Monthly Archives: August 2016
Geoff Farnwsworth, Life & Relationship Coach
“Be joyful even when you have considered all the facts.” —Wendell Berry
Gratitude is a concrete tool that we can use to become happier and healthier. Seeing life as a gift rather than an entitlement puts us into a state of appreciation or “grace.” This requires a shift in thinking that moves our focus from what is wrong to what is right.
This isn’t to say that we should have a blindly optimistic worldview in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. Yes, pain and injustice and cruelty exist, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being that surges through us with positive energy. We experience our power to do whatever we can to reach out to those in need and to make change. This again leads to a feeling of well-being…and gratitude. It’s a self-sustaining cycle!
“When we develop a sense of appreciation for those around us and cultivate a sense of gratitude for life itself, we are relieved of the burden that comes with seeing ourselves as ‘victims,’” writes Greg Krech in Gratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection. Gratitude can transform us from victims to grateful individuals who act with power and grace.
Practicing gratitude can be as simple as writing a thank you note or telling a loved one what it is we appreciate about him or her. We can experience gratitude while we’re working in the garden, walking on a beach, reading a poem or listening to an inspiring piece of music that moves our heart or moves our feet!
If you’d like to find out how you can create more gratitude and well being in your life, please contact me.
(856) 371-4704 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Cort Hrivnak
One of the realizations I have come to understand is how important it is for each of us to be aware of how our life experience is influenced by where and what we choose to put our focus on. I think this idea is best illustrated in the following story that I came across:
An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, “Let me tell you a story.
“I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.
“But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.” He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.
“But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.
“Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit”
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”
The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, “The one I feed.”
This story may have possibly originated as a legend of the Cherokee Indian. Regardless of its source, however, I think it provides a striking illustration for the point that what we choose to focus on (which wolf we choose to feed) is the one that controls our lives at any given moment. It is cliché, but very true, to say that we can’t control the actions of others but many times that is precisely where we put our focus and attention. When people around us behave poorly or situations get beyond our control, we feel powerless and defeated. These emotions and the resulting anger at self or others then serve as food for our negative wolves making them stronger while starving the positive wolves in us of the nourishment (in terms of focus and positive emotions) that they need. You may have the same two wolves as in the story of peace and anger, or different ones entirely. The important realization is that through the choice we exercise through what we focus on, we determine which internal wolf is stronger and more dominant in our day to day lives.
I’m a life and relationship coach who specializes in assisting people who
are feeling stuck, struggling with relationships issues or just wanting more
out of life.
Growing up in a alcoholic home, I found great solace after my ACOA (Adult
Children of Alcoholics) recovery work and decided to change careers from
marketing to helping others in similar circumstances who suffer from
codependency issues. I started in private practice at the Starting Point in
1990 with this specialty and continue to help people who may have grown up
in less than nurturing families, especially those affected by addictions.
In my role as a relationship coach, I work with singles wanting to attract
an ideal life partner, couples who are struggling to sustain a lasting,
loving relationship, or pre-committed couples who wish to learn the skills
to maintain a conscious, loving relationship.
Over the years I’ve become more interested in the mindfulness-based
therapies that help to access a sense of well being, clarity, inner freedom
and loving connection. I synthesize insights from neuroscience, psychology
and mindfulness training to help clients unhook awareness from their usual
ego-based identities. I believe this is the key to living a more aware,
intimate life with authenticity and compassion.
I’ve been blessed to have trained with some highly respected experts in
psychology, relationships, coaching, mindfulness, and spirituality (Jon
Kabot-Zinn for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Terry Real from The
Relational Life Institute, Richard Swartz from Internal Family Systems
Therapy and Loch Kelly of the Open Hearted Awareness Institute). In addition
I’m a Coach U graduate, a Certified Addictions Counselor and a Certified
Hakomi Psychotherapist. Hakomi is a mindfulness-based psychotherapy.
When not immersed in coaching others, I enjoy travel, all kinds of music,
(currently playing the ukulele for the fun of it), spirituality, and
spending time enjoying my family and friends. Married since 1994, I’m madly
in love with my wife, Dot.
Today I offer a range of services from individual coaching, pre-marital
counseling, couples coaching, to mindfulness training with individuals and
As a therapist, I would like to honor lives lived, with my role as helping clients find ease as they grow towards functioning wellness.
As an Master of Social Work (MSW) graduate of Rutgers-Camden, I also earned their certificate in Violence Against Women and Children. My previous background was in the business world, working in computer support for many corporations in New Jersey. During that period of my life I earned a Bachelor of Science in Technical Management as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
In 2011 my life partner died two days before my mother. During that difficult time I discovered how beneficial therapy can be, and I decided to make this career my own. This is a very satisfying decision, and I could not be happier.
In my life, art is something I enjoy very much –from digital photography to mosaics to museum hopping. Music also is an interest (I am, after all, from Ohio, home of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame!) as is raising my orchids.
My practice serves young adults and adults dealing with issues around oppression, gender non-conformity, sexual orientation, disability and differently-abled, body size and traumatic histories. In the future, I hope to offer group therapies on these and other issues, especially for greater support for parents of LGBT youth and young adults. I also work with individuals, couples and families dealing with depression, anxiety, grief, trauma recovery and addiction issues.