awaken - dare to envision, believe and create™
Divergent approaches to personal development and spiritual growth will be examined, from neuroscience, quantum and cognitive theories, to philosophical, intuitive and humanistic theories. Foremost, personal development and change is best understood with life application – therefore, in addition to looking at current research and theory, the class will have several “hands-on” components. You will participate in activities chosen to facilitate self-discovery and growth including: a creative presentation or paper, a mini vision quest with a written summary, and others.
For the creative development portion of your learning during the course, you will keep an Inner Work Journal (private), you will delve into some aspect of your own personal development and journey, and create a short (three to eight minute) presentation for the class. (You may choose to write a paper in lieu of the presentation.) You will identify factors, situations and people in your life, which have promoted or inhibited positive change, and then share your analysis and insights. Your own imagination is your only limit – you may use video, music, art. Presentations are scheduled during the seventh week of the course.
As individuals move closer in life to realizing their fullest potential there is often an increasing and spontaneous desire to serve others. To facilitate your own development in this area, you will have the opportunity to serve through social action, good deeds and other acts of kindness. An additional activity is the mini Vision Quest, an intensive quiet time away from your busy life, in which you will observe your own reactions to the signs and wisdom of the natural world.
Towards the course’s end, you will write about your reactions to these experiences.
At the conclusion of the course you will have acquired a basic cognitive and experiential understanding of how we can change and develop by examining and analyzing the ideas and theories presented and immersing yourself in personal development and spiritual growth practices. Most importantly, you will be able to identify factors in your own life that either promote or inhibit positive change. You will have used your creativity in exploring your chosen personal development topic in depth.
The discussions serve as forums for discussing issues related to self-inquiry and self-definition. Members agree to support a sense of community amongst the other group members, and promote high Ethical standards.
The object of the discussions is to help each person clarify contradictions, tracing them back to prides and fears that cloud our mental processes. One of the ways of doing this is a friendly mode of challenging, or confrontation, not of the person but of his or her assumptions, beliefs, values and ethics.
A successful interchange relies on the cooperation of all participants and their willingness to "play the game." No one should preach or be subject to preaching. As much as is humanly possible we should try to:
· Listen actively, without interrupting, maintaining a felt connection with the speaker.
· Keep the focus on each participant in turn, avoiding the temptation to shift the attention to ourselves -- either out of a desire to rescue the person from tension or a desire to be the center of attention ourselves. When such a shift occurs, the facilitator or other participant should point it out.
· Try to understand the speaker's point of view and challenge him or her to question their own thinking, not argue with them or try to sell our own views.
Because the discussions expected to take place among the group reflect each individual's insight into their own difficulties and aspirations for which they have been attending the course, it is imperative that content and context of this sharing of information remain within the group.