Friday, July 18, 2014

Reading between the lines with Maheswari Jani

Maheshwari Jani presented her eighth outstanding session with our residents at SHAFA HOME, Delhi on Monday 30th June 2014. The aim of this session was to facilitate our internal attentiveness to carry out correct behavioural response. All agreed that this topic perfectly complemented the teachings of SHAFA’s treatment programme in terms of considering an appropriate and inappropriate way to act behave. This is SHAFA’s fundamental goal in helping its residents.   
The first activity involved our residents playing a role-playing game testing their emotional-responses. Participants split into small groups and enacted situations where they had to depict their true and innermost feelings without actually speaking a word. This activity gaged whether we could successfully make genuine responses and whether others could accurately discern the difference between a ‘sincere’ and ‘fake’ response. Maheshwari Ji encouraged to take off our ‘emotional mask’ and express ourselves openly without the fear of being ridiculed. Residents were also encouraged to let go of the assumption that their companions would somehow ignore or misunderstand them. This second-guessing of others is a troublesome habit that addicts seemingly demonstrate. The typical addict is a great pretender, believing him or herself unable to be understood by anyone. This is a total myth! Last week we were fronted with the fact that 70% of our communication is carried out through paralinguistics and this game validated that fact.
Residents’ non-verbal communication superseded that of spoken communication. The breadth of expression demonstrated through paralinguistic communication is immense through subtle and overt body movements and positioning. This activity was then followed by a small game of dumb-charades. Members got into the flow of things and let their team-spirit shine strong.         
Members further explored verbal vs. non-verbal communicative exchange. We feed off each others’ emotional cues. Once we are able to sensitise ourselves to others’ emotional cues (thoughts, feelings and behaviours) then we are better able to measure out our words and body language in order to execute an effective and multi-dimensional dialogue. Communication is an art form. The aim of communication should be to acknowledge and respect the words and emotions of others. In order to do this, we need to keep an open, compassionate and empathetic mind. Once we fix up our interpersonal skills and learn to be more aware of how others think and feel, then we are all set to achieve positive, relationship-fortifying encounters and consequently communicate in a meaningful and harmonious way
We have to admit every recovering addict’s communication skills are a little rusty when they enter treatment, but rest assured, it does not remain that way. They become brilliantly perceptive of themselves and others. The more we open our minds to new ways of behaving and the more we strengthen our positive communicational response, the more relationships we will forge and sustain within our lives.Once we learn to respect our own and others’ boundaries and learn how to respectfully portray our intentions then we can strengthen our social networks.

Maheshwari Ji’s succession of winning sessions never fails to amaze and astound us all. It certainly perks our residents up and fills them with fresh insights and fantastic knowledge; further propelling them onwards their journey of self-improvement. From all of us at SHAFA HOME, we send our continuous thanks and deep gratitude for Ms. Maheshwari Jani’s ongoing time, dedication and effort with our keen residents. 

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