Helande Drama

Make gratitude a habit

Gratitude increases the feeling of happiness both in the short run and with a long time perspective. In fact, research* shows that the general level of happiness increases with time if we constantly practise gratitude. So a person who continuously focuses on being grateful will, after going through hard times, return to a higher level of happiness then before. As if there was a reference point of the general level of happiness in us all.

A new year can mean starting a good habit, ie of this named gratification training. A good example to do so can be to fill a jar with something good of every day in a year. On New Year's eve 2017 you can open all the 365 gratitude notifications and see how much you actually have in your life. It can be the smallest of things and especially those things you take for granted ie; happiness to live in a nice home, to have food on the table, to be able to say what you want because you live in a democratic country. Or it could be goals you've achieved, an LOL moment, a quote, daily blessings and memories to be saved. 

I did this

Read more

Beyond sympathy/antipathy

Feelings come and go all the time and can make you believe in them being real. Well, in Mindfulness therapies and related we learn to observe feelings; you have feelings but they don't say much of who you are. Or anything about others for that matter.

This is especially true when we come to feelings of sympathy and antipathy.  To put it in the frame of psychological language, sympathy is when you have positive feelings for others. Which are often based on seeing qualities you like in yourself. Sometimes there can even be an admiration for someone’s characteristics; traits you still haven’t developed yourself. Antipathy is obviously its contrary. Projected feelings of those negative qualities we don't see or know of, but dislike in ourselves.

People who are used to work upon themselves and have some insight in their own psychology, will have heard of this. What's interesting is when we look beyond the feelings of sympathy/antipathy and try to change how we see the other person. Since ourselves are the only persons we can change.

The brain finds it hard to change the way it sees things or people and will likely not change its opinion of someone.

Read more

Identity and self-image

Questions like ”Who am I” and ”who am I for real?” have occupied the human psyche throughout history.

At certain points in life we see ourselves in new ways and may even be surprised of our own actions/feelings and thoughts to things that occur to us.

So who are you really? Are you other people’s expectations on you or are you your personality? Without applying deep psychological theories on to this subject (CG Jung ie.) it is still obvious that we can take as many shapes and forms as there are people in the world. Or any creatures and figures that your imagination can possibly come up with for that matter…

*Take many shapes and forms* could be an expression that at first sight seem threatening if your identity is too much related to your personality and to family roles and profession. However, to anyone familiar with drama and theatre it is clear that we in some ways have everything inside of us. This also means there are many possibilities for how we can present ourselves to the world.

Nothing is static anyway in life and sometimes we really need to integrate unknown aspects of ourselves. Or getting more

Read more

Power exchange

When starting to write this blog today, I happened to be sitting opposite a native English speaking Yoga Teacher. Now I'm the sort who believes in life giving (and taking) opportunities so when talking to her about the translation of the word power, we ended up having a really interesting conversation about both the word and everything connected to it. Plus exchanging ideas for future work. :)

In both Swedish and English the word can have positive and negative connotations. The significance of the expression power exchange can, just like our conversation, branch off in all kind of directions. Becuase at its best, this is what we people can do - share and exchange power. Just like everything else changing, so does power in its natural state. At its worse the roles we are taking and having in relation to each other can prevent real meetings where one or the other tries to dominate the other. Just like classical drama exercises of domination and subjugation, as described by Keith Johnstone, the famous father of improvisation. We are animals at one instinctive level and if we don't become conscious of it we can misuse power in many ways.

When I was

Read more

What is success?

boat sunsetWhat is success? I asked some friends and acquaintances, some weeks ago, in a discussion.

The answers varied according to each ones belief systems, values and cultural background.
Because isn’t that just how it is; we can’t say what real success or real luck is for anyone. In this world of today and in Western societies where much emphasis is on having the ‘right’ education, partner, job etc., we are fostered into believing what it is to succeed and be happy.

Many Zen stories have inspired me in life and one of them especially fits well on the theme of what real success and happiness is. It is about this fisherman who lives a simple life and every evening just catches as much fish as he needs for him and his family. One evening as he sat on the beach with his small draught and enjoyed the beautiful sunset, a business man approaches him. He asks the fisher why he doesn’t try to get more fish so that he could sell some of it. That could in return give the fisherman enough money to buy a bigger boat, go further out on the sea and catch even more fish. Eventually

Read more

Reminder of the present moment

Can you see and feel how love and joy is everywhere around you? Just be present, notice the small things and look around for signs. And the days when it's really grey and dull, if you can't find it elsewhere, search for it within. Through meditation and contemplation you can find the light within. You can even think of the happiest moments you've had - just that same happiness is still there. Don't forget.

"Don't count the days, make the days count." (Muhammed Ali)



Read more

Through and beyond conflicts via body language

Last weekend I went to a course about conflict resolution, based on the DRACON model. (DRAma CONflict) This method has been used in projects in different countries with connection to research.

All of us people gathered on the course were drama teachers which was a good starting point; we “spoke the same language” and had a common reference ground. Many exercises and tools were familiar to us already. Since drama was the main method we used body language and frozen poses most of the time. Everyone familiar with the “drama language” would admit that expressing emotions and ideas using the body, is more efficient then words. However, it sometimes hits you just how strong the non verbal language really is!

Take this image for instance that I’m carrying with me ever since the course. We were asked to make a frozen pose expressing a conflict between two parties. Person A takes the first position, showing he/she is in an immediate conflict, and person B makes a counter action to that, in a frozen pose. Person C is then being given the task that he/she is the mediator and is asked to rebuild the statue from changing only 3 poses. The

Read more

We are the stories we tell ourselves

Identity and identification – themes with great depth and meaning that can be understood from many perspectives.

In some ways you could say that: we are the stories we tell ourselves. We tend to identify with stories that we create as we go along. Our self image is often shaped from early childhood, from how we relate to parents, care-givers, friends and through school and eventually our roles in society. We have to reshape and adjust the self image continuously as life isn’t constant and we discover new sides and integrate those.

Isn’t it rather interesting that what we tell ourselves all day, tends to shape not only our self image but also our interaction with others and therefore effects our experiences with the outer world.The good thing about becoming aware of these stories is that we also can change them.

Here role play, on the one hand, is efficient since your body is involved in the enactment of a character with certain character traits. You discover from within that you can be so much more, have so many more expressions then what you thought at first. Perhaps you realize qualities you had forgotten for a long time,

Read more

Act as if...

In my previous blog, 3,5 years ago...for many reasons...I wrote about identity and what we identify with. How we can change the stories we tell ourselves. Which is very interesting! And to continue a boit on this theme; in this blog I explore how we can make small changes and get big changes in our perspectives!

We all need to use different tools from time to time in order to feel better, loosen knots in our relationships, get structure and organize our time better, or whatever it may be.
It strikes me very often how much I myself can influence my perceived part of reality; especially for how I feel and to become more grounded, strong, centered.

One is how we think and the other is how we act. We can also say working from the inside out (thoughts and words shape how I look at life) or from the outside in (biochemical processes which in turn affect emotions and happen when we use the body to strengthen and make ourselves more resourceful such as to stretch / use high-status language / act as if we were in the desired state).

So what we think about ourselves and a

Read more