Welcome to the middle path

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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 18th Challenge: Build a New Model

one model:  oxytocin (connect the dots)
I've been easy on you.  Weekday expectations and all that.  But now it's the weekend, and perhaps entire unscheduled days are stretched before you.  Look out. Now that you've sloughed off that old tight skin, you're freshly hatched for a more challenging challenge.

I am feeling particularly cocky tonight after schooling the Millennials at the local pub in both pool and pinball.  Such was the brilliance of  my old-school ways that not one but three strangers hugged or high-fived my efforts.  I am happy with my small-town pub fame.  And I thoroughly enjoyed my non-virtual conversations with strangers, something that seems only to happen at older places that welcome lingering. 

showing the youngsters how it's done
One such Minnennial, a Portland non-profit web designer named Melissa, suggested tonight's blog"Build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."  By this, she said, he meant create the right environment so that everyone can flourish-- one of true inclusion. 
based on a quote by Buckminster Fuller she'd heard earlier in the day. 

Seems right in line with where we're headed-- shedding skins, we've readied for something new, something that has room for us to grow into.

Her suggestion felt rich to me, even in the tiny ways I experienced it tonight.  There are times when we can feel locked in to a role (serious listening therapist, middle aged mom, what have you).  It's not that there isn't room or a place for those roles, it's when those roles lock out other aspects of ourselves that we get into restrictive trouble. Tonight I enjoyed busting out some of my other aspects, and it was great fun to have them welcomed. 

"Be yourself.  Everybody else is already taken."
Some years ago entering private practice, I made a conscious decision to be pretty much who I was in the office and out-- curious, human, three dimensional.  There's something to be said for the blank-slate therapist upon whom we can cast our projections, and that model works especially well for long term psychotherapy.  But I practice a more pragmatic Midwestern model, and I have to live in this small town.  I had a crystallizing moment shortly after opening my practice, while listening to a great Nigerian jam band playing at a public park.  I could keep my public persona pristine, or I could kick off my shoes and flail around happily like the Sufi-ish soul I am.  I decided right there that if people were uncomfortable with the real me and wanted to go elsewhere for counseling, there were plenty of others in the book, but I really wanted to be able to dance.

I am drawn to this idea of building new inclusive models, of breaking free of self or societal imposed restrictions of who we are expected to be and letting all our parts shine.   What exactly will this challenge mean for you this weekend?  I have no idea.  You tell me. I look forward to hearing about it. 

Quotes of the Day:  “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Song of the day: 

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