Sunday, January 07, 2007

can you relax, recharge and make progress?

I spent the afternoon at a very nice spa today. It was an important way to connect with people I love, and so I went to the spa although it is not my favourite way to spend either time or money. I do believe that it is hugely important to rest and recharge in order to be in a state I want to maintain. It is just that I believe a spa should do more than polish my nails or clean out my pores.

Next weekend, people will work through the first weekend of our practitioner training, our Focus on Strengths weekend. They are likely to leave feeling like they have visited a very nice spa: the knots in the muscles will loosen; they'll breathe a little more easily; and they'll see the world a little more clearly. They will value the rest they have earned. They will experience all these feelings while being completely engaged and active. There are very few times in the training when a participant gets to be worked on by other people - the practitioners guiding the process are collaborators who depend on participants to be active and engaged throughout. There is no time to lie on a massage table or sit idly while someone else works on you as though you were a fine car. Our participants work.

They work and they rest at the same time. That is not a contradiction. As much as human beings need rest, we need work. Our brains are active as long as we are alive: we learn awake and asleep. It feels so good to make connections - whether we are connecting with other people or putting information together in new ways - that it relaxes us. Work and play are not different things to a small child. They do not have to be different things to an adult.

The games we will play during training next weekend help people cleanse their systems of mental waste and toxins. When we focus on strengths, the other stuff disappears from our awareness. As we become completely engaged in setting goals and searching out the many ways we already know to reach them, we relax. There is no fear, no weakness, no making mistakes. We are only aware of what we can do, and how we can connect effectively and naturally with what we need.

What we do requires little in the way of equipment or luxuries. It can be done wherever people are willing to pay attention - to spend time thinking about the way they think and the way thinking changes what they do. And it always works. Focusing on strengths and goals always allows for positive change and it always provides for a release of negative tension. It clears the way for great things.

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