Saturday, November 25, 2006

week one of anasazi

paulette has been "on the trail" now for 1 week. when she left the headquarters she was given her first weeks ration of foods which included:
  • lg ziplock 3/4 full of lentils
  • lg ziplock 3/4 full of macaroni
  • lg ziplock 3/4 full of oats
  • lg ziplock 3/4 full of brown rice
  • small ziplock with 2 fingers worth of salt
  • small ziplock with 2 fingers worth of baking soda (for brushing teeth or cooking
  • powdered milk
she makes all of her meals over an open fire in a tin cooking cup. she has to start all of her fires without matches using sticks and wood she finds.

over time she may earn the opportunity to have a knife, but right now she is not allowed to.

i talked to her "shadow" today. (shadow = therapist in the language of anasazi) she decided not to write us letters this week. we are totally disappointed. we learned that she did a good job rationing her food and even had a little left over. apparently this last week was not very physically demanding and so "she has no idea what is in store for her."

she has made friends with a 17-year-old who is near the end of her walk (means that she is nearly done with the program). this other young walker is teaching her how to cook her own food, ration, find water, make a nice bed, etc. she is apparently getting along with everyone. we are a bit worried that the experience will only hit her surface and won't sink all the way in. i hope we are wrong.

we have weekly conference calls with her shadow. each call is about an hour or so. this is a good time for us to work through our own issues and try to figure out how we can help her too. the stuff we are learning from anasazi digs really deep and makes you really think about how you react and why. the main premise of the concept is that as humans we find it often easier to live in self-betrayal than in honesty. we betray ourselves when we think or feel to behave kindly or selflessly but then decide not to. in order to justify our not behaving well be find ways to blame the other person for our bad behaviour.

the example they use is:
the baby wakes up in the middle of the night screaming and you are woken up. you notice your spouse is fast asleep. you feel like you should go get the baby and comfort her but instead you decide to fake sleep and wait for your spouse. as you wait you start to feel guilty. instead of letting that guilt motivate you to get out of bed and help the baby, you start thinking ill thoughts of your spouse. "oh he is probably just feigning sleep. he never gets up with her and i always have to. and plus i am always the one that feeds her and does he even understand how many loads of laundry i do in a day. he never even says anything..." and then we betray ourselves. you are not really made at our husband for not getting up and all these other things, you are mad at yourself.

there are a number of really good books written about this. and if you feel inclined i HIGHLY recommend them.
leadership and self-deception
bonds that make us free
the anatomy of peace

lindsay and i both wrote paulette letters this week that are delivered to her on tuesday, every tuesday. we are supposed to write explaining what we are learning and what we want to change in our relationship with her. it is tricky. we also wrote a letter to her shadow all about the best things about paulette and what we hope she will become etc. it was pretty cool to do. but man, this self-exploration is exhausting.

i think we are in a real catharsis moment. lindsay and i spent the weekend cleaning. my room has never been cleaner or more organized. lindsay is a master organizer and we have just buzzed through the house cleaning and getting rid of junk. i think it is a way for us to take control back. we have thrown a ton of stuff out. catharsis is good. it is always really messy when you start but then it is SO much better than it was. i know it is the same emotionally. you just have to trust the processes and you have to let your self get messy and all messed up before you can get it all back together.

1 comment:

Clementine said...

Hey guys,

I just noticed the irony. Now that both the girls are in Arizona, have you thought about changing the name of your blog? Stupid, I know, but it made me smile.

Thanks for letting us share in your journey. I'm amazed by what you all have done.