Mental Health Emphasisby Gerald Lee Jordan
8 April 2021 00:00 (NZT)
Surviving Versus Thriving
Yesterday, I was coming out of a meditative state and my mind turned to thriving – what it means to be doing very well mentally, spiritually or however you choose to refer to it. After my own difficulties more than a decade ago, I found myself just trying to survive. Due to the difficulties experienced, I was anxious and depressed. This went on for some years. Time and being away from the cause of the stress helped, but my emphasis for years was on surviving. I was not in a place to consider what my best self looked like, I was just swimming for the shore.
After years of work on my own mental health, including the best thing I have ever done for myself – starting a consistent meditation practice – I have finally found myself in a good enough space where I can truly imagine my best self. What does he look like? I will discuss that more in the coming months, but suffice it to say he is pursuing his dreams of creativity, passion and openness.
Mental Health Emphasis
As I have moved from surviving to thriving, my focus on mental health work shifts. For those who have worked through their distress, what is next? We all yearn for more than to have the energy to get out of bed each day. We want to make a difference. We want love and affection. We want to hope for a better world. I became involved with Positive Psychology a decade or so ago and while I will no doubt have things to add to this site from the research into what makes us thrive from a Positive Psychology perspective, my instincts tell me that thriving is more than what quantitative analyses can provide. Self-actualisation must include the subjective and qualitative aspects of what it means to be human.
I am thinking at the moment that this emphasis will see me wearing my educator hat a lot more, as I explore and share what it might mean to thrive mentally. Educator or counsellor? Perhaps these labels are both too restrictive – we shall see! As I matured in counselling and realised that all assistance is ultimately non-directive and that the client is the expert in his or her own life, I began to see my role shift from therapist to educator. I will continue this journey here.
Becoming Your Best Self
Who will you be when you are your best self? I cannot say. No one else can answer that for you, but it might help to get some insights into what has meaning for others and what makes them thrive. I hope that the coming resources on this site will inspire you and help you to hope for the future. Your future is what you make it.
Gerald Lee Jordan, MBA, MEd, MCouns ❤️