Endings & New Beginnings

April/May 2012

Spring is a time for new beginnings.  Beginnings are inevitably endings as well.  Even when a change is for the best, it can be frightening. Change brings up inner conflict about our sense of self and our identity. Recently, I have discontinued my services at an Assisted Living Facility and am now operating at our Midtown office full-time. I struggled ​ with the decision to make this transition for over a ​ year. A dear client, whom asked that I share her ​ statement with my readers, stated during her last ​ session “Meeting with you is the closest I’ve come to ​ living” (since she lost her partner, mental health and ability to work 8 years prior). This was both a moment of gratitude and also a moment of distress and guilt. When ​ approaching a transition such as this one, how do you know if you are

making the right choice, if you are moving in the right direction?  I will explore this struggle with you today because I believe this inner conflict is universal. I personally am very grateful for the opportunity and the courage to embark on this latest beginning. It allows me to be writing to you on this rainy day.
​ With Love, Melissa

​Contemplating Change?
Change is a process. Whether it is ending a relationship, changing a career, changing eating habits, buying a new car, etc., with change there is almost always internal conflict, fear and real loss. There are stages of change and it can be helpful to know what stage you are in. The pre-contemplation stage of change is when there is no desire for change.  It is the contemplation stage in which most people become stuck. Once an individual beings to contemplate the potential value of change, that nasty game of tug-of-war, that internal conflict, begins. One part of the self desires the change and another part is resistant to it. This can be quite an unpleasant place to be. This internal conflict makes it difficult to be pleased with how things are because the benefits of change have been identified. Yet it is often difficult to move forward due to the potential loss involved. The losses can include but are not limited to; certainty, predictability, control, people/places or things, a vision of the future and the part of the identity that has become attached to the relationship, career, eating habits, car, etc.  At times loss must be mourned, but ultimately the question that must be asked is “Will this change allow me to live a more complete and authentic life?” A common theme I recognize in my office involves those who suffer from regret, anxiety, sadness and pain due to a lack of authenticity in their life. You might ask what it means to “live authentically”. Living authentically means that you pursue your true interests, behave in alignment with your values and, more often than not, you fully express how you feel and what you think. This month’s challenge below will provide a better understanding of living a complete, whole life.  If you are contemplating a change, authenticity and completeness are good measures of whether the change is an opportunity for growth. If you were wondering, the next stages of change include planning, action and maintenance.

​This Month’s Challenge; Enjoy Every Room in Your House!!!Dream analysts say that in a dream, a house often represents the dreamer. I recently had the most revealing dream that I am willing to share with you. I dreamt that I had forgotten a whole wing of my house, and to my excitement I rediscovered it!  To think that I had been stuck in just a few rooms when all these others were waiting for me!  This month’s challenge is to identify what parts of yourself have not been lived in recently?  Family, Friends, Romance, Sexuality, Career, Creativity, Spirituality, Relaxation, Movement, Stillness, Learning, etc, etc….  Make a run through and see if you may have forgotten to spend time in all of your “rooms”.  Maybe there is room for change.