by Susan Burger
You write your story by the choices you make. ~Helen Mirren
In a 2001 MADtv skit, Bob Newhart plays psychologist Dr. Switzer, meeting new patient Katherine (Mo Collins) for the first time. She is there to deal with her phobia of being buried alive in a box.
The doctor proclaims that he charges $5 for five minutes, and most sessions don’t take longer than that. Katherine shares her fears, and he offers a solution within three minutes. She takes out her pad and pencil to write down the wise words he is about to speak that will change her life. “There are only two words,” he says, “and most people will remember them.”
His advice? “STOP IT!”
The audience roars with laughter at the absurdity of treating complex mental health issues with such a simple approach, and the more Dr. Switzer spits out his “advice”, the funnier the skit becomes.
Perhaps the humor is elevated as we squirm a little uneasily in our seats, knowing that somewhere in that silliness lies a small grain of truth: to some extent we are responsible for our own happiness.
Setting aside the absurdity, what if we imagined Dr. Switzer digging deeper into the idea of taking control of our lives…of living happier, with less stress? A man of few words, he may have offered a bit more advice for another $5.
- Notice the birds singing; feel the wind; see the flowering azaleas.
- The body’s messages are there as guidance. Listen.
- Take time; slow down.
- Ask, “Who do I want to be in this situation?”
- Honor the hurts, the challenges and the pain. Nothing has any meaning but the meaning we give it.
- No one is an island. Reach out for support; be there for someone else. A beautiful feminine quality emerges as we reconnect with community.
- Say “no” to whatever isn’t working anymore. It’s OK.
- Laugh and play.
- Know that anything is possible.
Our perception holds the key. Might another way to look at something serve?
- Be present to life. Life is awesome.
- Choose a different direction. Choose what lights up your soul.
Afraid of being buried alive in a box like Katherine? Many of us have been, until we realize that there is no box.
Susan Burger, DC, offers NET, chiropractic care, mind/body healing, massage, acupuncture and other supportive services at Dr. Susan Burger’s Vitality Center, in Morrisville. For more information, call 215-736-3803, email DrB@LiveWithVitality.com or visit LiveWithVitality.com.
May 2016 Issue