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Re-Imagining Oneself!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Recently someone posted the following comment on my SparkPage: "I remember seeing you at convention but I was a bit intimidated to introduce myself... you had been so active on the board pre-convention, and I was more of a 'lurker'... "

It was such a surprise to myself that I could ever seem to be intimidating!

In public, social situations such as the convention *I* tend to be much more of a wall flower...easily intimidated and having to struggle to "put myself out there" and find my "voice" around others. I can be much more animated and spontaneous on a one-to-one basis, but throw me into a room full of people I don't know...? It's a challenge for me to NOT fade into the woodwork...probably a leftover habit from ye olde schooldays playing Dodge ball (such an evil, EVIL game!) in phys. ed. when I was the last one SPLATTED by the ball because I was so good at HIDING up until the end! I remember one occasion when I actually succeeded in CATCHING the ball instead...everyone's jaw, including my own, hit the floor...you mean I actually WON?!?

Anyhow you know the old expression "on the internet nobody knows you're a dog"...?

Well, here on SparkPeople one of the advantages I find is that I am able to "practice" and even "pretend" that I'm much more outgoing than I really am...and hey, if I practice and pretend often enough it starts to become *real* and feels like a part of who I am and MORE like the person I want to be!

It's one of the things I love about the SPARK! And now, in pressing for REAL, face-to-face meet 'n greets with other members of SparkPeople I'm finding even MORE opportunities to make long-desired changes in the way I am around other people.

These thoughts reminded me of a book on therapeutic technique I read a long time ago by Bandler & Grinder: "Frogs Into Princes," which was actually a transcription of a number of their workshops.

In it, they quote Milton Erikson, a world-renowned hypnotherapist who was wheel-chair bound due to polio and often used a story-telling technique in which he would talk about life growing up on the farm in Iowa. These stories were often reportedly deadly dull, however within the stories he would embed therapeutic messages, hypnotic suggestions which were said to have prompted amazing changes in people. Here is the passage from the book and afterward I have a url which takes you to a website where you can read the entire book (not too long either) if you wish. Some pretty innovative ideas there if anyone is interested!

"The last time that I went to see Milton Erickson, he said something to me. And as I was sitting there in front of him, it didn't make sense. Most of his covert metaphors have made... eons of sense to me. But he said something to me which would have taken me a while to figure out. Milton said to me:

"You don't consider yourself a therapist, but you are a therapist." And I said "Well, not really." He said "Well, let's pretend ... that you're a therapist who works with people. The most important thing ... when you're pretending this ... is to understand... that you are really not.... You are just pretending.... And if you pretend really well, the people that you work with will pretend to make changes. And they will forget that they are pretending... for the rest of their lives. But don't you be fooled by it." And then he looked at me and he said: 'Goodbye.'"


Have a wonderful weekend everyone! :-)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • -SHAWN-
    This post makes me think of all those boxes where you're suppose to describe yourself...

    I never have a clue as to what I should write. I don't know me.
    3120 days ago
    I love your humor! How you humbly describe painful experiences. Your Dodge Ball experience stays with me: "...succeeded in CATCHING the ball instead...everyone's jaw, including my own, hit the floor...you mean I actually WON?!?"

    I had seen that member's comment, and it stayed with me, too. I looked at your before photo, then convention photo, and saw how thin (read: fit) can be interpreted differently. You certainly exuded confidence at the convention. Maybe those of us not yet well-versed in confidence misunderstand it as intimidation.

    Thanks for the Milton quote and link, and another enjoyable blog. Your writing remains true to the Don I am getting to know: Welcoming, honest, and without pretense.

    P.S. I liked the title of your blog. It brought to mind a SoulCollage card I created a couple of years ago called "Made in My Own Image" - slightly different title, same sentiment. Go, Don!
    3120 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/9/2009 3:27:40 PM

    Reminds me of all of us in grad school sitting around bemoaning the idea that we were all frauds and didn't know everything we were supposed to, and that our professors would some day realize this and kick us out.

    As the years went by (we were working on PhDs in genetics, which takes a while) and we became more sophisticated we started to notice that the professors were "faking it" too... And then we finally realized that if you work hard enough and fake it well enough, it's just the same as really doing it.
    3121 days ago
    Ahh- a wallflower in bloom.
    Thanks for the link--- I perused a few pages on my pitifully small screen- it's been a long time since I read that book. I want to go get it and read it again.
    3122 days ago
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