Why I Won't Be Blogging Regularly Anymore

I'm going to change my writing rhythm and I want to explain the reasons why.  Before I do, I have to admit I've always been susceptible to transpersonal ideas, so be aware of that as you read me.  I always endeavor to remain aware of it myself.  Maybe it's not the susceptibility itself that needs to be remembered as a matter of intellectual integrity, but the fact that I sometimes take delight in transpersonal ideas.  The important thing to remember is that my delight neither makes the ideas true nor false.  It must be said though, before moving on, that there is certainly a dimension of subjective human experience that can only be described as transpersonal.  (Another subject to which I'll have to attend elsewhere.)  Now, with that hefty disclaimer out of the way . . .   The air began to feel distinctly different as soon as the shelter-in-place order descended over Orange County.  It typically seems like there is some kind of collective thought stream that lives in the air here, and it is filled with frantic agendas, urgent exigencies, and all manner of rushing.  The air literally felt different as I sat outside on one of the first warm afternoons of the lockdown.  It felt more still, and more wise.  I am reminded of Carl Jung's prophetic line from his final book, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, on the advancement of technological gadgets:   Mostly, they are deceptive sweetenings of existence, like speedier communications, which unpleasantly accelerate the temple of life, and leave us with less time than ever before.   Not long after that line, in the same work, he wrote,   All haste is of the devil, as the old masters used to say.   The shelter-in-place order has given me occasion to contemplate my content-pumping.  The new marketing landscape of therapists in private practice heavily emphasizes rhythmic content production, SEO maximization, etc., etc.  Most therapists are connected to ListServs, content producers and forums of all kinds that fill all of our regular channels of communication with daily messages (both implicit and explicit) about the importance of, well, content-pumping.  There was always a very quiet, little part of me that had a distaste for this.  But it's so hard to hear that part when all of our channels of regular communication and content consumption are filled to the brim with the same messages, repeated over and over, seemingly by everyone.  That's a lot of noise.  And it requires some stillness and some quiet to hear your soul speaking.   I decided that I wanted to allow this quiet, little part full expression.  Let's call it my soul.  (I hope you'll humor another disclaimer here:  What my soul says does not need to be what every soul says.  My soul voice is not "more right" than or "better" than any other soul voice.  However, I do need to keep an ear down very, very close to it as much as I possibly can, and I'll explain why in a moment.)  Here is what my soul has to say about content-pumping:   [***Removed because my gut and my inner clinician are telling me that I am getting just a tad bit too personal here, to the extent that I am creating the remote possibility of negatively impacting the work I've already done with some folx.  National and international crises seem to create a huge temptation for clinicians, myself included, to let down their professional guard, and I intend to be ever-vigilant of that and not allow it to diminish my professional integrity to the slightest degree if I can help it.  Being human, and also sharing a bit of personal information online is a very nuanced dance that modern psychotherapists are still figuring out.  Suffice it to say that my soul informed me, in lyrical and passionate style, that weekly blogging doesn't suit its respect for the craft of writing.  Oh, and my soul mentioned Typhon.  Would insert laughing emjoi here if I could.]   Let me explain at this point that Typhon, in Greek mythology, was the youngest son of Gaea (earth) and Tartarus (of the nether world).  There is no need to explain the entire myth series behind this name.  It is only important (for our purposes) to note that he was described as having hundreds, if not thousands, of heads.  By some accounts, they were all dragon heads.  At any rate, think of him as a many-headed being, or monster, as you like.  One of his stories involves the meeting of Typhon and a young musician carrying a flute.  Rather than play the music of his heart, the young musician must figure out what kind of music will most please Typhon, and then he plays that music.  I'm sure I don't need to explain the parallel with producing content that seems to please the many, or which seems to please the new Typhon of SEO.   Now, please understand that I am not criticizing the manner of content production engaged in by any of my colleagues.  One of the tenets of modern marketing that I do find to be wonderful and agreeable is the idea that your ideal clients are out there, and if your marketing gets you in front of them so that they can get the help they're looking for, and it provides value and some small service to others for free, then why the hell not?  I do not disagree with this.  In fact, I really like this.  It's just that I respect the craft of writing so much that it hurts my soul a little bit to rhythmically pump SEO-Typhon-pleasing pieces, rather than to create as my soul, my inner artist, is truly inspired to create, with the painstaking care of an artist's hand.  It feels like the difference between putting out sugar water once per week and putting out whiskey once per year.   As therapists, we are akin to a modern, secular priesthood (or priestesshood).  I have always found it important to consider that the root of the word 'psyche' (what we work with and should know deeply, by trade) is the Greek psykhe, which means (to put it simply), soul.  How can I be a technician of the soul if I do not listen to my own and know it very well?  I believe it is my responsibility to keep an ear down very, very close to my own soul.  Otherwise how can I help others do the same?  How can I then claim to understand the realm within which I am supposedly working?  Again, just because super-regular content production is not right for me does not mean that it is not right for everyone.  The most important thing is that I try to practice hearing and honoring what is right for me.  This feels like integrity.   I have decided to channel my writing energies into another, larger project.  I may continue to blog erratically, as inspired, and whenever I feel I can put something together that might ease the suffering of others in some small way.  I will keep my old blog posts up in case they provide inspiration, hope, help, or solace to anyone who happens to stumble through.  One of the radical overhauls brought to my business by the COVID-19 winter has been a dramatic shift towards Medi-Cal clients making up the bulk of my caseload, and I am very grateful and honored.  Marketing is not an urgent necessity, as the demand for therapists who accept Medi-Cal is large (and growing) and my practice is small.  Medi-Cal requires more paperwork on my part.  But I've figured out my systems to keep that paperwork machine in motion.  And I can focus, now, on the longer, slower art form of making peated whiskey.   If you want to chat (I do free, 20-minute consultations to see if I or someone else might be the best therapist for you), click here to see when I'm available.      
Photo by Clark Young on Unsplash