There are different ways to catch monkeys. In the small villages of India, there is an interesting way to catch monkeys. A box with thin slit opening is a trap. Big enough for the monkey to insert his hands in the slit. But not enough for him to grab something make it a fist and get hands out of the slit. Inside the box, they keep groundnuts or something that the monkey likes. That is it. This is a perfect trap. The monkey comes sees the groundnuts tries to grab the groundnuts. But is unable to take out his fist. Not being able to take out the hand now he knows he can be free by just giving up the nuts. What do you think it does? Well, it doesn’t give up. Stays there till the hunter comes and hand locks the monkey.
This has been there for ages but the monkey falls for the trap. In fact, even when he sees the hunter approaching him he doesn’t leave the groundnuts and run away. Unknowingly even we do this. We know some things are not working, but then we keep struggling. Struggling with our thoughts and our emotions. Sometimes even with wrong actions. We are not able to give up the groundnuts even when we know that we are trapped. If it had been so simple to just leave the ground nuts and get out life would have been so easy. Our minds don’t work like that. Our brains are structured to not give up things. Sometimes we have put a lot of time and effort already what we call sunk- cost fallacy. Sometimes because we don’t have anything else as an option so we keep doing it again and again and again.
There could be various other reasons. Scripts playing in the background we choose to continue. What is the way out? The way out is to know that there is another way. The most important thing we should know is that we have not tried everything. Our whole intention of most at the beginning is that we have not tried everything. We would come with a lot of things in our mind that I have been there, I have done that. so and so therapy. I have taken a session from this person and the list can go on and on and on. What we are supposed to do is to redirect first to a Space called. We have not tried everything.
First Thing is to get in an alliance with ourselves to be ready to take a different approach. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has a very interesting way of getting to an agreement. By asking ourselves certain questions about what we have tried. This process in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy is called Creative Hopelessness.
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Time - 6Pm to 7Pm
Dates - 13 July to 17 July 2020
This is a very interesting name most of the time people think that we are already hopeless and then why do we need this. Why would we need creative hopelessness? Of course, it’s a kind of a tongue in cheek concept name that Steven Hayes has given to this process. The overall experience is to get validated. Creative hopelessness is to completely validate what we have been through. We have to redirect ourselves to a new Space. Where we start looking at self through a lens. The messages given by the social structure is incorrect. And we may not be incorrect. Our agenda that we have learned from others may be hopeless but we are not.
One of the major struggles that continuously goes in mind or inaction is to abandon. Abandon or getaway or runaway from experiential contact with our thoughts or emotions. There is always a struggle which we call experiential avoidance. We try to keep the control sometimes a needless experiential control. As a result are not able to focus our attention on living a life that we want. Once we can help ourselves to open up to these experiences that is when we call it creative. We become open to this hopelessness. The hopelessness is of course not of the person but the situation. As we protect the goal is to speed the process of abandoning what isn’t working. Obviously the goal is not to maintain the feeling of hopelessness or belief. Nor to maintain thoughts aligned to hopelessness. In fact, this process would rather create a hopeful outlook.
It is also important for us to know that it is definitely not our fault. There is a very high chance that we start self-blaming or that we have done everything wrong to date. Worked wrong about the problem we are trying to solve all along. Frankly, these are ways that society has given us. We just have to come to a point where we know what is all the things that have been taught to us. Taught managing pain, emotions, and thoughts this way would actually make them worse. The more we try to run away from these emotions and thoughts the more they are trying to get back to us. What if this avoidance of experience that we have had been trying to go away get us more stuck into the situation. Like a Chinese finger trap.
It is very important to look at this process. The experience that determines whether the solutions that our mind has been throwing at us are actually working. working as they were supposed to or whether they are in turn gone wrong. Acceptance & Commitment Therapy is based on functional contextualism. Our purpose is not to get caught in the content of the thought. For example, what we say to ourselves and the content of the thought might be helpful or not helpful but that is not where we get caught into. Rather our focus should be on the functionality of it.
Several times the pain is inevitable but how we relate to the suffering that we have can be a choice.