My 40’s: moving into the external world

Moving into my 40’s was about moving from my interior world to the exterior world.  This fits the Myers-Briggs understanding of personal development.  That we start out more interested in one of the worlds and then switch to the other at mid-life.  (Actually we alternate between them: from birth to adolescence we are more interested in one, we switch in adolescence, then back to the first one in our twenties and then back to the other in our thirties.  Which brings us to mid-life and the big switch.  That is: if you start out occupied with your interior world – I was quite a dreamy kid – then in adolescence you switch to the exterior – I had lots of plans to change the world, in your 20’s back to the interior – for me sorting out my emotions and values – and in your 30’s back to the exterior – for me this was when I finally got around to thinking about a ‘career’.  Then in mid-life the big switch to the exterior.  (I am now venturing out into the world of blogging and seeing if this can become part of my ‘career’.  If you start out interested in the exterior world reverse them all the way.)

After my marriage ended I set out to create a series of retreats and to write a book about my particular approach to psychotherapy.  The retreats didn’t eventuate but a friend and I did write the book.  It’s Living Authentically: living from the core of who you are for lasting satisfaction.  This was my own approach to the process of awareness used in gestalt psychotherapy combined with a Taoist understanding of our experience.

I discovered from a program on Australia’s Radio National (the Australian public broadcasting network) the work of an ex-patriate Australian called Michael Marmot.  His work showed that the two biggest influences on health are the individual’s sense of agency and the strength of their relationships.  Yes, more than fitness, diet and so on (this only applies to the moderately well off, not the starving).  The details are in his book The Status Syndrome.  It is well written, thorough and easy to read.  This seems to me to be the most important finding about our health for many years (at least since the discovery of penicillin).  It means we have to completely rethink our approach to health (or at least western biomedical people do – this approach to health has been championed in the alternative/complementary health world for many decades).

The next step in my journey with health is putting this understanding out into the world.  This blog is part of that next step.  I haven’t found it necessary to give up any of my prior commitments.  I still see myself in the christian tradition (though those I grew up with probably wouldn’t).  I still value enormously Gestalt and Transactional Analysis.  The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is still as valuable to me as ever.  I still think it is important to have a wholistic understanding of people and our relationships.

Next Steps

From this blog, some time during 2008 I plan to launch a course.  It will follow an eight-stage process of our experience and will deal with the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of each stage.  I’m also writing a long article to become a free report about living authentically and hope to have it ready to go early in 2008.

Which is pretty much up to the minute with health and me.  I hope this long story has given you an idea of what has shaped me, ‘where I come from’, and my approach to health.  You are most welcome to ask me for more details about any of it.  I may not be able to answer but I shall do my best.  Looking forward to hearing from you.  Evan

3 Comments to “Health and Me Part Three of Three”

  1. John says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of info. When you wrote of the cycles of being focused inward and outward that my own frequency seems to be much shorter. On the order of a couple years.

    I trust there’s going to be a big announcement when the article and course become available, as I’m mighty interested in both 🙂

  2. DrSteve says:

    Very best wishes with your projects. (Email on the way.)

  3. Evan says:

    Hi John,

    Yes I’ll do a very big announcement.

    Two big things are holding me up – writing the content is the easy part (for me anyway)!

    I wonder how soon to start it and should I wait until my blog is more popular. This isn’t a major concern – if there are only a few people, there will hopefully be more as time goes by.

    My big hassle is the tech stuff. I need to upgrade to the latest wordpress (major pain) and I need to figure out the technology for mailing out the lessons and how to do a forum (choose which one first, then figure out how to use the thing). All this is happening on my zero budget so it all takes that little bit longer.

    I’m also moving house sometime in the next three months.

    My hope is to have it up and running in the first three months of the year. So should be done by the end of June if any disasters occur. Which means by the end of this year should be enough time to cope with even the worst unforseen disasters (which was I said this year in the post – I think credibility in the blogosphere can be a very delicate thing).

    I hope this helps to understand a bit. I’ll certainly let people know how I’m going and make some big noises as the time gets near.

    I’m really pleased that you’re interested.

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