The following was originally posted on June 23, 2011. It is being re-posted as part of our CHICKS ROCK! Summer Retrospective.
CHICKS ROCK! is happy to welcome Routh as a first-time guest blogger this week as part of TWM's World of Wellness.
Routh Chadwick, LMSW, is a personal coach and counselor specializing in helping people discover and live their life purpose while finding more pleasure in their daily lives. She has a private practice in New York City.
As the saying goes, I entered the mental health profession partly to heal myself. After suffering from depression and anxiety for years, I set out to discover a better way to live. Over time, I made changes in my thinking and habits that enabled me to reach a place of well-being. The changes weren’t easy, but I stopped trying to live my life according to the mainstream views of success and started listening to myself. I also noticed a tendency in all of us to focus on the pain in our lives rather than beauty and abundance. I saw this in the acceptance of lousy working conditions, crazy stress levels, and a constant striving for some future happiness. The cultural antidote to the pain tends to be some kind of numbing agent: too much television, too much alcohol, chronic use of antidepressants, etc.
My search for healthier solutions took me to the Zen practice of mindfulness – paying attention to your experience and being present in the moment. The pagan embrace of the pleasures that life on earth offers also helped, going against the suffering, self-denial, and guilt our culture prescribes.
Many come to me feeling lost or dissatisfied, so if you feel this way, you’re not alone. My process begins with an exploration to help you discover what it is you really want in life. We look at your life as a whole and make gradual adjustments. While long-term success means discomfort at times, the result is a richer, more fulfilling life.
One of the suggestions I give is to take note of all the ways you’re rushing through your life. Then see if once in a while, you can catch yourself and slow down for a moment. Even if you’re under the gun at work, there’s no reason you can’t allow yourself five minutes to get fresh air and enjoy some sunshine. Small actions open up a space in your life for new awareness and new habits.
I offer one-on-one sessions to assist you in making changes that will lead to a more meaningful life. If you mention TWM, you’re entitled to 15% off any services I offer.