Sharing interesting material to listen to or/and read on relations, contexts and underlying dynamics by Stan Tatkin and Terri Cole

Stan Tatkin: We’re looking at…. several developmental models that include developmental psychology and the developing brain, starting with the infant and on through adulthood. We’re looking at the how the brain develops: in particular, the areas that are specialized for social emotional intelligence. We’re looking at how the brain is networked, both horizontally—that’s between left and right hemispheres—and vertically, into the body. That includes one’s physiology as well as the neuroendocrine system, this is looking at the hypothalamus and the neurotransmitters and hormones that get pumped into the body. All of this being driven by genetics, by constitution, by environment. The environment that we in particular look at, psychologically and biologically, is the attachment system. This is a biological model of safety and security from the viewpoint of the infant, and then of course, throughout the life span, from the viewpoint of the individual. Safety and security in terms of dependency on primary figures. In the beginning of course it’s the original caregivers, and then it’s teachers and ministers and rabbis and so on, and lovers. This goes on through life in a very fluid system, but it is like building blocks. It’s built on a foundation that is a part of the first 18 months of life. When we say psychobiology, we’re studying the brain and the body, looking at how people are able to interact with each other in a very fast, very effective way that allows them to know what they’re feeling and understand their own somatic cues, their own interoceptive cues as well as to be able to read other people—their faces, their bodies, their voice, and their meaning…’

He makes his points clear with many metaphors and examples:

‘I will see people from all walks of life, and I think the best examples are people on the street. Couples that live on the street that some are, many are, mentally ill, but they are a survival unit. I’ve watched them in action and they do in fact cover each other, they do protect each other. And it’s quite something to see, that this is a natural thing that people will do when they’re in an environment that is hostile. Most of us are not in that environment so we’re not aware of the dangers around us and the pressures around us for us to have solidarity right? But people who are in dangerous situations, like police officers, people in the military, people in other countries where the world is very dangerous there is a fealty, a radical loyalty that you can see that is there and very much they’re survival units’

‘……. That means that the environment is too stressful for the child to actually develop normally, and therefore resources are being poured into other areas of adaptation that slow or stall development. You don’t want to do that in your adult life. You know you want to be you and in an environment that allows you to grow, not because you have to at the end of a point of a gun, but because you have the ability now to do it, you’re resourced, you’re free, you’re supported…..’               at: Listener&utm_content=This+Week:+Featuring+Van+Jones+and+Stan+Tatkin

And Terri Cole at:

Scrapbooks, Sweden, lies and chocolate (edited)

‘Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls’ (Ingmar Bergman, Swedish film director)

‘I think of all the choices I never knew. And those I let be made for me – to please, from fear, for love. Where did they disappear to, those choices that I never made? They are all part of who I am. They are the legacy I leave behind, they are the finished portrait of myself I cannot change’ (Liv Ullmann)

Making scrapbook pages can be a more relaxed and maybe faster than drawing process, but it also allows for organization of experiences to take place. The process of piecing things together can help us see things from a different angle and make connections, re order events and understand desires, decisions and choices, and this can often free up space for new evaluation, understanding and appreciation of experiences. As with all art journaling type activities themes can be further explored through writing, meditation, and other modalities. I have posted a scrap page sample I made with photos and stamps late last night. I had gone to town for errands in the evening and then stopped for a quick tea at a café, where I unwittingly picked up fragments of conversations from surrounding tables. Sweden seemed for some reason to be a common theme. Someone was talking about Swedish vacuum cleaner bags, another was talking about something else… innocent chit-chat that lingered in my mind and brought up my own ‘Swedish memories’, and that’s how I ended up creating a scrap page and leafing through old albums. In 1999 my family and I spent the Xmas holidays in Sweden, a fairy tale beautiful place, with a lot of cold, snow (as you can see in the photos) and natural ice rinks, great cheeses and fish dishes. In Lapland Sweden I felt awe at the brave people ice bathing, but I only got as far as going down the ice hole in a rubber suit and was more intimidated by the bottomless black hole than the cold. In one of the photos I am at my school, on the last day of term, meeting parents and giving out students’ class reports, a little before setting off for Sweden. But my love of Swedish things began way back in adolescence…. I might have watched Ingmar Bergman’s film, Autumn Sonata, at least three times, and Liv Ullmann was one of my favourite actors. My sister was learning Swedish at the time and had introduced me to a Greek writer, Theodor Kallifatides, who lives in Sweden. Later, when I became a mom Pipi Longstocking became a big part of my reading repertoire again.

‘All the children sat looking at Pippi, who lay flat on the floor, drawing to her heart’s content. ‘But, Pippi,’ said the teacher impatiently, ‘why in the world aren’t you drawing on your paper? …. I filled that long ago. There isn’t room enough for my whole horse on that little snip of paper.’  (Astrid Lindgren)

I’d also like to share another art activity from Allyson Bright: She suggests we create a page about a lie that we once told. The focus can be on the why, the how, the result, or any combination of those. Her story: ‘For my entire life, I have detested chocolate. My stomach turns at even the smell of it. This led to a lot of disappointing Halloween nights – at least for me….. Every single time it came up, and I told people that I hated chocolate, I was teased and told I was just plain wrong or even stupid. I got so very tired of hearing about how apparently defective I was, just because I didn’t want to eat this one food. When I moved to Iowa to attend to college, I was very aware that I was getting a clean slate in so many ways. The first time I was offered chocolate, a lie escaped my lips without even thinking about it. “I’m allergic,” I said. What a difference it made! Instead of being weird or dumb, I was now the subject of sympathy. “That’s horrible,” they’d say, and then it would be over. It was such a relief after the years of teasing I’d endured as a kid. I upheld the lie for several years, before finally admitting the truth…. Upholding the lie was exhausting, and it all seems so silly now. But it’s amazing what a teenager will do or say just to make the teasing stop. These days, I’m proud to let my freak flag fly, and I’ll happily admit I just don’t like chocolate. It’s easier, and it’s the truth….’.’

Blessing by John O’Donohue

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours, / May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours, / May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow / Wind work these words / Of love around you,
An invisible cloak / To mind your life.