In Chapter 3, "How Has My Past Influenced My Life Today?" explore how your family and past decisions effect choices you make today.
How Has My Past Influenced My Life Today?
Whether our family consisted of a mother and father, a single parent, a mother and three step- fathers or three step-mothers and one father, two moms or two dads, grandparents who took over the parenting role, foster parents, a commune in the woods, or any other combination of people who take on the responsibility of raising children, it was within that family that we learned our first lessons about goal-setting and the possibility for change.
Within strong and well-functioning families children are able to learn that they have the ability to make wise choices and to be responsible for the consequences of their choices. They learn that striving and failing is part of the human condition and that we all fail at one time or another.
A simple ceremony for couples who are breaking up, so that they don't carry excess baggage into their next relationship.
If your relationship is sailing along splendidly or you are making progress with a marriage counselor, this post may not apply directly to you. But it may apply to a friend who has reached the end of a marriage that has become so distant, difficult or painful that all she can think about is ending the turmoil.
Had your friend sought professional help earlier, her relationship might have been salvaged. But by the time many troubled couples see a therapist, 80% are unable to salvage their relationship.
That is why, several years ago, Lynne Azpeitia wrote an article for Support4Change in which she shared an exercise she uses when couples decide that they need to split. The idea was to explore how they could break up so that they don't carry excess baggage into their next relationship.
In the conclusion to Chapter 2, "Who Am I Today?" explore how you can be sure the dreams you hold are yours, and not someone else's.
Who Am I Today?
Stories That Heal
Too often, people must experience greater tragedy than the ordinary misfortunes that come into every life. In these cases, it is often in the telling of the tragedy that victims are released from the pain and paralysis of the past.An example of this was the basis of a riveting play titled, I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda, by Sonja Linden. The play grew out of the story of a young woman from Rwanda who lost almost her entire family in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis by the Hutus in the 1990s. What started out as the writing of her family’s experience of genocide, so that people would not forget what happened, became, in addition, an act of healing.
For two-and-a-half years she had worked on her book in the refugee camp, wrestling day after day with her enormously painful story, often tearing up the previous day’s work at five o’clock in the morning when she started her daily writing. Even while she was immersed in the process of writing her book, however, she recognized its therapeutic value and said that writing helped her take the pain “away from my heart.” Consequently, she discovered that through telling her story she came to feel “clean” and her nightmares and headaches ceased. As I watched the play and heard her horrendous tale, my heart cried for her and I will not forget her family, or the suffering of her people, which was, of course, the original purpose of writing her story. Continue reading
In the first part of Chapter 2, “Who Am I Today?” begin to examine who you are so that you can be sure that you are following your dreams, and not someone else’s.
Who Am I Today?
Let’s assume you want to change your life in some fairly significant way. You want to lose weight, transform a reserved personality into one you think others will admire, earn a graduate degree, or start proceedings for a long- delayed divorce. Before those things can happen, however, you have to start with who you are today — heavier than you’d like to be, shy, without a degree, still married.
Pretending otherwise is a bit like asking Map Quest to give you driving directions to your destination from a different street than the one you live on, or even from a different city. You may want to be someplace else. You may be heading there. You may firmly believe your life will be better when you get there — and one day you may arrive to find it perfectly to your liking. But today you are who you are and where you are. even if you’re lost, acknowledging that fact can stop you from going around in circles.
The problem with acknowledging where you are, however, is that you often don’t know where you are because you can’t see the wider picture. Continue reading
In the final part of Chapter 1, “What Do I Know About the Process of Change?” Learn about a metaphor you can use to begin the process of change.
What Do I Know About
the Process of Change?
A Room With a View
Let’s use another metaphor to describe how you can create new pathways in your brain, keep the best from your past, move out of your comfort zone, take a few Kaizen steps, and move toward a new future.
Imagine that in the house or apartment where you live today you discover a door you’ve not seen before. on the door is a sign that says, “silence when entering this place of creativity and change.” You’re not sure what you’ll find when you open the door, but you decide to investigate. So you turn the knob and see a staircase leading up to a small, very quiet room with clear windows facing in every direction.
In the center is a swivel chair where you can sit most comfortably and look out toward the world as it is today, and how you imagine the world might be in the future. Best of all, there is a table where you can open your backpack and some shelves where you can sort the load you’ve been carrying for such a long time. Continue reading