By Tracy Johnson, Story Coach
“I can’t believe how much has happened over the past three days!” are words I often hear at the end of an intensive. When I think of the reasons to set aside the time and resources to take advantage of an intensive this would be something that quickly comes to mind.
In a weekly counseling setting we often engage what is happening in the here and now of your life, and while that includes considering your larger life story we simply do not have the time to always enter into that story deeply and linger there. We visit a scene and then often too quickly the hour is gone and the session is over until a week or two later when you return for another hour long session. Reason #1 for doing an intensive is that it creates the time to stay in your story longer, lingering to notice and name more fully the particularities of what has left imprints on your heart and soul.
And, you cannot change what you have not faced and named.
Preparing to come for an intensive setting includes taking the time to work through several assignments designed to stimulate the process of remembering where you have come from, and how you have come to be where you are in your life today. If you are feeling stuck, or numb or struggling to feel fully alive taking the time to remember is often key to experiencing positive changes. Reason #2 for saying yes to an intensive is that intentionality of the process connects you with places in your life and story that are often easily forgotten or passed by in daily life. And, in order to move forward with greater understanding, purpose and freedom we need to first consider where you have come from.
Leaving your daily life and responsibilities affords the space and luxury of staying in what begins to surface inside of you as you linger in the scenes and story longer. There are no children, no job, no outside responsibilities that require you to “pull yourself together” allowing you feel your feelings without having to manage them. Further, the hours spent staying focused on your internal well-being often break down the walls of resistance most of us rely on in our daily routines and relationships. This opens the space where real transformation can happen, as you are able to devote your time and energy to entering the stories and considering what the impact has been and how you would like to live differently. Reason #3 for choosing an intensive is that it creates the environment for deeper, lasting transformation to occur.
An intensive setting is a gift you give yourself, and those you are in relationship with. It’s a tangible way of saying, my life and my heart matter and are worth investing in.