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生活 - 专栏

探秘“分手训练营”:一门治疗情伤的生意

Laura Entis 2017年02月23日

你可以利用这段学习经历,打破在恋爱和人生中的一些不良模式。

直到现在,我有时都会觉得我似乎一不小心走进了《周六夜现场》的录制外景地。就在这个情人节前的周末,我在哈德逊山谷的一座冬意盎然的农场里待了30多个小时。我将在这里遇见一位人生导师,在瑜伽室里唱赞美诗,写“感恩日记”,吃的是藜麦和甘蓝,喝的是自酿的康普茶。一位有三个硕士学位的女人会告诉我,如今的世界之所以变幻莫测,是由于“大地的振动”(显然这种振动正在增多)。在一顿以酸奶黄瓜沙拉和味噌菜花汤为主食的午饭上,一位与前男友在火人节上认识的女病友十分严肃地告诉大家,她平时选择哪天去理发是由月相决定的(满月时理发头发长得快,缺月时头发长得慢)。大家听罢都纷纷点头,没有人一个人表现得好像觉得她在说疯话。

之所以会这样,也是由于“分手训练营”中的三名老师和五位病友都是非常注重灵性的人。类似“心灵查克拉”、“情感切割”、“控制自己的能量”、“向宇宙发问”这种词儿,在这里都成了口头禅了。不过我认为,大家之所以全都煞有介事地点头,还因为我们来此最重要的任务之一,就是要对“分手训练营”中的安排无条件地支持。我是其中唯一一个不是来治疗分手后的心灵创伤的人。(不过训练营的人告诉我,我可以利用这段学习经历,打破我在恋爱和人生中的一些不良模式。)

At times, it will feel as if I’ve wandered into an SNL skit. Over the 30 hours that I spend on a wintery farm in Hudson Valley, New York at a breakup bootcamp—on Valentine’s Day weekend, no less—I will meet with a life coach, chant in a yoga yurt, write in a gratitude journal, and consume large amounts of quinoa, kale, and home-brewed kombucha. A woman with three master's degrees will tell me the world is such a volatile place right now because of “the earth’s vibrations” (apparently, they’re increasing). Over a lunch of cucumber yogurt salad and miso-cauliflower, a fellow attendee, who met her now ex at Burning Man, will gravely inform the group that she aligns her haircuts with the lunar cycle (a waning moon increases growth, while a waxing one reduces it.) Everyone will nod. No one will act like this is an objectively crazy statement.

In part, this is because the majority of the three teachers and five fellow attendees appear to be deeply spiritual people. Phrases such as “heart chakra,” “emotional cutting,” “take control of your energy,” and “asking the universe” are used casually. But I think everyone also nods because one of our most important jobs is to be unconditionally supportive; I am the only one here who did not come to learn how to heal after heartbreak. (I’m told I can use the experience to help break bad patterns in my relationship and life in general).

Vegetable lunch.

素食午餐

“分手训练人”的创办人兼总策划师艾米•陈自称是“科学家版的凯莉•布雷萧(美剧《欲望都市》的女主角)”。艾米•陈拥有一个沟通学的学士学位,她也是连锁乒乓球俱乐部SpiN的营销总监。不过她真正热衷的却是研究婚姻与爱情,尤其是关于如何帮人度过失恋后的痛苦期。过去十年里,她写了不少恋爱方面的文章,先是发表在温哥华(她的老家)的一家报纸上,现在则主要通过她的博客发声。她最常探讨的话题就是分手后应该做些什么。五年前,她曾以为会牵手一生的那个男人劈腿了一名女同事,这次意外却让她发现了她的人生的真正意义。

“我之所以生在这个世界上,就是要帮助人们治愈他们的心灵创伤。”有一次我们正吃奇雅布丁和燕麦卷时,她这样对我说。

分手那年她29岁,她陷入日益低落的情绪中长达几个月之外,当时她也试过在网上搜一些解决方法。“我想找到什么东西来治愈我。”在谷歌上搜了一遍治疗情伤的方法之后,艾米•陈发现,网上的方法“没有什么特别的”。后来她又试了试其它方法,比如灵气疗法、理疗、心理治疗等等,还到墨西哥来了一次瑜伽之旅,但效果都不是特别满意——毕竟,治愈情伤是需要时间的。

一颗种子就这样萌发了。2015年夏天,“在和朋友喝了一顿酒之后”,她突然冒出了一个想法:她要为那些因失恋而伤心欲绝的人搭建一个“避难所”。

一年半以后,她的创意演变成了现在的这个“周末训练营”。训练营里的每个细节都很适合拍照发朋友圈——这里的食物是有机的,摆盘也十分精美,做菜的是一位年轻精壮的大厨;在农场外面还有四只呆萌的羊驼,仿佛刚从动画片里走出来似的。训练营里的各种活动也很适合拍照发圈,比如瑜伽、冥想、针炙等等,此外我们还会围着火堆坐成一圈,学习“如何拿回我们的能量”之类的东西。训练营里有三位老师,分别是艾米•陈、人生导师翠西•芭里拉斯、“正向心理顾问”诺艾米•拉•普特尔,她们会要求我们以有助于治愈的方式回首往事,用艾米•陈的话,就是“拿起剧本,翻开它”。这样一来,一位薄情寡义的前男友就会被重新刻画成一个可爱但残缺的形象,他只是在情感上没有做好与你厮守终生的准备。艾米•陈继续说道:“我不相信任何对我没好处的东西。”

Amy Chan, the weekend’s creator and mastermind, describes herself as a “scientific Carrie Bradshaw.” Chan has a bachelor’s in communications and is the chief marketing officer of SpiN, a chain of ping pong bars backed by actress Susan Sarandon. Chan's real passion, however, is relationships—specifically, navigating the choppy waters after one has ended badly. She’s written relationship advice for the past decade, first for a daily paper in Vancouver (her hometown) and now on her blog. A common theme is what to do after a breakup. But it wasn’t until five years ago, when the man she thought she was going to marry cheated with a coworker, that she discovered her life’s true purpose.

“I know I’m on this earth to help people heal their heart wounds,” she tells me over a bowl of homemade chia pudding and granola.

Twenty-nine at the time, the breakup set her into a spiraling depression that lasted for months, despite her efforts to find a solution online: “I wanted something where I could go there and come out healed,” she remembers. After googling heartbreak retreats and finding “nothing specific,” she experimented with other options: reiki, therapists, psychics, a yoga vacation in Mexico. None were particularly satisfying —in the end, healing required time.

But a seed was planted. In the summer of 2015, over “drinks with a friend at the SoHo house,” the idea came to her: She would create a retreat designed specifically for the broken-hearted.

A year and a half later, her idea has materialized as a weekend in which every detail feels custom-made for Instagram. Meals are organic and beautifully plated, prepared by a strapping, young on-site chef. Outside the farm, four cartoonish alpacas wait to be petted. Activities are universally photogenic: yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and group talks where we sit in a circle by the fire and learn how to do things like “take back our energy.” We are urged by Chan, along with Trish Barillas, a life coach, and Noémie Le Pertel, a “positive psychology consultant,” to look at the past in ways that help us heal—to, in Chan's words, “take the script, and flip it.” In this way, a callous ex-boyfriend can be redrawn as a loving but damaged figure who wasn’t emotionally equipped to commit. “I’m not going to believe anything that doesn’t serve me,” she continues.

Yoga on the farm.

农场的瑜伽室

在这里,扭曲现实以满足人的情感需求,是一个会被反复强化的主题。对于这里的人所说的相当一部分的话,我甚至不知道该作何解读。比如艾米•陈提到她的前男友们时,不但毫无恨意,反而流下了感激的泪水,因为他们让她学会了爱情和恋爱的真谛。她究竟是认真的,还是只是想给她的“精神胜利法”举个例子呢?“正向心理顾问”普特尔经常会在她的课上提到多巴胺、应激激素、脑触突等科学术语,她还说就算你跟某人离得很远,你也有可能“感受到他的能量”。她究竟是在打比方,还是认真的呢?

整个周末的经历让我不时会想起最近在推特上甚火的一个热词——“替代事实”(Alternativefacts)——语出特朗普团队。艾米•陈对我说,她真心相信人的表现的力量。她认为,如果她向宇宙要求什么东西,宇宙就会让事物朝着这个方向发展。她六个月前才开始实践这种疗法,但现在她的生活已经有了很大的不同(她表示她能得到现在的工作也是归功于此。)“这种方法要比《秘密》这本书久远得多。”正是她提到的这本书(以及同名电影),才让“积极的思维可以导致真实世界的结果”这一理念广为流传。

这样的谈话经常让我一脸懵逼。我要再次强调,我并不是一个心碎的女人,而且在我内心深处,我还是一个玩世不恭的人,对任何鼓吹能够“治愈”的套路都抱有一丝怀疑。

整整一个周末,训练营都在强化“宇宙对我们每个人自有安排”的理念,经过这样一番正能量的灌输,病友们的情绪似乎确有好转。其中一名病友是一个非常害羞的女人,她是从洛杉矶大老远地飞过来参加训练营的,她寻找类似这样能够治愈的地方已经有很长时间了。她是一年前与未婚夫分手的,直至今天仍然觉得心如刀割。她对我说,来这里与这些女性朋友一起,听听她们的故事,感觉挺好的。

The idea of taking reality and distorting it to fit one’s emotional needs is a recurrent theme. I’m not sure how to interpret a large percentage of what people are saying. When Chan tells us that instead of being mad at her exes, she cries tears of gratitude because she is so thankful for what they’ve taught her about love and relationships, is she serious, or is this another example of reframing the narrative? When Pertel, who litters her sessions with scientific references to dopamine, stress hormones, and brain synapses, tells us it's possible to “feel someone’s energy" even when they aren’t nearby, is she speaking metaphorically or literally?

Sometimes the entire weekend feels like an extended exercise in a shimmering version of #alternativefacts. Chan tells me she genuinely believes in the power of manifestation. If she asks the universe for something, she says, the universe makes it so. She started this practice a mere six months ago, and already has noticed a huge difference (it’s how she got her current job, she says). “This goes way back long before The Secret,” she says, referencing the book (and movie) that popularized the idea that positive thinking can lead to real-world results.

Talk like this usually puts me on edge. But then again, my heart isn’t broken; part of me feels cynical and a little gross questioning any tactic that encourages healing.

Because it does seem as if the weekend’s rosy cocoon of uplifting positivity, which reinforces the message that the universe has a plan for each of us—provided we open ourselves up enough to receive it—is helping. One attendee, a shy woman who flew from Los Angeles to attend, tells me she’s been looking for something like this for a long time. She broke up with her fiancé a year ago, and the heartbreak still feels raw. It’s good, she says, to be here with these women, and to hear their stories.

Alpacas.

农场的羊驼

艾米•陈的终极目标是将治疗分手情伤当成一项全职工作来做。她的这种想法也并非空中楼阁。上周末的“分手训练营”只是她的一次概念验证性质的试验,但它也并不是免费的,每名“病友”要住单间,需要缴纳1500美元的费用;双人间稍便宜些,每张床位也要1000美元。不过还有几个位置是免费赠送给朋友的。从今年五月到夏天,艾米•陈还策划了另外两批规模更大的“分手训练营”。如果时机成熟了,她可能最终还会建立自己的“情伤治疗中心”,这样一来,她每年都能教几百人通过这种“精神胜利法”来解开心结。

我问她,如果这种“精神胜利法”修炼到一定程度,到了无法分清哪些是真的、哪些是假的的地步,岂不是很危险?她表示,无论是在爱情还是在生活中,事实是很难界定的,人生最重要的其实是选择。

“我选择将世界看作一个美丽的地方。我选择认为人人都有最善良的意愿,认为他们并不想伤害你。我选择在每件事中看到感恩、学到经验,哪怕是在那些坏的事情中。”她说。

“你可能会说:‘艾米,你肯定是疯了,你完全活在自己的想象中。’当然了,你可以认为我疯了,但你可以看看我的生活,我的生活好得难以置信,我的人生是如此丰富多彩,充满了幸福与爱。”

对于这一点,我无法反驳——虽然我也无法分辨出她说的究竟是真的,还是只不过是另一次“精神胜利法”。不过在这个周末,“分手训练营”的新潮、性灵和以瑜伽为核心的一系列活动,还是给人留下了非常专业的感觉。但当我踏上回纽约市的火车时,我还是很高兴能回到这个政治气候变幻莫测,但至少你能根据自己的工作安排(而不是月相)去理发的世界中。

我只希望能回到事实还是事实的世界中。或许我应该向宇宙要求这一点。 (财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

Chan’s ultimate goal is to help women share their stories year-round, and to turn healing heartbreak into a full-time job. She’s has a ways to go: This weekend was put together at-cost (admittance cost $1,500 for a single room, $1,000 for a double, although a few spots were comped for friends), as a proof-of-concept. Already, however, there is a larger retreat scheduled for May, and another tentatively slated for later in the summer. If everything goes as planned, she will eventually open her own retreat space where, in any given year, she can teach hundreds of people how to reframe their romantic narratives.

When I ask her if it’s dangerous to reconjure your life to the point where you can’t distinguish between what’s true and what isn’t, she says that in love—and often, life in general—facts are hard to pin down. Instead, life is about choices.

“I choose to see the world is a beautiful place. I choose that people have the best intentions and don’t want to hurt you. I choose to see the gratitude and lesson in everything, even the things that go wrong,” she says.

“You can say, ‘Well Amy, you’re just loony, you are living in your own fiction.' Well, sure! Think that I’m crazy, but look at my life. My life is unbelievable. I have such a rich abundant life full of happiness and love.”

I can’t really argue with that—even if it’s impossible to tell whether it's true, or simply another reframed narrative. And the weekend, in all it’s hipster, spiritual, yoga-centric glory, is an expertly orchestrated experience. Still, as I board the train back to New York City, I’m relieved to be returning to a world where volatility is prescribed to the political climate (not vibrations), and haircuts can be planned around one’s work schedule (not the phase of the moon).

If only I was returning to a world where facts were—well, facts. I should probably try asking the universe for that.

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