Frankly, it’s so simple: I know it works, because I have experienced it for myself and then it to be effective with clients.
My therapeutic background has been shaped undoubtedly by my own journey to awakening. It was my own struggle with anxiety and depression that formed the foundation of my practice. When I felt hopeless and in despair, I contemplated ending my suffering. It was this rock bottom that lead me to a psychiatrist who informed me “you’re not going crazy” and wrote me a list of books for me to read. This started my spiritual journey of self-exploration. I started reading his recommended books, exercised for 3-4 hours a day with the insistence of my mother and within 5 weeks I recognized I was not as sad. I realized that something had shifted. The full work to diminish the majority of my suffering took years but I can honestly say that with the dedicated efforts I made and with the support of my family, I have alleviated a tremendous amount of suffering I carried with me and now live in a state of peace. This work still continues today and is not, let me say that again, is not easy. But it is worth it. Once discovered, going in to what we fear and what we don’t want to look at, actually becomes much easier. I then applied to a master’s in Clinical Mental Health program so that I may learn the empirical and evidence based practices to help clients in the way I moved through myself.
Above is my story. Often times when clients ask, did you take medicine I am honest and say no. I want to clarify two things. One, I did take vitamins, St. Johns Worts, and ate a really healthy diet- all of which I consider the best medicine. I meant I did not take any prescribed psychiatric medicine. I will also clarify that this does not mean I am against medication. I am actually extremely for whatever science has created to alleviate human suffering, in the short term. However much of our society has become “instant gratification” obsessed and wants a quick fix for their depression and their anxiety. The quickest and most lasting fix I can provide you is to simply show you that you are not your feelings or your thoughts. The minute you realize this, the suffering is seen in a space, from a new perspective- as a witness. You are not it. You are the awareness that experiences the now, in whatever form it takes. Then you can start to work to dissolve whatever it is your experiencing. Let me clarify, dissolve does not mean avoid. Dissolve means to look lovingly at your experience with acceptance and discernment. Questioning the validity and the purpose. When you do this you bring your attention. Your attention in the moment is enough. That alone is what transforms the experience and heals. Much of our experience in the now, is programed from the past or thinking of the future. Therefore, mindfulness is much more about undoing then doing.