Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Taking a Plunge

Back in the late '70's I started working on a master's degree in counseling. I didn't get very far along in the program; only a semester or two before I realized that I was too burnt out from going to school full time and working two jobs (adding up to full time) for too many years. Anyway, one of my teachers was kind of like taking a class from Timothy Leary (remember him?). It was a great class; I learned a lot in a most unconventional way! One of the assignments that was on-going throughout the semester was that we were to do an excercise in real life that he referred to as, "taking a plunge". What he meant by that, was to do something outside of your comfort zone; something that you do not ordinarly do. We were to discuss our "plunge" experience during class. It was kinda scary, but kinda cool all at the same time to step up to the plate and do the monthly "plunge"; let alone reveal it to a classroom full of strangers later. The things I decided to do for the semester were "doing activities alone"; I went to see a Ruby Brown play (forgot the name but it had the word, 'rainbow' in it), ate at resturants alone...I can't remember what else. The one that was really outside my boundaries was seeing the play alone; it was kind of strange not having anyone next to me to share dialogue with before and after the play. The ritual of parking and finding your seat. Alone. But, I learned that it was an enjoyable experience. What was most valuable to me was the importance of going outside of our boundaries of comfort. You can't grow if you don't venture past those boundaries. The image at the top is a Polaroid transfer; the subject is Juliana Cole's(www.meandpete.com) mother Jane, floating in a pool at Hacienda Mosaico (www.hacinedamosaico.com) in Puerto Vallarta. It was taken on slide film, then transfered to Polaroid film. She was so in the moment of peaceful bliss floating quietly in the pool. Completely oblivious to the world around her.

7 comments:

tangled stitch said...

It's a lovely post and perfect for inspire me thursday. Love the artwork! I hope you are still doing it and would love to see more of it!

Deb G said...

Love both the images and what you have to say. It's really stepping outside of my comfort zone to do things alone. One of my proudest moments was spending 3 hours alone in Venice Italy. It was one of the highlights of my trip :)

laurel said...

Thank you for sharing your experience of doing things alone. I know sometimes I don't do things just for that very reason and what do I have to lose. Both of your pieces are great and go so well with the topic. Thanks for sharing yourself.

so NOT cool said...

What a great post for the theme!

Laura Scarlett said...

You are so right about only being able to grow by stepping out of our confort zone. A very inspiring post so thank you.

cookie said...

This was such a great post. I don't know about most people, but I don't do a lot of things unless I find myself thrown into the situation. Something that came to mind for me while reading your post was being alone in NYC at the end of a giftware show and suddenly having no one to eat dinner with. I could have gone back to my hotel or out to dinner alone, so I did go to the restaurant. But I remember actually cheating a bit because I phoned my husband and tried to share the experience with him as I was there. He was busy with two of his daughters and I was out of luck. But as the evening progressed I realized that I was happy that he was busy because I was able to take it all in and enjoy so many things I would have missed out on otherwise. ...too much information. In a nutshell...I loved what you had to say. I appreciated what you shared. It was very special. Thanks.

carla said...

What a great post! I like the idea of "taking the plunge," and I could totally realte to what you said about seeing the play by yourself. I am sure those exercises alone were worth the price of the course! I love the transfer - it looks far away, as if in a dream.

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