A good life is built upon our relationships – to ourselves, with others, and to the whole of life. In a growth-dependent paradigm (i.e. Capitalism), the need for growth at all expenses puts pressure on us and our relationships, toxifying the psychic, social, environmental and spiritual fabric into which we weave our life experience. In contrast, a degrowth framework allows us to live in an embodied present in which our relationships are based on real living, mutual aid, a sense of place and community care, and joy and collective meaning. This article explores the psychological and physical harms of growthist ideology, and how we can individually and collectively create a better life that meets our true needs for thriving.
I’ve worked hard over the last year to find a sense of optimism and hope regarding the state of the world, especially regarding the climate emergency. I have found it is essential to diligently work through grief, despair, and paralysis. But for some of us, we are processing much more than just the state of the world: in facing the climate emergency, we are also facing our childhood trauma head on. How can we heal and find our unique voice and contribution to the collective? What role does compassion play passion play in the process of transmuting our grief and pain into committed action?
It is essential that therapists, coaches and other helping professionals know what giftedness is, how to recognize it in clients, and how to best support their gifted clients. Anyone helping a gifted person is, by necessity, helping a gifted mind – and gifted minds work in unique ways, have unusual needs, and grow in unconventional directions. Here are some guidelines for helping professionals and the gifted clients they support.
Chaos, disorder, volatility, turmoil, errors, and uncertainty – among other factors commonly perceived as negative – are not necessarily our enemies. Nassim Nicholas Taleb points out once again in his latest masterwork, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, that we live in a “Black Swan” world where unpredictable events that have maximum impact on our lives happen necessarily and, well, unpredictably. These events are “Black Swans” in Taleb’s prose. In our complex, modern lives, these factors – chaos, disorder, volatility, turmoil, errors and uncertainty – are not a matter of choice; they exist and in ever-increasing quantities. We will run into them, or they will run into us. So, instead of positioning ourselves against them, why not use them as “friends” or at least as “allies” in our development of self?
Gifted people have big agendas – they want to learn and accomplish so much in life! However, without understanding how to best manage their energy, they often find themselves burning out or otherwise not concentrating well, not accomplishing what they want, and not being satisfied with themselves. Learn about how I help my gifted clients learn to better understand and manage their energy to increase productivity, creativity, self-care and self-esteem.
Intense inner disharmony can sometimes accompany the experience of giftedness. But rather than framing this disharmony as mental weakness or illness, Dabrowski looked at it as a catalyst for advanced personality development. Learn about Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities, Theory of Positive Disintegration and the climb toward gifted self-actualization in this article.
The little girl with no needs. The little boy who takes care of mom. Premature maturity, is in fact, no escape from having needs or needing to be taken care of. It is not an escape from being a child, and it is in fact, not often maturity at all. Premature maturity is something else more painful: it is our childish attempt to buy (negotiate) a sense of security in a world of confusion, chaos, pain, death, illness, and feelings of loneliness and abandon. If we are just mature enough, maybe someone will care, will love us, will help us. Or if we are just strong enough, maybe the family can stay together, mom can get better, dad will love us, we’ll find our place in life.