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The Slow Transformation

Fall equinox

When winter hits we see it quickly and clearly in the North Country in the form of blistering cold and the beauty of the white snow. As for autumn many times it is a slow transformation, mild days, shorter evenings and the slow transformation of the fall leaves. As the Fall Equinox approaches, I am drawn to share my thoughts on what this means to us regarding our path towards healing. So many times as the crisp autumn air approaches we find ourselves going down paths that have been hidden by the bounty of summer. Now we find the leaves have fallen and the path is opening to our quest for further answers, healing and discovery. At this very time I am excited to remind us that we do not have to wait to reset at “New Year’s Eve”, but rather embrace staying present in your desire to choose what is your personal intention. If I may say, call it a “micro” adjustment towards your ultimate goal of true authenticity within oneself. is a place to embrace, balance, choose, and align with being whole. It is particularly important to look at this changing season as an opportune moment in time to hold onto one’s love affair with connecting to true transformation.

Exploring Harmony

Fall is such a gorgeous time of year, but it can also be one of the busiest for many of us. Around the equinox, be sure to set aside some time to observe and appreciate the earth’s transformation. It may be an elusive concept, but strive to find balance in the areas of your life that are at odds with each other. Maybe you’re working too much, or not communicating enough with friends and family – whatever is causing you worry, this is the perfect time to welcome harmony into your life.

Discovering the Bounty

I would like to invite you to discover the ever-changing bounty at your fingertips through self-exploration, reconnecting and answering the call to your transformation. The following are ways that I use the therapeutic office as a place for transformation.

Mixture of content and process: There must be a balance between the experiential activities and the underlying content you are exploring.

Absence of excessive judgment: There must be a safe space for you to work through your own process of self-discovery.

Engagement in purposeful endeavors: In experiential learning, the learner is the self- teacher; therefore there must be “meaning for the student in the learning.” The learning activities must be personally relevant to the student.

Encouraging the big picture perspective: Experiential activities must allow one to make connections between the learning they are doing and the world. Activities should build in people’s ability to see relationships in complex systems and find a way to work within them.

The role of reflection: One should be able to reflect on their own learning, bringing “the theory to life” and gaining insight into themselves and their interactions with the world.

Creating emotional investment: People engaging in experiential activities must be fully immersed in the experience, not merely doing what they feel is required of them. The “process needs to engage the learner to a point where what is being learned and experienced strikes a critical, central chord within the learner.”

The re-examination of values: By working within a space that has been made safe for self-exploration, everyone can begin to analyze and even alter their own values.

The presence of meaningful relationships: One part of getting clients to see their learning in the context of the whole world is to start by showing the relationships between “learner to self, learner to teacher, and learner to learning environment.”

Learning outside one’s perceived comfort zones: “Learning is enhanced when everyone is given the opportunity to operate outside of their own perceived comfort zones.” This doesn’t refer just to physical environment, but also to the social environment. This could include, for instance, “being accountable for one’s actions and owning the consequences”

Dr. Ryan Westrum, PhD is a holistic therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota who specializes in experiential therapy. You can reach him at or 952-261-5269, or for more information.

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