We have all heard that phrase in many contexts; eliciting joy, anticipation, anxiety or fear. Swallowing hard or grinning as we walk onto a stage, a field, into an office or an awaited destination or event. In June of 2018, looking towards my approaching 70th birthday, after a lot of deliberation, I felt closing my practice was imperative for me to create the space I would need to see how best to invest my next decade. [Hopeful I'll have those years and a few more.] At that time I gave all of my active clients one years notice… "June 12th, 2019 I would retire from private practice." It feels like that was yesterday, I've blinked my eyes and now…. "It's time".
Over the past 30 years of my practice I have walked with many of you through significant cross roads of your lives. I have always considered it a privilege to be entrusted and invited into those intimate and vulnerable places. Leaving my practice, I carry with me your stories and secrets; marking many of those moments with you as a witness to your pain, courage, resilience and commitment to growth.
Working with you has been enriching and transformative for me as well. Your courage and honesty have been a source of inspiration. It has also challenged me to live a more authentic inner life, requiring daily reflection, so I could be fully present with you without duplicity or hypocrisy.
I am not certain where I will invest my energies in the future. For the past 3 years, along with my practice, I have volunteered for a 501c3 nonprofit, Trauma Recovery, EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs www.emdrhap.org/. I have traveled to Boston, Orlando, California, Colorado, El Paso, New Jersey and Parkland to train therapists who treat underserved populations with EMDR. an evidence based Therapeutic Intervention that effectively treats trauma. Following the headlines of catastrophic events, both natural and man made, I have had the unique opportunity to be a part of an organization that has an international reputation to provide clinicians that are located in close proximity to the traumatic event, the tools to treat their communities. I anticipate continuing to volunteer for Trauma Recovery in the winter of 2020.
I have spent the last 30 some years working daily in my practice, renewing my leases every 5 years, and never questioning the cycle. I realize that this is the time to stop everything for a season and be fully conscious of what I will do next, [no more rinse and repeat]. I will be unplugging from all tasks, communication and involvements to create more space to see what surfaces. Retirement will be family, friends, travel and the continued investment to give back in some capacity. In January 2020 I'll be plugging back in. If you have any need to substantiate past insurance claims, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have learned over the years that the healthiest life we can live is to seek balance in all things. Our bodies are in a constant state of seeking homeostasis. Our central nervous systems are split in half, one stimulating, the other calming. Organs and glans secrete hormones, proteins and a host of other "chemicals" to respond to the bodies need for balance. So it is in our lives. Balancing our time: between pleasure and meaning, fun and seriousness, play, work and rest. We never arrive at a static point for long, as there is constant need to respond to the ever changing moments of life.
Finding our "true north" is ultimately found in investing our lives in others. There is a Hebrew saying, Tikun Olam, which literally means "repairing the world'. Tikun Olam infers that all of us bear a responsibility to care for the welfare of others.
I wish you all the very best in your journeys, as you invest in your world, both personal and larger.
Copyright © 2018 Shrier Counseling - All Rights Reserved.