I was now participating in one of these initiations. We were called back. One of the men in black instructed us to imagine our inner animal. What can I even write back? Saying you're sorry doesn't make it all okay. Where have you been, Zoe? How could you do something like that to me? Mia leans over across the aisle, interrupting my thoughts. I saw you out at the track yesterday. Something else to make my insides squeeze. Does she mean with Luis? Okay, I say, waiting to see what's coming next. But she's already turned back to talk to Ross on the other side of the aisle. You want there to be some We left once the fight is over. Use a problem-solving process that says We have a problem, not You are the problem. Using a structured problem-solving process like that shown in article 9 provides guidance, enabling you to determine where you are on the road toward resolving your differences. This process is based on a good deal of research. Above all, the goal of the problem-solving process is for you to stand side by side, facing out, taking the attitude that we have a problem rather than seeing one another as the problem. Look for the positive good that your partner supports, even when your partner opposes what you think is important. Values choices inherently require us to decide the relative importance of two different things that are both good.
For example, personal freedom and societal well-being are both good, but sometimes to get one you've got to give up some of the other. When we argue, we quickly become polarized, reflexively opposing one another's positions. Look instead for the positive value your partner is seeking. A monkey came to mind. Describe the qualities of that animal, he instructed. Thoughtful? Yeah, thoughtful would do. Thoughtful Monkey would be my name. One by one we jumped into the middle of a large circle and called out our new animal name and acted it out. There were wolves, hawks, eagles, tigers, lions, and foxes. One guy became Intuitive Alien. Another was Unfuckwithable Rhino. I jumped in the middle and shouted, Thoughtful Monkey. I look over at Luis, but he's pulling out his articles and doesn't look in my direction. Vardeman starts the lesson, something about poetic structure, but I can't stop thinking about what Mia said. Is she trying to intimidate me? Threaten me? Did she tell Blair? Raylene is waving her hand from the front row, but doesn't wait to be called on. Is this going to be on the test?
Vardeman rolls her eyes. Yes, Raylene. She turns to address the rest of the class. You'll probably find that you support the same value, but you don't think it as important as another value in the present situation. Focusing on the good your partner wants helps keep you from seeing your partner as an adversary. Seek out new ways of perceiving reality you can both agree on. Sometimes a conflict is created by the way you and your partner frame the situation. A frame is composed of the beliefs, thoughts, values, and assumptions with which you view the situation. Sometimes reframing the situation can open up new options or enable you to exercise personal capabilities that you've inhibited until now. A good reframe explains the facts as effectively as the old frame but permits new behaviors. Reframe your life story as needed to create options and free up capabilities. The most crucial frame of all is your life story. It tells you who you are and what is possible. As I was monkeying about the center of the circle, the men around me roared in unison: You are Thoughtful Monkey. That evening when I lay on my stretcher in the large open barn, I wanted to cry like my inner little boy. Was this a sign I was finally getting in touch with my Zeus Energy? Carl, April 22 I was in the house by the seaside again, on the couch, reading Le Monde diplomatique, when Sam, our French publicist, called. Carl, ca va, Ca va bien, et toi?
Sam was speaking to me in French. Words were flooding from the phone. Sam, sorry, could you say that in English instead? And you'll all be ready, right? There are scattered moans across the room. Fair warning. On this quiz, you'll be expected to recognize several rhyme schemes in examples of poetry. Vardeman looks directly at Raylene. So let's do a quick review. Who can tell me the rhyme scheme for a cinquain? Raylene's hand goes down in an instant. There's silence, and several kids look down at their desks. I glance over at Luis. But the life story you tell yourself is highly selective. Some of the experiences you leave out may tell a different story about who you are. Your present description of who you are and how you got here may be confining you. Look particularly at those parts of your life that don't fit easily into your normal life story. They may tell a different story. Examine your self-talk to be sure it is serving you well, and reprogram it when you need to. All of us have an inner voice that provides a running commentary on our life.
Sometimes this commentary is negative: Boy, that was a boneheaded thing to do, Can't you do any better than that? You just don't know how to make friends, do you? We often learn this kind of negative self-talk while growing up, from our parents or other significant adults. I'm still struggling to understand. Yeah, sorry, I was just saying I have now articleed you into three radio interviews. The first one will be on the same day as you arrive. After we hung up, my heart was pounding and my hands shaking. What the hell was I getting myself into? Andre, April 23 Bang Bang Bang. Drums beating. Shower time. We walked out into the freezing morning light. He's writing something in his notearticle. Vardeman gives up on a volunteer. A-B-A-B-B, Ross answers. And who developed the cinquain in the modern form? Adelaide Crapsey. You have to be kidding me. That's his name?