If you could change anything about yourself or your life, what would you change?
Think about your life as it is today, what you love about it and what you struggle with about it, what you're proud of and what you've settled for. Now give yourself permission to imagine what more might be possible for you. If you had the ability to redesign your inner world, or to alter the circumstances of your life, or both, what would you wish to be different? To get from where you are now to where you wish to go, a number of changes need to take place.
Though we wish for a deep and enduring sense of well-being, we all have places in our lives where we suffer. We all want to keep improving, to learn to skills and develop new abilities. We all want real intimacy, real community, and a sense of belonging. We want to live meaningful lives, to know that we're contributing and making life better for the people around us. We want to feel fully alive and free to show our true selves, to be unashamed of who we uniquely are. And we all want a sense of empowerment, to feel like we can have an impact on the world.
We all want change, but creating the changes we want can seem challenging and elusive. There are just some changes we can't make on our own. We are fundamentally social animals. We need each other to get where we're going.
Community + Counseling = Change
There are two active ingredients that, when combined, make the most powerful changes possible in our lives. Interchange is about bringing those ingredients together.
The first ingredient is community. Imagine stepping into a room full of people like you, people who have come together to support each other, people who are ready to get real and dive deep. Imagine that these people quickly become friends and family.
The second ingredient is something we like to call counseling. Counseling is an unusual kind of relationship, a relationship dedicated to bringing about the changes we all want and wish for. Counseling allows us to slow down, to step outside the flow of our ordinary lives, to devote time solely to the process of creating change.
Community multiplies the power of counseling exponentially. In Interchange, instead of just one counselor, you get a community of counselors, a community of people who are listening to you, paying attention, learning how to think well about you and what you need, helping you to learn about yourself and supporting you to try out new ways of being. And the best part is, you get to do the same thing for all of them.
You are already a counselor
You may not think of yourself as a counselor. Take a moment, however, to reflect on the ways you support the people you care about: the ways you've comforted people when they're in pain, challenged them to stretch and grow, provided love and listening and practical resources. Without ever thinking of yourself as a counselor, you've been doing it your entire life.
Whether or not you realize it, you'll start Interchange with a long history of counseling experience to draw on. You'll sit down with people on the first day of class, and you'll already be able to make a real difference for them.
Throughout the year, you'll discover that the work you do on yourself with the help of others, and the work others do on themselves with your help, are two parts of the same process. Everyone is learning together how to create change, and everyone is working together to apply what they've learned to their own lives. The outcome is that, as your life changes, you become more and more skilled at facilitating change in other people's lives.
You take Interchange with you when you leave. People find that the skills they develop at Interchange spill over into all of their relationships. Parents bring all the best parts of counseling to their children, teachers to their students, bodyworkers to their clients, managers to their employees, lovers to their relationship with one another.
The world needs you to do this work, to change yourself as you become more powerful at facilitating change in others. We'd like to thank you in advance for changing the lives of everyone you touch!