What’s in your backpack?

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What’s in your backpack?  Craig Farnum, the academic counselor from CMC in Carbondale, facilitated two workshops and also presented during Workshop Wednesdays at Jaywalker U today.  His first workshop encouraged the participants to look at the effect their beliefs, values, and attitudes have on their behavior. Our beliefs, values, and attitudes are the things we carry around in our backpacks.  Craig challenged the participants to think about what they, personally, carried around in their invisible backpack.  The clients from the Landing and Jaywalker U openly discussed the negative beliefs they held about themselves while they were using, and often times, prior to their using, and the effect it had on their using behavior.  They also talked about how in recovery they need to change their beliefs about themselves, especially shame and low self-esteem—in other words, change what is in their backpacks.  During Craig’s second workshop, he talked about systems, and how an interdependent system could be changed by changing just one component of the system.  For instance, he talked about the components of our attitudes—behavioral, cognitive, and affect.  If a person wanted to change their attitude, they could change their behavior which would have a direct effect on the other two components of attitude, what we think and how we feel.  Finally, Craig presented his personal story of going into the wilds of Alaska to follow the footsteps of Chris McCandless, the subject of the film and book, “Into the Wild” written by Jon Krakauer. Craig told us about the moment, as he was trying to cross a raging glacial river, that he had a life altering experience and knew that the priorities he carried in his backpack needed to change.  This moment in time occurred at the opposite side of the river that Chris McCandless could not cross which prevented him from returning to civilization and ultimately cost him his life. Jaywalker would like to thank Craig for putting on these workshops and invite anyone interested in attending Jaywalker U’s final workshop for the semester, next Wednesday from 9am-12pm.

Janet DeMars

Program Director

Jaywalker U

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