Dive into Your Deep Ocean

In Tokyo, Japan, I throw a workshop called, “Visualize Your Process.” It consists of three weekday evening classes. Each has three hours. In total 9 hours.

In my practice, “Communication Process Design,” it’s essential to explore deep inside of self and find out how one communicates with others as well as within oneself. In order to discover it, visualization is one of the powerful methods. The term “visualization” might remind you of drawing and painting. Yet, in my opinion, visualization includes simple thinking, as long as it’s consciously processed. Visualization could mean story-telling while imagining its scenes in your mind. Visualization could refer to verbalizing unclear emotions through sounds and onomatopoeia. Visualization could be somatic movements.

The “Visualize Your Process” workshop allows participants to free up their “in-the-box” thinking and tap into their creativity by self-reflection, pair interview, group dialog, and Graphic Facilitation. As the final deliverable, every participant designs and creates one visual mapping.

In July 2011, I facilitated the third season of VYP, and specially focused on the impact of 311 on individuals. I added a sub line to the title, “Dive into Your Deep Ocean.”

Four months had already passed since the historical crisis in Japan at that time. We crawled and stumbled everyday to tackle the outrageous situation. We were too preoccupied to try to run the political, economic, and social system. We didn’t have time and space to take a pause, chew, and diget what had happened and were still happening to us. There were urgent yet covert demands for “time for processing” arising.

So, I redesigned the VYP workshop to meet these demands. I hoped that my workshop gives people an opportunity to revisit their value systems and touch their true emotions.

Participants learned the basic skill of Graphic Facilitation while spending the decent amount of time for his/her-own to think through the past, feel the present, recall the past, recapture the present, and imagine the future.

On the first night, the participants did pair-interview based on the four questions: “What brought you here?” “What emotions are behind it?” “What happened to you on 311?” and “How do you feel now?” Then, they made a reflection map to illustrate their short history between 311 and now.

On the second night, the participants picked up a few points from the map that most affected them. Besides, they added new factors that the map had missed out. Then, I asked them to describe these significant elements by means of emotions, forms, shapes, colors, sounds, smells, and mental images. At the end, they “rephrased” these abstract words into concrete key words and clear visuals.

With all these parts prepared, on the third night, they drew visual maps to show where they stand at the very moment.

Some of the participants had never heard of or seen Graphic Facilitation. Most of them felt intimidated about drawing. Nonetheless, the only three evening classes quickly enabled them to visually understand and express themselves amazingly. Moreover, it became an eye-opening experience for the participants to take time for the active self-reflection. They realized how important and influential it is to communicate within oneself, and share the inner journey with others.

To survive, we must keep on moving forward. We have to maintain our everyday life while striving to address the problems. More and more fatal issues swallow us like tsunami and we are almost drawn. Nevertheless, at times, I believe that we need to pause for a moment, looking back, looking around on our sides, looking down to the earth, and looking up to the sky. It definitely makes us feel secure and safe to “ping” our current position on the map of uncertainty, even though we are ever-changing.

Finally, this is my mind image that greatly influenced who I am right now: The scenery of the Himalayan in Dharamsala, India.

7 thoughts on “Dive into Your Deep Ocean

  1. Nancy Navarro says:

    I am so impressed and so proud of you and the work you are doing. Please continue posting your writings, they are powerful and inspiring. Thank you!

  2. raja says:

    just read your blog , Naho. Helping an individual by facilitating the person to express by Graphics is a wonderful way .Such an way of expressing oneself was , (me thinks ) only open to the lucky few who could draw .
    Your workshop encourages one to connect their emotions to visuals..
    I have had the good fortune to see you express a story in graphics, while it was narrated, and i continue to treasure that document. i continue to be in awe of this wonderful language of expression .
    i wish you are able to share this technique with more persons .

  3. Bob Stilger says:

    Nice work here, Naho. I appreciate your sensitivity to trying to find new ways to invite people into this reflective space and into their own self awareness in these stressful times! Bob Stilger

  4. Jesse Gonzalez says:

    Awesome work Naho! I really enjoyed reading your blog and knowing what inspirations you are creating! Huge hugs to you and everyone!

Leave a Reply to Nan Cowardin-Lee Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s