As a psychotherapist, I meet so many people everyday who have lost their dreams. They look and feel sad. When I interview them I find out they have no goals, no passions and no dreams. They do not live, they just exist. The more I get to know them and hear their stories, the more I realize that they had dreams as children and as teenagers. They wanted to become scientists and artists, poets and philosophers, musicians and athletes, teachers and professors, reformers and revolutionaries but they did not find parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers and principals, neighbors and ministers, who believed in their dreams. They did not find good role models and became involved in the struggles and responsibilities of day to day life. Sadly, they lost their dreams on the way. They work hard just to pay for the basics. They work too much and play too little.
Many people come to see us as they have heard of the Green Zone Philosophy. They want help to get over their sadness and lead a happy, healthy and peaceful life that we call Green Zone Living. After introducing them to Green Zone Therapy, I share with them that according to Green Zone Philosophy, there are three parts to the personality:
- Natural Self
- Conditioned Self
- Creative Self
The Natural Self is that part of their personality that they were born with. That was the gift life had offered them. As they grew older the Natural Self turned into the Conditioned Self and the Creative Self. The Conditioned Self is the outcome of social, religious and cultural conditioning. It is guided by what they should do, must do and have to do. The other part is the Creative Self. It is developed when people do what they like to do, want to do and love to do. People who have emotional problems often experience a conflict between their Conditioned and Creative Self. They feel conflicted between what they feel they should do and what they love to do. On the other hand, emotionally healthy people, find a unique balance between their Creative and Conditioned Self.
I share with my clients that when I lived in the traditional, religious and conservative environment of Pakistan, I was not very happy because I did 80% what I thought I should do following my Conditioned Self and only 20% what I loved to do following my Creative Self. Such a situation made me unhappy.
Since I came to Canada I started following my Creative Self because of the liberal, secular and humanist values of Canada. Now I do 80% what I love to do following my Creative Self and only 20% what I think I should do following my Conditioned Self. Such a lifestyle makes me happy and creative.
Every person has to find his/her own unique balance between the Conditioned and Creative Self if they want to live a healthy, happy and peaceful lifestyle. Some of our patients are happy with a 50/50, some 60/40 and some 70/30 balance between their Creative and Conditioned Self.
We have met so many patients who suffer with anxiety and depression, anger and frustration because their Conditioned Self is overdeveloped and their Creative Self is underdeveloped. We help them nurture their Creative Self and find a new balance between the Creative and Conditioned Self.
We suggest that they should have a Green Zone Hour everyday in which they do what they love to do. Once people start doing what they love to do they nurture their Creative Self. They develop a hobby, which transforms into a passion and then into their dream and they become their own dream catchers.
I hope more and more people can become dream catchers and then transform their dreams into realities and create a peaceful world together.