I thought it might be useful to share that information here, on this forum, to better help people to understand me as a practitioner.
Based upon the VIA survey my top five strengths are as follows:
1. LOVE (Humanity)
2. Honesty (courage)
3. Fairness (justice)
4. Perspective (wisdom)
5. Leadership (justice)
I love that LOVE is my number 1 strength. I try to love through life's challenges and guide my patients/clients with that principle in mind. Love is the motive force behind creation. It is the motive force that manifests God's will (aka Universal Consciousness, etc). It is ultimately what we all seek and need. To be and feel loved, for by nature we are love. We just loose touch with and sight of that part of ourselves through the trials of life. In my practice I coach everyone through their challenges through the lens of love. We are able to transmute our pain when we are able to sit in the pilot seat of compassion, gratitude, joy... which are attributes of love itself. I have personally been through much trauma and hardship in my life and I believe my ability to empathize and see that people are just simply doing the very best they can at any given moment with the burdens that we bare allows me to connect deeply in a loving space with my patients to support them through their greatest trials without judgement or condemnation.
Honesty being my second strength isn't a surprise. Next to kindness, I would say that's the attribute I value second as well. We have to be honest in order to take inventory of our experiences and heal. We must be honest with ourselves and others. People say that honesty is needed to build trust, but I feel that is incomplete. We need honesty and consistency. When you have both, you have a foundation upon which a relationship can thrive. My patients know that I will give it to them straight, with as much tact and gentleness as I can. They come to me for help, not to be enabled in dysfunction, which at times requires me to be gently honest in what they participate in that causes their own suffering and harm... which then leads to education on how to shift that to be accountable and healthier.
Fairness is my third strength. As stated before, I believe that everyone is doing the best they can at any moment considering the burdens that they bare. Which means, being compassionate for those who are not living their greatest potential, but their best potential in that moment considering all the dynamics they contend with. It requires looking at the person as fallible as we all are and knowing that any person can be in that position including ourselves and that our unique life experiences grant us different strengths and skills that lend us to be better as a cooperative than an individual and to judge or assess someone else based upon ones own personal strengths or talents is simply inaccurate, let alone unfair. So, I share with my patients that to some degree this comprehension of the human experience and that I will never judge, condemn, or mock them for their hardships and best attempt to navigate so that they can feel safe enough to share with me their most vulnerable self where we can truly reach the root of their suffering and heal. I also don't play favoritism with patients that I may have a greater history with over another. Everyone get equal time and equal care from me regardless of who they are.
My fourth strength is perspective. Well, I have had a lot of life experience. My inner circle and I used to joke that by age 35, I had already lived 3 lifetimes and I would argue now at age 45, I have lived 4 lifetimes. I have experienced nearly every type of abuse without it being extreme so that I can empathize with the abused, but also have compassion for the abuser.... recognizing that happy people don't inflict pain, only people in pain inflict pain: hence the phrase, "Pain loves company." Because I have loved or had some sort of affection for all those who have abused me and mistreated me, I have been able to sympathize with them and that has led me to easily find forgiveness and heal. This also helps me guide my patients through their own journey of recovery and healing. I learn so so so so much from my patients. Tertiary trauma (hearing the retelling of a traumatic event) is a real thing, and with my tools I tend to not take that on, but it is an education only experience can offer. My patients are my teachers and I revere them as such, which I can then implement those learnings with other patients. The brain is designed to keep us alive, not to guide us. That is meant for the spiritual mind... and we often get trapped in loops of survival through the lens of pain. Guiding people out of that brain trap and into greater self awareness allows them to create a holistic view and change their relationships including that with themselves and their body.
My fifth strength is Leadership. I have always been that person to stand up and take the reigns if allowed. One reason is to make sure the job gets done as I don't want myself or others to suffer the consequence of improper, inadequate, or insufficient effort or work. At the same time, with all that I have been through, I'm not in fear of consequences as I know the worst consequence is facing yourself for what you have done or what you failed to do when not investing your best. I am able to recognize the talents in others and nurture them towards their own development, but realize that it must be a cooperative effort. Often times, failure in a group dynamic is because one or multiple people are reluctant, if not entirely put off, by the agreements made. Clear, open, compassionate and patient communication is required to assure that everyone feels empowered and invested even if they may not "like" the agreement because they recognize the value of the agreement and their worth in that process. For me, in my practice, I work with my patients in a cooperative effort. I set a treatment plan that they feel is hopeful, practical, and achievable even if its not the end goal, but a step in that direction.
I feel that all five of these strengths and how I implement them is what has allowed me a successful, thriving practice, promoted mostly by word of mouth, for over 10 years now.
Anyhoo, thanks for reading and I appreciate all of you!
~ Autumn ~