Recently I celebrated my Graduation for my Master in Gestalt Psychotherapy. It was a colourful conclusion to the 4 years of commitment to a programme that challenged every fibre in my body on a personal and academic level.
It stretched me every which way to truly consider the impact of my relational style on those around me. The reflections that nightmares are made of as I courageously considered my connections with family, friends and coworkers.
As I wandered home I continued that celebration by enjoying the most delicious almond croissant and a piping hot long black by the Brisbane River. A short walk along the shore to be soothed by the gentle sway of boats at anchor, entertained by the antics of a gorgeous ball of fluff that escaped its owner's tiny suburban garden, and the discovery of new territory soon to be graced with exquisite homes.
Followed by a little retail therapy as a treat, I wrapped this momentous day in a long, looong walk on one of our stunning Sunshine Coast beaches, and tied it all together with snuggles with my kitty on my arrival at home.
All the feels were surfacing. Celebratory, disappointment, sadness, aloneness, warmth and connection. Waves of emotion crashing over me as thoughts of passed unacknowledged accomplishments swirled and tormented me. Unacknowledged, that is, by the people who count.
In those reflective moments the rolling waves were crashing on the shore, flooding around my perfectly pedicured feet (a treat for the occasion), and resting briefly before returning to the sea. Not a tempest, not a storm, but somehow disturbed in parallel with my thoughts. A mirror for my own inner terrain.
Waves of building excitement mixed with feelings of regret subdued with reassurance and self-care. Then returning to calm to build once again into a crescendo of alarm and grief. Then gently rolling back in a reassuring dance as I reflected on the support and care of my cohort who graciously cheered me on as I accepted my Award.
Emotional regulation. It has become a buzz word in the workplace as leaders attempt to select for the most productive and emotionally stable team members and worry about mental health claims.
What does it mean to be emotionally stable and how do we do it?
With the current advances in DNA editing, AI and brain-to-brain networks, I want to be reminded that we remain as yet, human. We feel the feels. We ride the rising and falling waves of our emotional world alone and together. I hope we never lose that.
Like the woman in the image I realised that my well-being just then and always, depended on being able to catch those waves of emotion, feel the depths of the sadness and grief, joy and elation, love and loss, and ride them to their conclusion. Allowing them to wash over me, to come and go, rise and recede as they must. My heart is alive and well and no longer needs to feel stuck in any one track, fixated on any one thought or emotion, instead, allowing them and encouraging them to come to wisdom.