By DOROTA RANISZEWSKA, Coach, Trainer, Photographer, Certified Points of You Trainer, Licenced Motivational Maps consultant.
Our meeting started at 5 p.m. on Thursday. People came to my workshop directly after work. A bit tired after the whole day but still curious about Faces. When I opened the door to the room, a “WOW!”, “WOW!”, “WOW!” filled the space.
This is what they saw:
Everyone started looking at the photos in silence. I invited them to sit on the floor around, keep watching,and contemplating faces in order to meet the people looking at them from the cards and after a while, to take one face that they think is their face. No matter sex, skin color, age, a personal style reflected in cloths etc.
We were all white color skin, Polish by nation. People in the room reflected in all other different people on the cards. There was one black color skin man, a little Japanese girl, an African young woman and so on. Only this first choice of the images opened reflections on what meanings we give to the skin color,to the look reflecting from the card, to the haircut, other attributes.
Why a 34-years old Anne became a matured laughing man. Why a 55-years old Beatrice became a little girl with eyes closed and face towards light coming from outside the frame? Why did I become an African woman from a tribe? Seeing this opens the question of how metaphorically we think, what do we want in life, how do we want to be?
Everyone chose a different photo. No one said “I don’t find my face there”, Interesting, isn't it? Then, I gave to the Participants white sheets of paper, and asked them to fix their faces on and describe themselves.
To write around the face: What is this person like? What are his/ her qualities? What do I love about this person? What do I feel towards this person?
People wrote things like: She is wise. She has a deep heart. He is dynamic and trustful. I could meet her and take advice on how to live. Full of love. Proud. And so on. People were moved, because they described themselves.
Imagine how reinforcing it was to them to see their own portraits described so positively. So, I said to them: Every morning from now on, after you wake up, and go to the bathroom, look at your face in the mirror, and think: How beautiful I am. I have my own face, my eyes, my nose, ears, lips. Unique, mine. I love you.
Moving forward, I invited the people to pass their portraits to the persons on their left. Now everyone has been meeting someone new. I asked them to describe the people whom they were just seeing. And once more, until their own portraits returned to them with all descriptions written by other participants. They read what was written. I could feel and observe a deep calm and harmony in their minds. I said to them: Each time, from now on, when you meet a person, look at him/ her, see their face, notice their inside story reflected in their eyes.
Meet this person for real. Meet a unique man, or a unique woman who stands before you with open eyes & open heart. On the next day, one participant who took part in the workshop sent me the next message: “In the morning I went with my little daughter to the bathroom, as usual, we stand in front of the mirror and I told her: I love you. You are beautiful. My daughter responded: I love you, too. You are also beautiful, mom.”
Self-portraits are a way to look at yourself from the outside in. The process of making a self-portrait, which includes posing and snapping the picture, is a way of getting to know yourself, to make contact, to express yourself. It’s a pursuit, examination and attempts to understand what we’re made of.
It’s the beginning of a continuous internal dialog, a way to uncover your secrets and become a friend to yourself. The most important meeting in your life – the one with yourself. Making a self-portrait, to contemplate it, to describe it, to read and hear how beautiful you are. It opens a new quality of how you see, understand, integrate, and treat yourself. And, in consequence how you relate to others.
Sometimes, one meeting is enough to feel a change. In other times, there is more to EXPERIENCE SELF to make the change happen. But it will happen. Otherwise, why do we have our eyes for if not to experience and admire?
I’ve been using The Coaching Game and Punctum for many years in my work with individuals and groups on the internal DNA, self-integration, self-esteem, gratitude, self-realization. Both games are great to support people on their way to go deeper into their internal space.
Faces bring a new quality to that work. Faces enable people to look at their faces, into their eyes, at who they are and willing to be.