Ironwood Maine Web Update

“You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right, in spite of your feelings.”

Pearl S. Buck

A trending topic this week at Ironwood highlighted efforts of residents addressing negativity and making changes in the community improve our own environment and interactions. In addition to this community work, campuses have also been very active despite this unprecedent heat wave. In the gardens this week we are harvesting lots green beans and basil. We have to water all of the plants and flowers twice a day too!  On Sunday, we went to a large sport complex and had lots of fun in the sun…and don’t worry, we used plenty of sunscreen!  It was pretty awesome to get to play on the large well-kept fields! In addition to playing some field games, one of the highlights of this trip included a lunch spot stop at a concession stand where we all ordered burgers and fries! 

Every week, we participate in a variety of therapeutic and enrichment groups. This week, one specific activity that had an impact on me was an experiential group with one of our newest therapists, Chris P. The activity focused on different types of communication we use and how they make people feel. One example we discussed was aggressive communication and passive communication. We (residents) were given scripts and acted out the types of communication in pairs in front of the group. Afterwards, we processed the differences between being engaged in that style of communication as well as how it feels to observe it. This process reminded me of the quote I picked. It is eye-opening how quickly you can say one thing and feel another. 

Another meaningful moment this week was a mediated discussion between the entire Farmhouse boys’ group. There are 12 of us and we all came together to consider how to address negative feelings and how we can create a supportive and positive culture with one another. We were able to respectfully air out our concerns and set some mutually agreeable standards moving forward. 

Overall, this has been a productive week for all residents. From things like working in the gardens to helping peers get through personal challenges. I hope that you all can be inspired by our efforts here on campus and the encouraging quote shared above to make your own steps towards personal progress.

*Moms, Dads, Step Parents, Grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and everyone else who cares, thank you for supporting these amazing young people as they figure out their next directions in life.  Have a great weekend and take good care of yourselves.  😊