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May 01, 2020

 

A Voice Movement Therapists reflection on Psychologist Leonard Carr’s Article entitled “Hope for the Best. Be prepared for the worst”

During the early days of the CoVid 19 pandemic a number of people warned that we might also be faced with serious mental heath crisis. There is no doubt that five weeks into lockdown the pressure is having a significant impact on the mental health of many.  Esteemed clinical psychologist, Leonard Carr, responded early on with a most valuable and still relevant article entitled “Hope for the best. Be prepared for the worst”. In the article he clearly unpacks a number of the psychological aspects of the crisis and offers some insightful growth-focused ways of thinking about and responding to our current situation. Carr’s article spurred me on to respond in a parallel way from the perspective of the embodied modality of Voice Movement Therapy of which I am a practitioner. I hope that, through this article, I can provide you with a starting place, a first step towards deepening your sense of embodiment as a personal resource for well-being.

 

Deepening Our Understanding Of What We Are Experiencing  

 

In our attempt to find ways of coping with the stress and trauma of living during this pandemic we would do well to accept that the body and the mind are in fact one and the same, the bodymind. And so, any attempt to tend to our mental and emotional health demands not only a cognitive strategy but also, and equally importantly, an embodied one. Take a moment to close your eyes and remember a most joyous or beautiful moment in your life. Remember and imagine in a good amount of detail the settings, the sounds, smells, and the others who perhaps shared that moment with you. What you might notice is that your body, right now, tangibly responds to this positive memory and its associations by relaxing, releasing and expanding. The opposite is true if we think of a negative experience; the body will tighten, breathing will become more restricted and one will feel a tangible sense of contracting. As embodied beings we respond to our environment, quite basically, by contracting or expanding, by closing down or opening up; indeed not unlike a muscle on a seaside rock, or a snail in the garden.

 

At the moment many people are experiencing a phase of contraction. Fear, anxiety, anger, exhaustion and overwhelm are having a contracting effect on our bodies and on our minds.  So your muscles might feel tight and your throat tense, you may be clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth at night, you may be experiencing headaches or a change in heart rate. On the other hand you may feel a lack of strength in your body, your posture may express a sense of collapse or retreat.

 

One thing that is common to many as a result of this state of contraction, is restricted breathing. Breathing is either more shallow, rapid, or tighter or you may be unconsciously holding your breath. If we want to feel better, feel happier, positive and empowered then we must actively find ways of experiencing a sense of radiating expansion. There are a number of breathing techniques that I use with clients to de-stress, open the body, to nurture self-awareness and to integrate the bodymind; here is one that might be useful to you right now in inviting your body to enjoy an experience of expansion.

 

  • Imagine the most exquisite flower you have every seen or even imagined. Perhaps you remember been gifted such a flower or perhaps you spotted it on a nature walk. Have a clear image of this flower in your mind. Be specific about the colour and texture of the petals and think also about its fragrant smell. Now place your hand on your solar plexus area, that is the place just below your sternum bone where the ribs meet in the front of your body. Gently be in touch with this area with the tips of your fingers…. Now imagine that your exquisite flower, as a bud, is here in this solar plexus part of your body. And, as you inhale, allowing your body to relax and open up as you do so, the flower opens a little more until it is in full bloom. Give yourself some support in this experience by opening up the fingertips as you inhale so you can feel the sensation of the flower opening on your skin.

 

  • The second part of this imaginative breathing exercise is to tap into your sense of smell. You can choose to use the fragrant smell of your exquisite flower or you can think of your favourite or most pleasurable smell. This might be the smell of freshly baked bread, baked by your grandmother. Or it might be the smell of someone you love or loved. In any instance it should be a smell that you can’t get enough of. Now connect with this smell as you take a deep inhalation. Breathe in this pleasurable smell, as much of it as you can. And enjoy the somatic sensation of relaxation and expansion. Feel that even your nostrils, sinuses and respiratory passages open up.

 

When negative experiences result in a contraction of self; physically, mentally and spiritually, we can use breath, movement, imagination and embodied memories of positive experiences to facilitate a journey back towards an expanded sense of self.

 

Approaching self-care from an embodied perspective enables us to effectively re-establish our balance and nurture our well-being through listening to our body. Is my body in a state of contraction or expansion? What can I do to help myself expand?

 

  • When we tune in to what our body is telling us about how we are we can make mindful choices about what to allow into our bodymind and what to reject. For example if you come across something on social media that pulls you into a state of contraction, perhaps it is time to make the choice to take a sabbatical from that platform or group. The same might be true with individuals you are in contact with. Make the choice to listen to and act upon what your body is telling you about your well-being. The body never lies!

  

Bring Yourself Into The Present

Connecting more consciously with the body and its movement, the flow and rhythm of breath, the resonance of vocal sound, the sense of touch and smell, the sounds of people and nature around us, are essential to being able to be present in this moment. It is the body which connects us to time and space. At this time many people are either living in the nostalgia of how things used to be (often hoping things will go back to ‘normal’), or living in a state of fantasy of how the future might be. Both of these states, the past and the future, exist only in our imagination. Spending too much time in either serves only to detach you from the present, from yourself and the others who are in this moment with you and all the gifts and opportunities that are being offered to you right now. In other words, it is the embodied self that grounds us and provides us with the ability to find for ourselves a sense of safety and support.

 

Being in the present can be challenging. It requires us to quieten the mind and focus on connecting to the deeper layers of the self and our truth (including our difficult emotions) and at the same time to connect with the environment and people we find in front of us.  It is in being fully present that real connections are made with oneself and with others.

Being present requires us to be grounded. It also requires our senses to be alive and our hearts to be open to this moment.

  • In a standing position with bare feet, soften your ankles, your knees and your hips.
  • Now focus on a point in front of you. Zoom in on it. And then, as your breathing becomes more expansive, allow your focus to slowly open up and soften. See through ‘gentle eyes’ becoming ever more aware of your peripheral vision. Allow more of the space you are in to be incorporated. If you spend time softening and being with peripheral rather than sharp-focused sight for about 5 minutes your brain will go into more of a relaxed Alpha state.
  • From this open, relaxed and aware state allow your body to find some very gentle movement. Perhaps just a sway. Now become aware of the soles of your feet. Feel them in contact with the ground. Become aware of where you place the weight of your body on your feet. Is it more forward or backwards towards the heels for example. Or, do you favour the outside edges of the feet for support. Allow your weight to move around to explore the feeling. Now try to find a more neutral weight distribution on the feet.
  • Make sure your joints are soft. Feel the weight of your body.
  • Now imagine that your feet are in relationship with the ground. As if there is a personal meeting of your body and the ground. Feel the weight of your body in relationship with gravity – there is an equal and opposite force. Allowing your feet to move around, feel the stepping or shifting of weight as a meeting or connection with the ground and then a pushing away from the ground. In other words, find movement through smoothly pushing away from the ground through the feet. It may start to feel like a tender dance with the ground.
  • Become more aware of how this movement feels in the spine and in the rest of the body. Remember to keep breathing and the joints soft and feel your weight’s relationship with gravity. Allow your breath to open and expand gently as you enjoy the sensation of being supported by the ground.
  • When you come back to a neutral and still position find a sense of your body being a vertical column with energy moving both downwards into the ground and at the same time energy moving up through the body and then through crown of the head towards the sky.

 

When you feel yourself being knocked off centre and out of balance, or pulled into the contraction of anxiety or fear, bring yourself back into the grounded present moment. Right now I am breathing, I can smile, I can move and go outside, I can… (this or that) I have the time to… I have a voice… I am grateful for… I can see the clouds and feel the sun (or rain, or wind) on my skin. In this moment, this very moment, I am fine, neither the past nor the future exist. And then ask: can my next choice be one that supports my well-being? If something is not supporting your well-being and offering you a sense of expansion in some way it’s probably time to make different choices.

 

The Key To Well-Being Is Embodiment

 

If we can actively nurture a sense of embodiment in ourselves and are able to be present in the moment with an open heart and gentle eyes we will be better able to connect with and support those around us in this time of stress. We can only embrace change if we open and expand ourselves to the expereince of this moment. When we can find a more fluid, grounded and ‘breathed’ sense of self and being in timespace we can relax into the certainty of change. (The phenomenon of balance is achieved through movmement and not rigidity.)

 

One’s sense of well-being is ultimately a function of how grounded you are in the present moment. Self-care is nurtured in and through the body and the ever-deepening connection with the bodymind self it provides. If we listen carefully to those inner voices and to the truthful impulses in our bodies, if we can put aside our self-judgements, embarrassment and shame, we can feel the fundamental and ancient human instinct that invites us to dance and sing our selves and our souls through this. Play your favourite song, or one which matches your mood, and move your body, follow the impulses your body is providing you. Take a deep breath and sing the songs you love and need right now, sing them like YOU wrote them for this moment.  Your bodymind and soul will thank you.

Hope for the best. Be prepared for the worst-Worksheet
Apr 20, 2020

©Leonard Carr 16th April 2020

Adjusting to Change

 

  1. Let go of the idea that things need to stay the way they have always been. Give up the impulse to try and deny the current reality and resist change.  Nobody likes to change especially when it is sudden and forced on them.
  2. Discipline yourself to not live in nostalgia for what was, in other words to not dwell in the past.
  3. The current reality provokes us to draw deeply on inner resources and develop new ways of coping and hopefully even thriving.

 

Celebrate Life

 

  1. This pandemic presents us with an invitation to live more fully, thoughtfully and deeply; to become more deeply engaged with what it means to be alive and to be human living in these times.
  2. Deepen your appreciation of the gifts of life and the privilege of the life you have; be grateful for every new day; for health and for the people around you.
  3. This is an opportunity to up your game, on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. This could be a time to discover your own unique strengths and potential for greatness.

The Freedom to Feel Secure

 

  1. The key to feeling secure is to maintain a sense of mastery and control over your life. Maintain of your normal pattern’s habits and rules, do so to keep a sense of stability and to feel anchored in some familiar reality.
  2. Keep up your interests and hobbies. Put more effort into your physical health like giving up any addictions especially smoking.
  3. Learning about healthy diet and practicing good eating and sleeping habits also help you to feel more in control and more protected.
  4. Keep as much of your normal routines as possible and do not allow yourself to drift into free fall.

 

Building Resilience

 

  1. To build resilience, rehearse possible challenging scenarios in your mind as well as visualize the precautions necessary to prevent them or the strategies available to you for dealing with them.
  2. To inoculate yourself and children build faith and perspective and rehearsing how you will cope emotionally through a healthy attitude and approach.
  3. Set goals about who you would like to become through this process. Consider what skills and character traits you would like to develop or improve upon?  Decide then how you will work on becoming that person. Learn what steps you need to take and what you would need to know to become that person.
  4. Make an inventory of your morals, values and ideals. When you are clear about what is really important to you, decide how you will keep that knowledge close so that you can draw guidance, security and strength from keeping faithful to what truly counts in your life.

Learn from Your Own Past

 

  1. Think about all the ways that you have dealt with challenges in the past and discuss strategies that you have used to overcome adversity.
  2. Get in touch with what you have discovered about yourself: your strength, courage, resilience, resourcefulness, wisdom and skill in those times.
  3. Then work out how you can apply that knowledge and experience in dealing with your current challenges.

 

New Opportunities

 

  1. Considering new opportunities to redefine work. What can be done remotely or at home?  If you must be quarantined and cannot work, think about what interest or projects you can pursue that you had no time for in the past.
  2. It may be a good time to, for example, get more interested in gardening, cooking or things to do around the home.
  3. Visualize good possibilities for the future: this might be an opportunity to make a drastic change that you have been putting off.

Be Curious

 

  1. Develop an approach of curiosity about the way things are changing. Become interested rather than fearful.
  2. Observe and think try to deeply understand your own reactions and the developments and challenges that each new day brings. This time is presenting an opportunity for great self-discovery. Through self-discovery and awareness, you can gain mastery over your emotions.

 

Cultivate Self-Awareness

 

  1. Learn to identify and pay attention to your emotions, being compassionate to yourself and holding space for others to share feelings with you.
  2. Make time to reflect on your experience and to record your insights and impressions in a journal.
  3. It is very useful to get in touch with and express your emotions, especially your sense of powerlessness (at times), fears and sense of actual or anticipated loss.

 

Express Your Emotions

 

  1. Release feelings through crying when you need to.
  2. Process your own feelings and confide them in someone who can hold the space for you, you will avoid spilling them out in ways that upset others, particularly children. Carefully consider what you tell yourself and express in front of others
  3. Accept your humanity.
  4. Practice being more patient and forgiving of the humanity, and at times frailty, of others.

 

The Voice that Others Need

 

  1. Be a voice of encouragement and support to those around you.
  2. If you feel panicked or even doubtful do not spread that, it is very contagious and makes life harder for those around you.
  3. Keep abreast of facts and developments from reliable sources helps you to maintain a sense of control.

 

Keep Connected

 

  1. Find creative ways to stay connected and deepen connection.
  2. Tighten your social and relationship bonds, support others and learn to seek and appreciate support from others. Work on your close relationships or marriage.
  3. Work as families, colleagues and communities to strategize of ways to stay safe and mitigate not only health but also social and economic effects.

 

You Choose

 

  1. You can choose how to respond to the situation.  You can choose how you wish to be there for others.  Whether to grow from this experience and become a deeper, stronger, wiser and more courageous person or to be defeated by fear. Optimism is also a choice.
Mar 17, 2020

©Leonard Carr 16th March 2020

The world as we know it is undergoing sudden and radical change. The general health crisis that is being brought about by the rapid spread of corona virus could easily become a mental health crisis. It seems incumbent on every person, who has the insight and ability, to protect their own emotional well-being, and to support the people within their sphere of influence to do the same.

Change is the Only Certainty

Life never stays the same; it only seems that way either when changes happen very far apart or when they happen slowly over time. What is happening is a sudden drastic change to people’s way of life, livelihoods and sense of safety and security.  Many things are still going to change. Some changes will be temporary, and alas, others permanent. This is how life is; it’s part of the natural order and you have to learn to embrace that reality to live fully and in the present and not let fear hijack your joy.

This is Serious

It would seem, from what the experts are telling us, that from the point of view of changing habits of hygiene and social interaction, you need to act neurotic and obsessive without succumbing to anxiety or panic.  Overreaction, when it comes to keeping yourself and others safe in these circumstances, is the most functional behaviour. Adjustments take time and can be exhausting and at times seem overwhelming. Treat this as a project that you work on day by day, making incremental adjustments and taking it one step at a time.  We will learn from this crisis as we go along. We will be able to develop and benefit from collective wisdom, resources and skills. We can also find reassurance in the knowledge that in our times we access to have wisdom and experience from past disasters to draw upon to know how to adapt to this. We also have the possibility of vaccine which is, historically speaking, a relatively new thing.

Emotional Contagion

Emotions, like viruses, are extremely contagious. Just as we have the obligation to do whatever we can not to spread Corona virus, we equally have a responsibility to not spread the viruses of fear, hysteria, cynicism, pessimism and mistrust. If we put the appropriate mental health measures in place, then it will be possible to keep a healthy state of mind.  Achieve that and you can be a beacon of calm, support and encouragement for others.

Adjusting to Change

The first step in the process of adjusting to the transition we face is to let go of the idea that things need to stay the way they have always been. Give up the impulse to try and deny the current reality and resist change.  Nobody likes to change especially when it is sudden and forced on them. All the more so for such a pervasive change that it affects your lifestyle and everything that you are accustomed to being able to do and take for granted. It is very disconcerting to be forced out of your comfort zone. It is scary to be confronted with uncertainties and to feel that you do not have control over your world. It is frightening to face the unknown. It is unnerving to feel that your ability to predict and control your future has been taken away. Discipline yourself to not live in nostalgia for what was, in other words to not dwell in the past. The current reality provokes us to draw deeply on inner resources and develop new ways of coping and hopefully even thriving.

The Gift

While it no doubt can seem overwhelming, this crisis presents an opportunity to turn adversity into a great gift. It is not only a gift for adults. As leaders, parents, teachers and elders we can turn this experience into a gift for children if we are skillful and aware of how we frame the current reality. We need to exercise mindfulness in how we manage our own and their expectation for the future. We need to psychologically healthy and mature behavior. If you do not know what that means, now is the time to find out. It is a collective responsibility to model and teach the children that you encounter, the perspective and skills to deal with adversity.

Radical Care

There is so much commentary and complaint about the indifference, apathy, entitlement and self-centeredness of the younger generation: this is the perfect opportunity to change that by teaching them that showing care and compassion for others is the ideal way to protect your own interests. This is a time when children can be enrolled in acts of service, in being alive to ideals and to the concept of personal responsibility for the welfare of others.  Foster awareness of the many people around you whose livelihoods are going to be compromised, who are isolated and in need of practical or emotional care.

Celebrate Life

This pandemic is not going to last forever. While it is around us, it presents us with an invitation to live more fully, thoughtfully and deeply; to become more deeply engaged with what it means to be alive and to be human living in these times. It can bring you to a deeper appreciation of the gifts of life and the privilege of the life you have; to be grateful for every new day; for health and for the people around you.  It is an opportunity to up your game, on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. This could be a time to discover your own unique strengths and potential for greatness. This is still one the best times in history to be alive.

 

The Freedom to Feel Secure

The key to feeling secure is to maintain a sense of mastery and control over your life. This is especially so when you cannot control your circumstances or the external conditions of your life. Whatever you can maintain of your normal pattern’s habits and rules, do so to keep a sense of stability and to feel anchored in some familiar reality. Keep up your interests and hobbies. Put more effort into your physical health like giving up any addictions especially smoking. Learning about healthy diet and practicing good eating and sleeping habits also help you to feel more in control and more protected.  Keep as much of your normal routines as possible and do not allow yourself to drift into free fall.

The Reality

Accept that you will probably be directly affected by this pandemic: you may get ill and there will definitely be people close to you who will get ill, some even seriously. People you know may die. Embracing this reality is hard but also empowering and can help avoid panic, denial and paralysis.

Building Resilience

It is a valuable step to building resilience, to rehearse possible challenging scenarios in your mind as well as to visualize the precautions necessary to prevent them or the strategies available to you for dealing with them. Each of us will either get sick or have people close to us get sick. We will in all likelihood be confronted with death at some level of our family or social world. We have to inoculate ourselves and children by building our faith and perspective and rehearsing how we will cope emotionally through a healthy attitude and approach. As hard as this might be, in the long run denial makes you feel even more helpless and fearful. That makes it even harder to cope when crisis happens. Anticipation and rehearsal are very different from worrying and catastrophizing. It is coming to terms with the realities of life that, until we are forced by circumstances to confront, we never think deeply about if at all.

One way to feel in control is to set goals about who you would like to become through this process. Consider what skills and character traits you would like to develop or improve upon?  Decide then how you will work on becoming that person. Learn what steps you need to take and what you would need to know to become that person.

A good starting point is to take an inventory of your morals, values and ideals. Those don’t change. When you are clear about what is really important to you, decide how you will keep that knowledge close so that you can draw guidance, security and strength from keeping faithful to what truly counts in your life.

Learn from Your Own Past

Think about all the ways that you have dealt with challenges in the past and discuss strategies that you have used to overcome adversity. Get in touch with what you have discovered about yourself: your strength, courage, resilience, resourcefulness, wisdom and skill in those times. Then work out how you can apply that knowledge and experience in dealing with your current challenges.

New Opportunities

It is worthwhile to start considering new opportunities to redefine work. What can be done remotely or at home?  If you must be quarantined and cannot work, think about what interest or projects you can pursue that you had no time for in the past. It may be a good time to, for example, get more interested in gardening, cooking or things to do around the home. Visualize good possibilities for the future: this might be an opportunity to make a drastic change that you have been putting off.

 

Be Curious

Develop an approach of curiosity about the way things are changing. Become interested rather than fearful. Observe and think try to deeply understand your own reactions and the developments and challenges that each new day brings. This time is presenting an opportunity for great self-discovery. Through self-discovery and awareness, you can gain mastery over your emotions. Through insight and self-mastery, you can become an even more effective beacon of mental health, resilience, hope and encouragement to those around you.

Cultivate Self-Awareness

It takes time and space to develop self-awareness and through that to gain mastery over your reactions. Learn to identify and pay attention to your emotions, being compassionate to yourself and holding space for others to share feelings with you. It is invaluable to make time to reflect on your experience and to record your insights and impressions in a journal. It is very useful to get in touch with and express your emotions, especially your sense of powerlessness (at times), fears and sense of actual or anticipated loss.

Express Your Emotions

It is important to release feelings through crying when you need to. Bottled up feelings lead to behavior that is not useful or even destructive to yourself or others. If you process your own feelings and confide them in someone who can hold the space for you, you will avoid spilling them out in ways that upset others, particularly children. Be careful what you say to yourself and in front of others, especially who you say it to, for example children and vulnerable people. Accept your humanity. Practice being more patient and forgiving of the humanity, and at times frailty, of others.

The Voice that Others Need

You need to be a voice of encouragement and support to those around you. If you feel panicked or even doubtful do not spread that, it is very contagious and makes life harder for those around you. Keeping abreast of facts and developments from reliable sources helps you to maintain a sense of control. You are part of history and you will be able to tell your children and grandchildren about this, just like those who lived through the great wars and depression.

Keep Connected

We are social beings who need connection above almost anything else: find creative ways to stay connected and deepen connection. We are all in this together and we have to be there for each other. Tighten your social and relationship bonds, support others and learn to seek and appreciate support from others. Work on your close relationships or marriage. Make sure this crisis strengthens your bonds with the important people in your life and not the opposite. Work as families, colleagues and communities to strategize of ways to stay safe and mitigate not only health but also social and economic effects.

Social Responsibility 

It’s very important to think about not transmitting the virus.  Practicing consideration for others, improving social awareness and learning to put the greater good before your own interests are excellent qualities to build and improve upon. It is also empowering to take the focus off yourself and your own feeling of vulnerability and to direct it towards being helpful to others. Social distancing is really important to stop spread more than to protect yourself, therefore the decision to practice it cannot be made on the basis of a calculation of personal risk.

Hygiene Skills

It is good to frame the issue of hygiene to children as a life skill and as something that is always important. It is time to learn to be proactive and develop impeccable hygiene if up to now it has not been your thing.  If you do normally practice good hygiene, then become even more conscientious about hand washing and wiping surfaces that people regularly touch. This will be better for health even after this pandemic has passed.

You Choose

Remember that regardless of the circumstances you have choices. You can choose how to respond to the situation.  You can choose how you wish to be there for others.  Whether to grow from this experience and become a deeper, stronger, wiser and more courageous person or to be defeated by fear. Optimism is also a choice. Above all, in keeping yourself healthy and avoiding illness and death, do not forget to live. Even more importantly remember to enjoy the life that you have, the blessings and gifts of each day and the power and opportunity to make a positive difference in the world.

Nov 28, 2019

There is a saying that there are four types of fools. The fool who announces himself as you are introduced, the one who announces himself at the inception of the conversation, the one who announces himself in the middle of the conversation and the one who announces himself at the end of the conversation.

I have added a fifth. This is the fool who announces himself in the lift as he is leaving the building.

It does not however end there, as I recently discovered. Imagine a person who goes to a psychologist to ask how he can save his marriage. He gives a list of all his complaints and a litany of descriptions of his wife’s faults. He then asks despairingly what the prognosis is for a marriage with such a difficult wife.

This man needs to understand that his wife’s behaviour and how she shows up in the relationship is just a mirror of how he performs in the relationship.

The psychologist points out that from his wife’s perspective there are many things that he could change. They are all easily within his control and would make life much easier for her. Making life more bearable for her would most likely inspire her to change her approach to him and thus become more the way that he would like her to be.

For example, affectionate and soft, affirming words may be more appealing to her than blunt suggestions and blatant demands. Taking more care of his appearance and hygiene would make him more physically appealing to her.

The conversation continues with the husband really seeming to get it. He seemed to catch on to the fact that much of the problem could be solved if he changed his attitude and approach. His wife, after all, is reacting to him, not behaving in a vacuum.

These are the conversations that make psychologists feel brilliant. As if the deal is closed, the catch has been bagged. The psychologist suggests literature, other material that the husband could start working with that would raise his emotional intelligence and give him the tools and insights that could make him into the type of husband that could bring out of his partner the type of wife that he would prefer.

The now triumphant and jubilant psychologist zealously hands over the precious material, the code that will help this man unlock the treasure.

Upon receiving this magnanimous gift from his psychologist, the man says, as he turns to leave, “you know, I am really busy with so many demands in my life. I am going to give this stuff to my wife and have her start on it”.

The psychologist’s circumspection and humility return with a vengeance. His magical powers in one fell swoop are rendered a mere illusion. It is the client who is the true expert in the sleight of hand.

The appeal to vanity is a failsafe method of getting people where you want them. Simply show people what they want to see, in this case the hapless psychologist believing in his own brilliance, and you can conceal that you are in fact not going along with one word.

Clearly the sixth fool is the one who does not see it coming!

MANIFESTO FOR THE APPRECIATIVE WITNESS
Nov 26, 2019

The whole person
is the one who makes others feel more substantial;

The good person
is the one who helps others find good in themselves;

The beautiful person…

Complexity
Nov 26, 2019

“The more complexity in life, the more that can go wrong, and the more we try to avoid the vulnerability by adding new complexities.” ~Leonard Carr

Dark
Nov 26, 2019

“Where you have dark places inside yourself, you will bump into, trample on or fail to notice others. Where you are enlightened, there will be illumination and insight. From these places, one can fully see and appreciate others.” ~Leonard Carr

Peace
Nov 26, 2019

“Become the embodiment of peace. Soften and open your heart until it encompasses the entire world.” ~Leonard Carr

Parent Child
Nov 26, 2019

“The psychological simply cannot explain, cannot reach, the relationship between parent and child. Just think of the way a child goes through their lost parents’ clothes, their objects, how he longs to be intimate even when they are gone. Just think about the yearning of an adopted child to unite with who it was who brought him into this world. It is too big and deep. It is a bond that is existential; spiritual.” ~Leonard Carr

Deeper
Nov 26, 2019

“A person, would, in fact, be very unlucky if they were never to experience a trauma. For, it is the experience of becoming deeper and bigger than the trauma that grows us –that expresses one’s essence and strength. It is only when one’s metal is tested, that one has the opportunity to really express who one really is.” ~Leonard Carr

Resilliance
Nov 26, 2019

“I define ‘resilience as the ability to become bigger and deeper than the painful experience. Bigger, because it involves the knowledge that, no matter how uncomfortable ‘this’ may be, one has has the power and resources inside to contain it; to host it . Deeper, because one’s sense of oneself, of life, of the human condition, is expanded.” ~Leonard Carr.

Reveal
Nov 26, 2019

“Our lives do not create who we are; they reveal who we are.” ~Leonard Carr

Guest
Nov 26, 2019

To be a guest in someone else’s world-in this world-is to be nonjudgmental and open to receiving whatever is offered. It is to stand at the door, waiting, curious and asking,

“I wonder what this person will bring? I wonder what this experience will be?” ~Leonard Carr

Memory
Nov 26, 2019

“Every moment of goodness needs to be framed and carefully placed in memory as a precious gift” ~Leonard Carr

Light
Nov 26, 2019

“Every drop of light dispels a great deal of darkness. The light of any single flame has the power to enlighten the entire world without losing any of its own lightone candle at a time.” ~Leonard Carr

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