“I’m so full, I could pop” says Annabelle as she takes the last bite of her pizza. “I really need to eat healthier, I've got to loose 30 pounds … but I’m feeling so stressed today that I think I’ll order the cheese cake. Across the table, her attorney friend, Avery, orders another glass of red wine, she is so stressed from handling the constant pressure of dealing with clients facing divorce. Meanwhile Sue is complaining about her 17 year-old daughter, Mindy. “If she doesn't get more focused, I'm afraid she won't get into a good college,” she says, “I don’t know what we’ll do then.” Annabelle and Avery know what Sue will do—she’ll continue to feel anxious and worried about her daughter. The next time they all meet for lunch Annabelle will overeat and then feel guilty, Avery will drink too much red wine and Sue will be filled with anxiety over her daughter's life-style choices.
We all encounter these scenarios, and they continue to repeat themselves over-and-over again until you break the patterns. The challenge is how do you learn to co-exist and embrace uncomfortable feelings, such as, anxiety, depression or illness? How do you co-exist with unpleasant feelings and still live a productive life? How do you enjoy living?
Morita Therapy, known as the Psychology of Action was developed by Japanese psychiatrist Shoma Morita in the early part of the twentieth century. Morita was greatly influenced by Zen Buddhism although Morita therapy is not a Zen practice. This treatment method originated from Morita’s observation of his clients who developed a type of anxiety neurosis called shinkeishitsu. Morita’s observations and desire to help people to live a full life regardless of feelings of anxiety, depression, illness, or procrastination helped him to develop Morita Therapy. Morita Therapy or Morita Coaching teaches people how to work with the obstacles that are created internally by focusing one’s own attention on what reality brings in each moment. By learning to simply accept what is, Morita teaches one how to then actively respond to what needs doing. Morita is a reality-based therapy that teaches the value of taking action in creating a meaningful life regardless of your fears, insecurities or uncomfortable feelings.
According to the latest research, one out of four adults reports being a persistent procrastinator. If your to-do list stirs up uncomfortable feelings and thoughts such as “I don’t feel like it, I couldn't care less, or I don’t want to do it now” don't worry, you are not alone.
Penny (not her real name) is just one of my clients who experiences these types of feelings everyday. Penny, noticed that her life was so full of uncomfortable feelings and that these unpleasant feeling were preventing her from living the life she dreamed of. Penny was a procrastinator. Penny decided to come to me for Morita Coaching. Together we explored the ways Penny was procrastinating and we found new ways for Penny to learn how to co-exist with unpleasant feelings and still take action on what was important to her. Many of the excuses Penny used to make have now fallen away and she now find herself looking at what needs to be done instead of only responding to the things she feels like doing.
Penny exclaimed “The awareness of being driven by my purpose instead of being driven by my feelings has resulted in a deeper and richer life experience. I am very grateful for Morita Coaching because it has also taught me about perseverance and to never giving up! Now when I don't feel like doing something, I remember my purpose, and that motivates me to keep going! One of the important parts of doing Coaching was to help me clearly identify my purpose and now I engage in activities that support my purpose. Even when I make a mistake, I know that tomorrow is a new day and I get another chance at living my life in a full and beautiful way.”
Penny says that on "bad" days she reminds herself of the popular Japanese expression “Nana-Korobi, Ya-Oki”, which means, “seven times down, eight times up” which reminds her of the importance of determination, taking action, and living life in a meaningful way in the face of frequent failures and to keep on going despite the setbacks she encounters along the way.
It takes courage and stamina to get up after a knock; it takes will-power and strength to try again. However, this is often what life requires you to do. You need to be able to accomplish your purpose in spite of fears and self-doubt. Always we begin anew!
A jug fills drop by drop – Buddha