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Souldrama – Touching Love in Indonesia

Author: Connie Miller/Monday, November 11, 2013/Categories: Spirituality

After a 44 hour trip to Yogokarata, Indonesia, I began to wonder why did I ever agreed to be keynote speaker and presenter for two conferences? It is beyond hot and muggy and I am tired and a bit- no, a lot – fearful. At a large international conference entitled “Instilling Hope in Pastoral Care”,  I am to be keynote speaker and presenter for attendees from all the islands of Indonesia for the API,  a congress for counselors and pastoral care from Indonesia.  After the conference I am invited to present Souldrama for another three days at the Christian University in Salatiga, Java.  Health care workers, psychologists, counselors, pastoral counselors and group workers are coming to learn Souldrama and how to put spirituality into action.  Both groups will have more than 150 people attending from different islands in Indonesia.  I learn that Indonesia has over 15,000 islands with 350 million inhabitants speaking different languages. This is a third world country which is 99 percent inhabited by Muslims.   I was staying with the president of the API, Mesach Krisetya and his lovely wife, Miriam. There are many mosques and in fact when we reached Salitaga and drove into our resort (where our car was checked for bombs) I began to hear the Muslims praying outside our resort walls with loudspeakers- chanting and pray at 4 in the morning, but since I am on a 12 hour time change I can handle that.

I felt very welcomed and safe with Mesach and Miriam  in a safe walled resort   The next day Mirium took me shopping in the city.( By the way, one size does not fit all)  There is so much poverty. People loved having their picture taken. I spent the rest of the day with the translator for the workshop.

The workshop began the next day with a wonderful warm welcome. It seems that the pastoral counselors are depleted of hope themselves.  They really are looking for answers and new methods! I am honored I am here. The look of love, gratitude and warm welcome was so great in the faces of the participants, it cancelled all my fear.    They are so open to new methods I am sure that any help will be appreciated – I am hoping that Souldrama and psychodrama will help instill some faith and empowerment for hopelessness comes from feeling helpless.  I begin to think that I really need a team of trainers-especially with this amount of people.  The first day of the workshop the group unleashed a tremendous amount of spontaneity that seemed to be suppressed through holding their own fears in,  It was difficult to quiet them –they warmed up in groups of islands depicting the problem from their island in action.  The problems included murder, abuse, cross cultural marriages, gambling, drinking, poverty, disasters. Each island then made one tone and joined their tones to make music together. It was beautiful to explain that if they kept making only one tone from one island there would be no music as it is the space between the notes that makes the music, sharing and moving from one tone to the other.

The conferees then broke into smaller groups by matching numbers from a deck of cards.  They shared their own commonalities and feeling of hopelessness among themselves. They were surprised how much they had in common. I explained the process and stages of Souldrama, codependency, action methods, and role development and demonstrated how we begin to internalize our parents as being our higher power and begin to look outside of ourselves for love. It is difficult for these pastoral counselors and pastors to be put up on a pedestal by their congregations and then have nowhere to take their own problems.  I explained the importance of the group as a therapeutic factor and also the importance of the first stage of Souldrama which is faith. Without faith in each other could enough trust be built within the group.

The next day the groups shared among themselves what keeps them blocked personally. They then chose a potential protagonist from their own group.  Then the 20 potential protagonists then chose a protagonist and unanimously chose one person, a prominent pastor. His issue was that he never knew his father, a common factor in these islands. The entire group of attendees were quiet and attentive during the drama.  Translation had to be done on a microphone and I lost three translators as they were overcome by emotion. This was a healing time for the group and the sharing was beautiful. .

The following afternoon we ended by sharing and connecting even more.   They were asked to put their hand on the shoulder of the person who they thought helped them the most this week.  As they stood they did so and incredibly formed a cross, the symbol in Souldrama of the third door of compassion and forgiveness. When asked how much hope they had in their own lives now they stood on the spectrogram and now we had 70 percent above the middle line.   They invited me to all their islands and I could not get away from being photographed. They begged me to come back. I volunteered my time here and paid my own costs. I came to give something back to the world but by going I received more than I gave.

Yes this will be a wonderful experience to remember. Moreno is here in spirit.   Maybe one size does not fit all here when I shop but the love here knows no size- it fits everyone–it is limitless and flows through  all cultures. We live in a world that needs more soul and vision. Especially now, we all have the collective responsibility – the task, really,  of bringing soul into the world, or releasing soul into the world. We do this, first of all, in ourselves and in our own personal world; then we do it in our groups including family; and then we do it in our society through our work, relationships and presence there.” As we ended the session someone in the group asked what the difference between regular therapy and Souldrama is. I asked everyone to point to themselves and then  asked them where they pointed.  They all agreed:  to their hearts. When I asked how many pointed to their heads they all looked around. No one answered because they had all pointed to their hearts.  This is the difference I said.  The difference is in the heart-the difference is love.

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