Life is not a matter of ‘chance’, it’s a matter of ‘choice.’ In order for us to make effective life choices we need to have a clear understanding of what we are looking for; what we really want in life. Once this ideal picture is in place we can begin to search for ways to reach our destination. The things we do on a regular basis; the behaviours we have learned, form the roles we play in life. These roles help us to move either towards or away from what we really want. A role can either develop or diminish us. A Constructive role helps us to become a better person and moves us towards what we want in life. By feeding these roles we are more likely to arrive achieve our heartfelt goals and objectives. In contrast, a Fragmenting role weakens us as a person and our relationships. These roles gradually move us away from our ideal life goals and objectives. Change is possible as we become aware of and identify the types of roles we are playing. By taking on constructive ways of acting we begin to enjoy a better life.
The following technique, Towards and Away From is designed to assist you to: Clearly identify what you want. Clarify what you’re already doing to achieve your desired goals and objectives. Pinpoint what you’re currently doing to move you away from your goals and objectives. Create the First Step towards change.
You will notice Terry’s story at the side of each page. If you wish, you can read what Terry did (a true case) to get some insights into how another person used the technique to get clarity on his goals and objectives. Terry is Jenny’s husband. Jenny’s story is described in the First Step Technique. Jenny showed Terry the picture of the scene she created using the Play of Life. Terry was touched by Jenny’s picture. Like her, he wants to improve their family relationships.
Just relax. This is your time. Close your eyes and breath deeply three times. Think about a life goal or a specific objective you’d like to achieve. It could be as general as an overall ideal lifestyle or as specific as: A new job A holiday Getting fit Thinking of the generic or specific situation you have chosen, dare to dream! Project yourself into the future and imagine you are already living and enjoying your goal or objective. Don’t sell yourself short. Refer to Terry’s story if you get stuck, otherwise just continue.
Please print a copy of the template attached in the . Find a comfortable place to play; one that has a hard, stable surface to work on. You may prefer to sit with a cup of tea or coffee to feel more “at home”. Allocate enough uninterrupted time to do the play. 45 minutes should be enough. Place the template in front of you. This becomes the “stage” on which you will represent your goal/objective (your dream).
You’re working in Box A “MY IDEAL” Choose a figure that represents you. Place the figure in a location on the stage that represents your presence in this picture. Using both hands, bend and shape the figure in a way that represents how you are feeling in this future place & time. Looking at the figure and the space around you, who else is there? Place a figure that represents each person on the template and position them in a position that completes the picture. What else is there? If relevant, use a prop to represent other aspects of your ideal e.g. support, freedom, abundance, home ownership. Terry projects himself into the future. He creates a picture of he and his wife relating well. He and Jenny contentedly stand beside their son who has long since resolved his problems and is himself happily married.
Now, look at the picture from different angles and modify whatever you need to make it as close as you can to your dream. Project yourself into it. Be there, believe it! Then, choose a title for this picture and write it in the bottom of Box A on the template. What are you feeling in this ideal scenario? Record it in Box A of the template. Terry chooses the title “Family Dream”. He feels satisfied, happy and fulfilled.
Describe the role Look at the picture and ask yourself: What am I doing? (e.g. helping.) How am I feeling while doing that? (e.g. willingly) Translate your answers into an adjective and a noun. (e.g. Willing Helper) Record the role played in Box A. How often do you play this role? 1(rarely) 2 (sometimes) 3 (often) Optional: Where or in which context did you learn this role? e.g. With Grandma doing Meals on Wheels. Terry sees himself as a Happy Communicator.
Choose somebody (one person) in the picture relating to you. Describe the role s/he is playing in relation to you (using an adjective and a noun) and how s/he is feeling e.g. “Grateful Sharer.” Record this somewhere on the template if you’d like to. Looking at the picture you have created. How accurately does this represent your heartfelt dream? Choose a number from 1 (I’m not able to dream) to 10 (This is my full dream) to indicate how much you allowed yourself to dream. Write it somewhere in Box A. If you rated your dream below 8, consider modifying your picture to represent a 10. Dare to dream big!
Box B CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE Looking at your life at the moment, what are you doing which, IF you continue doing it, will move you towards the dream you have created? Choose a figure to represent you. Place and position it in such a way as to depict what you are doing in relation to others or in relation to an event/situation. Use props if necessary. Terry depicts himself sitting at the dinner table with Jenny. He also places himself next to his son working together on the family car. In both those situations, conversations are easier.
Choose a title for this picture and write it in box B. What are you feeling in this scenario? Write it in Box B. Describe the role you’re playing and write it in box B. Describe the role the other is playing. How often do you play that role? 1 (rarely) 2 (sometimes) 3 (often) Where (in which context) did you learn that role? E.g. Friend’s family home Who was/is your role model? Terry’s title is “Together”. He identifies his role as that of “Happy Communicator.” He doesn’t do this as often as he’d like to but he enjoys the occasions when the conversation flows with Jenny and his son.
Box CFRAGMENTING ROLE Even though we may want something, we often behave in ways that move us away from our goal. We act in ways that are inconsistent with what we really desire in life. Looking at your life at the moment, what are you doing which IF you continue doing it, will move you away from the dream you have created? Choose a figure to represent you. Place and position it in such a way as to depict what you are doing in relation to others or in relation to an event/situation. Use props if necessary. Terry quickly identifies that he spends more time communicating with staff than with his family. He often works late.
Choose a title for this picture and write it in box C. What are you feeling in this scenario? Write it in Box C. Describe the role you’re playing and write it in box C. Describe the role the other is playing. How often do you play that role? 1(rarely) 2 (sometimes) 3 (often) Where (in which context) did you learn that role? E.g. Home Who was/is your role model? Terry chooses the title “Escape”. When he works late, he feels guilty but he wants to be a good provider. Terry identifies his role as Insecure Escapee. He plays this role often. His role model was his father.
Looking at Box C and B, use percentages to describe the proportion of time you spend in those roles. Eg 10/90 - (10% Fragmenting and 90% Constructive). Write the percentages below each box. Terry realises he spends 90% in his Fragmenting role and 10% in his Constructive role..
Looking at the role you’re playing in box C, what can you do to change that role to make it more constructive; more like that of the role you are playing in box B? Looking at the figure that represents you, choose one small movement; a first step that would help you to achieve your goals and objectives. Record the first step on the template and write what that means to your life. Record how difficult this step is for you, 1 (easy), 2 (difficult) 3 (very difficult). Record it below your First Step if you’ like to. If this is a “3”, try to find a smaller step to start with. Repeat the movement a few times. Terry’s first step is to turn away from his work, towards his family. For him this means leaving work at a decent hour. This will not be easy for him to do.
Congratulations! You have finished the “Towards and Away From Technique”. You may like to take a photo of what you’ve created. Some people use the ideal picture as a screen saver to focus on what they want in life. You may like to repeat the technique focused on a different goal. Eg: family, financial, health etc