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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Nature Awareness - Using a Piano

I sometimes use a piano (or other instruments for that matter) in my sessions when working with addictions. I usually offer it as a challenge the week before the next session.

How does it work well I get them to go on a journey with the wood from the piano or guitar by asking them to connect with the wood and to tell the story of the wood.

I inform them that they must not play any known score it has to come from the heart, and the story starts from when the wood (that the piano is made from) was but a seed in the forest and they have to tell that trees story as it grew up in the forest to when it was cut down by the wood cutter and taken away on a truck to the wood mill to be cut into planks to be sold sold and then made into a piano.

I ask them to tune in and try and see if they can sense who sat under the tree, what animals lived in it, did anyone carve his girlfriends name into the bark, what tales does the tree have to share with them. In other words from death comes a new beginning and that is the same with their addiction.

I have experienced some amazing miracles taking place when doing this exercise. There is more to it than just these few words, and to help you get the idea, here is the story of one persons experience of the exercise. A' is a professional musician and such this challenge was difficult for her, she writes.

"...I was totally overawed by Nature Awareness. I was incredibly cynical about it and then terrified when Geoffrey explained what I had to do, I was to play a piano blindfolded and tell a story, playing no known score.

I was even more terrified when I walked into the group because they've heard me playing in the evenings and I felt they would be expecting some sort of impressive concert. Once I got going tough I didn't care what notes I played - just tried to get the feelings across. I was truly moved at the group's response - 'L' heard the vicious chords (which was the tree being chopped down) as her desperation to get more drugs, and 'H' relived the experience of her and her dad being in a storm on a boat out at sea and wondering whether they would ever get back safely.

Most moving thing I have done since being here (in rehab).

I am unable to accept compliments and always deny them or try to qualify them. Since Geoffrey insisted I remain (silent) at the piano, I was forced to sit and listen to the compliments even tough I would have preferred to have run out of the room".

And as we ended the session and everyone was leaving the room to go to their next group 'A' turned to me and said.

"By the way Geoff it wasn't a truck it was a horse and cart that took the tree away".

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