A group will distrust a leader whom they feel is subtly manipulating them to reach his goals. There is also good reason for the leader to be sensitive to resistance to his planning and to be willing to discard his plans should the group decide to reject them. Getting Members to Participate A problem in trying a more group-centered approach is that of getting all members to participate. Yet research in epigenetics shows something quite different. Epigenetics studies show trauma passes down through generations through more than just learned behaviors (the nurture part of the old nature versus nurture debate). Parents do indeed pass on their chromosomes, but the condition these chromosomes are in when a child receives them--and how they are then activated or suppressed--can be improved or diminished by events and experiences in the parents' lives. And not just traumas--even mundane matters, like where you live, who you interact with, how you sleep and age can all eventually cause chemical modifications that will alter those genes over time. These modifications can be passed from parent to child. Historical trauma gets triggered without our knowing. The legacy of slavery is in North Americans' blood. Time and again it's been shown that North Americans of all races and genders tend to go on higher alert when they see a Black person, even if they may not consciously consider Black people dangerous. This is what literary scholar and cultural historian Saidiya Hartman calls the afterlife of slavery,11 which is characterized by the continued presence of slavery's racialized violence within modern society. This is why police brutality and the state-sanctioned murder of Black people is so enduring and prevalent to our modern reality in the United States. The other day, I had an hour before my next appointment and I went to pick up a few items from the supermarket. As I was driving, I listened hard to tune in to my contentment thoughts: `I've got plenty of time, I've got a car, I've got enough money--I'm good to go. Trap, Map, and Zap the Negative Intruders Your final step for honing your positivity radars is to be on the lookout for negative intruding thoughts. Negative thoughts are sneaky; If you notice feelings of sadness, guilt, embarrassment, or any of the other Big 7 creeping in while you're tuning to positive, it's a signal that negative thought feeds are running amok and need to be zapped.

Pay attention to your body signals (the heaviness of sadness, the red flush of anger) to catch when your pet emotions show up. Building on positivity is too important to let pesky negative thoughts get in your way. This skill of tuning your positive radar works quickly, and as you practice it, you'll very soon see your overall outlook shift. We really can train ourselves to be happier, more engaged, and interested in life; Frequently a leader has been heard to say, I have tried to get my group to participate, but they do not seem willing to do so; Also we read about different techniques recommended for encouraging participation, such as role-playing, breaking down the group into subgroups, calling on nonparticipants or asking them questions. While such techniques undoubtedly succeed on occasion, it is a question whether participation so obtained actually facilitates the group's development. First, such participation is not spontaneous; The recorded comments from an interview with one member of a discussion group are pertinent here: S: I know that I resented and resisted very much certain members of the group saying to me outside or even inside the group that I should be a great participator. I didn't feel like it. I didn't feel that I could be. And I think the whole group felt I should get in on all four feet -- and I just couldn't. One day when I was sort of forced into a role-playing scene -- I resented it very much -- I have, as I say, resisted the fact that the group has wanted me to jump in when I was not ready. If you think someone is dangerous--even if that perception is below the level of conscious thought--you're going to be quicker on the trigger. I remember watching a Black man pop a car door lock with a file and assuming he was breaking in. If he had white skin and wore a suit, I expect I would have guessed the truth, that he had locked his keys in his car. I'm glad a friend stopped me from calling the police. She reminded me that while police may make me feel safe, they probably have the opposite effect on the People of Color who predominated in the neighborhood. First reactions like these, based on instinct, don't express who I want to be, but they do reveal primal traits and anti-Black legacies at work.

Education and intellectual awareness alone can't purge racism from your system, because trauma doesn't just live in our thinking brains. Our rational brain can't entirely stop it from occurring, and it can't talk our body out of it. That makes it deadly for Black people, as their mere existence becomes a setup for victimization in our racist culture. STOPPING THE CYCLE All it takes are the tools and practice. Now you have the tools. The rest is up to you. My Plan to Tune My Positive Radars I choose to work on this skill because: The emotion I would like to experience more of is: The intention I will set to scan for this emotion is: This emotion feels like this in my body and mind: When this emotion arises, here is how I will live it fully: Find Your Fitness Fault Lines Interviewer: Didn't really feel ready and there was a little resentment to being -- S: I didn't want to be manipulated. I think I've learned a lot. I have learned that I can get in there -- I don't know how much I've given but they seemed to like certainly what I did yesterday and in the other groups -- both of them -- I think I've given quite a lot. But I know there were days and days when I wasn't giving a thing, or very little, to the whole group. I'm not quite sure -- is that what you're saying?

S: Well, yes. But I think you have to [few words missed] anyone. Wait until I'm ready, wait until I catch up with the group. I think there may be cases where you can manipulate the person in but I resented that sort of thing. Trauma has a dual nature, living inside of us individually and collectively. Individual healing and social justice are intertwined, because what oppresses us externally has also made us suffer internal trauma and its accompanying fallout. We cannot separate the paths when talking about individual healing and social justice work because our well-being depends on the interconnectedness of all communities. Likewise, we can't truly see the collective picture without thinking about the individual impact. To stop the cycle of trauma passing through generations, we need to change the conditions. We must be committed to active decolonization from systems of oppression. Consider Jewish survivors of genocide. When my family escaped pogroms in Poland by emigrating to the United States, they did much better economically and socially (more on that later), largely supported by opportunities provided only to white people. While some trauma was passed from my grandmother to my father, the trauma was lessened in my generation. Better doesn't mean problem solved. The Payoff: Motivation, energy, and the pride of sticking with a fitness regimen Imagine to the east are your fitness goals, and to the west is your busy everyday life. And right down the middle is a giant fault line. What happens to your intentions when the ground beneath you rumbles? The fault line splits open, and your good intentions go tumbling down into oblivion. The daily upheaval of modern life makes it challenging to fit in exercise, even though we're likely well aware of its benefits--the increased energy;

The hard part usually isn't knowing what to do; We're too busy, too tired, or we've tried before and haven't stuck with it. For some, even thinking about trying to fit in exercise is enough to make them feel anxious or overwhelmed. Movement should be something that de-stresses you, not acts as a source of frustration or discomfort. I think you have to learn the terminology and all that, which I did not know. This group member obviously resented attempts to get her to participate, probably because participation was so closely related to her own feelings of security. The group-centered leader relies upon the effects of the nonthreatening, accepting climate to encourage participation, rather than upon techniques. He is, moreover, as willing to accept a person's hesitancy to participate as he is to accept other kinds of behavior. The group-centered leader, however, must have a certain amount of patience, tolerance, and security because he will be faced with situations where group members do not at once participate. There will be long pauses in group discussions. In some groups the members will absent themselves from meetings. Sometimes there will not be volunteers for particular jobs. Failure to show genuine acceptance of such behavior or an unwillingness to wait for members to participate inhibits the development of an atmosphere conducive to spontaneous and creative participation, if we can generalize from our experiences with groups. Direct attempts by the leader to take over at these crucial points seems to increase the group's dependence upon the leader. That's quite different from the African American experience. Many African Americans are descendants of those who were enslaved and have been harshly victimized since: stripped of resources; The trauma persists because the ideology of white supremacy, used to justify slavery, persists. The damage to African Americans continued long after the abolition of slavery in 1865. Efforts to subordinate and economically exploit Black people have extended through sharecropping, Jim Crow laws, redlined Black ghettos, and mass incarceration. Long before many of us were born, Black scholars began writing, archiving, and creating work around the legacy of slavery, the intergenerational trauma from slavery, and the blueprints for building a world without those cages.