Updated: Apr 21
This Thursday at Concord MCI, Gary, Alan, and I reviewed the last few sessions in the PoF curriculum, and Gary completed the Drama Triangle session from the week before as our time was cut short that night. Because we have a sixteen-week program, reviewing a few sessions or drawing out a particular session over two weeks is possible. Last week we reviewed Who Am I?, Change Inside and Out, and Holding Your Seat and State Shifting. Reviewing a few sessions in an abbreviated manner allows for tying the program together in one sitting and some creative exploration of the material.
A few things stood out for me during this last class – both meditations fit and enhanced the program we presented. Gary’s (his own) was a guided visualization med, and Alan’s was a guided breath counting med. Neither was very long, so the guys were relaxed but not about to fall asleep. During check-in, a couple of the men said they’d gone over together the Deep Belly Breathing med instruction that we’d given out copies of the week before. Quite a few of the men have been using that and the Body Scan to help them get to sleep, but hearing that a few men were going over some of the med instructions together was encouraging.
What stood out most for me was that the guys seemed to light up as we discussed basic goodness. It felt like they were getting it or at least wanted or were willing to entertain a belief in its existence. My perception of this was visceral. That felt sense can’t be manufactured, in my experience.
In my session portion, I focused on contemplation and reflection as necessary components to all the State Shifting, Holding your Seat, and Ego State material. I’d like to remember to weave that in repeatedly as we continue through the curriculum so that when the program is over, the men have a good working habit of self-examining using the PoF material and meditation.
The topic that came up late in the night was the issue of visitors who don’t show up, don’t call ahead to cancel or to explain why, or stop coming to visit altogether – so much anger, hurt, irritation, disappointment, and sadness. At this point, partly because of time constraints, all I could do was convey empathy for the men who spoke. It was pretty clear that this was a hot-button trigger for men in general. Hope we can address this and assist the men with how to manage these kinds of issues later on. Gary and Alan will most probably be blogging, too, and looking forward.
Report by POF Facilitator Nealy Zimmerman