to every aspect of life!  For instance, consider water.  The same water you might be drinking right now has been around, literally, in one form or another since the beginning of time.  Water is life.  Like all living things, we would shrivel and die without it and go back to the earth as dust.  Water was one of the essential elements to form what we know as Earth after the big bang.  Water is star dust.  Many people do not have enough clean water.  Ask us about being grateful for water during a Shamanic retreat in Equador for some pretty mind blowing stories...


Gratitude is a sure way to bring more joy into every day in life.  The distinction between joy and happiness is an important one.  The search for happiness often lands us running furiously along a Hedonic Treadmill, seeking pleasure and gratification at the expense of real meaning and fulfillment.  An existential problem that contributes to bloated rates of depression, anxiety, and mental health in the western world.  Joy, on the other hand, can be called upon anytime, anywhere, by anyone.  Joy isn’t conditional.  It’s generated from within and when you learn to tap into joy, a “happy” life naturally follows.


Studies show that mindfulness (essentially the art of being “present” in all aspects of life) can drastically improve the quality of every-day life.  Our thoughts and feelings always seem to be straddling the past (depression) and the future (anxiety).  Mindfulness brings our attention into focus on the present moment, which is an immense therapeutic help for mastery over one’s thoughts and emotional states.  A surprising amount of general malaise can be linked back to “mindlessness” experienced by so many people in our culture.


 No matter how often fear shows up in our thoughts and behaviors, if we’re honest, fear has a big subconscious stronghold at times.  Fear is a prison of the mind that holds us back from making the changes necessary to take the next step forward.  Learning to recognize it and mobilize around it is a rewarding life-hack!


With others and especially with yourself.  Compassion is an essential ingredient for love.  When loving ourselves no longer comes naturally (or perhaps it never has), we must go through a painful and rewarding journey of falling back in love with ourselves.  Self compassion is a first step in that process.  Compassion toward others allows us to get in touch with the core of ourselves, our raw human condition, and hold space for others to heal alongside us.


Change takes time, especially when it’s worthwhile or difficult.  There’s a lot of ground to cover to get form where you are now to where you want to be! Make a plan, stick to it, be prepared to change it frequently, cozy up to failure because no success happens without a ton of it.  But first just take a breath and trust the change underfoot that is moving you toward something better.


We have a saying, “we’re all just doing the best we can in a way, but we can all be doing better, too.”  Never stop growing.  Never stop looking critically at yourself and the life you've built to see how you can up your game further!  Seek help figuring out how to do just that.   Never stop learning about the things that interest you and never stop becoming acquainted with your gifts!   

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