This is the Discussion Guide that you will find in the back of the book, Hope And Possibility Through Trauma by Don Shetterly. It is designed for a 12 week book study group based upon my book. I have tried to give a framework for anyone to be able to follow without a great deal of preparation time.
You can either use this page for the discussion guide or click for a pdf printable copy.
Week 1 – Chapter 1
Introduction and My Story
Write your own story, and include many details in it. See if you can write it from a standpoint that gives hope and possibility. Make sure it captures all the emotion and feelings that you can connect with.
1) Do you believe we all have hope and possibility for our lives?
2) Do you believe there is hope and possibility for YOUR own life?
3) After reading “My Story” on page 6, what parts are difficult to read?
4) After reading “My Story” on page 6, what do you see as good coming from a story like this?
5) How much are the experiences you have faced in your life locked up within your own body? Give an example.
6) What does it mean to you that we are all meant to be much more than we currently are?
Out of difficulty, wonder can emerge.
Week 2 – Chapter Two
Hope Of Possibility
Try exercise on page 29, Concern And Worry
1) What is something in your own life that you feel is impossible for you to do or face?
2) How could you reframe the impossible from question #1, in your mind?
3) What situation have you experienced in your life that you doubted you could make it through but you did?
4) How did you make it through this experience from question #3?
5) If there is an impossible situation you are currently experiencing, what one step could you take at this moment to begin moving forward?
6) Describe how your life is like a storybook.
We’ve seen ordinary people do extraordinary things and accomplish tasks that were nothing short of impossible at the time.
Week 3 – Chapter Three
#1: Write out your own poem or thoughts of self acceptance. (See page 38)
#2: Consider creating a Navigation Of Life Chart (See pages 40-43)
1) What limitations do you put upon yourself?
2) How have you navigated through difficult moments in life?
3) What items would you offer at a garage sale for your life?
4) Name one big struggle you face in life, and ask yourself are you ready to let go of it?
5) Do you believe you can let go of it (answer to #4)? Why or why not?
6) If you opened the closet door of your life, what might you find inside?
I completely love and accept myself.
Week 4 – Chapter Four
Rewiring The Brain
Write out an affirmation for your current life. (See page 78)
1) Can you identify signs in your body that you are numbing yourself to some experience from your life?
2) How do you notice fears in your day from sources around you?
3) What are your top five fears?
4) How is fear a good thing to your life? Example?
5) How has your sense of what is real or unreal changed for you in your life?
6) What clouds from your own life are you thankful for?
To rewire our brain, is to give us new paths to explore.
Week 5 – Chapter Five
#1 Make a list of things in your life that you want to let go of. You could either burn the list as a symbolic gesture of letting them go, or place a pebble for each item in a jar of water to represent the water washing them away.
#2 Take the Self Test at www.hsperson.com for highly sensitive people.
1) Record your observations to the exercise on page 99.
2) In what ways do you ignore your own body pain? Example?
3) What fears hold you back for discovering your true self?
4) Identify one way that you are critical or judgmental.
5) Take an inventory of how you spend your time. Do you like the results?
6) How would you change the way you spend your time in life?
To grow and evolve as humans is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. To grow and evolve is to be human.
Week 6 – Chapter Six
Our Body Connections
Sit quietly with yourself and observe your breath. How deep or shallow is it? What is the rhythm of it? What do you notice about it? How does it make you feel? Is this a safe experience or not? Record your thoughts.
1) What do you think of when you hear the word massage? Bodywork? Healing?
2) How often do you receive some form of bodywork and why?
3) What positive results do you see in massage?
4) Do you think it is easy for you to relax? Why or why not?
5) What holds you back from connecting with your body?
6) How often do you check in with your breathing in a day?
Let us be mindful and connected to our bodies.
Week 7 – Chapter Seven
In The Moment
Search your local area for a labyrinth and walk it. Draw from its energy and from your own pausing to gain new insights for your life. Record your thoughts.
1) What does being mindful mean to you?
2) What does it mean to be the observer in your life?
3) What is your reaction when you make a mistake?
4) How would you change your reaction to a mistake that you make?
5) Pause for a moment and allow yourself to look at a difficult situation. Explain what you see or feel when you do this.
6) If you were going to be walking the labyrinth, is there a question you are waiting to be answered at this time?
The greatest moment we have in our lives is the moment we are experiencing. Anything past is already gone, and the future has not yet arrived.
Week 8 – Chapter Eight
Say something nice to people you meet today, or offer them a smile and observe their reaction you get. Record your observations and your own reactions.
1) List several people you know and then list a word or phrase next to their name that says something nice about them.
2) When you have gone through difficult times, what have been the most helpful things others have done for you?
3) What are some ways you can show others you care when they are going through difficult times?
4) Take a moment and just pause. Notice and focus on your breath for 30 seconds. Then take a moment and connect with your heart by feeling the love you have for various people in your life. Record your observations.
5) After you have finished question #4, how do you feel?
6) After question #4, what changes (if any) do you notice in your body?
A smile or a cheerful hello is worth more than all the gold in the world.
Week 9 – Chapter Nine
Music Connects Us
Pick out a song that you enjoy and see how many dimensions of it you can hear (See page 157). Consider sharing this exercise with others.
1) From the suggested exercise, can you identify how these different dimensions affect you emotionally?
2) Again, from the suggested exercise, how do you notice or feel the different dimensions of the music in your body?
3) What does the music you listen to say about your life?
4) What one song could you play right now that would offer encouragement to your day?
5) Have you ever made a “power” CD where you picked your all time favorite encouraging songs, which you played before major moments in your life? What songs would be on your CD?
6) Consider playing beautiful and relaxing music during your day to help keep your mind focused and relaxed. Observe what happens when you do this and journal your thoughts.
Music touches our souls, enlightens our minds and carries us forward.
Week 10 – Chapter Ten
Quiet your mind, play some peaceful music, or sit outside in nature for this exercise. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and relax your mind. Allow yourself to just write, scribble, draw, whatever comes out of your hands.
1) During the suggested exercise, what did you notice or create?
2) In what ways does this exercise show you just how much information you hold within yourself?
3) What experiences in life have helped you become more aware that the answers we seek are within us? Example?
4) What are some reasons we miss things in our day?
5) Are there situations that have taken place in your life that show you angels or some other forces are at work? Explain.
6) In what ways are we mindless in our day? Examples?
If we listen with our hearts, our minds and our bodies, then we will truly hear that which is meant for us.
Week 11 – Chapter Eleven
Create a gratitude jar (See page 174)
1) List the good things in your life at this moment.
2) Take a moment to think about something you want to achieve. Picture in your mind all the steps you would do to accomplish this, and record your observations.
3) What reality are you creating at this very moment?
4) What reality would you like to be creating in your day?
5) How do you allow or not allow good things in your life?
6) What one thing could you identify and change today that would change your focus and allow abundance in your life?
Let us be thankful for all we have, for we are truly blessed.
Week 12 – Chapter Twelve
Special Moments & Closing Thoughts
Write your own story about a special moment in your life. Share it with others.
1) What story from this chapter has impacted you most?
2) How do our moments in life come together to impact others?
3) If someone was going to write about a moment where you impacted their life, what moment would that be?
4) How can you share your life and talents with others?
5) In what ways has this book changed your life?
6) What were your favorite parts of this book?
We are a result of the journey we have walked. Each day we have gives us the possibility of so much more. May we embrace all of it fully!
For more information and to purchase this book, please go to DonShetterly.com or click the button to purchase it on Amazon. Available in paperback or Kindle versions.