25 May, 2006

My notes from Piero Ferrucci talk

My notes from Piero Ferrucci talk , Thursday 25 May 2006
Turning difficulties into strengths
Our failures can help us learn and grow.
Our most painful situations can be seen as challenges.
Our weakest points can become sources of hope.
Some personal details

Piero referred to several stories in his talk :

The two vases
One beautiful , the other cracked and ugly. Used every day by owner to carry water from the well . The way is long and by the time he reaches destination the cracked vase is almost empty. This makes it feel useless and sad. The owner points out all the beautiful flowers growing alongside the path and tells the vase that without the leaks these flowers would not be there.

The bags of suffering
People always complaining to the Rabbi that their suffering is the worst, worse than other people’s suffering. One day the Rabbit tells them to out their suffering in a bag and hang it on the tree. The next day instructs them to choose another person’s suffering , since that is obviously better. They soon realize that they prefer their own suffering.

We make our own suffering. Attachment to suffering makes things worse. We are not troubled by things but by our opinion of things. Can we entertain another kind of thinking ? There is no good or bad. Facts are facts .
When there seems to be no way out .

Re- framing or re-naming , is a way to turn a problem into an advantage. When the Prussians ( ? ) invaded France they had to blow up a certain bridge .The French however changed the name of the bridge. This confused the Prussians, who did not want to blow up the wrong bridge and so it was saved.
In the same way we can reframe our problems
Being less fixed and rigid in our thinking helps.

Anther story of a Jewish man who finds his family really difficult to get on with. He complains to the Rabbit that he wants heaven , not hell . The Rabbi tells him to walk along the road until he reaches heaven and points out the road ."But how far ? " asks the man – " you’ll know " replies the Rabbi . " just keep on walking ". So he walks an walks until he gets tired and then stops at an inn to rest. Before getting in to bed he puts his shoes to point in the direction he was going. During the night the devil turns his shoes around . In the morning , the man thinks – odd – but continues on his way. The path becomes familiar .. and the man delights in this as he recognises one landmark after the other and feels happier and happier . Finally he recognises a house – just like his house .. finally heaven ! And so it is. He meets his wife and children in a new light.

Lucky people
Lucky people – born that way ? or can one learn to be lucky ?
There are 4 characteristics of lucky people
Lucky people are open and maximise their life experience
Lucky people go on their hunches.
Lucky people have faith that their dreams can be realised
Lucky people will see the positive in difficult situations.

Live a healthier life - For a period of six months , write down 5 things a week that you liked .Write about what might have happened and didn’t.

Happiness and unhappiness can co- exist.
thinking ( Janus with the two faces that look in two directions as the same time )
Creative people have creative thinking and hold both .
Have tolerance for ambiguity.
If we are open to contradiction more things can happen.
Pain is more unbearable when we try to resist. Go with the pain don’t resist.
Resistance creates more pain

Greek Myth of Chiron " The wounded healer "
– centaur , half man half god . Despite his immortality he was to end up dying. There was a fight bewteen Hercules and the centaurs. Chiron took no part in the fight but, was accidentally wounded by Hercules. As an immortal Chiron could not die but, lived in terrible pain. Chiron had tried to forget the human part then chose to trade his life for the release of Prometheus.Compassion developed him and allowed him to heal- became the compassionate teacher of healing.
him and allowed him to heal- became the compassionate teacher of healing.
Depression is denial of true Self- when we deny what we could be.
Joy that is mot experienced becomes depression.
Distortions of re-framing- important to listen and empathise then start thinking .
There is something very significant in pain
Your Self can be your best friend or worst enemy .
If we are open to our Higher Self we are happy
When we resist, suffering results.
" what is trying to emerge ? "
Techniques are secondary – RELATIONSHIP Is important.

R.A. " In the silence of the eternal I rest and regenerate myself "
Every part that we acknowledge tends to grow; the parts we ignore become smaller.
Study all the spectrum .

P.F. Met R. Assagioli in the sixties .
Assisted Assagioli with the writing of The Will

I found Piero Ferrucci’s talk very human , inspiring and beautiful full of simple truths and seeds for thought.

15 May, 2006

Clay in the life of a LIfe Artist

A snippet from my playful Expressive Art weekend: three days of playing, creating and self- expression together with six other " Life Artists ". Painting , directing , and " sculpting" multidimensional kinetic forms using fellow participants are all on the agenda .Finally ,working with clay and creating of a huge mandala painting together. The mandala is my height , painted on paper and gracing the only still empty white wall of my living room.

I've worked with clay before , but not quite like this. Anyway , Sunday morning found me sitting with a two pound slab of clay in my lap wondering what to do next.

" Make friends with it "" Talk to it. Listen to what it says "come the instructions.

It's the first time I've sat with a two pound lump of clay in my lap and I decide to jump in and give it my all involving the whole of my body in the shape - giving process. I decide too that this particular lump of clay will remain whole. First thing to do is to get this heavy lump of stuff into to a more manageable pliable state.

I've no idea of what it was going to be and I don't want to know either , just yet and I resist the urge to make it into something practical like a bowl or vase !!!
" trust the process "" allow "
come further instructions this time from my higher self as I sit there with my lump of clay , the parent creator responsible for breathing life into it, for birthing it. As in creating your life trusting is easier said than done. So I knead, I squeeze, I pull and pummel this lump of grey stuff. Bits of it fill my nails as they too dig in.Sweat starts to appear on my brow from the sheer effort of it all , the concentration and the focus, Then it starts to become malleable .. pliable ..bendy and formable .

First a container appears , then a chair or is it a throne but that disappears too and I know that that's not what is going to be .Next , the whole lump goes into a plastic bag and I knead it from the outside before taking out and inspecting the result . This is such fun !

Tiny cracks have appeared in its parched " skin ". It looks like an elephant's skin .
I add water .. smoothing surfaces . This is as sensuous a process as moving oil paint around on a canvas and soon the thing starts taking on a life of its own .A snake appears ....and compartments.. chambers.. rooms and more clay gets stuck under my finger nails but who cares .I'm hooked and creating , totally immersed , lost in the process of giving birth .... and then .. time is up. Voila ..... a work of art is born !