Margarita y Lucía

En la rendija de un muro vivían dos lagartijas, Margarita y Lucía. Lucía estaba todo el día echada en el muro tomando sol. Margarita pasaba la mayoría del tiempo buscando insectos para sí misma y para sus hijos. Cuando veía a Lucía echada en el muro, se enfadaba.
“¡Tú cómo gastas el tiempo! Si fueras lagartija decente, por fin te preocuparías del bienestar de tus hijos. ¿Qué es lo que haces todo el día allí arriba?” Lucía pestañó y dijo: “Recupero energía. De esta manera sí que hago algo para mis hijos.”
“Lo veo diferente”, gruñó Margarita. “Y un día te llevará el águila ratonera o el halcón.”
“Esperemos a ver qué pasa”, opinó Lucía y se desperezó en el sol. Margarita prefiría buscar presa en la sombra de los arbustos bajos. Pasaba mucho tiempo cazando hormigas. A menudo parecía cansada. Su vida estaba cada día más amenazada: Ya no tenía nada que contraponer a la rapidez de los gatos y a la de las comadrejas.
Los hijos de Lucía se volvieron fuertes y despabilados, todo como ella misma. Pronto empezaron cogiendo las arañas más gordas, los cárabos más rápidos y aun grandes libélulas. Pero lo que les gustaba lo más era echarse en el muro al lado de su madre y estirarse a la luz del sol.

Picture book for war traumatised children by Susanne Stein

There’s a picture book for refugee children who suffered war trauma, written by my colleague Susanne Stein. It is available in German, English, Farsi (below right) and Arabic (above right). Next to a story which parents can read to their children in order to explain the experience and effects of trauma in a childlike way the book contains many helpful little tools how parents and helpers who are not themselves theapists can help the children who have witnessed and suffered violence. I find this book very, very useful, Therefore, I would like to share it with you. You will find the downloads below. Please don’t miss to visit the Website of Susanne Stein!

Pantomime

After a while of pausing I would like to continue with some stories…
However, I would like to change the format a little bit and take turns between different languages. So, in addition to therapeutic stories in English there will be some in French and Spanish, as well. But, first of all, let’s continue in English . Here’s one which I have personwitnessed in our local hospital.

“Good morning. My name is … ” he began his speech. “She can’t speak,” explained the nurse. “Stroke… ” The helpless gestures of the young lady patient let him know that she did not understand his words, except for a few, for which he managed to coax from her a nod or a shake of the head. How can you still communicate with such a person? With gestures he painted in the air a steep staircase for her with high steps. But alas he sighed “Too steep!” He shook his head in disappointment. Then he drew with his hands a staircase with long low steps. With his fingers, he went along the whole staircase.
The woman looked attentively and nodded. With his hands he painted a high mountain in the air. A man of two fingers wanted to climb it. But he fell again. Then he found a path with a gradual slope, a zigzag, with many turns. He went this way. The woman’s eyes began to shine. And so the pantomime took its course. “Keep your eye on the goal” and “passion” followed as the next images. The movements of a marathon runner and an upwardly clenched fist; they inspired to perseverance and a fighting spirit.
The turning hands of a clock showed that it would take time. He continued the charade with his hands together on the side of his inclined head. “Sleep” and “wake”, “sleep” and “wake”, and many many times they would have to “sleep ” and “wake” until they would be at the peak, which he kept looking upwards at with his eyes and pointing to with his outstretched forefinger. With hands and feet, with his whole body, he portrayed the picture of how her children would hook into her left elbow, and her parents the right and how they would all go together with her, all the way.
Once again he stretched out his fist to the sky. She would have to fight for all she was worth. Three days later, he again visited the woman. “You know,” said the lady in the bed next to her, “she has been here for four weeks and nothing really happened but in the last three days she has made amazing progress”. He spoke with the patient again and this time she understood every sentence. Then he took his leave. “Goodbye” she said. It was her first recovered word.

Stomach and Brain

Another contribution by Katharina Lamprecht who will be at the Festival

“Mom,” my daughter got off the school bus, thinking hard, “ today in Biology we learned something about the brain in that is in our stomach. Now I´m thinking, what if we did not learn to think with our brain in school but with our stomach instead?”

“ A comforting, revolutionary thought”, I answered.

Everything Else

In a land in our time there lived a man, who read a book and found lots of wonderful stories therein. There were true and invented stories, experienced and pensive, enjoyable and painful stories. There were stories which contained stories, and such which were actually not stories. For every story he read, there occurred to him nearly five which he had either experienced or thought up himself. So the thought came to him, that a lot in the world was a story which could be healing for himself and others; he only needed to absorb the healing stories well and to forget the terrible ones immediately. Then he would learn which story he had used when and for what. So he organised his own stories which he knew, and which had become a help to himself and others, or could become so. Sometimes he noted it down when a new story came to his ears and sometimes when a helpful story occurred to him, he memorised it.

Then he saw before him in a picture the storystories of this life arranged in long shelves, as in a large pharmacy. And behind the counter there sat a man who had learnt to listen to himself and others. He was a master of his subjectspecialty. His talent was that he understood how to tell the right thing at the right time to himself and to those who visited him.

Vipassana – Prisoners practising meditation in a jail in India

Lane has shown this film to me some years ago. I don’t know how old Lne is. I know that she used to drink coffee with Albert Einstein every Sunday when she was a student of law. Later, in 1948 she attended the Nürnberg processes where the surviving Nazi leaders were trialled. She worked as a Mediator in peace negotiations for the United Nations and also for some NGOs.
This remarkable film tells the story of a new jail director, a woman who is wondering what she can really do for the prisoners who spend so many years in this jail – and some of them a lifetime. One day she hears about a master of meditation who could possible contribute to this cause. She invites him to visit the prison. An incredible story of change begins. Enjoy this film!

In a high security jail in Capetown, Southafrica

That’ where Joanna is working. Here job is to try to create reconciliation between gang members and to contribute to the resocialisation of some of those prisoners who leave jail and go back in society. Most inmates belong to gangs who have numbers as names… there’s gang 26 who’s specialized on theft and gang 28 who work a lot with sex between the prisoners. Most inmates are waiting for a trial or are already trialled for murder, rape and other capital crimes. Some have killed many other people, both outside and inside the jail. There is a lot of attempts to stabb the staff – about have of the staff members have already suffered stabbing attacks. The film is documenting how Joanna works in order to create an atmosphere of trust and contribute to a change in the lives of the inmates.
Those of you who just want to get a 9.5 minute impression should best watch this part (part 2 of 5). Those who want to see all 5 parts (about 50 min, I guess) may want to start with part 1 which gives an impressive introduction in this gang world.
Depending on where you come from, some of you may need a Youtube-Unblocker in order to see the film.

 

Three weeks ago I was on the Festival of Nonviolent Communication in Bialobrzegy near Warsaw, Poland.
There I got to know Ike Lasater, a renowned teacher of Nonviolent Communication. Ike has been doing a lot of Reconciliation and Mediation work. Once he even worked with Romeo and Juliette and their families… look at this video and enjoy to see him work!