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    On the topic of Process Work and the Facilitator, I cannot but remember what Pulin offered to me as I sat through the Graduation Open Review. He said," In the life of a Process Worker/ facilitator one has to keep revisiting his own grave over and over again, not to get stuck but to re-emerge out of it with newer meanings for life."

    These words, which did not mean any thing significant then, has stayed with me in my journey as a facilitator and has come to mean a lot.

    The journey as a facilitator in Process Work has been exciting, challenging enlivening and yet at times stressful and grueling.

    Each time I have walked with a stranger outside, be it a person or an issue I have met a stranger within me. The challenge has been, what do I do with this part of me, how do I integrate and find wholesomeness.

    As I ask myself as to what has it meant to be a facilitator in Process Work, I have often found some fundamental anchors within me have to be revisited and restated.

    • My faith in this kind of work and its basic tenets.
    • My faith in the basic goodness of human beings and the unlimited potential that they hold.
    • My conviction and the commitment unto myself to state what I, in my integrity and yet subjectivity, feel, think and sense at that point in time.
    • Upholding the dignity of human beings, both of others and mine.

    Yet another very important thing to me has been the facilitator's humanness to offer himself in his incompleteness and rawness, having faith and conviction but yet no certainty. It is this humanness that enables the participant/client/environment to see the facilitator as one of them and walk with them in their joys and struggles.

    Often, in the absence of this and if the facilitator allows himself to be seen as an expert, he is pushed up to the pedestal of God and held in awe and for any subsequent acts of his in his basic humanness, is often dropped down from that pedestal. The facilitator then becomes responsible in mystifying process work and creating in the minds of the participants and the world outside that this is something not very practical and applicable.

    The facilitator is also seen as somebody very special and possessing extraordinary skills, almost able to create magic. In my experience of facilitators, this happens when the facilitator withholds his own struggles and universe and only works with the participants/ client's data. He is seen and experienced as someone hold very unique skills. True facilitation to me happens when the facilitator makes himself the crucible in which the participant is able to work, evolve and grow.

    Facilitator and the Environment:

    Over the last few years, the environment has become extremely entrenched in the world of achievements, and results. Purposiveness and instrumentality have become the order of the day. Be it the education systems or the corporate world, so much so that even homes have fallen prey to pushing the child to performance and results. There seem to be a rush to achieve and acquire knowledge and skill sets so that they can be converted/ traded for positions and power. In this rush, there is no time and quick fix solutions are sought after with investment of time.

    Ethics and Values have become nice words bedecking the Corporate Vision Statements.

    Facilitators and Process Work is sought after to provide this quick fix solutions. Nobody seems to have the patience or the willingness to deal with the residues, toxins and the associated feeling universe as these are often considered time-consuming and "mushy-mushy" for which nobody has either the time or the interest.

    Facilitators are expected to anchor spaces, which will enliven and energize so that the space becomes productive and people are able to perform and deliver greater results.

    While facilitators have to keep themselves abreast of the changes in the world around them and give new meanings to Process work and facilitation, do they have to relocate themselves and the basic anchors of process work in the same ground as the world around them or do they anchor themselves in their convictions and intervene in that context. No doubt this could be time consuming. This will be real test of the facilitator's faith and conviction in what they profess.

    All these pose a real challenge to the convictions and commitments of the facilitators in Process Work, its potent and what it can do, both in the medium and long run.

    This posers a real challenge to the facilitators conceptual knowledge of not only process work but also their understanding of the emerging trends in the environment, market realities and its impact on the business world, the education and the society.

    Facilitators will have to fashion out newer responses to this changing world and yet uphold the truest traditions of Process Work without being seen as Self-Righteous or purists and theorists.

  • Initially most of us work to earn a living, to be independent, as a first rung of the ladder we wish to climb. After we are confident of our market value, we may work also to achieve some ambitions to be better providers for our families. Sooner or later many of us would prefer to work to achieve our best potential, where we can enjoy our lives. Sooner or later we may fall into one of two worlds:

    • A world of stability, regularity and comfort with minimum change, seeking to discover equilibrium quickly when there is any rocking of the boat
    • A world of people searching for something more, questioning the established formulae for a good life, figuring out what is it that is good for 'me'
  • The whole business of life seems to be about all this. Individuals deal with these often on their own. Great gurus have in all cultures traditionally created movements or organizations to deal with these issues. Groups of people have also created a range of 'Institutions for well - being' ranging from the religious to the socio cultural to support or directly help people find some resolutions of these issues for themselves.

    Essentially the very nature of life seeks gratification of various kinds, be it physical, social, intellectual or spiritual.

    We may classify individuals and institutional responses to these issues of living a happy and successful life into the following:

    Individuals Institutions:
    Having a predominant need for equilibrium Offering containment (through yoga, prayer, socio cultural programme etc). The focus here is in accepting the status quo - not wanting to upset the apple cart but hopefully living as comfortably as possible.

    Having a predominant need for change/ shifts/ movement:
    A search for realizing one's potential. Offering spaces and beckonings for multifaceted and open ended growth, through providing a network of interested people and Constantly evolving programme spaces where individuals can intensify their learning and growth.

    The above frame work may be faulted for being simplistic:
    Since individuals have a mix of needs for change and equilibrium in various areas in various degrees and these again vary in different phases of life. Yet it can provide us with some clarity and awareness about ourselves and the nature of our current search for gratification.

    So what are you looking for?

    If you are looking for equilibrium, especially as a constant feature of life, you don't want to create any chaos nor open any Pandora's boxes (But do remember that at the bottom of Pandora's Box lies Hope) Certainly then, an Aastha programme is not something you will be fascinated with. It may help to create a deeper understanding of people and organizations around you. Essentially you reap as much as you sow. If you do not want to invalidate any of your thoughts and beliefs, the less likely you are to take the risk of searching, investing, receiving and giving.

    If you are looking for search and adventure, or if you are a restless soul, feeling there's more to life, looking for something that can add more aliveness and adventure then you can use Aastha's programme effectively. What you may find is not any clear cut 'thing' but a process. A process of discovering perspective and insights and making your choices about what you will do with them.

    Aastha is basically a community of people who trigger each other's thinking, feeling and action. There are no rules as to how much or what you explore. You learn to take charge of your destiny, realize your potential as much as possible by yourself making choices for building perspective and making new beginnings.

    Co- travelers may enrich you, be nurturing or tough teachers. There is great vibrancy in a space you can co own and belong to as much as you wish to. However it is your involvement that will make a difference for you. There are no ready made mantras but a space where you can discover your own.
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