Thursday, February 26, 2015

Forgiving, Letting Go and Moving Ahead in Life with Mr. Kishore Vij in Kotdwar

Mr. Kishore Vij; our log time well wisher and practitioner of Pranic Healing visited Kotdwar facility centre on 21st February for the spiritual healing of our residents.
In this session Mr. Vij focussed on Healing Power of Forgiveness. Letting go of the past is one tough act for majority of our residents. They cling on to the memories of addiction laden days; to relationships gone stagnant. Mr. Vij led our residents on an exercise where each wrote the name of the person they wanted to forget and forgive on a piece of paper. After wards in the session, these sheets were burned simultaneously chanting the forgiveness prayer.
Mr. Vij then explained to our residents the importance of letting go. Sometimes, we hold on to people purely based on how long we have known them. Time can tie people together, but if you feel as though there’s nothing substantial keeping you connected, time is not a strong enough reason to hold on to something that’s simply no longer worth holding onto. We grow complacent with people once we’re comfortable with them. But, hanging onto someone for the pure sake of it and because you don’t know anything else isn’t a good enough reason. Fear is another reason why we can’t move on. There’s the fear of being alone and not being able to find someone else; fear of someone using our deepest and darkest secrets as blackmail; fear of the hate and tension that will ensue; fear of regret once someone is gone.
Sometimes, things are better left as mere memories. You can try to change things back to how they were or try to create things to be the way you want them, but you’ll never be truly happy because it’ll never be anything like how things once were. If anything, there’s now too much pressure and expectation in the air to recreate what you once had. Instead, hold on to and cherish the memories, but move forward. Be thankful for what a friendship or relationship brought you and taught you.
Beyond that, friendships and relationships — whilst they do have their downfalls and can require fixing — should essentially come naturally. If a person isn’t bringing something significant to your life, not treating you how you’d like or isn’t the type of person you want him or her to be, it’s a clear sign that you need distance. While it would be selfish of you to not accept a person for whom he or she is, it would be unfair for you to have to endure a friendship or relationship that isn’t cultivating a better you.

In these Pranic Healing sessions, our residents our not only coming to terms with the changes in their lives but they also are showing spiritual enlightenment. All thanks to the constant and tireless efforts of Mr. Kishore Vij along with the staff at Shafa Home’s Kotdwar facility centre.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Interactive session on Developing Life Skills and Self Awareness in Kotdwar

On 18th and 19th February, Ms. Sangeeta took an interactive educational session on “Developing Self Awareness ” in Kotdwar. Ms. Sangeeta enlightened our residents about Self Awareness through power point presentations,  ‘The Johari Window’ model and concluded the sessions with activities on life skills. According to Ms. Sangeeta, Self Awareness is having a clear perception of our personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows us to understand other people, how they perceive us, our attitude and our responses to them in the moment.
We might quickly assume that we are self aware, but it is helpful to have a relative scale for awareness. If you have ever been in an auto accident you may have experienced everything happening in slow motion and noticing details of your thought process and the event. This is a state if heightened awareness. With practice we can learn to engage these types of heightened states and see new opportunities for interpretations in our thoughts, emotions, and conversations.

Sangeeta ji broke down  the Johari Window model of Self Awareness into simpler two different types, either public or private.
Public Self-Awareness: This type emerges when people are aware of how they appear to others. Public self-awareness often emerges in situations when people are at the center of attention, such as when giving a presentation or talking to a group of friends. This type of self-awareness often compels people to adhere to social norms. When we are aware that we are being watched and evaluated, we often try to behave in ways that are socially acceptable and desirable. Public self-awareness can also lead to evaluation anxiety in which people become distressed, anxious, or worried about how they are perceived by others.
Private Self-Awareness: This type happens when people become aware of some aspects of themselves, but only in a private way. For example, seeing your face in the mirror is a type of private self-awareness. Feeling your stomach lurch when you realize you forgot to study for an important test or feeling your heart flutter when you see someone you are attracted to are also good examples of private self-awareness.
Our residents then joined in an activity aimed at identifying their own Self Awareness using johari Window. The aim of this session was to enable our residents to develop Self Awareness. As we develop self awareness we are able to make changes in the thoughts and interpretations we make in our mind. Changing the interpretations in our mind allows us to change our emotions. Self awareness is the first step in creating what we want and mastering it. Where we focus our attention, our emotions, reactions, personality and behavior determine where we go in life.

Having self awareness allows us to see where our thoughts and emotions are taking us. It also allows us to see the controls of our emotions, behavior, and personality so we can make changes we want. Until we are aware in the moment of the controls to our thoughts, emotions, words, and behavior, we will have difficulty making changes in the direction of our life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lights,Camera..Action.. It’s time for Theatre as Treatment Modality in Delhi

On 16th February, Mr. Dishant (whom we have added to the canon of our Theatre as Treatment Modality along with Mr. Madan) took a stupendous theatrical session in Shafa Home, Delhi facility centre. We have long been propagating the use of Drama/Theatre as treatment modality for all our residents. For thousands of years drama has been used in healing rituals. At Shafa Home,  we have rediscovered the therapeutic value of drama and developed the related methods of drama as therapy. In counselling the basis of the work is in talking in a safe, supportive relationship. In drama as therapy this also is true: added to this is the use of creative action when it is useful to help the person progress.

Through drama, the depth and breadth of inner experience can be actively explored and interpersonal relationship skills can be enhanced. Participants can expand their repertoire of dramatic roles to find that their own life roles have been strengthened. Drama as treatment modality deliberately employs theatrical and dramatic techniques to attain therapeutic results. This unique approach provides a platform for the residents of Shafa to actively share their experiences through storytelling while enabling them to express their feelings, problem solve, and achieve a sense of well-being. Participants often find that their own interpersonal relationship tools are improved as a result of portraying several different characters and discovering various inner experiences. In functional settings that provide prevention and treatment, our residents can see Mr. Madan and Mr. Dishant’s drama therapy effect change in their behaviour, emotional state, personal growth, and skill adaptation. 
For many people the word drama is connected with theatre. There is a difference. Drama is a personal experience (the word comes from the Greek drao: “I do” or “struggle”) and theatre is communicating the experience to others (the word comes from the Greek theatron: “a place for seeing/showing”). Sometimes we cannot act on our impulses: it may not be wise to do so and we may then feel stuck. In the theatre of our lives we can feel lost, forget our lines, lose a role, and feel frozen, unable to move or change: we may need a prompt, a rehearsal for the next scene or to go back to a previous scene and sort it out. Acting can then enable us to move, to change. We are all acting and active every day. In our theatre as treatment modality sessions, each person can participate at his/her own level. There is no standard of performance, no critic. Mr. Dishant and Mr. Madan, also involve other activities such as music, drawing, using objects to represent things, movement and images. These methods are ways of helping our residents express what they need and find the strength to cope and change.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Boosting Self Worth and Esteem with Maheshwari Jani

Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it. Sadly, this can be a vicious circle: people who lack self-confidence can find it difficult to become successful. Initially our residents are a nervous, fumbling, and overly apologetic lot. On the other hand, after completing the treatment they are someone who speaks clearly, who holds his or her head high, who answers questions assuredly, and who readily admits when he or she does not know something.
To instill the life skills of self-esteem and assertiveness in our residents, Shafa Home has noted corporate trainer, Ms.Maheshwari take regular sessions at our Delhi facility centre. On 5th February Mahi, took an energetic and flamboyant session on building self- esteem. According to Mahi, confident people inspire confidence in others: their audience, their peers, their bosses, their customers, and their friends. And gaining the confidence of others is one of the key ways in which a self-confident person finds success.
We gain a sense of self-efficacy when we see ourselves (and others similar to ourselves) mastering skills and achieving goals that matter in those skill areas. This is the confidence that, if we learn and work hard in a particular area, we'll succeed; and it's this type of confidence that leads people to accept difficult challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks. This overlaps with the idea of self-esteem, which is a more general sense that we can cope with what's going on in our lives, and that we have a right to be happy. Partly, this comes from a feeling that the people around us approve of us, which we may or may not be able to control. However, it also comes from the sense that we are behaving virtuously, that we're competent at what we do, and that we can compete successfully when we put our minds to it.

The first activity in the session involved residents being divided into smaller groups. Then, using a roll of toilet paper, residents were told to pluck a sheet from the roll each time a resident extolled his virtue. At the end of the sessions, the residents were able to see their stack of tissues pile up. This activity was on building self-esteem through self affirmations. In the next activity, the residents were taken through a cathartic exercise. By writing down on sheet of paper all the things that had hurt them that they wanted to forget… Mahi promised the residents a magic trick for doing so. After writing it all down, they just had to crumple the sheet and throw it away. This exercise was a much needed one for our residents. To move ahead in life, they must unlearn something, they must learn to let go of the past to build a future.
At Shafa Home, we believe that it's just as important to build self-confidence by setting and achieving goals – there by building competence. Without this underlying competence, our residents don't have self-confidence: they have shallow over-confidence, with all of the issues, upset and failure that this brings. Self-confidence is about balance. At one extreme, we have people with low self-confidence. At the other end, we have people who may be over-confident.

If we are under-confident, we’ll avoid taking risks and stretching ourselves; and we might not try at all. And if we’re over-confident, we may take on too much risk, stretch ourselves beyond our capabilities, and crash badly. Getting this right is a matter of having the right amount of confidence, founded in reality and on our true ability. With the right amount of self-confidence, our residents will take informed risks, stretch themselves (but not beyond their abilities) and try hard.