Re: Process Workshop Recommendations?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 08:06:32 -0700 (MST)

On Sunday, November 9, 2003, at 12:37 AM, Becky Schaller wrote:

I've also been
surprised at how difficult it has been to follow through on some of the
recommendations that consultants have made. I wonder if that is because process work usually doesn't have either the urgency or the glamour which
seem to drive other issues.

As an artist, I have perspective on this which may be helpful. The brain always "sees" more than the hand is capable reproducing. "Happy accidents" aside we form images or concepts in our brain more easily than we can physically reproduce them.

Dancers spend hours each day training, physically molding, their muscles to move the way they want them to move. Artists spend hours with paints or clay to understand how the material can work _for them_. Actors spend hours rehearsing to get the feel of the stage and the quality of a character. This work has to encompass all our senses -- sight, sound, smell, touch, taste.

This training that has two elements -- the external material (the script or the choreography) and individual artist's brain. Not all brains work with all art forms. Just as not all bodies will ever do well in ballet, not all bodies work well with certain materials. I cannot paint those thick impasto things that many oil painters prefer. I work in thin transparent watercolor (example at across the top of the page). I could work with impasto for years and never like it well enough to master it.

I'm also an introvert and will never be an extrovert. My brain doesn't work that way. I'm hardwired differently.

Given that we are not training to be therapists or trainers. I'm currently thinking that it would be faster to have a process person do the process and let the people be themselves. We don't expect everyone to paint the paintings, why do we expect everyone to communicate with everyone else all the time without facilitator? If it works better for Nancy to talk to Joe who talks to Fred rather than expecting Nancy and Fred to be best buddies. Sometimes it just ain't going to happen. Does that mean Nancy and Fred can't live in the same community? No, I don't think it does unless the goals of that community are for total personal understanding -- and those communities are usually very small and selective. Otherwise, it just takes to much time. Diversity means diversity and it has a price.

ALSO since the brain is always ahead of the body, it is important to take snapshots in time so you have an objective measure of progress. Artists keep sketchbooks, writers keep journals, dancers have teachers and video tapes, etc. This way when artists get discouraged about progress, they can look back and see that they may not be "at goal" yet but they are improving. Otherwise it can very discouraging. The brain always sees more.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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