ASEA: Emotions, the Present, Moving Forward

Week 7: Emotions, the Present, Moving Forward

In session 7 the group are made aware that this is the penultimate session and that we are coming to the end of the project. We play some games involving team work and improvisation. This is followed by a guided meditation involving natural scenery. During the meditation they are asked to reflect on three different themes-

Emotions related to your country of origin

the present

what you want to take forward

They are asked to write about each for 5 minutes and then to filter out a few words from their writing and note them down on a collective piece of card.

Emotions:

Unbelonging, tears, sadness, too much blood, why?
Carrying inherited guilt and a shared nostalgia
Open your mind…see the pretty side of life…be yourself
Hate, arrogance, jealousy, dishonesty
Religion defines me
Tunis…I am a stranger yet I belong, an alien language that I still understand Foreign air that I still feel nostalgia for

Present:

Discovery
What am I doing with my life? What do I want from life? I no longer have control
Stuck, not able to go forward, confused
Discovery
Being comfortable in your own skin
Being on a path of purpose
Content
Learning
Hope, new start
Generation, education, selfishness, fate, hope

Taking forward:

Try to change your world for the better
Trust, acceptance, peace, happiness, love
Hope
Be together more often…have a space for us…do something about all those injustices here and there
Lift as you climb
Empower, inspire, educate, peace, tolerance
More understanding, more exploring, more solidarity, more empathy, more involvement in our community
Creating a better space in our world and in our heads
(I would like to return to live close to the sea)          أنا عاوز إرجع أعيش قريب من البحر

We discuss relaxation and ways to ground ourselves when life is chaotic and unpredictable. They each offer their own methods- music, art, writing, sharing stories, exercise, cycling, swimming, spending time in nature, silence, solitude, reflection, prayer and food. We speak about basic breath and meditation practices which may also enable respite from chaos and painful emotions.

The group are sensitive to the loss of two members- one who has recently completed a Master’s degree at LSE in Global Politics, has moved to Ethiopia for an internship, and another who has recently come to the UK from Gaza, has been suddenly moved to Sunderland as a requirement of his asylum process. They acknowledge their loss. They decide to send something to the group member still residing in the UK and make boats out of card with the Palestinian flag flying. They write messages on the boat.