The book is born! And it is in Spanish!
On October 27th. 2009, Maria Bustos organized a welcoming book event at the Museum of the People’s Art in Mexico City. http://www.museoartepopularmexicano.org/ During this week the museum also displayed many of their larger pieces on the main street of Mexico City. Over one million people were fortunate to see this amazing art work. As you can see the book launching was surrounded by fantastic energy from the world of art.
Maria organized and did all the groundwork She asked people to donate the Museum space, the food, the flowers, chairs, wine, drinks etc. She is both a one-woman army and a midwife. It was five days of fun celebrating, being interviewed and interviewing five fantastic Mexican artists. Maria’s skills made it possible for me to relax and be present with many great people. Clearly I could enjoy the moments or worry about the usual junk: being late, the traffic etc. I deeply appreciate Maria and her deep motivation to bring the ideas of Bowen theory to Mexico.
Heberto Ruz, the publisher deserves deep and special thanks for his complicated work in having the book translated and in making the decision two and half years ago to bring this book to life. One of the best moments was just to hold the book and look through the pages. The baby does not cry though the Mother may have. But the book is fantastic!!!
I was very happy to see the ten people I had interviewed and meet their family and friends. About 125 people came to celebrate the publishing of the book. This newly formed network gathered to celebrate the voices from ten leaders in Mexico, courageous enough to tell how their family experiences enabled them to see and understand relationships and how that impacted their successes. By deeply understanding how relationships worked early on, these leaders could describe the broader forces impacting relationship systems.
AMS, Marie Therese Arango, Anna Zarnecki, Francesco Piazzesi and Jim Walsh
AMS, Marie Therese Arango, Anna Zarnecki, Francesco Piazzesi, Maria Bustos, Victor Lichtinger and Maria de los Angeles
In the book we read about how, in very different ways, each person describes the way their family experience helped them define themselves and learn to remain in contact with a large variety of people.
For any of us seeing systems and forces allows us to move towards a more objective and factual viewpoint. This can enable the formation of stronger relationships out of which we can better manage life’s great challenges and just the plain old differences that we encounter everyday.
My hope is that by hearing others tell of managing self in their family and work relationships, people will have a deeper understanding of family systems. This will enable greater mindfulness about how we have been and still are being influenced by those around us.
There is overwhelming evidence that we humans are always in danger of having our decisions overly influenced by the social group surrounding us. We are vulnerable to being trapped and tricked by others, reacting, getting emotional, being negative, blaming others, all without seeing the system.
It is the system and the multigenerational forces that impact us in ways that are often very hard to see. In an effort to “fit” with the relationships system, people can easily find him or her self slipping into an uncomfortable or way too comfortable position. Nothing is harder than to see oneself and the social system around us in an impersonal way.
The leaders I interviewed often talked about what it is like to be alone, to separate out a self from others in order to bring his or her vision to life. They describe the paradox in being a profound leader. It requires not popularity and charisma but rather the ability to see the long term, plan and maintain the courage to thoughtfully stand-alone rather than overreact to perceptions of the players around us.
If we can see the system we are not stuck in the social jungle.
A few curious people asked me “why” I would go this route (asking people to tell how their family experiences influenced their success) as a way to introduce Bowen Theory to Mexico? Why a party? Why interview the people? Why not highlight just the theory?
One answer is found in the questions Bowen use to ask the post graduates year after year, “How is it that people can not see what is right in front of their eyes?” I know that there is a power to stories that conceptual ideas do not possess. In psychiatry you see this in the telling of “clinical” stories. Stories fit with our brain, enabling the motivated among us to see theory as it is being lived out right before our eyes. People can see that triangles and side taking are everywhere.
Often relationship problems are not personal. Problems are simply systems in action. Those motivated to be mindful of their actions are looking for a useful theory to help us understand deeply what is going on.
By reflecting on the past, we can choose to become more mindful of the way people automatically function with one another. People are often asked to learn the seven principles or the eight concepts but alone they do not enable people to manage self with others. The basic challenge of seeing the overriding influence of relationships is the underlying message of this book.
All of us live in society and in our families. We are also a part of our changing families’ lives. They change us and we change them.
Now people can read these stories in which people are connecting the dots. Hopefully this will make a difference for a few. People can say I am doing it the wrong way and that could be true. But at least it is my way.
The Mindful Compass tells us how inevitable resistance is. First, you take an action that is really important to you. Then, the people in the emotionally connected system react, as they must. But by being mindful and using your knowledge of how systems function, you can stand-alone while the system rebalances. I am not saying any of this is easy but I am saying it’s the way to a bit more emotional freedom.
Words can never do justice to the efforts that so many made. I deeply appreciated and enjoyed my daughter, Michelle, making the effort to be there.
Mara Lalia, Michelle Mauboussin, Alfredo Lalia
She and Jim Walsh were the only Americans to make the journey.
Andrea Schara, Jim Walsh, Maria Bustos
Jim was one of the ten people I interviewed for the English version of the book. He took the ideas to heart and has used them to make further progress. Jim also donated big boxes of chocolate for the ten people I interviewed. Each piece of chocolate is embedded with conscious intention and love for our health and happiness. If you want a taste of the best try it! – http://www.intentionalchocolate.com/
Freinds: Gabby, Fernado and Michelle, my daughter
Ada Luisa Trillo was also there. She has been in the post-graduate program at the Bowen Center in Washington, D.C. She came down from the Juarez/ El Paso boarder area. Ada has influenced many people in Mexico with her knowledge of Bowen Theory. She along with Louise Rausseo have developed programs serving the people of their area.
Ada Luisa Trillo and Maria Bustos
Two of the ten people I interviewed could not attend the celebration at the museum. But I had the good fortune to catch up with them the following day and personally thank them for being involved in this important project. Sabina Berman has been busy with her weekly TV show and other projects. Her ability to be direct and ask hard questions is a central draw for the one million or so who watch her TV show. Sabina is very aware of the complex problems in Mexico and hopes that by bring issues out into the open, better solutions will be discovered. Her interview can be seen by clicking over to http://atomic-temporary-596452.wpcomstaging.com/2009/01/
The one person I met and asked if I could interview was Ulises Calatayud Catano. I met him while he was teaching at his Bikram Yoga studio in Mexico City. He is the kind of person who you just know is exceptional just by the way he walks into a room. His energy is warm and accepting, therefore his students are free to be the best they can be without getting all caught up in his personality. For anyone who wants to be a leader or to just do better managing self in any relationship the grounding with one’s body, that yoga offers, is essential to progress. I was so pleased to have a moment with Ulises. I was also happy to see his Mom at the 6:30 AM class practicing yoga too. We had a fun time sweating our way to health! You can read his interview by clicking over to http://atomic-temporary-596452.wpcomstaging.com/2008/08/
I also wanted to give something back to the museum for sponsoring this event. The museum represents the heart and soul of the people of Mexico through art. The multigenerational history of Mexico can be seen in art whose roots are in the Mayans and the Aztecs cultures. These traditions were intermingled and at times interwoven with the ideas and needs of the Spanish people.
It was a privilege to meet with these five artists whose work has been highlighted by the museum. These individuals were willing to travel up to 14 hours from the southern part of Mexico to get an opportunity to tell their stories and display their art. I videotaped some of it and will write up their stories and put them on my web site as time permits.
Marie Theresa Arango appreciates the artist’s work……
Cecelia Moctezuma, The President of MAP and Maria Bustos
Finally I would just say that the location of this event had great significance because The Museum of the People’s Art (MAP) represents the heart, soul and deep mutigenerational history of the Mexican people.
Now we will see what the people of Mexico think of this new book.
It will be fun to see just how readers perceive the book.
My warmest thanks to all….. Andrea
Many thanks also to Judith Ball for editing help.
Those were some nice pictures also everyone looked so happy. and the Dragons at the begining was so colorful.
Andrea: What an accomplishment and the celebration definitely befits the occasion! You have worked so hard in bringing this book to life and when I think how many lives you will change, it just gives me shivers. You have been such a wonder in my own understanding of family relationships that I now can be a leader with my own relatives and give them guidance. Your expertise is first rate and I wish you the best of success with this very important publication! Best always ~ Ruth
Thank you for your encouraging comments about the book.
I also appreciate your thoughts on the effort that goes into being a family leader. Being your self is the only legitimate guidance any of us can ”give” to others. I use to have a formula for telling others where I stood or what I thought, which went like this: “If I were you I would think/feel/do such and such in this kind of situation, but I am not you and you are therefore free to do as you think best.”
It is always a possible double bind to tell others what to do. If it turns out right you are demigod, and if it turns out wrong you are the devil. In both cases the other does not have to take responsibility for deciding to take some action.
As a general principle being as open and authentic as possible enables you to be in better contact with family members and that in and of itself is useful.
One can see pretty quickly who can pick up ideas and run with them. You are one of those motivated people. You have made a commitment to your life by being as thoughtful as possible. It might cost you a bit here and there but being a more thoughtful, less reactive self, improves the quality of one’s life immensely.
Dearest Andrea and Lupita!!!
Congratulations. I´m sure it´s a great book after so hard and wonderful work.
Receive a warm hug from Mexico City.