What is Gestalt?
Gestalt is a way of living my life. Taking responsibility for who I am and what emerges in me moment to moment. I pay attention to what I feel, what I sense, what I think and fantasize. I track what excites me and follow the beckoning of my excitement. I listen to what I am doing habitually and track when my habits are getting in the way of living my life authentically.
Gestalt is a process of continually becoming who I am, since who I am is not a static construct but rather ever evolving and transitory. Thus what matters most is to pay attention to what is emergent in each moment and develop faith to trust what is emerging in me to lead my life. Since I am not one, but rather a multitude of parts or sub-personalities, I choose to contend to the multitude of forces within me — even when some parts are in direct opposition to each other. What becomes most important is to listen carefully to these differing parts within, deeply understand them and their differing motivations for me. Then my work is to develop an ability to be with the resultant impasse until something new emerges from its implosion and dissolution.
Gestalt teaches me to fully occupy my three realms of awareness: my outer realm of sensory awareness, my somatic realm of feelings and sensations, and my mental realm of thoughts and fantasies. As I track in which realm I am spending my time and develop an ability to effortlessly shift awareness from one realm to another, I restore the natural balance between these realms and regain the ability to enjoy and derive pleasure from all of me. My ability to shuttle my awareness allows me to contextualize my thinking and I am able to see when it is useful and when it is an hindrance to enjoying this present moment.
As a result of the Gestalt practice, I find myself able to deeply rest in myself. As I rest in myself I feel a deep calm, a deep silence from which I can listen deeply and clearly to myself and the world around me. From this place, there is no right or wrong, only a fertile ground for authentic responses and choices.
Srini is a passionate teacher and practitioner of Gestalt therapy. He offers psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families in San Francisco and Berkeley. His therapy serves to increase aliveness and authenticity in his clients and their relationships. For more information, go to http://www.bagisf.org/srinikatragadda