Natural laws, like gravity, govern our interactions with reality. For example, if I am driving down the highway and the car in front of me suddenly hits its brakes, the natural laws tell me that if I do not slow down I will hit them. However, because of freewill, I can ignore this, so I must decide how to react to this reality or demand. I can choose to A.) Maintain my speed and hit the vehicle; B.) Swerve onto the shoulder of the road or into oncoming traffic lanes to avoid a collision; C.) Apply my brakes and stop a safe distance behind the car in front of me. The reality always remains the same, but my reaction to that reality creates several possible actions.
Ron Adams, Archaitis, Inc., Center Path™ program, used this and many other examples to explain how we as people can choose numerous ways to interact with the reality of any situation, as well as the results those interactions will always produce in our lives. Center Path™ bases these concepts on the fact that every situation has a "demand" or "reality" that we must meet. If we choose to meet that demand in a reality-based manner, then we naturally follow the Center Path™. When we ignore that demand, we take a north or south position by becoming unwilling to face the reality of that situation, and may actually create some other fantasy reality.
The Woodbury Reports, Inc. staff had the opportunity to participate with Ron Adams in the training sessions that Center Path™ utilizes for its family coaching component. The focus was to learn how these concepts are applicable to everything, including the people in our lives. Gary Moe founded and designed the Center Path™ program modules to teach families how to overcome many of the problems and issues within their interpersonal relationships. One major factor of this program is that it does not require an immediate or willing participation from everyone involved or that everyone be on the same level for the program to work. The design of Center Path™ allows each individual to participate or interact with reality at the level he/ she is most comfortable. Although each member of the family may be on a different level, the program teaches how we can successfully interact with and help others reach a higher level of positive results in their reactions to reality.
Ron cautioned that Center Path™ is not a magical cure or silver bullet for solving all of our problems, but the training does provide parents with the knowledge to make internal and external changes occur within their relationships. Most of the parent coaching sessions happen on the phone, but Ron and Gary normally begin with an in-person parent workshop consisting of 7 couples or 14 people maximum.
Most often, problems are rooted in a power struggle for control, and Ron explained that when we implement a power control over our children, it creates a negative response. For example, when we play the parent card and tell our children, "you will do this," without any explanation of the reasons or consequences, we do receive an immediate reaction, but that reaction does not build or improve the relationship. Ron explained that children are 100 percent reliant on their mothers from the time of birth, but both parents must be willing and ready to develop an entirely different relationship with the child as they grow up.
Ron said the first step to learning how to travel the Center Path™ requires the participants to understand how to interact with the "demands" or "reality" of any situation. Reality includes three categories, physical, metaphysical and people. People, as pointed out above, do not have to follow reality because of freewill. Physical components are objects we detect with our senses; metaphysical includes responsibilities, roles, duties, problems, goals, aspirations and challenges, while the people component represents our relationships.
Often, one parent may feel the problems stem from the child's behaviors, not theirs, which may result in only one parent being willing learn and participate in the program. Better results occur when both parents learn how to become the resident experts in all their relationships. Center Path™ is not by design a crisis management program, but it does work with families in crisis. Ron and Gary believe that it will improve all relationships because the main goal, if possible, is to help the family through emotional growth issues and teach them life skills before a crisis develops. Correctly responding to a demand will satisfy it and draw the family back together. However, in the same respect, an incorrect response will create a poor result and may increase the distance between those involved.
According to Ron and Gary, it is Principles that govern our results when responding to a demand. Principles are not always good, they do not always follow the truth but principles do work with everything, everyone and every time. There are two types of principles, each is based on meeting demands and affects all aspects of our communications with those around us. The first principle, founded on truth, illustrates how to meet demands in a realistic manner, while the other, based on lies, shows us how to avoid those demands, meaning the person takes a north or south position. A demand based on lies creates a reality of either going north, which may include rebellion, blame, control and/ or a fabrication of the facts, or going south, which is more subtle and may include withdrawing, ignoring facts and/ or becoming un-teachable. Following the Center Path™ means we not only accept the reality of the demand, but are also willing to meet that demand with truth in our actions.
The nine modules presented by Ron focus on the specific methods used to implement these concepts and create real change in our relationships. The real genius behind this program is not only in the details, but also in the application of these details. No, it is not easy and sometimes it requires taking a step back to evaluate your part in a specific situation or problem before you return to the Center Path™. However, if applied properly and diligently, it does work. For me, the immediate difference was that I recognized when I began going either north or south in my reactions, and found that I could pull myself back onto the Center Path™ before the situation became worse.
Again, there is no good or bad here, it's about learning how to meet the demands or reality of life in a new way, which allows us to spend more time on the Center Path™, and reduce the chaos and confusion created by meeting demands based on lies. Since our training, Gary has created a new module for accountability that helps families accept personal responsibility and hold themselves and each other accountable for their actions.
This course was designed to help struggling teens and those who work with them learn how to do two things correctly: 1) Meet the demands of life, and 2) Participate productively in relationships. We at strugglingteens.com had a lot of fun learning these lessons from Ron's perspective. He is an entertaining teacher!!!