Bear with me a moment while I talk about road construction and Google maps. I promise, It will relate to your life!
If you live near any metropolitan area you know that there’s always road construction happening. I live outside of Boston, MA and recently a new exit was built on I-95 (which I seem to be on constantly).
There used to be exit 19A and exit 19B. Now, there’s also exit 19C. .
But it’s a bit tricky because the new exit, 19 C, is actually the exit formerly known as 19B.
And the new 19B is the exit formerly known as 19A.
And the new 19A is a brand new exit that didn’t exist before (using an old name that did exist before).
The problem is Google maps didn’t seem to know this. It kept telling me to get off at exit 19A when I really needed to get off at 19B (formerly known as 19A). Got it?
The map was not updated to the new reality.
Some version of this happens to us in our emotional lives all the time. We are often using the emotional map created in our childhood to navigate our adult lives. While some things may remain the same, these maps are often out of date and lead us in the wrong direction.
You may wonder, how do we create these maps in the first place?
Every child is a map maker. From birth, we start scanning the territory and taking note of everything around us. We are infinitely curious about the world and always questioning. As we explore our physical world we are also exploring our emotional world - unconsciously asking questions such as:
Am I safe?
Am I loved?
Is it ok to make mistakes?
Is it ok to be me?
Is it ok to say no?
Is there enough nourishment for everyone?
Do I belong?
Is it ok to feel sad? Angry? Happy?
Am I good enough?
Am I too much for others?
Can I get support?
Are my needs ok?
From the answers to questions like (but not limited to) these we start to create core beliefs and our map of the world.
Here’s an example of what that may look like:
A person is born into a family where the parents are consumed with their own lives to the point where they don’t just don’t give a lot of support. As a child they make a decision that there’s not a lot of support to be had in this family. They may choose to stop asking for support and to become independent and self-reliant at an early age. This self reliance serves them well in getting what they need and they are often praised for it. Self reliance becomes a habitual, automatic way of being.
As an adult, however, this self-reliance may start to cause them problems. This could look like their work life becomes overwhelming because they can’t delegate and think they have to do everything all by themselves. Or there’s a limitation to how vulnerable they can be with a romantic partner who, unlike their parents, wants to and is able to give support but they are not able to take it in.
The map starts to limit one's’ self-potential.
The good news is updates are available.
Using the Hakomi method, I guide my clients through four steps to update their emotional maps.
Awareness that this map is not taking you where you want to go. (This is what usually brings clients to me in the first place)
Assisted Self-study and self-discovery. Getting to know really well how this shows up in your life. This is done without judgement and with a lot of compassion.
Experiments in mindfulness to create a new experience. These experiments in mindfulness create new neural pathways (new roads!) in your brain.
Integration and taking the new map out into the world.
Through these steps a more realistic and satisfying way of being emerges.
Ready to update your emotional map? Be in touch for a free, no obligation, 20 minute chat to see if Hakomi is a good fit for you.
Here’s what clients are saying:
I put off giving myself this attention for a long, long, long time! I really feel like Ketriellah helped shift a place in me and the best way I can describe it is like a gentle internal massage. I stop and breathe more often. I ask myself, What am I needing in this moment? more often. I take walks and think it out more often. I continue to say to myself, Take care of yourself, girl! You freak'n deserve so much! more often. Thank you, Ketriellah, for holding my hand to get here.
Tamar Field-Gersh, Entrepreneur, Mother of three
I have been coming to Ketriellah for Hakomi sessions regularly for nearly 2 years. Every session is unique; every session, I feel I am being met with curiosity, compassion, wisdom, and humility. It takes a truly gifted practitioner to be able to roll with the unknown, without judgment, without an agenda, while still providing a strong container for growth. I would unequivocally recommend Ketriellah to anyone interested in exploring their inner life more deeply. She assisted me greatly in moving past stuck places, exploring memories and habits, and learning how to land in the present moment and be okay with myself just as I am. The work I have done with Ketriellah has been some of the most fruitful and spiritually connected self-exploration of my 36 years. I am deeply grateful to have had her as a guide.
Anne Zager, MSW student