More about projections, in response to Elizabeth Reid
The subject of how to get the good out of our projections fascinates me: not just within authentic movement groups; but in the relationships between me and other people in daily life.
These relationships mirror those between my whole self and its many different inner parts (new ones coming all the time). It’s a question of which parts get identified with, and which parts get excommunicated. If something or someone ‘bugs’ me, and I identify with the upset part, I tend to exile the ‘something’ that bugged me and blame it. It’s Not Me. It’s his or her fault. A part of me, not the whole me, gets re-stimulated (a co-counseling term) by an old unresolved problem, or by seeing someone do or say something IT would NEVER do, or by comparing itself negatively to someone who does something better than IT could ever do. That part is ‘shen pa’ (a Buddhist term). IT has taken over my identity, or been put out onto another person.
One thing that helps me is to be careful about language. I learned this from Ann Weiser Cornell, a Focusing teacher, who wants us to distinguish between only using the word “I” to mean the whole self (which she calls ”Presence”), and calling it “something”, or “a part” when there is a sense that something urgent is disturbing us.
The fascinating aspect of all this, to me, is the prospect of taking that ‘something’ that got disowned and projected out onto another person, and mining the gold within it. Here’s one way I know to do it for myself by myself, which comes before dealing with projections within an AM group.
First, I need constant practice in being aware that I am my whole self (via meditation, AM, art, Focusing, etc) so that I know when something in me is shen pa, or re-stimulated. The whole me is curious and interested to explore that something, not get rid of it, trusting that there’s something of value in it.
I personify whatever IT is: I find its rhythm and do that physically. And its sound. I can role play it, and move like it. I write dialogs between IT and my Process Mind part, which is curious about IT’s fears and desires. I almost always draw IT, and often make figures of IT. Projection is the stuff of art.
All this is Process Work (Thank you, Arnold Mindell), mixed with Authentic Movement and art, that allows relationships to be worked out, no matter how difficult they may seem in the beginning. As Cornell says in her book, “The Radical Acceptance of Everything”, “There are no enemies within.”
©2007 - Aileen Crow