A PRESENT-minded meeting.. we met at YMCA Ghatkopar. As each one came in, we greeted each other, and asked simple questions – “small talk”, before the BIG talk :).
We started off with the Uncle Joe game. We are packing Uncle Joe’s bag before he goes on a trip. Each one of us packed something, and then had to recall what the people before us had packed. Like, “Dhruv packed a water bottle, Saurabh packed sandwiches, and I Prashant and packing the water that goes in the water bottle!”. It’s a memory, listening, and focus game.
Then, we played the CHANGE game – breaking up into pairs and using a different technique during each conversation. We first discussed bouncing, then slow speaking, then LOUD speaking, then being PRESENT-minded during the conversation, and then the ultimate technique – Voluntary Stammering. Voluntary Stammering might be scary at first, but it’s the only technique that allows you to face the fear, shame, guilt of stammering… and with enough repeated practice, reduces the intensity of those feelings – to the point that if someone asks you “Kya tum haklate ho?” (“Do you stammer?), you can answer “Ha ji, to?” (“Yes I do, so what?”)… or even just “Ha ji.” (“Yes, I do”).
We then did this role play where we take turns asking each other “Kya tum haklate ho?”, and coming up with fun one-liners that demonstrate acceptance, and self-confidence.
Then, we did role play of a potential groom’s family, going to see a bride’s family. One of the SHG members will face this situation next week. It was great fun, and we highlighted the importance of sharing openly / transparently about our stammering. If we don’t think of it as a big deal, why will anyone else?
After that, we sat in a circle, and practiced PAUSING while munching on something. This really slows you down, and allows you to soak in the moment of speaking, of everyone looking at you. In fact, it’s actually more nerve wracking for the others who are looking at the one munching – waiting for what they will say next. Like, “Tonight I’m going to go to”… (nunching)… “the park to play football”. SUSPENSE mein rakh diya! Leken yeh technique, sab Ministers/Bosses/Leaders use to EMPHASIS a point.
We then discussed the importance of all of us being our own SELF-THERAPIST…we are essentially in self-therapy when being an active part of TISA & an SHG. We need to motivate ourselves, and of course we can rely on a support group to be there too.
We each shared something that will do everyday to change our psychology / cure our mindset – the goal of our therapy program, and path to recovery; while understanding it’s a slow and on-going journey. Taj Mahal wasn’t built in a day :)!
Homework: Read AHJ chapters 1-4. Start doing the Acceptance exercises given in Chapter 3.
Next meeting on April 23, 2017. Location: YMCA Ghatkopar. Time: 2:30-5 pm.
We decided to do reading in a group, and assigned Speech topics to prepare.
If you’re in Mumbai, contact us! Dhruv, 9930693364 – Whatsapp or Call.