The 9th Circle of Hell…Or Not


I am sure anyone who has read this blog in the past will find the next sentence nearly unbelievable.

I am just back from a workshop at Kripalu, where I spent a week in the company of 25 therapists.

In other words, the 9th circle of hell.  Dante’s Inferno.  Torture, mayhem, and then more more torture.  (Or not.)

One might ask why I would choose to do this to myself.  I have constructed (remember I’m sort of a Buddhist) several different realities in answer to this question:

  1. My partner made me.
  2. My partner really made me.
  3. My partner threatened to make me pay for my own vitamins.
  4. My partner drove me out of my mind talking about IFS and parts until even this workshop seemed like a vacation.
  5. I am certifiable, and wanted to prove it.
  6. After firing FUH, we went back to the Stork, and I thought a week at Kripalu was a great way to avoid having to see him again.
  7. I read the IFS books and thought I’d go torture Dick Schwartz in my spare time.
  8. I actually kind of liked Dick Schwartz (from his books) in spite of the fact that he played college football (or because of it…it’s not clear).
  9. IFS seemed like fun. (What?)
  10. Since I’ve been an activist most of my adult life, it seemed time to confront my own deepest prejudice against a certain profession.  In other words, I am a Buddhist saint.
  11. I didn’t find out most of the other attendees were therapists until it was too late to get my money back.

Here is my report upon returning:

  1. I did not make any cracks about how much I hate therapists to any of the therapists, because I am just out of yoga teacher training and thereby obligated to practice ahimsa even if it gives me an ulcer or some other mindbody problem.
  2. I stayed quiet for almost two days, which is definitely some kind of record.
  3. I kind of like IFS.
  4. I did a demo with Dick Schwartz about my wise-cracking inner teenager.  (Is anyone surprised I have a wise-cracking inner teenager?)  It was kind of, um, sort of, a little…healing.
  5. I mostly hung out with the almost-therapists (the ones in training), the retired therapists and the not-therapists.  And, liked them a lot.
  6. I still think therapists are a self-aggrandizing lot who have no idea that they are nowhere near as enlightened as they think they are.
  7. I developed a small crush on Dick Schwartz, who is ridiculously like my partner, even down to fashion choices.  But mostly because he was kind to me and laughed at my jokes, which goes a long way, believe me.
  8. On the breaks, I taught the therapists restorative yoga.  Even the one who looks like Annie Lenox.
  9. I did handstand and headstand every day, because whatever/whoever knows I needed some kind of release.
  10. I also did a lot of yoga.  I mean, it was at Kripalu.
  11. I also had 3 massages, which I could not afford.  But, see #1, it helped me practice ahimsa.

There is a great deal more to say about all the parts of all of us, including me, and the nature of being human, and what it means to being able to deepen into your spiritual center almost at will, and how IFS is pretty cool (even though I’m sure I can go creatively way beyond where it is now), but mostly I just want to say, from a very teenage wise-cracking kind of attitude, is that any week in which I spend 5 hours a day with that many therapists and don’t kill anyone is a very good week.

In spite of the poison ivy crawling up my legs from my niece-in-law’s wedding (which I ran into the day before I left for Kripalu).

I am officially nominating myself for sainthood.  I’m sure FUH, the Stork, the Sheepdog, the Poodle and all their predecessors would not agree, but if I’m allowed to IFS my nomination and let all the parts of me vote, I can trump them any day.

PS–If you want to learn more about parts and IFS, go to the IFS web site–Center for Self-Leadership.

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One thought on “The 9th Circle of Hell…Or Not

  1. Friends have raved about IFS, but then again they were both therapists :)…it does sound like fun but I dunno about checking it out myself, it also seems like a lot of work…and I am at a stage in my life where I am very selective about what hard work to take on.

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