A discussion of our current mainstream culture, with all its benefits and limitations will help each of us to construct a conceptual framework to navigate the days activities.
Individuality and conformity will be discussed to find our groups healthy balance between maintaining group goals while maintaining respect for each individual. A code of conduct will be discussed to insure respect for all. True Flight believes that you can think or imagine whatever you want, but your behavior, including verbal and physical interaction, need to reflect the utmost respect for all involved.
Subjects like introversion and extroversion may come up…hint…you don’t always need to be the most talkative to get the most out of True Flight. Also, what does our formative thinking (upbringing) tell us about what we might feel or think during these activities? Do we have certain biases, indoctrinated viewpoints, sensitivities or hot-button issues that could help or hinder our experiences today? Listening and talking is in most peoples comfort zone. We grew up digesting information. Teachers talked, we listened. In this way we all grew up in an information rich and experience poor environment. As the days activities unfold, True Flight’s goal will be to engage in less talk and discussion, in favor of focusing on our direct experiences.
Group Length 30-60 mins.
The first group activity suggests that being comfortable in our own skin, being comfortable with our own thoughts and feelings is the first step into a wider more complex interaction with others. Movement will include, but not limited to basic yoga, pilates, stretches and low impact cardio. (Difficulty level will be beginner, if you can walk and get up and down off a yoga mat you will be fine). We will be increasing our mental focus, leaving negative or distracting thoughts behind. We will all experience elevated serotonin and beta- endorphin levels which will elevate our overall mood. Stress and tension will start to be released from our bodies. Total mental focus is a misnomer, all of our minds wander, but we can experience a more focused and calm mind. Deep breathing and visualization will follow the movement, which can slow down rapid thoughts, ruminations(repetitive) and help us gain some control over our anxieties.
Any new unknown experience can cause anxiety. In it’s purest form, anxiety is a fearful prediction of future events that have not occurred. Breathing starts to wind down anxiety and replace it with a relaxation presence. Finally, we will move into Creative Guided Imagery. We will use the power of our imagination (which often gets us into trouble) for our own health and healing and replace it with what we call a relaxation response.
Group Length 1 hour
Team Building (Trust Building)
Corporate america has long been on board with increasing the harmony of workplace relationships by using team building to break through barriers that lead to team dysfunction. Cooperation with others in a basic hallmark of what it means to be human. The exercise that most of us have seen places one person, arms folded across their chest, who falls backwards, trusting the people behind them to catch their fall. We will build on this, with a series of fun group challenges. The end goal is to cooperate in the face of different ideas and approaches/attitudes without becoming frustrated, anxious or upset. Most barriers we experience are pure perception, based on our own conditioning, formative thinking and stereotypes that simplify the world and it’s people inaccurately for us.
Group Length 1 hour
Massage (Giving and Receiving)
We store so much in our physical bodies, stress, tension and even emotion. Simple body work, which includes trusting and accepting another’s touch, can instantly calm us, relax us and continue to break down any barriers that stop us from interacting with others. Isolation, in our digital world, is more pervasive and even preferred over actual human contact and conversation. I’ll never forget a psychology study that put touch to the test. In the 1950’s Harlow Study, a primate was given the choice of a wire mother with milk to drink, or a furry mother(fur on top of wire) with no milk. One mother offered life through calories, but no fur. The other mother offered tactile touch and security but eventual starvation. Touch is so powerful that the primate choose tactile touch and security and starvation over nutrition and life. Giving and receiving touch, whether we agree or not to its importance, will be explored with a licensed massage therapist in a paired off group setting. We will slowly be exploring our sensuality by using non-invasive massage (elbows to hands) to let touch lower some of our anxieties and fears. If all pairings do not work, for whatever reason, staff will step in to give all who want it, the experience of calming touch.
Group Length 1 hour
Female Only then Male Only Skinny Dip
Most of us have hangups and issues with our natural bodies. We don’t measure up to others and to mostly our own expectations. Our culture tells us that any nudity, outside of the bedroom, is totally uncalled for. Negative stereotypes are applied to these who veer away from this cultural norm. Those people are labeled weird, exhibitionists, self-indulgent, morally corrupt or even worse, trying to violate the rights of others. I have always found none of these stereotypes to be true. Skinny dipping for me is all about self acceptance, respect for others I’m with, enjoying nature more fully and pushing myself to feel calm and comfortable when I am more transparent and vulnerable around others.
Our behavior will be clearly defined to optimize respect for all. Flotation devices for non-swimmers will be available. Sometimes the quickest path to self acceptance, self growth and self confidence is to enter into an experience that symbolizes many of the personal goals we have, but which we haven’t articulated to ourselves yet. It is really not about the physical challenge, it is about breaking down those barriers that held us back in our lives, in our relationships with others, and with ourselves. It is about self acceptance and greater confidence and self control.
Co-Ed Skinny Dip (Optional)
Taking part in this activity will help you become more comfortable and prepared for the final activity.
The final is a mind-blowing, transformational experience, in the best possible, awesome way! I can remember feeling the afterglow for weeks after doing it. My friends even mentioned that they sensed something had changed in me. “You seemed so happy, relaxed and confident” they would say. This final activity draws on all the previous activities and requires: a personal calm focus, cooperation with others, physical contact, nudity, and total respect and kindness for all, no exceptions.
As your facilitator, I will explain and participate fully in this activity. Believe me, the pay off is enormous as we will all experience acceptance, respect and cooperation all wrapped up in a full-bodied sensual experience.