Finding the better feeling
From 1st Retreat
Practice Request #2 - Weekly dyad practice (1 hour plus per week).
In addition to practicing the 4 elements of empathy (silent witnessing
presence, silent empathy, understanding/meaning, and need language and
deepening into the needs), we ask you to very consciously, deliberately
choose each week to practice at least one of the 3 dyad practices, or "maps",
we did at the retreat - Intensity Practice (IP), the Enemy Image Process (EIP),
and the Mourn/Celebrate/Learn (MCL) process. And with all of these we
request that you use issues that are real in your life. Thus the learning and
practice is both how to take yourself through each process as well as how to
guide/support another through them.
A. Intensity Practice (IP) - This is the 20 feet of the 9,000 feet climb of a full interpersonal (self-other) mediation
1. Level 1a intensity practice, without content, "Water is wet". Have your partner gradually raise the volume/tone of their voice until you feel the biological/neurochemical "fight-flight-freeze" reaction inside you (i.e. you start to feel "triggered" - anger, guilt, shame, depression, fear/anxiety). Try to catch this reaction as early as possible. Ask your partner to pause, then do a self-connection practice then out loud self-empathy (making sure you get to naming your needs) until you feel the reaction in you subside and a feeling of calm and centeredness is arise. Ask your partner to offer the increasing volume again, raising the intensity until you feel a reaction. Repeat until you no longer feel triggered or you feel ready to stop.
2. Level 1b intensity practice, with content. Give your partner a sentence that triggers you. They say the sentence with increasing intensity of tone until you feel the reaction. Ask your partner to pause and do a selfconnection practice then out loud self-empathy (making sure you get to needs). When you feel calm and centered, ask your partner to offer the trigger again, raising the intensity until you feel the reaction. Repeat until you no longer feel triggered or you feel ready to stop.
3. Level 2 intensity practice. After you become aware of a reaction and do self-connection and self-empathy with yourself and feel a return of calm and centeredness, consciously choose to either express empathy to your partner or self-express your feelings and needs and end on a connecting request. Repeat until you no longer feel triggered or you feel ready to stop.
4. Level 3 intensity practice. Go through Level 2, then have your partner give you a second trigger of a challenging response to your empathy guess or self-expression. Stop and do a self-connection practice and out loud self-empathy, then again choose a response of either empathy or selfexpression. Repeat until you no longer feel triggered or you feel ready to stop.
5. TIP. We also encourage you to frame any time in your daily life that you are triggered and reactive to a challenging situation as an intensity practice, and see if framing this way helps you return to presence, connection and effective action.
B. Enemy Image Process (EIP). In our thinking, the EIP is used as premediation (whether for yourself or to help another). We define pre-mediation as when one is holding some kind of generalized negative image of another that is blocking connection and compassion and there is the desire to take some future action to deal with that person or situation. The 3 parts of the EIP are:
1. Empathy for self -- empathize with person's experience and needs not met by the other
2. Empathy for other -- support person to empathize with, imagine other's needs behind their actions
3. Learn, plan, practice -- support person in seeing new possibilities and requests to meet all the needs surfaced
[A key to this process is flowing and cycling back and forth between Parts 1 and 2, and back and forth from Part 3 back to 1 and 2.]
C. Mourn/Celebrate/Learn (MCL) process. In contrast to the EIP, the MCL process, as we think of it, is post-mediation (i.e. after an interaction/conversation has occurred). The focus is on the past and one's own and others' actions in that situation and reactions to it. The purpose of this process is to shift from a learning feedback cycle based on judging something as right/wrong, good/bad and learning how to avoid being judged and punished, to a learning cycle based on connecting to what needs were met and not met by our actions and the actions of others, and then learning from this how to better meet our and others' needs. The MCL process also has 3 parts:
1. Mourn unmet needs - empathize with judgments and feelings of anger, guilt, shame, depression and anxiety, translating them into mourning needs not met by our actions and the actions of others
2. Celebrate needs met or trying to be met -- empathize with what did happen, with the words and actions of self and/or others, appreciating/celebrating the needs that were met or attempting to be met by what was said or done.
3. Learn - emergence of learning, new insight. "On the other side of connection" listen for or ask what actions could have better met the needs in the past and how to more effectively meet those needs in the future. Help create effective requests of self or others.
From 2nd Retreat
Practice Request #2 - Weekly dyad practice (1 hour plus per week). With all of these we ask that you use real conflicts and relationships from your life. The learning and practice is both how to take yourself through each process as well as how to guide/support another through them.
TIP 1: Even if you don't have time in a session for both you and your partner to work on a situation, it can be very helpful to just say out loud what situation you would like to have worked on and which of the 3 dyad practices you would have chosen to use and how you would plug your situation into it. TIP 2: Jot down in a journal or notebook "triggers" or situations that happen that you want to use for your dyad practice.
A. Intensity Exercise/Practice (IE/IP). Our request is that you practice
Levels 1 - 3. See retreat 1 document for details of the levels. You can do this:
B. Enemy Image Process (EIP). We offer 3 ways to use the EIP:
C. Mourn/Celebrate/Learn (MCL) process. The MCL can be used:
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