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But in this instance, Jan was coming up against a very real internal struggle between serving her family and serving herself. More often than not, she would skip the run and feel the consequences of doing so, perhaps in the form of bad food choices, restlessness in her desk chair, or an inability to fall asleep at night. In that moment of internal negotiation in which we weigh our two options, if we are aware of our icebergs, we have the ability to step outside the situation and examine the trade-off we've formulated. We can stop and redirect our actions, according to our adult, reasoned thinking, rather than having them unconsciously driven by outdated or unuseful beliefs we formulated long ago. Again, the Tavistock Clinic has been working effectively as consultants in industry through utilization of policy committees made up of workers, management, and the research consultants (210). All policy decisions are made by these committees, and its members have an equal voice in shaping the conduct of the research project. Though these experiments are only brave beginnings, they may point the way to more extensive application of therapeutic methods of leadership and administration to larger groups and organizations. OUTCOMES OF GROUP-CENTERED LEADERSHIP It is much too early to state with any degree of certainty what outcomes can be expected from the group-centered approach to leadership. We must, for the present, rely primarily upon observation and limited research findings. Nevertheless, there may be some justification in merely pointing to certain outcomes which, as a result of our experiences, we have begun to expect from group-centered leadership. It should be emphasized, however, that each of these should be considered as an observation which requires experimental verification. These outcomes may be thought of as falling into three categories: (1) the meaning of the group experience to the individual group member, (2) the internalization of the leadership functions by the group members, and (3) changes in the group functioning. The Meaning of the Group Experience to the Individual Member Acknowledge that it's not your fault. Your emotions (housed in the limbic system) are in charge of your body, causing the instinctive fight-or-flight response behind those behaviors. The trauma has hijacked your brain, blocking your prefrontal cortex (rational brain) from regulating your emotions and helping you make good choices. That prefrontal cortex also takes the lead on sensing what's going on with other people and their feelings--empathy, in other words. So, if your trauma has impaired your empathy, it's because it makes you distrust and disconnect from others. Since trauma robs you of your sense of safety and trust, a crucial part of healing consists of learning who to trust and reestablishing safety in connection with others.

In order to relax, you need to believe that you can rely on others, to know that no one will hurt you in a certain space or relationship, and to feel protected. But connection is elusive for traumatized people. We are cut off from the very thing that can help, and this alienation invariably leads to shame. We blame ourselves for our relationship problems, for the ways we self-soothe or avoid. By the way, in case you missed it, the key phrase in the promise above is if we are aware of our icebergs. We can make all the resolutions and sign up for all the fabulously fun fitness classes we want, but unless we consciously direct our choices, we'll end up back where we started, with a lapsed gym membership (and likely a heap of guilt and shame to go along with it). Take Action Okay, let's put together your plan. We'll do this in three tiny steps, removing the impediments first before anything else: Navigate the icebergs Challenge the thoughts NAVIGATE THE ICEBERGS Begin by isolating your personal icebergs. Below you'll find some of the most common ones that come up around fitness. One of the expected outcomes of group-centered leadership is the effect upon the individual member of experiencing membership in a self-directing, nonthreatening, and accepting group. It appears that members of such groups react to their experience in much the same way as clients who have completed individual therapy. Apparently, group-centered leadership has positive therapeutic effects on the group members. Group Members Feel They Are Understood. If a nonthreatening psychological climate exists for a group, the members of the group seem to feel that they are being understood. They feel that others are attending carefully and are making a sincere effort to understand them.

This is one of the things that stands out clearly as we have attempted to find out what is being experienced by group members. Thus, after a three-day conference of Christian and Jewish college student leaders in which the group leaders attempted to create a nonthreatening climate, one of the delegates writes: The next morning, in our first discussion group, I was again disappointed, this time by the unaggressiveness of our group leader, and the tendency of the group to go off on tangents. But, strangely enough, each time I felt like objecting to such strange procedure I recalled my notes of the evening before and decided to string along -- to try to accept and understand the feelings of others. Shame surrounds trauma. The emotions you experience and the behaviors you've adopted--anxiety, depression, dissociation, reactivity, intrusive thoughts, avoidant behaviors, substance abuse--are all ways of coping with your pain, and yet you may feel shame for choosing them. And a hallmark of shame, what allows it to fester, is secrecy. This is why speaking your truth and connecting with others can be such an important part of healing. To stop the self-defeating loop you are stuck in, you need compassion and love--from yourself and others. Name your pain to friends so they can bolster you, find support groups, get professional help. Help yourself by letting others help you. You are not alone. Know, too, that overcoming shame is hard; Healing doesn't mean that you escape your pain but rather that you expand your window of tolerance for emotion. Some of these are about our capabilities or capacities, some are beliefs about how we should be spending our time, and some go to the heart of our identity and how we see ourselves. As you read through them, breeze past the ones that seem wrong or even ridiculous to you--those don't apply to you. When you read one that makes you nod with familiarity and say, Yes, of course that's so, you'll know you've hit one. Once you've identified your fitness icebergs, look at them carefully and determine whether they should be melted, steered around, or embraced/shaved. Remember, an iceberg that is wholly outdated and doesn't serve us gets melted, the ones that crop up only in a narrow set of circumstances get steered around, and the ones that represent values we want to keep but are creating problems for us get embraced while we handle the conflict they are generating. So, for instance, let's say you have the iceberg of Life isn't supposed to be hard.

Chances are, this belief cuts a broad swath in your life and shows up not just around fitness but in your work life, or with anything that presents a challenge. It's pretty damaging, because it really puts a crimp on your reaching out and taking on new opportunities, so it's one that deserves to be melted. Here, you might challenge and, over time, melt that iceberg by saying something like the following when it shows up: Anything worth doing is going to require effort. Effort does not equal `bad. It wasn't long before I was glad of this decision, for when it came my turn to speak, I was overjoyed by the honest effort of the others in the group to understand me. I expounded on points of view I have held within myself for years, as it soon became evident that I would not become ridiculed. Because of this, understanding which might normally take years to acquire was achieved in a matter of hours. In contrast to the perceptions of this member who participated in this conference are the statements of members of another group in which they apparently felt a different kind of climate. In this latter group the leaders, at least during the early sessions, selected goals for the group, evaluated comments of the group members, and freely made deep-level interpretations of the statements of some of the members. During one of these early sessions the following remarks were recorded: The reason I didn't volunteer for jobs is because I haven't felt that I was a part of the group. This is because people haven't responded to what I say -- people don't listen, don't take up my suggestions. People haven't listened to me. Therefore, I had consciously taken a nonparticipant role. Healing means that you're not always focused on soothing your pain (by means of drugs or sex or gambling or whatever your pattern is), nor are you running away from yourself (by cozying up to the internet, for example). You're not trying to please people just so they'll like you. Instead, you are considering what you want, what you need, what you feel--not in a selfish way of ignoring others, but in a way that is true to you and consistent with your values. Ironically, accepting your discomfort is the best way to make it go away. It gets easier over time--and with community. Remember, too, that trauma is lodged in your body.

As a protective response to trauma, people often learn to turn off the parts of the brain that produce unpleasant feelings. Yet those exact brain areas are also instrumental in enabling the entire spectrum of feelings and sensations that mold the very core of our identity and our conception of our place in the world. This leads to the ultimate tragedy of trauma: we become disconnected from ourselves. Trauma is rarely something we can think ourselves out of. Yes, it feels like work, but the sense of achievement I will feel at the end will well and truly overwhelm any negative feelings I might have along the way. Common Fitness Icebergs We don't do exercise in my family/my community/my culture. Being fit just isn't who I am. I should be there for my family at all times. If I don't do something perfectly, I shouldn't do it at all. Things shouldn't feel too hard. If they do, they're not worth doing. I don't deserve to have a better life. If I get in shape and my partner doesn't, it will drive a wedge between us. Every time I make a suggestion or question the leader, he slaps me in the face. Either he calls it a projection or a defense. I work it out one day, and the next day he slaps me down again. We never stop to understand the first point. There is a need here for an understanding of each other. The contrast is apparent between the psychological climates of these two groups, as seen from the frame of reference of the members.