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A word about Projects, and work ...

Posted Jun 03 2009 11:28am

A word about Projects, and work on ourselves in general- partly because it's good to say it and partly in response to SuperEgg's comment about being worried what it means that she's maybe not able to complete all the Projects.


You know how I sometimes say that timing is everything? Maybe it's not everything, but it sure is huge in the scheme of things. And timing is a funny thing, because, well, it has it's own timing. We can't really rush or change timing, at least not in any significant way. There might be some example of where someone has changed timing that I can't think of at the moment, but in emotional/psychological work timing really is a process of its own and in charge of itself.

The way our psyche addresses, explores and deals with issues is very interesting. If you want an image, think of the Jamba Juice spiral (I'm guessing Jamba Juice is at least national, if not international at this point- if it isn't or if you haven't ever seen its logo, it's a neat looking, colorful tornado-like spiral looking thing- wide at the top getting more and more narrow as it goes downward).

When we first have a look at an issue, we start at the top of the spiral (oh yeah, this image isn't about spiraling out of control or getting sucked into a scary tornado, so try not to even go there...). We do whatever work we can at that point and we kind of move on to other things. Then, at some point, we circle around back to that same issue again in some form. It may look slightly different now, since we've evolved in our work and in our relationship with ourselves. What's happening is that now we are having a deeper look at the issue- we've moved down the spiral a bit.

And so it goes- we keep circling around and circling around our fundamental (or "core") issues, each time having a more in depth pass at them, getting more and more to "the bottom" of them each time around. Finally, if we keep doing our work, we kind of get to the bottom of the spiral, the point at which we've pretty thoroughly examined, explored, and if need be, resolved, the issue.

Everyone's timing has its own process and timeline, and that timeline can be affected by a variety of things, both internal and external.

I propose these Random Projects with this understanding in mind. From what I've heard, there are lots and lots of you guys reading this blog. You all have your own timing, and your own place where you are in your work. Faced with a Random Project, I'd expect a wide range of reactions from you, everything from "boring project Johanna" to "cool, let me try it" to "maybe later" and all kinds of other things. What's more, how you feel about a Project one month may be quite different than how you will feel about it a month or year later. Even what your completed project looks like can vary significantly from one year to another. This is reflective of the spiral way our psyches take on things to work on.

Don't sweat it if you don't respond to a Project the way you'd want to or think you "should." Your reaction is worth noticing and thinking about (and talking to your therapist or someone else). But don't jump to any conclusions about your reaction, and especially, please try not to think your response means something bad about you or your work. 

As an exercise you might want to draw a Jamba Juice spiral (geez, I hope their lawyers don't mind me talking about/borrowing their logo for our use- guess we'll find out! Well, they're all into health and well-being, so they ought to appreciate what we're up to here) and think about where you are on it with regard to certain issues, or where you have been in the past, or your progression/evolution.... or whatever you find worthwhile to chart.

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