Many of the readers of this newsletter are aware of the fact that from August 2005 through March of 2007 and beyond, I was involved first as a student in all of the seminars that Alison Armstrong and PAX Programs, www.understandmen.com , put together, and then as a graduate of her first Mastery and Leadership Program.
PAX Programs are dedicated to promoting peace between the sexes first through understanding the biological wiring differences in men and women and the instinctual behaviors that are based on these differences. Throughout the many workshops and programs, there is exploration of how our Divine selves can interface with our instinctual selves to promote partnership, complementary ways of the sexes relating with each other so that balance and peace can become a new reality between men and women.
This is miniscule synopsis is vastly oversimplified and I apologize for this reduction. The reason I am referring to this now is that Alison and one of her students have come up with a new way of looking at both men and women which already has added a valuable new dimension to my work as a therapist.
What this new perspective brings me for example, is a way of understanding my values and how my values are similar or different from those I am in relationship with not only in terms of what the values themselves are, but also in terms of what meaning the values have as influenced by each of our basic modes of being.
So, let’s say my friend Ginny and I have the shared value of adventure. We might each approach an adventure we want to share differently because I see adventure in terms of fun and enjoyment and she sees it in terms of growth and knowledge. If we each have a hidden expectation and assumption that we will share our adventure because we are enjoying it and experiencing similarity, somewhere along the line we may be very surprised to notice that we were sharing the same event in very different ways.
This realization is not always comfortable and might lead us easily to judge each other and wonder why we thought we were sharing something in the first place.
Imagine how magnified and intensified this could be when added to the already difficult arena of communication between men and women in relationship!
Here is the letter that was sent to me and I clicked on this link here www.understandmen.com/workshops/teleclass.html and signed up to be a non-participant and receive all of the MP3’s from this new teleseminar, Journey to the Center of You. If you can either participate or simply get the information, I am really sure it will be worthwhile.
A few years ago PAX graduate, Tomer Eilam, was exposed to the material on core relationship values, that we use at our couples’ retreat, to create compassion and satisfaction between men and women. In this material he saw a potential that I had never seen and asked to explore this with me with the intention of writing a book.
Oh, my goodness! In our explorations, we discovered implications beyond our wildest imaginings. These central relationship values, or Modes, are really fundamental ways of living our entire lives. So fundamental as to be INVISIBLE.
There’s a fair chance that because of this, you may not be able to even SEE someone close to you. Learn more…
Such was the case with me and Greg, my sweet husband of 19 years. Greg is what we call a “Grower and Knower.” This describes a man or woman for whom the point of life is to learn, expand, grow, heal, understand, distinguish, acquire knowledge, figure things out, etcetera. They themselves would have more words for this. They often love Wikipedia and are fountains of information.
I am Builder-Together-Enjoyer. This means that those three central Modes are inseparable in how I do life. I build together with people I enjoy all day long. I am a very happy camper and mostly blind to the love of my life – because I kept looking for him to “Do Something” with all that knowledge and wisdom and extraordinary capacities for being. Because that’s what Builders think is ultimately the point.
I feel like I just got my first library card and Greg is the library, as are every Grower & Knower. They are tremendous resources for us builders – whom we can only truly value when we stop trying to make them into something else. For example, because they know so much, they often seem like the best person to lead a project. If they don’t have building as their second value, this could be anything from draining to disastrous.
If you’re wondering what your Major Modes are, this is a fun way to start thinking about it: If someone said, “I’m learning to speak Mandarin,” what would your response be? Here’s the ballpark for each Mode:
“Cool. I wish I knew that.” – A Grower and Knower
“Is that fun?” – An Enjoyer
“Are you doing that with a friend?” – A Together/Sharer
“What do you want to say in Mandarin?” – An Expresser
“What are you going to do with that?” – A Builder
Most of us spend time in all 5 Modes. The trick is figuring out how they line up for you and in what circumstances. Greg and I have built a life together and enjoyed it, even in tough times. I love building PAX with all my extraordinarily smart, passionate and humorous partners. Some of my partners love PAX because of what they get to Express. Some love all there is to Know. Still others love how our work brings people Together. Some just love how much fun we have around here.
From my work with Tomer, and the PAX-World Tour adventurers, I have come to love and respect all the Modes. Whatever the point is for you, thank you for being part of my world.
P.S. If you’re curious about this treasure chest, you’re invited to join us for “Journey to the Center of You,” beginning on April 18.