Sunday, May 1, 2011

Holistic Solutions-Harnessing Resilience During Crises

I presented at the National Employment Counseling Association Day of Learning within the 2011 ACA Conference in New Orleans.

Resilience is the ability to absorb ecological, social and economic changes ~ Andres Edwards

From a planetary perspective I have great faith in the resiliency of mother earth. The life forms on earth however, need their own resiliency to keep in tune with the inevitable changes. Human beings have been blessed with a consciousness that allows exceptional problems solving ability. As a counselor I help people take the actions necessary to cope successfully. They have become part of my destiny and I part of theirs. Anytime two humans communicate they learn from one another. Whether a natural disaster has stripped away everything they own or they have lost a long held job, I need to help them find acceptance.

Listening is part of the healing process. They need to move beyond the shock, the denial, the bargaining, the depression and surrender to their current situation. I listen with unconditional positive regard, searching for understanding and delivering compassion. They will feel the kindness in my heart and gain strength from my support. When I establish trust the information I need to enable solutions will flow. We certainly have to rekindle hope. Perhaps a past hardship they overcame has the clues necessary for positive movement. Maybe we’ll need calming techniques, meditation or music and a plan for physical activity. I’ll want to reconnect them with community, establish some goals and anticipate what the future might hold under their current circumstances. If I can get them to laugh, healing drugs will be released from within their body. If I can get them to write down thoughts, emotions may be appropriately released, patterns may emerge and further clarity may follow. Holistic counseling considers the interplay of body, mind and emotions. I believe we are spiritual beings in a physical body learning lessons on planet earth.

In a document, Living from the Heart I read , “The energies of our emotional field are real and interconnected in a vast assemblage of intention and information that is near boundless in its embrace.” This resonates with me. I learned in graduate school that perhaps only about 10% of communication is in the words. Certainly body language counts and who knows how many other subtle form of communication exist. I believe we live in an energy universe and vision our existence as a giant interconnected flowing organic jigsaw puzzle. Change is inevitable and at some point in their life, everyone will encounter a crises that seems overwhelming. I am their counselor and have spent countless hours learning my trade. When they take my hand the burden will lesson.

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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