Puppet Talk: based on other therapies

Puppet Talk

It stems from Expressive Therapy, the notion that through expression, we are well on the way to dealing with our past.

It’s also  based on NLP techniques to help de-traumatize one still trapped in the thralls of major trauma. The technique is to offer a buffer zone, a safe distancing from past events in our lives in order to view them as if we were watching a movie.

This is also psychodrama, a technique that offers us the opportunity to recreate life events as if we were directing theatre. We cast important characters in the scene, including ourselves, and we coach them in saying the sentences as we recall them being said. We position them just as they were at the time. We direct the scene, write the script, and do coaching to make sure that the events are portrayed as they need to be.

Then, if need be, we can zoom into a moment, expand it, slow it down. We can even rearrange characters, re-write the script, so that we can experience the satisfaction of closure. With understanding and often a big smile, we are free to move on.

Each of these techniques offer the storyteller a way to deal with personal history.

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Share your story. (What story?)

Everyone has a story. There’s always a history behind the present moment. How you got to where you currently sit, stand, recline. When it began. What happened before that. And then what happened…

We can recall moments filled with details and colours and sounds. Some of them may be haphazard. Some may have been predetermined and cast into our DNA by our grandparents or their grandparents. If we consider all that, that too is our story.

It seems reasonable that when asked to share your story, there must be something you could say.

But, when I was asked, I discovered something else. What story? What have I done that when examined from a bird’s eye view looks or sounds like a story? I had lived through events, but were they interesting? Did they create a story-line? I didn’t see it.

Escape route 101: I asked my partner to tell me his story. I  as interviewer could happily record his beginning, middle and end. “What’s your story?” I asked him. “Tell me what makes you who you are – the events, the encounters that brought you here.”

He answered: “I have no story.”

I tried re-framing the question. His words came out the same. No. No story, here.  Now, I know he has a story. He has lived a life of experiences and relationships that could fill books.

So, what makes it hard to look at our lives and pick out the moments that when lined up would ring authentic and truly represent our path. Moments that when put on a page would offer material for a professional edit and a click of the publish button.

I know that, in the past, if an interested other has asked me what brought me to this moment, I’ve had lots to talk about, things that sounded unique and interesting. Why were those times different from being asked to listen to myself, and write?

The difference was plain. Then I had an audience. I could gear what I said to the look of interest (or lack of) in the gaze of my listener/s.

An audience. I could speak to the audience. Just like on stage or in a classroom.  Instinctively, I’d find the light in their eyes and be encouraged.

So, I came up with an idea. This idea isn’t new to me, in fact it was my original plan when I first came to Israel. The idea is simple: Puppet Talk. Let a puppet tell the story. Let a puppet narrate and if need be, bring on important characters to be arranged onstage. Let the puppet show the small scenes of real life, in shameless accuracy, complete with blunders and embarrassment. Let the puppet express it all to provide clarity to past events that happened in a tumult of emotion or social upheaval, but which stick out in our minds: those events that we remember as pivotal in our route through life.

Let the puppet do the talking so that you can stand back and watch the story of your life from a comfortable distance.

This is the idea.

When I ask myself leading questions like:

What made you come to Israel?

What made you stay?

I think back and offer a phrase or a sentence. ‘It was the smell of orange blossoms.’

“I didn’t feel so short here.”

Yet was it truly so simple? Had I left a life in Canada for a new life in a strange land, just because of the fragrance of orange blossoms? Or that other people were short and I felt physically at home? Or the joy in meeting artists, musicians, philosophers at every corner? In the supermarket, in the office of the real estate agent, or with the vegetable vendor who traded us big green Granny Smith apples for the luscious guava from our tree. Those apples were juiced, warmed and served with cinnamon during a cold winter when we didn’t have money for heat.

There are questions that can be answered with a sniff of cinnamon or orange blossoms. Words hardly do them justice. So, why use puppets? Because the puppet can provide the distance and the voice for an emotion that might be difficult to express. The puppet seldom cries, but often shows empathy. Puppets can deal with life’s absurdities and still radiate patience and understanding.

Puppet talk. An idea that needs pursuing. What is my story?  Let’s see!

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School Vacation or Living Life!

Sukkot vacation! Two weeks!

I’ve lived through one glorious week already. But there’s another one!

Utterly cool

I feel like taking pastels and hand drawing all over my walls, but do I? nope! I just draw in my mind while happily doing other stuff.

Other stuff like: Getting my NLP Practitioner’s Certificate! yay!

Now, come on all of you, who truly want to make a change. I’m here for you. I won’t talk you into anything – only assist you do the work. And with NLP, there are techniques that are efficient and effective.  None of this ten years of talk-therapy. No. Sometimes heavy change can be achieved in a few sessions. So says Trainer Boris Meltser who led the course.  There’s an interview I did with him here.

I’m collecting a bag of tools: NLP and Reiki and puppetherapy and psychodrama (those last two are not certified but are products of courses and practice and love).

Last evening, I was also present at a Women’s circle of seven women, gathered to accept the Feminine energy of the Mother. She graced us, offered us messages, and will accompany us for the next seven months.

http://netofthemother.com/site/flash/flashDetail.asp?flash_id=827676

The message given me came as an image, something I need to consider and work with during the next seven months. The rather powerful image related to my skill as a therapist, and I was urged to release my sense of logic and order and surrender to my skills.

If mother only knew how very long I’ve ached and strived to be able to go from point A to point B without taking a hundred different roadtrips…..but still, the message was given. Perhaps i should return to my natural predilection to follow my intuition.

Feminine energy situation. Doron Lavie, of T’ai Chi fame, mentioned that the symbol of Yin and Yang is actually composed of a black circle (the feminine) with the white masculine superimposed. He put it this way: the feminine feeds the masculine. All comes from the feminine.

Yin Yang

And it does, indeed.

May we begin to never forget.

Plugging up energetic leaks – or how NLP helps me cut the cord and re-circuit

Today was my final session of my introductory course to NLP (neuro linguistic programming) and I volunteered for a demonstration in ‘Cord Cutting’.

There has been a loose connection in my life – a continual energy exchange with someone with whom I didn’t want to exchange energies. In other words, I’ve been attached to someone energetically without wanting to be. This could be true for you with an ex-, or a friend, or even a place or an object and this technique is applicable if you truly want the energetic flow to stop. It’s not about stopping every aspect of a relationship (you can leave the memory, for example)  but only about the excess connection, the exaggerated energetic flow.

The process of rechanneling that energy is simple and effective. I’ve got a video clip – a friend filmed the process, but the teacher is speaking in Hebrew, (and it’s 18 minutes long!) so I’ll describe the process.

The first step is to ask myself if I truly want to end that connection.  Would it be a good idea to end it? If so, then to symbolize the connection, I light a candle and place it somewhere in the room.

I stand, close my eyes and begin the process.  I imagine the person across from me and  feel the connection. I locate the place on my body where I feel the ‘cord’ or whatever ties me to the other. I feel/see the ‘cord’ and describe it, the material, temperature, texture, tone or smell, everything is described.  I then proceed to cut the ‘cord’ with imaginary scissors  in order to feel a sudden loss. What’s missing? What ended by cutting the cord?  In my case it was excitement, zest, joie de vivre.

The cord is then immediately replaced. And the work begins.

I create a sculpture of myself at my best. (at 7:11 in clip below) With all the qualities within that were provided by that other (the ‘ex’) and even more qualities – all the features, wisdom, warmth that I myself would possess at my very ‘best’.  After creating, feeling that ‘best self’, I enter her, feel her at my back, in my heart.  I then turn back to my former position,  cut the cord to the ‘ex’ and immediately re-attach it to my ‘Best Self’.   I feel the connection – i let it flow. and I attach her to my heart knowing that she will always be there for me as a permanent advisor whenever and wherever i need her.

The next step is to honor the ‘ex’ and allow that person to also sculpt their best self, cut the cord and attach it to their sculpture (this can be done in a flash – allowing the ‘ex’ to do the work). Imagination works quickly.

Next, i offer a benediction to the ‘ex’. I repeat phrases such as “You were my friend.  I honour you and I thank you for what you offered me in my life. It’s precious and I honour it. Whatever I offered you, i offered freely and you may keep it for yourself. I take full responsibility for my part in our relationship and in our separation. I leave you your part in this.  I leave a part of you in my heart. I am sorry if i pushed you away or hurt you in any way. I thank you and release you in love. I wish you happiness in the way you understand it.”

Note: at 13:47, Boris offers the phrases in Hebrew and my work is to listen, decide if they’re right for me and if so, repeat them. These phrases were taken from the work of Bert Hellinger‘s practice of Family Constellations)

The next step is to allow the relationship to disappear. I place the ‘ex’ / sculpture on a boat. (16:36) As i stand at the dock, i allow the boat to sail into the distance and i watch the ‘ex’ grow smaller and smaller, until the tiny dot disappears entirely.

I come back to the here and now, in my own time, opening my eyes, ready to begin my new life, supported by that wonderful best self internallization.  Finally, i blow out the candle. All that was unwanted in that relationship has been stopped – only a good memory remains.

And here’s the clip – it’s long – my comments are very quiet since i was in a light trance.