The Conscious Choices Story
Conscious Choices, Counseling for Conscious Relationships & Authentic Living , was officially “born” in 2010, but truthfully the concept of it has been brewing in my consciousness for as long as I can remember, with glimmers of it beginning to take form as early as 1992.
At that time, I had shifted my professional focus from the corporate world to the healing field, and had visions of creating a holistic center for healing the body, mind and spirit. I did not know how at the time, but I knew the integration of all three aspects was important for optimal health and well-being.
About 20 years ago, after my own myriad experiences as a client in psychotherapy, I had come to a solid understanding of the potentially enormous value of the psychotherapeutic process – one that allows for deep exploration into unchartered (unconscious) territory to reveal the “old stories” that have defined most of us and often keep us steeped in misery and negativity, as well as to clarify the confusion about why we cannot seem to change old patterns despite our intention to do just that.
I had also begun to realize that something was missing, despite how much I had come to know my own inner workings. I still felt somewhat empty and unsatisfied.
I soon realized that psychotherapy can be limited in its efficacy if it does not include an understanding that we are more than our physical body, more than our emotional feelings, and more than our defining thoughts. I realized as well that while insight is important, it is action that is critical for making permanent changes.
A door opened, and I began another journey; one that was even deeper inward than I had ever gone before… Actually, it was also more expansive, broad, comprehensive and all-encompassing.
I started to think about God (if the word “God” conjures up an image of anything that gives you a feeling other than comfort and joy, you can replace that word with “Life,” “Source,” “Divinity,” whatever works for you). I use the word simply as a way to succinctly describe my sense of the ‘life force” that naturally flows toward our best and highest good.” The one that keeps our hearts beating and our lungs breathing; the one that keeps the earth rotating on its axis and revolving around the sun each year.
I let go of the idea that I was “separate” from Life. I began to open up to the idea that I was indeed connected to that natural order of things, that there was a flow that was in constant motion toward expansion, growth and healing, and that flow did not exclude me!
I tapped into the knowledge that I needed stop trying to control things and believing that I knew what the “best outcome” should be. Certainly that plan had not worked so far.
So, I began instead to practice simply allowing life to unfold and guide me toward making conscious choices about my experience.
I started listening more closely to my intuition when it was time to make decisions. I noticed if I was really paying attention, I could discern the subtle differences in how I “felt” when I was reacting from a fearful place – I could feel the energy of fear (Ego) in my body.
This feeling was very different than how I felt when I was being reflective, mindful and could then respond from a place of integrity and authenticity (Essence), even when I was unsure how things would unfold. I began to trust the process more and more.
As I continued to use my own connection to that “life force” (which speaks to me through my feelings, my intuition) the quality of my experiences began to change. I was becoming less anxious, less stressed, less afraid and instead more accepting, more peaceful, and more loving. I believe also, I was becoming a much easier and more like-able person to be around. Bonus.
The combination of what I understood about the theories of psychology, especially Family Systems, with what I was now learning about connection, spirituality, physics and energy flow was perfectly synergistic. All the gaps in understanding that existed for me before were filling in as I began to really practice living my life from the inside out…
Then, in 2011, my therapy practice expanded to the point of outgrowing my little office space. I found the perfect new setting for the business, and it seemed that Life was suggesting to me that the timing was right to begin offering the Body/Mind/Spirit services I had envisioned so many years ago. I brought on several amazing practitioners, including a massage therapist, 2 hypnotists and Reiki practitioners, and a few yoga instructors. The promise of bringing these services to the Naples community was very exciting…
However, as I continued to allow Life to just naturally take its course and guide me, it became clear that the breadth of this kind of expansion was not quite right for Conscious Choices. Although the interest seemed to be there for many people, the effort we were making to fill the various classes and appointment times felt forced.
I kept paying attention; I never felt that I had made a “wrong” decision, I really just felt that I was being nudged by the Universe in the direction that was most aligned with the current purpose of Conscious Choices.
Eventually, I understood that we did not need to be a “one-stop shop;” there were and are already so many qualified folks out there in the community providing wonderful holistic services. Instead, it became very clear that it was much more natural for Conscious Choices to focus on the amazing services we are and have been most skilled at – Relationship Counseling and Individual Psychotherapy.
For the most effective and integrative healing possible, I knew it was crucial to maintain the grounded structure that traditional psychotherapy and counseling provided, and I also felt it was just as crucial to allow for the more expansive exploration and discovery which comes with a spiritual, transpersonal, or holistic approach.
All of our staff members are aligned with this perspective; we all speak the same “language,” if you will.
Our therapists meet weekly and consult about the work that we do. In this way, all of our clients have the benefit of a solid foundation comprised of a team of skilled, loving, authentic practitioners who are not just “talking the talk,” but actually practicing what we teach in our own lives.
We value our skills and expertise, and also embrace our imperfections as human beings; and we are honored to “walk the walk” right beside our clients.
Conscious Choices provides Relationship Counseling and Individual Psychotherapy as a way to support our clients in healing emotional wounds, raising consciousness, reaching one’s fullest potential; and living authentically, lovingly and joyfully in relation to themselves and others, and ultimately, in resonance with the Source of their Highest Good.
It is my hope that as you find yourself discovering Conscious Choices, that we will also be able to help you remember and express the brilliant and magnificent truth of Who You Really Are.
In Light and With Love,
Carol Cirabisi, MS, LFMT
Through the counseling at Conscious Choices, I was able to stop blaming my husband for how unhappy I was, and realized that I was giving him all my power. Once I started really seeing that my choices were up to me, and started being more honest with myself and him, we were then able to start the conversations we really needed to have from our hearts, not the ones from our “old stories.” It is not always easy, but now we have hope, and we found those loving feelings again that we both thought might never come back!
Thank you for helping us save our marriage. We are better and stronger then ever. Thanks for teaching me to feel my feelings and letting things go that needed to be let go of. Thank you for everything! You really did help save us and our beautiful family. Lots of love to you!
Peace of mind comes with personal growth. If you’re wrapped up in a hyperactive day when do yo have time to introspect? Coming to Conscious Choices has given me the opportunity to look in and find what I need to know so that I can grow and be who I want to be.
Carol is a gift from God and is one of the most loving, compassionate therapists – more than any other counselor, healer, or program that I’ve experienced thus far. Carol helped me dare to go deeper and tap into the stored grief and rage from a lifetime of unexpressed emotion and she created a sacred and safe space in order to feel it and release it. She helped me to finally see all the different facets of myself and learn to recognize which part was running the show at any given moment–and then integrate to the full expression of who I am now. I’m so grateful that I was guided into her care and have never felt better in my life.
I am quite happy I decided to work with Ashley…she is a very attentive listener, and is very engaged and proactive in our conversation. On a more subliminal level, we resonate well and I feel very comfortable talking with her. I’m looking forward to working with her to get my life back on the right track.