Swanson Counseling - Bring in the Present

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Bring in the Present

It’s July and summer is in full swing. This year summer seems to be passing so quickly and I suspect it’s not only the long, wet spring, but also my concept of time changing as I grow older.

Do you remember when summer vacation seemed to last forever and when even one beautiful day could go on and on? I don’t think that’s our memory playing tricks on us, it appears that children really do experience time differently from adults.

One reason why this may be so is that children have the ability to be fully present in the moment, totally focused on what’s happening, what they’re feeling. You may notice this as you watch children play, oblivious to the world around them. They have not yet developed the capacity to hold several different things in their heads simultaneously.

While this ability is necessary for us to function as adults, we do yearn for and value those times we can be as fully present and feel as alive as we once were. For some this may occur while participating in sports, listening to music, being in the natural world, or any of a number of ways in which we are completely involved in and open to the moment. Unfortunately, it’s not something we can will to happen, but there are things we can do to maximize the potential of having these experiences.

There is a similar occurrence that some may experience during a therapy session. It’s sometimes referred to as transformational time: an awareness, a knowing of something that has been up to now hidden, unknowable. I think it’s also about the truth. And once you know what is true, you can never not know it, it can never be as it was before. It is one of the special characteristics of the therapy process and structure that allows for this to happen. It requires the intent and willingness to let go of old paradigms and automatic thinking. It helps to have a guide, a witness to the process. And when it occurs, time really does stand still.

7/15/2011


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