Exercise 1 The participants were divided into groups of five. They were given pictures and asked to choose a picture which best represented what they were feeling at that point in time individually. They were asked to share that with the group and say why they were feeling that way. They were then asked to choose a picture, which represents the group best and explain the reason for choosing a particular picture. One group explained why they had chosen the picture with trees and greenery saying that it portrayed energy and vitality. They further explained that the yellow portrayed leaving things behind and looking for self-realization. The second group had chosen the picture of the beach. They said that it reflected the positive mood they all were in. There was no stress and they were looking forward to learning. Also because of summers, looking at sea and the setting sun is pleasant. The third group had chosen the picture of a woman who looked a bit anxious, just like some of them were. But at the same time calm as well. They shared that they were all waiting to learn. Group four had also chosen the picture of the sea, which had a reflection of the moon on the sea, which made them feel as a part of the whole. It was also easy to choose. The next group had chosen an abstract picture, which showed that all of them were different and would create something new. Susan explained that as the day goes on they could discover the process they have gone through. Exercise 2 Each participant was given a picture and asked to think about what they felt when they saw it. One participant shared that the picture represents all bitter and sweet experiences. Susan clarified that it was more important to share the feelings that came up rather than describe the picture. One of the participants expressed that looking at the picture felt good. Some others said that it made them feel sad. Some had feelings of disgust/revulsion. One of the participants shared the anxious feeling the picture had brought about. One participant felt like there was a problem. Another felt shocked. Susan shared that the reason for doing this exercise was to get in touch with spontaneous feelings and to raise awareness about how we have instantaneous emotional reactions but we mostly cover it up. One participant shared that sometimes one may not be able to understand the picture. Though one knows that the feeling is not positive, s/he may not be able to put it in words. Susan acknowledged that this was important. We always expect people to put things into words. But if people are shy, or not comfortable this might not work. Some of these cards are very strong and unnerving. An artist who had a very difficult life has painted these pictures. Her paintings reflected her pain. Susan explained that this was the reason why she doesn’t use these cards with many groups. She said that she used them with this group as each one works with a vulnerable group. The artist has used painting as a therapeutic tool for herself. She didn’t have to talk as to how she felt when she had a miscarriage or when she knew that her husband was having an affair with her own sister. Some other participants shared their reactions like feeling anxious. One participant also felt that the woman in the picture was looking down on somebody. Susan said that we are responding to how someone else is looking. We are responding to the expression on her face, etc. Is it something that is happening to her and not to you? Or is it reminding you of something that is personal. One of the participants shared that she felt proud as well as defensive. She felt like it was a part of her. Similarly, in a work situation, Susan explained that one has to be careful. Is it the client’s need or is it what you feel the need is? A participant (A) who uses projective techniques shared the possibility of doing exactly that when one uses these techniques. She felt that we may be projecting our own feelings when sharing the results. How can one be sure that they’re not projecting their feelings on to the client? Another participant (B) shared that we need to be aware that we as well as our clients might have spontaneous feelings and we need to bring those out. Participant A responded to this saying that that’s exactly what projective techniques do. Susan shared that one needs to be careful to let the person take his own time. Does the person know why you’re asking the question? One participant said that since she knew the artist, looking at the picture was different and the feeling was also different. Another participant felt that after Susan shared a little about the artist and gave her background, she also then saw two children in the picture (Referring to the miscarriage incident). Exercise 3 In the next exercise, Susan asked the participants to fold a piece of paper in four and fill in a word that she says in each of those boxes. Anger Joy Peaceful Depression Susan gave the following instructions: Take each of these words one by one. Sit and relax. Breathe deeply. Remember the last time you felt each of these emotions. Close your eyes. Focus on the last time you experienced this emotion. Remember that emotion. Let it come to your chest and let the feeling flow through your arm onto the paper. Let the pencil make a mark. Let it come to you. There is no right or wrong in this exercise. You don’t have to make any pictures or write any words, but only draw lines. When you’ve finished one emotion, take a few seconds off and then again get into a relaxed position and go on to the next emotion. Susan said that this is an interesting exercise because a lot of complex things could be described easily. Things can be condensed and instantaneous. We’re trying to get in touch with our own unconscious. It is like loosening up. Just like we can use many words, which represent anger, we can also use many symbols to represent it. It can be a useful tool to look at our emotions. Artists put in specific types of symbols in their paintings so that the audience would respond to it like that. Lines representing anger are deep, dark and jaggedJoy: light, curved, and risingPeaceful: horizontal, soft and curvedDepression: line is low in the allocated space Feminine: curved lines which cross Exercise 4 In the next exercise the participants were asked to follow the same guidelines of no images and taking a theme of a personal problem that is in their interest to get it solved. The participants were instructed to take a realistic problem, though not a major one. It could be a problem with a person, work situation or family situation. When one depicts the problem here, it does not mean that the problem is going to be solved. The exercise is to help one get in touch with the subconscious and get a different perspective on the problem. The participants were urged to focus on the problem and not think about what they were drawing. They were specifically told that they’re not trying to produce a beautiful picture. They were asked to be as spontaneous and focus on the emotions. Using lines they were asked to portray the problem. The participants were also told that they needn’t share their problem with the group, but they were asked to be honest while putting down the problem. A time limit of 5 minutes was given. Susan gave the following instructions before the participants began drawing: Breathe deeply. Relax your body. When you feel you’re completely relaxed start to focus on your problem. Spend a few moments thinking about this problem. When you’re ready open your eyes, and start drawing in lines. Draw whatever comes to you related to your problem. Start drawing your lines and see what emerges. After the participants had finished drawing they were asked if they wanted to share their drawings with the group. They were asked to look at their drawings from different angles. Does it speak in a different way if you look at it from a different angle? Try and read your own drawing. Trust your subconscious that it is giving you some information. Maybe it is giving you a different perspective on your issue. She asked the participants whether anybody was surprised with what they drew? One participant shared her problem that she had encountered regarding a piece of land she owned. Some people had encroached upon it and were tarnishing her name. When she went to put up a fence there, some farmers protested. She was in a fix about how to deal with the problem, especially being a woman. The loops in her picture represented the complexity of the problem. But also a horizontal line was there to show that she relaxed when it was resolved, since all her papers were in place. At the same time, she also thought that it was going to be tough. But then she felt that the problem was resolved once and for all. She drew another horizontal line which was much more firm. Susan asked the participants if any of them felt that doing this exercise has helped him or her look at his or her problem in a different way. A participant shared her feelings saying that we expect something to happen and when it doesn’t happen we are depressed. One gets a block. At times, we feel a little better. There are several ups and downs. Others might also be disappointed with me. The other thing she noticed was when she held the picture inversely the points that were pointing down actually became ups. Susan explained that this exercise also helps people to see how one might be a part of the problem. Or maybe we see that it is not actually a problem but a phase, which will pass. Another participant shared her problem regarding her professional life. A lot of lines were drawn indicating some confusion. But if the picture is held in some other way, it shows that as she goes ahead, there are many people who will accompany her. One group member shared a relationship problem with her husband and in-laws. She is currently distanced from her mother-in-law. She said that she has been trying for many years to resolve the differences in the relationship. She also sees her (mother-in-law) getting into a depressed mode. She has a good relationship with her father-in-law. But the mother-in-law has influenced him as well. She has tried to detach herself. The husband has said that she could keep away. Hence the segregating lines were there in the picture. But it still felt disorganized to her. When she looked at it inversely, she could see some stars, indicating that maybe she could solve the problem and that there is some positivity. She felt that the husband and in-laws represented one unit, but she was an outsider. She felt that maybe they didn’t want her to reach out and maybe she should look at it, maintain her distance and accept it. Another group member shared her picture as well. She said that earlier she was away from Pune. But after coming back, she realized that there was a gap in relationships with her parents and brother. She wanted to reclaim those relationships. But now there was also a problem with property. She also realized that her family anyways was detached from her, and felt that she was not going to come back. Her husband understands her well and she has also achieved a lot. So she felt that she should be happy about it. Her family has become very distant, and now she finds it difficult to understand anything. She wonders how their life is and whether they think about her. She says that she did try to build those relationships, but feels that maybe they didn’t try. Holding the picture inversely, she saw that since she was creatively endowed, she came up. They were always apart from her though she felt that she might be judging. She felt that she could lead her life as a separate entity with her husband and son. A group member shared his picture saying that the web in the centre is where he is. There are a lot of opportunities and he is trying to get out of the web desperately, but somehow he keeps getting caught in the web again and again, no matter what direction he sees it from. Susan said that one could do this exercise by themselves. Many times people find it difficult to share in a big group. People’s experiences are also different. This exercise may have different responses from different people and one thing might not work for all. The participants were asked to go back to the earlier sheet and write a colour that they associated with each emotion. She explained that we’re doing this to know more about our own selves and be more empathetic. Sometimes, what the person needs is not our solution. Exercise 5 The participants were divided into two groups. One group was asked to write a negative emotion immediately and the second group, a positive emotion. The group was asked to draw on the theme of a tree. Susan explained that when we draw a tree, we need to keep the complete picture in mind. We tend to forget the roots or the fruits or flowers. There are different parts like the trunk, leaves, which can be of a variety of colours. The tree could be with or without flowers. There could be textured trunks or smooth trunks. We need to keep in mind the environment the tree is in, the landscape, are we looking at the tree from underneath or are we looking at a part very closely, or is it the aerial view. Whether we see the tree in black and white or colour – and are those colours realistic colours or imaginative colours. Are we going to draw it in realistic ways are we making an abstract? Are we making it to create an atmosphere? Have to think about many aspects about the tree though it may seem simple. Every thing about the tree and picture is going to represent the emotion that you have selected. right0Each participant was given a brush, a mixing palette, and tissue to dab the extra water. The participants were instructed to clean the brush before using any new colour. The facilitator shared that maybe at times she might be repeating certain instructions but she also explained that it was important to go through instructions every time than risk ruining the experience. The colors play an important role in self-esteem and self-concepts so it is important to keep these preliminary instructions in mind. Susan clarified that during the course of the workshop, they might be going at a fast pace but we need to be aware of this when working with our own clients. Primary colours were used and mixed to create new ones. Susan also elucidated that even if we like a particular colour but if it does not fit into the picture, we need not use it. After completion of the exercise the participants gave their feedback. Most of them enjoyed the activity as well as the music along with it. The participants were divided into 3 groups. The 3 groups sat around the long paper that was pasted on the floor. Each group was given different exercises and instructions. Group 1This group was asked to decide a symbol that represented them and each group member was asked to paint the symbol but as if they are part of the group. They were instructed not to talk once they started with the drawing. Group 2The group was told to imagine that they were on an island and they have to paint various things that they see on the island. Again, they were not supposed to talk once they begin drawing. Group 3This group was instructed to draw a story beginning with “Once upon a time there lived a creature…” They were also instructed not to talk once they began drawing. All the participants made pictures in their respective groups. They explained what they have drawn to the other groups. One group member said that they have tried to show a lifestyle. There are people staying on the island. They explained what instructions they were given to the other groups. They had drawn things related to water. They said that they saw each other’s drawings and drew related things. One person drew adults, the other drew children, some drew boats and fish, etc. Others influence us so much. We understand our necessities and the drawing also tells us about what we are like. It says a lot about how you draw as a group. One participant also shared that they got influenced and started drawing more. In the start they were working by themselves but later they started working together and adding more to each other’s drawings. The next group shared their drawings. There was no specific instruction about staying in each ones respective space. But that was evident in this group. Some people felt restricted but at the same time they did not want to invade others spaces. They had certain questions like if the symbols were about the self then why are they doing it as a group? But the symbols reflected the individuality as well as them being a part of the group. Everyone had original ideas but each one kept to their own groups. All the participants were then given a piece of paper and were asked to write six things in one or two words at the back of the paper which could be positive or negative in their lives. These things have played an important role in their life to be the person they are today. They were then asked to draw a mandala that portrays balance. The centre of the mandala is the self. They were then asked to choose any symbol and explain why they have chosen that symbol for themselves. We have looked at lines, mixing colours, expressing emotions through pictures. They could make use of any of these things in this picture. Through this picture they were asked to illustrate what they have written on the back of the paper. The center is the self and around it is the list of things that they have listed. They could make creative shapes and mix colours, which were appropriate to illustrate these experiences. Most people find it useful to start in the middle and then move towards the outside. Susan urged the participants to be a little brave and experimental. The participants were told that they could talk about and share their drawings with the group if they chose to. If they were feeling emotional about it and didn’t want to speak then it was perfectly all right. Due to time constraints, they were asked to talk about two things in their picture as well as why they chose the image that they have. Also everyone is working in this profession and will appreciate how important confidentiality is. Each participant explained the pictures and what each aspect of the picture represented to them. One participant felt that this exercise was a little difficult because it was difficult to put everything about life across in a drawing. She felt that her daughter and she are still one and cannot separate the two. Susan concluded that this kind of an exercise could be of value in many ways and help us to understand how one can adapt these exercises from their own experiences in their own work. Everybody was given the same instructions but everyone has produced something unique and individual. So it’s a good starting point. We can take this as a step to talk about things that you may have or have not got an opportunity for. Susan also explained that they might like to repeat several of these exercises for themselves.
DAY 2 Drama Techniques of Voice and MovementDeepa Lagoo Deepa Lagoo, a renowned theatre personality was resource person for the second day of the workshop. Deepa started her session with the instruction that everybody had to come in the space with his or her bodies. She asked everybody to stand in a circle and music was played in the background. She facilitated the loosening up exercises, which she started with movements of hands, hips, arms, fingers and passed the action to the next participant; the next one changed the action on the rhythm of music played. The rest of the group mirrored the actions, facial expressions of the one who initiated it. Initially some of the participants had inhibitions about the actions but later on picked up well. Their body language was suggestive of this. After this exercise, Deepa asked participants what they felt after the exercise and the music. The participants said that they felt relaxed with their bodies and felt that they had loosened up. In the next exercise, Deepa told the participants to sit straight and facilitated breathing exercise with concentration on breathing - breathing in with one nostril and breathing out with another & observing one's breath. Followed by this, she told participants to rub their hands and touch one's face, chest and stomach to establish contact with one's body. Deepa then introduced the session - drama techniques. There are different types of techniques and mediums of using these techniques i.e. body, voice, expressions. She narrated her experiences of conducting trainings with different groups like community women, hearing and speech-impaired children & relevance of expressions in our lives, which gives clarity to our speech & instills confidence in us. She set the context of the session by explaining how we look at ourselves and we would try to break our boundaries of body, mind etc. Attempts would be made to broaden the limits of gender, age and capacities we create for ourselves. We would attempt to be an 'artist' (kalakar)& not 'mere imitator' (nakalakar). She used the metaphor of a 'seed' in emphasizing the aspect of loosening up & being experimental in the session without having fear of people's judgment and ridicule. The session began with introducing oneself. For this a 'dupatta' was passed around the circle. Everybody was to tell his or her name and create something from the 'dupatta' and give it to the next person. The participants created various things like ball, child, model on a ramp, villager, woman dancing in 'tamasha', candle, pillow, towel, grinding stone, flower, vegetable vendor, fisherman, bird, historical characters like Tanaji Malusare & Jhansi ki Rani, wine bottle, person offering namaz, bird, and 'Tirdi' (stretcher and structure of bamboo that is being used traditionally to carry dead body). Deepa asked participants what did they think they were doing by improvising the actions. Some of the responses of participants' were -- An atmosphere was created- There is no competition - Everybody is doing something different- Creativity & challenging one's boundaries - Taking risk of something, which I haven't done before In the next exercise, Deepa instructed the participants to improvise with sounds and encouraged them to be experimental & innovative in making sounds using throat, tongue and mouth. She emphasized on the elements of spontaneity, and overcoming inhibitions by giving the participants examples of a variety of sounds for expressions of children, animals, etc. Exercises like making sounds using 'aa', laughing differently were tried out by the participants. One of them suggested about chorus laughter. Deepa suggested participants to create a harmony with one person singing and rest of the members giving music by making sounds. She divided participants in two groups; participants rehearsed the orchestra with songs like 'Ek do teen' & 'Taal se taal mila' and performed before each other. After the performance, the participants shared their experiences while doing orchestra. Some of the responses were - Group co-ordination is necessary for such exercises We could exchange our ideas We got time for practice We realized that there is not much planning required to this, we could do it spontaneously Improvement in group cohesiveness I felt happy, could let go myself in a group Felt enthusiastic I felt frustrated, as the group did not take up my idea. I felt that whole group should have agreed to my concept To be together is fun Others were receptive to each other's suggestions and there was openness in the group There was a feeling of a group working together I became 20 years younger to do this exercise with the group Deepa then called 4 volunteers to express what they had experienced in the session. She suggested that preferably they should begin with the alphabets of the word 'S-E-L-F'. Participants came up with creative responses such as - Sakaratmakatekade sukhad sukhachi suruvat (Pleasant beginning towards positivity) Echcha tithe maarg (Where there is a will there is a way) Learn to enjoy with like-minded people Fortunate, feeling fantastic at forty Invited others to join Felt good, had fun Feeling like butterfly Liberating experience indeed Exploring myself Reassurance of self Shading my inhibitions Stimulating and superb at self level Lovely loosening & shedding ego Fun! Hidden talents of self had an opportunity to display Great Happiness! The participants were asked to join hands and move around in a circle. The facilitator demonstrated breathing and moving the body part accordingly e.g. hand, shoulder and body movements. She told the participants to concentrate on breathing and make body movements as one's body suggested. After this exercise, Deepa instructed participants to stand in pairs in two circles with palms facing each other. Though they couldn’t touch each other’s hands. The participants were asked to mirror the movements of each other in slow motion. She told that people inside the circle would make the movements, which would be mirrored by people outside the circle. The leadership would be rotated after a while. Participants were not supposed to laugh or talk but only concentrate on movement and feeling. The movements had to be exactly like that of the partner and in slow motion. Initially the group had to do this with eyes open and later on try doing it with closed eyes. Participants did this exercise for about 15-20 minutes. Deepa asked the participants to give feedback after this exercise. Some of the responses were - Leaving worries behind, a relationship with partner is built Co-ordination between us was great! We could do it exactly like each other I forgot to take lead after the role reversal There was anxiety after instructions were given but it vanished when we actually started doing it. Deepa asked what made it vanished? Intense concentration Completely taken into experience Letting go Established comfort level with partner Fear of unknown, getting in touch with body, mind & apprehension went off Deepa said that apprehension and motivation to do something about the same thing are two sides of the same coin. Trust on the facilitator that something will emerge out of this activity I kept my eyes open and watched others, their movements looked graceful As we moved on, both of us had a sense of anticipation and trust upon each other It was a hypnotizing feeling Deepa suggested another variation of mirroring in the next round. She told participants to choose any person in a circle to whom they will mirror and formed a chain. First participant started with simple action, which then passed to other and then to another. When participants were choosing the partners for mirroring, there was some confusion and everybody was ensuring that he/she knows who their partner was, as they had to be alert in the activity. One of the participants pointed out that everybody was feeling that they had to do different action. In reality, whole group had to do the same action in a sequential manner. Deepa shared that she had done this exercise with children but they could follow instructions better than adults did. The participants did the actions in a sequential manner, initially they found it difficult to remain alert and observant of their partner's turn but later on the group found its rhythm. Feedback of participants was - It was difficult to create new movements Imitating, being donkey is difficult Concentration increased as the activity progressed Importance of eye contact In the next exercise, Deepa asked participants to remain in a circle and facilitated it by standing in the center. The group sang together, moved around making different actions and dance movements. When the facilitator stopped the song, she asked the participants to form groups with 7 members in each group. The group had to come together in such a manner that for each group, there will be only one leg on the ground. One group could complete the task by taking creative risks of trying out different shapes. After another round of song and dance sequence, the facilitator asked the participants to form groups of four members each and hold hands. Two members of the group had to stand and two members sitting opposite to each other with stretched legs touching the legs of other person. Those two who were sitting had to get up without losing contact of legs. Three groups tried out different ways to complete the activity and enjoyed the process. Deepa then asked participants to sit down in a relaxed position with eyes closed. Music was played and participants were told to visualize with music. She then told them to open their eyes and asked what they had visualized. Participants shared their creative visualizations, which had imageries of nature like jungle, wind, birds, seashore etc. Deepa was probing the details for each imagery. When one of the participants expressed that it was difficult to name the feeling, she told her to recreate the scene and invited other participants to enact the scene. The participants were then given a sentence [Tu kuthe jates? – Where are you going?] and they were asked to say the sentence with different expressions by laying stress on different words and see how it changes the meaning of the sentence. Some of the participants were asked to enact a scene. They were given a situation where a customer buys some potatoes and finds some bad ones in them. She goes back to him and asks him to change them. The scene was acted out in different ways. One was where the seller was meek and customer, aggressive. The same scene is acted out with an assertive customer who requests for change. Many times we don’t perceive what we are just saying. We don’t have the time to even understand things. We are just running around for things. The way we say things, our voice, body language, everything matters. Another scene was acted out with one girl and a boy. The girl is waiting for him at the cinema, and he comes late. The conversation after that is enacted. Another scene with the reverse situation is also enacted. After this exercise, the participants were divided into three groups. All participants stood up and they were asked to follow the leader’s movements. Each group member takes the leader’s position with every instruction of ‘change’. In the next exercise each group was given a situation about phone conversations. They were asked to act out those phone conversations. In the next part of the exercise, there was a modification in the situation where the person on one end is in a hurry and then act out that situation. The voice – pitch, modulations etc, is useful in expressing emotions. Two groups were made with ten people each who come together in a circle. Alternate persons hold each other’s hands. It kind of forms a crisscrossing web. They were asked to make one circle out of this without leaving the hands. Deepa had called another facilitator, Zameer to help her with the session. He had come at around 11 to the session. He was sitting outside of the circle throughout the session except when he joined in during this part. After the groups had figured out how to untangle the web, he took over the facilitation. He asked the group to sit in a circle and debriefed about what the web means to the group. He explained the web is a metaphor. It is created when we hold hands with alternate persons but we’re not holding hands of the person next to us, even though we may still have a connection with the person next to us. The person next to us might feel that he is not important. This happened in the telephone conversation as well when we cannot connect to the person and the child next to us who is asking for something is ignored. There can be something positive as well like reaching out to others as well. Our relationships should increase but if the net gets more complicated then its difficult to solve the problems or issues that arise with it. We must make new relationships but very often we face situations when we might leave old friends behind and make new ones. Relationships are fluid. The needs from a relationship might keep changing. But why is that happening? Our work environment might change or fields of work might be different and thus it might get difficult to relate to old friends. One of the participants asked him what is the guarantee that we will get along with a new person. He said that it is a chakra. It could be also seen as positive as relationships are fluid. But there might be a negative aspect to it. We need to be aware of all these aspects. We need to keep in mind our own personal growth. After a point you might realize that you are not growing. Relationships should help in making each other samruddha (prosperous). Today you have done some of these tasks. You have tried to untangle the web. You have made the efforts and have tried different ways to solve the problem. Another good thing that you did was after you realized that the problem was too entangled, you left all the hands and started anew. This applies to relationships also. Lets not use the word vyavahar (business) and use samruddha (prosperity) instead. The participants were then asked to talk to any person in the group whom they have not spoken to in the entire day. The participants were divided into three groups. Each group will portray a situation about different relationships and the problems associated with them. To conclude the session, a meditation exercise was done where music was played in the background and the participants were asked to follow the instructions of the facilitator. In this, they were asked to concentrate on their breathing and concentrate on the positive energies. The session ended with a vote of thanks to the facilitators and the participants. Certificates were given to all the participants.