Residential workshops begin
at supper on the first day. The first evening is an introduction to our work and
to each other. We begin to identify the issues that need to be worked with
during the week. The subsequent days start at 7:30 a.m. We do 40 minutes of
movement (stretch/yoga), or walking to give attention to our physical bodies.
Before breakfast each day, we take a few minutes to begin training in a type of
meditation that we have found helps individuals to increase their awareness and
develop inner boundaries.
Over the years, we've learned that the best emotional training has to include some time for conceptual models and intellectual understanding. In our evening sessions from 7:15-9 p.m., we focus more on that part of the work. The evening time is also available for any unfinished business left over from the day. By the end of the evening, everyone is tired and has first-hand experience that emotional work uses up a lot of energy (and calories too: even though the food is great, no one puts on weight during the week!).
As we outline in the last chapter of our "Second Marriage" book, we believe in the importance of building what we call an inner "container." By that we mean learning to come inside oneself-as opposed to living through reactivity to events and people outside of ourselves (which is how most of us tend to go through life until we begin to train ourselves otherwise). Each day's activity is designed to assist in developing skill at building this container. As the group progresses we add skills that are designed to help carry what has been learned out into the everyday world after the group is completed.