Life gets out of balance so quickly, so easily, so … slippererly (new word, made up). By slippererly, I mean holding it carefully, purposefully, intentionally, and yet while we are looking at it, in all our care and purpose and best intentions, it unravels and spills out of hands into life chaotic, inefficient, and undo-able, all over the floor, unmercifully, and into what feels unredeemable, the moment forever lost.
I am not a fan of balance. It is a goal, or deeper, an ideal that we strive to attain. Balance is an ideal we strain to achieve; it is a "should" of our society. “We should achieve balance in our life. It is a worthy goal. In fact, it is more than a goal. We should have balance, and we are weak if we do not."
Achieving balance is a slippererly thing, not to be achieved because when we try to achieve balance, we are focused on the ends of the balance scales. We are so focused on the ends that we spend all our energy running back and forth from the ends trying to keep the ends in the balanced place. We this keep ourselves living in the extremes, working hard to make sure such-and-such doesn't or does happen — everything is predicated on outcomes.
However, reality is complicated and chaotic. Life can be a series of reactions to a series of events (both fortunate or unfortunate). Can we ever feel we have a say? Can we ever experience that we had a say? Can we respond to life more than merely react to it?
LifePractical is about finding the simple, more stable, less draining balance point from which the chaos may be handled.
- Dealing less with outcomes — focusing more on intent.
- Dealing less with behaviors — focusing more on choices.
- Dealing less with the right response — focusing more on accurate intake.
- Dealing less with a solution to be found — focusing more on a presence to be experienced.
LifePractical is your story, determining your vantage point, and then choosing your participations.
Paul Johnson, M.ED., LMFT, LPC, NCC
Paul is the son of the original thirteen colonies. Born in Atlanta, GA, he has experienced life up and down the east coast and the southeast. He is husband to Cathy, father to three sons and a daughter, and lives in western Shelby County.
Paul is an avid reader of history and fiction, as well as a lover of film and fine cooking. Paul was licensed as a minister in 1982, and spent seventeen years in professional ministry, working as an actor, writer, director, and creative programming consultant, performing in thousands of churches and conferences. He has co-written a book of short stories; co-produced five videos; and co-published six collections of dramatic scripts. From 2008 to 2014, he was a regular contributor to the Birmingham periodical, 280 Living.
Paul received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication and Theatre, with a Minor in Religion, from Samford University in Birmingham in 1987. He received his Master of Education degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Counseling from the University of Montevallo, with honors, in 2008.
Paul is a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the Alabama Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, the Alabama Counseling Association, the American Board of Christian Sex Therapists, the National Board of Certified Counselors, the Christian Association for Psychological Studies, Phi Kappa Phi (academic leadership fraternity).
Paul began his counseling experience with the I Found Hope Counseling Center in the Inverness area of Birmingham, and then with Context Counseling in the Southside area of downtown Birmingham. He then joined the Samaritan Counseling Center in December of 2008, serving as therapist as well as director of Shelby County Operations and director of Education. From 2009 to 2012, in addition to his work as a counselor and therapist, Paul served Samaritan Birmingham as Executive Director and Administrator. In the summer of 2013, Paul joined the team of Innercare (formerly Means Family Counseling) and opened LifePractical Counseling.
Currently, Paul is a fully Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a fully Licensed Professional Counselor, a Nationally Certified Counselor and a certified Christian Sex Therapist. He is also a certified PREPARE/ENRICH marriage counselor. He enjoys working with individuals and couples in the areas of identity and intimacy, but also works with families dealing with child development and parenting issues, as well as family dynamics. He further deals with the issues of grief, trauma, and loss; codependency; personality development, assessment and growth; life crises and transitions, spiritual concerns, sexual issues, and personal design and career counseling. Paul works with churches and corporations in the areas of strategic planning, facilitating group development of core values, vision and mission statements, and key strategies for company growth.