Monday, April 11, 2011

the great escape

here's a not-so-secret secret:
I have been in intensive therapy for the past almost-five years.

I've changed therapists a few times, from a rather heavy, stable, predictable gal to someone a little more streamlined and frosty, to my current therapist, a gal named ruby who is sleek and slender, sharp and responsive, understated yet subtly persuasive, and always ready and available for a session.
the best thing about my therapists is that they all--all--work outdoors. none of this sit-on-a-couch stuff. they're into movement and nature, and they've all been extremely tolerant of less-than-perfect conditions.
they don't mind getting a little wet.
they don't mind cloudy skies and temperatures in the 40's.
they don't even seem to mind those 100 degree days, though I'm tempted to believe they prefer heading up canyons when the air gets that hot.

I've been with ruby for over two years now, and have spent so much time with her you'd think I wouldn't need her anymore. but the thing with this kind of therapy is that it becomes a regular, almost standing, appointment. it's more like yoga and meditation: daily practices that heal and soothe, center and relieve one of stress and anxiety.

ruby and her predecessors have helped me learn many things, not the least of which is that I am capable of more than I thought I was.
I've also learned:

  • no matter how long the road before you, the only way to shorten it is to move forward.

  • one's mind will opt out long before one's body will.

  • the only way to get up a hill is to start pedaling, and keep doing so until you reach the top.

  • the less baggage you carry, the easier it is to move forward.

  • some baggage is necessary for caring for yourself along the way. it's okay to carry a little.

  • rewards you earn are more enjoyable than those just given to you.

  • we all need an escape at times.

  • what hurts for a little while will ultimately make you a stronger person.

  • it doesn't matter whether those rivulets running down your cheek are tears, sweat, or a result of wind-irritated eyes. it's all good.

  • before you can go anywhere, you have to be where you are.
and then this:

all the training in the world won't get you anywhere unless you possess and exercise some courage.

the initial investment in my therapy made me gulp, and changing therapists can be expensive, too. but the daily expenditure is minimal, and mental health is truly priceless.

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