The Good Life – Part 1

New phase of life.

We got used to the old one, adjusting to three kids, work schedules, stability, so why not venture out into new territory, the unknown, the dreamland?

I have a Masters in Clinical Psychology. It is not possible for me to attend school full time or work full time, and so I’ve felt stuck. What do I do with this incredible education I received (and am still paying for, of course)? How do I use it.

I loved working for the local non-profit agency, Center for Human Services. This is seriously, the most incredible place to work and I owe a great debt to them for making me the professional I am.

But eight hours days were difficult to do. As I’ve done for the past four or so years, I kept considering my options. I emailed a professor for ideas. He suggested I look into life coaching. And so I did…

the good life logoThis October I plan to launch my own life coaching practice. It is called The Good Life because Aristotle taught that whatever we do, we do in a way to advance ourselves towards “the good” towards happiness, towards flourishing. In my work, it is clear that even should steps be misguided or unhealthy, the individuals has a reason for taking them. In order to correct our path to move us towards happiness, excellence, therapy isn’t always necessary. Learning new skills, creating a plan, having the support to brain storm and stick to it, this is all part of life coaching.

I’m taking a virtue approach. To be virtuous is to be disposed to act in the right way at the right time. When we act, we can often go overboard, or do to little. Being virtuous is to operate at a level where there is an understanding of how to discern where the mean is, and act accordingly.

Bittersweet chocolate cake covered in homemade coffee ice cream is a definite good, I would say. If I eat it every night or eat too much, that is not good. If I never in my life enjoy the experience of eating it, I’d say, perhaps, that is not a good thing. Of if I deny it outright because I think is is wrong to eat amazingly delicious things. Can I control myself once I start eating it? Can I allow myself the pleasure of eating just a little. Learning a virtuous approach to cake or anything in our lives, means I have learned to discern for myself what is the right amount and stick to it.

It takes time to learn this. It is difficult to learn it at first, unpleasant even. But because we’re trying to ultimately learn things that are good, that will make us happy, then it eventually becomes sweet to practice virtue, to act in this way.

My practice and philosophy will align well with a Christian worldview, because I believe we have a purpose and that every person is moved by some natural law towards development, towards excellence. But the practice need not be overtly Christian is language or practice. Any client may be considered for life coaching. The client sets the agenda, not I. Other than this understanding of virtue and excellence (conceived by a pagan in pre-Christian times, no less), the floor is totally open, I will not push my beliefs or worldview on the client. The client will do the talking, not I.

More to come on this process…

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