Read the first part of the Journey if you are new to this by clicking on the link!
Yesterday I wrote up the notes above for the first trip. There might be something there or not. My task today is to experience how life planning helps individuals address the problems of living a life affected by addiction to short hits of happiness.
I sit on the redwood bench and immediately see the facilitator saying “I have had enough of you!”
He turns to walk away.
I run after him saying; “don’t get upset, I need you!”
“You need me like a hole in your head!” he replies.
I run after and ask what he is trying to tell me. “You run and have fun but you need to deal with community action it needs to be spread and needs more work. What you are doing is not going to lead anywhere.”
Now I feel really enthusiastic about the quest – not.
A woman comes up and says “Are you ready for your treatment?”
“Err sure,” I say.
She goes over to the grey lift and I follow. She is rather “nurse-like” in her manner and dress.
Anyway “OK,” nylon smock says, “I am going to take you to the place, just follow me”.
We walk into quite a nice place, like a Japanese bath house, we pass a swimming pool, where people are relaxing.
She shows me a chalet; “this is your room. Get undressed and put a robe on with swimming trunks underneath.”
It’s a normal hotel room, quite pleasant, some green tea available. A nice and peaceful place. A bell sounds, we are all meant to go into a little meeting room. NO furniture, just a polished wooden floor. We sit down in a circle. Another bell sounds. The vibrations of these bells seem important for getting us in the right mood.
The bell goes off - bong bong bong-.
We sit in a circle, the leader speaks;”we are all here to address life planning”.
“Any questions or anyone want to share anything?”
“No no no “, everyone mutters in low voiced.
So, what we are going to do uses a large circle drawn on the floor of the room. This is our task: the segments of the circle represent different aspects of the lives we lead. While the bell is sounding we have to walk around the different sections of the circle. As we walk around we have to feel. Fell which aspects of our lives tense us, or make us feel good or just how we feel. And we have to feel how much of our energy we give daily to that aspect. High, medium or low.
I think we can stand in the circle or out of the circle depending on the strength of the feeling.
I go to work: love life, eating, free time, exercise, self image, level of control, personal development, relationship family/kids,
I walk round feeling like I would be at a low level with relationships with family, low with work but feel stressed, uncomfortable with money, love life - low energy but comfortable.
Personal development low and uncomfortable, living uncomfortable, use of living space, low energy.
I could go round many times. As I go round I get more and more understanding how I feel about that area. You can walk inwards and outwards to see how you feel about the levels of energy you are giving to these different areas.
Everyone walks around the room.
We sit down. We sit quiet for a few moments to let the experience catch up on us. We felt a lot during the exercise; it was confrontational – but necessary. You have to face all of this. These feelings act as a compass and guide.
I realize you can make up your own circle categories - these here are just a start. The next stage is to get a bit of paper with the circle on it and you put in the sections that are valid to you. You can even divide the circle section up into sub sections.
In the inner circle you put a dot to show level of discomfort. And the outer circle shows if you have a high or low level of activity in it.
We sit round again in a circle and have the diagram in front of us.
“What do we do now - any ideas?” The leader asks.
“Obviously you should address the areas of discomfort – and if you have too many you could be in trouble.”
Areas of discomfort are both ones where we are putting in a lot of energy and feeling stressed, or one where we are putting in little energy and feeling stressed.
But how would you address them?
I ask: “If I give low how do I know it is actually low? I could think I am low but I am high compared to the average Joe. How do I evaluate what does that means to me?”
The leader explains that I need to understand what I need to do to get into the comfort zone.
The best way is to talk to some one who knows about this particular area.
We are now invited to break up into groups to get expert help for the areas.
Home space planning is what I choose.
Who is helping out with that? We form groups as more than one chose that area.
The leader has a file, containing what is comfortable practice, high and low. And you have to work out what you do and don’t do compared to normal practice, best practice and mistakes to avoid. You work out where you are missing out.
He reads out what is regarded as best practice:
• A place for everything and everything in its place
• Clean regularly
• Tidy as you go
So I do not really do any of those. But I have to. You have to make a conscious effort to do it - and the longer you leave it the worse it gets. YOU HAVE TO if you want to get yourself back to stability and life enjoyment.
I realize that this has to do with the earlier impression about going over natural limits. If you do, then it is only conscious effort that will bring you over that line again.
You have to prioritize to get yourself back. But first you have to understand the negative effects - how they make you feel and affect your life.
We get given a new worksheet. We list negative effect, and priorities for reducing them.
Then we make a plan for each of the best practices we decide to implement.
I now have a plan.
That was that little session. We get a binder to take with us, with more notes, and to put our worksheets in.
We return to the group. I got some sort of insight from this exercise - a place for everything and a time for everything and everything in its time.
The next exercise is to set the day up. You have to do that properly too.
We are now asked to walk through the day and do the same exercise with the day.
Another circle now, the 24 hr clock.
Sections are marked out for the night, morning and breakfast and the lunch and the afternoon etc. I am asked to reflect on the different energy levels and what we do and how we do it.
YOU have to set YOUR day up. I walk through mine seeing it is a bit of a mess.
I do not settle down in the evening and that ruins the next day.
We walk through the day and back, using the same approach as before.
Where am I stressed?
Where do I put most/least energy?
The evening is my priority. We are reminded we should also look at what we are good at. At least I get things done, I see. Even if the execution is not so organized.
Addiction upsets your life as you and not doing in your time what you CAN do. Being satisfied with what you have got though is also important. If you have got a poor self image you are always tying to do more than you can.
So some people need to reduce their activity or stress for activity, and review and realign their standards to what is reasonable.
Actually it seems like a Japanese is leading this group. I might be able to borrow his genius – but it is not quite time for that. I am still walking up and down my day.
We sit down around the day circle.
The leader asks us what we can do about stressed parts of the day.
There are little theories about calming down. Generally coming down to another level and you’ve got music, candle light smells, aroma therapy - all that sort of thing.
I shall need a time to do that. OK - if my space organization is up the spout maybe my day rhythm is also up the spout. The day rhythm does not compare to my discomfort levels.
I have a suggestion about how to handle the day
Match day and levels to see they get the attention they need.
Before I can take the suggestion further we break for lunch. And for relaxation in the hot bath.
After lunch we will reconvene and carry on.
End of Journey to the Cure 2 tapescript.