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Archive for the ‘Fear’ Category

Coming into The Edge

Monday, May 18th, 2009 by Mel Schwartz, LCSW

I was in the middle of a challenging stretch in a yoga class recently, when the instructor encouraged us to come into the edge. Move beyond the boundary of our comfort zone, was how I interpreted her coaxing. She was suggesting that moving to the edge of what our muscle memory was comfortable with, would propel us into physical if not spiritual growth. Coming to the edge in yoga provides the body with a new or forgotten experience. As we age our bodies tend to mold into habit and conformity which leads to a constriction of our physical being. Clearly, stretching into some new flexibility seemed wise. I reflected that this was also precisely what we need with our thinking.

As true as this rigidity may be for us physically, it is equally problematic for our thoughts and emotions. Our thoughts tend to replicate themselves into a never ending cascade of similarity as they evoke more and more of the same emotional reactions. As our thoughts become more habituated they create a literal groove in our thinking, which after a time may become very difficult to escape. The deeper the groove the greater the effort required to break into new territory. This is why we struggle with change. If we continue to become enslaved by old thought, change remains elusive. Choosing not to carry the encumbrance of tired, old thought is the key to self-actualized change.

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Mel Schwartz is a psychotherapist with offices in Westport Ct and NYC. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory or his website. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

Coping With Fear

Monday, August 25th, 2008 by Sandra Lee Blood, MA, LCPC

The seagull realized with terror that he had misjudged his landing place. He tottered lopsidedly in the busy intersection as he dragged one wing. He hadn’t meant to land here, but it was all the farther he could go. As he stared into the shiny metallic grills and the black treaded tires directly in front of him, he saw his situation was hopeless. He seemed to perceptibly gather himself together and hunker down, making himself as small as he possibly could. The light turned green, and in a slow-motion instant, all that was visible were feathers floating among the cars.

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Sandra Lee Blood is licensed professional counselor with offices in Naperville and Lake Zurich, Illinois. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory