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Going Gestalt: Coming to My Senses

February 7, 2010

So, I’ve been thinking this week: why is it that I love travel so much?  Of course the desire to escape from the routine of daily life and spend the time discovering new landscapes and new cultures is part of it.  But the other part is that the process of discovery in travel puts me back in touch with my senses.  As I attempt to get my bearings in a new place, my senses are wide awake.

“Lose your mind and come to your senses.” ~ Fritz Perls

Back in the 1960s, famous psychologist Fritz Perls, along with his wife Laura, developed a form of psychotherapy which they termed ‘Gestalt Therapy’.  The core of the Gestalt Therapy process is enhanced awareness of sensation, perception, bodily feelings, emotion and behavior, in the present moment.

Though Fritz Perls sounds like a bit of an oddball (at one point spending time as a cruise ship psychiatrist), his idea of returning to your senses appeals to me, and that is exactly what I am going to aim to do with this blog.

Of course, I will still long to board a plane and jet off to foreign lands- and will likely periodically write about that longing- but as my dear friend Proust would say, “the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

So here’s to escapism in my own back yard.  And in your back yard.  It seems to me that there is a lot to discover.  And if all else fails, we can throw it all to the wind and become cruise ship psychiatrists.

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