Do you feel like you’re giving a lot… to your partner, family and work… but it’s not hitting the mark like you thought it would? If the answer is yes, you are not alone.
There was a time in my own life that I felt this way. I thought that being my “best self” meant I should focus on others as much as possible. I worked in the helping professions, and I spent a lot of time attuned to what others might need. But I didn’t feel the fulfillment that I expected. I felt anxious quite a lot and my habits often were not healthy.
My attention was out-of-balance. We must balance attention to our self with attention to others. But that balance is not easy. It seems to be getting tougher by the minute. “Self-invisibility” is my word for mindless state that develops when we over-focus on other people and other things.
The self-help field has referenced some of this phenomena in terms like “codependence.” But codependence refers to a much smaller scope of problem than exists today. We aren’t just losing ourselves in codependent relationships anymore. We are losing ourselves in screens, harmful habits, and preoccupation with what other people think. Self-invisibility is how codependence and a host of other problems really happen.
As I began to work on my own self-invisibility, I was drawn, as many are, to mindfulness endeavors. But things like yoga and meditation were’t much solace when I was brimming with stress, frustration or anxiety. And I learned something that I want more people to compassionately understand: Meditation is not physically possible when the nervous system is stressed past a certain point.
To really meet ourselves where we’re at….and be responsive to the stress and distraction of current lifestyles…I’ve developed a set of tools to unravel our mindless habits at their root: Our habits of attention. Attention directs our power. But attention is influenced by our emotions…not just thought and intention. So the best place to work on the balance so many of us seek with mindfulness, is loving attention to our inner experience…thoughts and feelings.
This is the goal of the VisibleU system. If you’d like to learn more, you can click here.
Jessica is a psychotherapist, relationship and addiction expert, and creator of The Visible Self ® and VisibleU™ system. Over the last 17 years she has helped hundreds of busy adults create healthier habits and more satisfying relationships.
Jessica received her Master’s in Applied Psychology from New York University, and completed mediation training at the Columbia University School of Law. She has held numerous clinical roles, managed clinical operations for a national EAP, and advised executives on employee-relations concerns at Fortune 1000 companies. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and a master instructor of mindful living …their Border Collie/Pointer-mix “Abby”.