Inspired by our recent voyage to Alaska where I bore witness to these beautiful icy islands of the sea, I though I would share with you a post I had written recently for my incredible friends Chelsea and Mel at HIITIT.ca where I have the privilege of being a life coach and clinical counsellor. Enjoy!
I draw a lot of icebergs. A professor in graduate school suggested I always keep a large writing surface to draw on during sessions with clients. This was a less than thrilling idea for me as the most I can draw are stick people living in a square house with a triangle roof. I recently went back and looked at what I frequently draw on my used flip chart paper and saw iceberg after iceberg!
The reason I draw so many icebergs is because clients usually come in presenting me with an “issue”, we chat for a while and then find that the presenting problem they first contacted me about (eating disorders, cutting, loss of a loved one, etc.) is the tip of the iceberg. We discover that the actual work must be done on what is below the surface of the water, that large mass that doesn’t show up above the surface. The hurt, the pain, the unfelt grief, the masked emotion, the inability to express emotion – THAT’s what we really need to look at.
Now it is true that we can work at strategies to chip away at the tip of the iceberg; however, it is of my opinion that unless what is lurking below the water is addressed, the tip of the iceberg will continue to surface.
Is chipping away at mass below the surface more challenging than staying above the surface of the water? Absolutely, but it is necessary if you don’t want the iceberg to keep bobbing up to the surface.
Chipping away at the mass of ice hidden under the surface often requires us to consider how the iceberg started forming in the first place. That can be a challenge for those resistant to revisiting their past, yet it is a necessary step if we are going to breakdown both the base and tip of the obstacles that are hindering our smooth sailing.
Hiit home question? Are there any icebergs in your sea? What might be lurking beneath?