This week’s lesson was interesting since I had missed the previous two weeks (before Christmas) and was feeling jealous that I had missed out on what the rest of the group had been doing. Also, a different teacher meant a different teaching style that was interesting more for how it was opened and closed than anything else.
The tables were moved to the edges of the room and the group sat without barriers. We discussed how we were feeling both in ourselves and about the course both at the beginning and end of the class: a great way, it seemed, to bring us all back together again – since, everyone does end up separating into smaller groups of people they identify with. I have to admit here that felt jealousy towards one of the other guys and his friendly interaction with one of the women, who, I guess, I like – in some way I felt bested; that they had in jokes – I can see this as being a characteristic wish to be the centre of everyone’s attention. Another example is my brief interruption of other people’s monologues or discussions with something comedic, so that I am brought into everyone’s consciousness.
It was good to hear the feelings of the others, listen to the worries of some regarding the course and their position in it, and then, most surprisingly, a morale boosting statement by one of the others.
We did several activities aimed at relating to others. Firstly we all stood, with our eyes shut, arms by our sides, and meditated on how it felt to be surrounded by people we couldn’t interact with; being aware of our inner feelings. I imagined myself in a comforting place – at a beach in Cornwall – sensing, not seeing, all these people around me, just watching, but never interacting. I felt accepted, but then a feeling that they didn’t want to interract with me came on. When we repeated the exercise, holding hands, the feeling within the group and with me was that of being a part of something greater, of being connected; the generation of energy – warmth on the palms of the hands – is a physical representation of a psychological reaction to this; happiness.
Using different coloured, shaped, sized, textured buttons, we represented our support network of family and friends and how we felt they interacted with us; an exercise in perception of self and others. My choices were based upon styles solely.