The Journey of Therapy

Here you are, answering the call from within. You are being pulled towards your journey of therapy and what lies beyond. Forgive me if it sounds clichéd, but that is what it is. Only the courageous embark on this journey; brave souls who want something more for themselves. It is one of the most important voyages you will ever embark upon. Yet, it can be challenging in many ways and that fear of the unknown causes so many to delay or refuse the call. However, if you lean into that challenge, therapy can clarify which direction you are headed and whether it’s right for you. It allows you to take charge of your life.

Whether you know it or not, your mind is continuously updating the mapping for your current path. Left unexplored, this automatic process is remarkably effective at creating our reality based on our current belief systems. Your existing neural pathways are well-formed and recognizable, automatically leading to the same destinations time after time. For many, there is comfort in this familiar discomfort. It’s not natural for us to stop and think, “Wait a minute, is this right?”

"Wait a minute, is this right?"

It may not seem like it, but your brain is capable of dramatic reorganization. We used to believe that after a certain age your neural wiring was essentially fixed in place. Fortunately, brain scientists have made remarkable progress in the study of neuroplasticity and have discovered just how malleable our wiring is. Your neural connections are constantly being removed or recreated. Therapy can help you capitalize on this natural process.

I explain this to my clients using hiking as a metaphor. Imagine hiking on a clear path…how simple it is to follow a trail created by decades of foot traffic. But to go off the beaten path and create a new route takes work! It won’t just happen, you must bushwhack your way through!

Your mind works the same way. It takes intention to change something that has been automatic for years of your life.

We have cleared a pathway from our current thought patterns to the resulting beliefs about ourselves but there is no built-in fact checker. We may have learned something long ago that was stored away as the truth, regardless of how true it really is. These false beliefs can and will create our life experience. Our minds are just doing what they do, but we are most welcome to jump in and shift their trajectory to one that serves us.

Yes, you are already on a journey – whether you are aware of the direction you are headed or not. By choosing to come to therapy you will also be choosing to shine a light on the unconscious– to finally see the map you have been following. Then you are free to begin new undertakings with intention, by holding the map and choosing which route to take.

Many elements of the therapeutic process are present within the framework of The Hero’s Journey, a concept first introduced by Joseph Campbell in the mid-20th century. Campbell distilled the typical stages a mythological hero passes through on the way to freedom and mastery. It’s a fitting analogy for me because my work as a therapist is rooted in a powerful journey of my own, a call I had to answer.

I walked 500 miles across Spain on a path routed with yellow arrows, inspiring the name Yellow Arrow Counseling.

It was hard—really, really hard. I had countless moments of exhaustion. I got lost. Sometimes I felt lonely and scared. I hurt my knee and I had terrible blisters on my feet. I had to deal with creepy crawlers. I thought about quitting, but instead I just kept walking one step at a time.

This journey taught me invaluable lessons. I was stronger than I thought I was. I didn’t need everything I was carrying. In fact, the more I carried, the more difficulty I had. I learned to trust that I would be able to find what I needed – and I always did. There were yellow arrows everywhere, marking the path. One of the most important lessons I learned was the importance of the people around me. Those arrows reminded me that I was headed somewhere worth going, many had gone before me, and that I was not alone.

Something within calls me to explore, to live with intention, to keep going, and to invite others to do the same. This is my story. Do you know what your story is?

What is your story?

Maybe you feel the pull to explore? Perhaps that is why you are reading this. We are all invited to the next level of self-awareness, although not everyone accepts the invitation. But a strange thing happens –once you have decided that you are going, you can’t not go!

If you are being called to a deeper understanding of yourself, I hope you listen. Your journey might be difficult, I know mine can be. It’s not always fun and you certainly won’t like everything you learn about yourself. Your newfound awareness will create changes and some of them may feel uncomfortable. Remember, this is uncharted territory! Just trust that if you are being called - it is for a reason. There is a desire for a shift. If you are being called, you will not be able to stay put.

I invite you to begin your journey today. You have the power to determine the direction of your life and make changes along the way. You can either go along for the ride as a passenger in your own life –or—you can decide to see the paths clearly and choose the best route for you. Many others have gone before you and changed their lives. You will not be alone. The decision is yours.

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Photo Copyrights: Yellow Arrow Counseling

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