Saturday – 5th March 2011

We flew out of Delhi at 11.30pm and flew through the night to arrive into Singapore at 7.35am and after a quick wander around left Singapore at 9.35am to arrive back home into Perth around 3pm……..

A ritual in our family that I love and value very highly is when you say goodbye to someone at the airport you stay waving to each other till you can’t see the other anymore. Zoe and Gaurav took a different flight home from Delhi as they were returning to Melbourne and they were leaving later than us. So they waved us goodbye.  We had to go down a ramp to go down a level to board the plane and they were hanging over the railing waving madly the whole time we walked down till we were out of sight…..we were waving madly back as well and we were all laughing…as were plenty of others…it was fun. I feel so loved and cared about when they do that for me and when they enjoy me doing it for them. It’s amazing to me that we as a family always do this given how many times we all fly!

Question for you: what rituals do you have in your family/relationships that warms your heart and connects you to each other and makes you feel loved and cared about♥

The highlight for me on the way home was watching a movie called Temple Grandin. One of the best parts  for Shelton and I when we fly is the movies and we always look forward to the new releases and have been known on long hauls between the US and Australia to watch 3 movies in a row!! This plane was set up so each person could watch their own choice of lots of different movies and had one of the newer wide screens. Always a bonus! Though I was pretty tired I decided Temple Grandin looked like too interesting a movie to miss. I watched it while Shelton slept and then he woke up and found out it was available and was excited as he had read her book. It was touching watching Shelton watch the movie as he was crying so much through it. It is a very moving and inspiring movie. We loved it so much we decided we had to get it to show on the movie night.

The movie is about her life and challenges as a child and woman with high-functioning autism starring Claire Danes as Temple. Born August 29, 1947 Temple did not speak until age four and had difficulty right through high school, mostly in dealing with people. Her mother was very supportive as were some of her teachers.

She develops an interest in cattle early in life while spending time at her Aunt and Uncle’s ranch. From observing the handling of cattle at the age of eighteen she creates her ‘hug box’ or ‘hug machine’ as a form of stress relief which is widely recognized today as a way of relieving stress and is designed to calm hypersensitive people.  She goes on to study animal science and gains a masters and a doctoral degree. She has revolutionized practices for the humane handling of livestock and is noted for her humane design for the treatment of cattle on cattle ranches and in processing plants and slaughter houses. Today, she is a professor at Colorado State University and is seen as an expert in the field of animal husbandry and is a consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. As well she is widely noted for her work in autism advocacy.

The movie is very much about how people perceive the world. It shows very strongly how we all have different perceptions. In the movie it shows how Temple Grandin’s mind works – sharing her ability to “think in pictures” which helps her solve problems that typical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs all kinds of minds – people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids……

It is an excitingly inspirational movie in that it gives permission that anything is possible and that people can overcome the limitations imposed on them. There’s a great piece in the movie that I loved in that Temple uses the symbol of a door to walk through in terms of her fears. One of her big fears is of automatic opening doors and she can’t go in the supermarket because of it so she uses the local deli instead. When the deli closes down she has to face her fear. How she does it is to visualize an ordinary door over the automatic opening doors and it opening and her walking through it. It feels a lot like my “I can do it steps”. I like the idea of my fears being like a door and walking through them.  I think I will borrow that concept.

Another piece that stands out is Grandin emphasizes very strongly the role of mentors and especially parents and the crucial importance of good early teachers.

crossing the bridge...

It’s interesting to me that this movie was on as one of the themes that I have been talking about over the last few days is that of crossing the bridge into the world of the other. This is one of the most important TOOLS we have in our Communication Toolbox-Treasure Chest.

Temple’s story highlights how differently we can and do perceive reality and how crucial it is to seek to understand the other’s world and way of thinking. And also how important it is to invite the other to visit our world and our way of thinking and reality….and to be gracious and generous and treat them like a visitor as we share…..and vice versa when we go into walking around in their world/reality…as much as possible being ‘in their shoes’, and seeing it through their eyes….

“The world is my perception of it.  I see and hear only through the filter of my story.”   ~Byron Katie.

Question for you: what is a struggle for you to understand in someone close to you♥ Where do you hear yourself saying – I just can’t believe……………..!! What do you need to be able to grow your compassion and understanding for them♥

It was great to be greeted by my other daughter Freea and her partner Lee and to have another opportunity to experience the Promise Ceremony all over again as we shared the videos and photos we had taken……

Fondly and with much LoveSusie