THE WELL-BEING ALPHABET
I want to create here a non-exhaustive and evolutive alphabet of well-being.
Non-exhaustive because well-being is a limitless field and so can be the alphabet of it. I will quote, evoke or refer to some concepts, some books, some TEDs where so many more could be mentioned or explained. I will try to find a good balance between explanations short enough to be absorbed and long enough to invite more curiosity and exploration. I will also try to refer only to things I read or watched myself to be sure I actually support those references. Therefore I can only admit beforehand how incomplete this alphabet and its references will be.
Evolutive because this will be written and re-written on various occasions, and my reflection and knowledge are evolutive themselves.
Nonetheless, I want this alphabet to be like an encyclopaedia of mottos and concepts we can remind ourselves to practice on a daily basis or whenever we feel like it. I say whenever we feel like it because I often hear clients, friends or even myself being so harsh on ourselves for not practicing frequently enough meditation or mindfulness or sport etc. If what you do for your well-being become a ‘should’, then you are distorting its value and you are potentially harming yourself with the same tool meant to heal and comfort you. Be attentive to sensing what works for you at which time, and the attitude you adopt when practicing well-being.
I want this alphabet to be a space of inspiration, a space where we can ground ourselves, breathe and reflect. A reflection on how to better cope with adversity, how to better nurture what we need and what we want, and a reflection on how to integrate more love, joy and peace into our life.
I think of life in a multi-dimensional way. We live in a three-dimensions-world: our inner world and our intrapersonal relationships, others and our interpersonal relationships, and the world itself both as a multi-conceptualised societal phenomena and as nature with here again our relation to it.
Life is such a complex and rich world with so many elements, layers and perspectives. That richness can create overwhelm, overload & anxiety, especially since internet and the medias have been exposing us to more than we can process. That richness though, if taken with care and moderation, can create nurturing, meaning & fulfilment. I hope this alphabet to be an assisting tool to focus on benefiting from that richness instead of being consumed by it.
I also want this non-exhaustive and evolutive alphabet to be an invitation for all of you to create your own alphabet. I strongly believe in customising everything for ourselves. We are unique so why not creating a unique life for ourselves? As a Counsellor, this is in that spirit that I always try to customise my therapeutic interventions and suggestions for homework with my clients. I invite you as I always invite them to allow yourselves to be surprised by the ideas popping into your head. My suggestions, - though already customised for my clients -, are just suggestions. Nothing is mandatory. Nothing is set in stone. Same here.
No matter the advice or inspiring idea you read, hear or watch (here or elsewhere), please allow yourself to customise it for yourself if that is what emerges in and from you. Of course, if you sense that it is good for you as it is, just welcome and practice it as it is. As for everything, customisation is only healthy if it isn’t distorted by an extreme.
Because it is already such a heavy work to create a first draft with every letters, I will actually post my progress little by little. Maybe one letter at a time, maybe just one word of one letter at a time. I don’t see the perks of discouraging myself with trying to produce a final product about something I know to be limitless. Why would I submerge myself like that? One thing at a time… here is a good motto to start with and keep for the rest of it.
Please also note that I won’t necessarily respect the alphabetical order, because a creative order is more my style and offers more flexibility about what I want to talk about on a specific day. Finally, the flexibility will also be about allowing me various lengths from very short to very long posts. I need to practice and mirror here for you what it is to let go, to accept that nothing I will write will be complete and perfect.
I need to focus on my goal here: an invitation for reflection and exploration. An invitation doesn’t have to be a thesis…
So, today I will talk about…
A FOR AWARENESS
Everything starts with awareness! What we think, feel, sense, experience, desire/want/wish, need, act upon or react to can either come from the unconscious or our consciousness. Awareness is everywhere, whether it is lacking or not.
In Psychosynthesis and I would say in any other therapeutic model, we believe that awareness or self-awareness is the key of healing and empowerment. The key in itself and also the key in what awareness provides to us.
Paraphrasing largely Assagioli, we are dominated by everything we identity with and everything we are unaware of, but with awareness we can disidentify and take a relative control over those elements within and beyond us.
The first control I would say is about healing. With awareness of our wounds, dysfunctional patterns and other dynamics within us and with others, we can better process our healing and better avoid repeating the same mistakes and getting hurt again.
With awareness also comes the power of choice. If we are to make the best choices possible in our professional and personal life, we need the awareness of our drives, challenges and needs, and the awareness of what surround and compose the situation we want to make choices about. We can’t control in a healthy and productive way what we can’t perceive.
We also can’t become the best we can be without the awareness of what we may be.
Now, the question of ‘How to cultivate awareness/self-awareness?’ is a different topic in itself. As a Counsellor practicing counselling & psychotherapy, I definitely encourage the path of therapy because it gives you a space and an alliance to seek, explore, discover, understand, heal, decide and so much more. You don’t have to do it alone. A trained ally and guide within a safe and grounded space can allow you to support yourself with, through and toward anything important and/or relevant to you.
There are other paths than therapy as well, of course but I won’t discuss them here. If you choose therapy, it is crucial that you listen to your instinct and find the right Therapist for you. For some of you, maybe it will be me… Contact me if you want to find out..
1 Psychosynthesis, Roberto Assagioli
2 Life Choices, Life Changes, Dr Dina Glouberman
3 What we may be, Piero Ferrucci
On Becoming A Person, Carl R. Rogers
Unfolding Self, Molly Young Brown