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Butterfly Fighting Circle (BFC)

Payson Road is excited to introduce a new program, the Butterfly Fighting Circle (BFC) designed after the Chinese Martial Art of shuai-chiao (pronounced swhy jow), a form of Kung Fu.  We are using the Kung Fu concept to help bridge the gap between the mind and the body by instilling a sense of empowerment physically and mentally - even if it is symbolic. The symbolic meaning of balance that Chinese philosophies incorporate are a key component to our recovery programs.  Finding balance will lead you on the path to healing. ***

How Does the Program Work

The BFC journey follows the phases of  Tan Lit Fu Ye - A traditional Chinese expression that enumerates four levels a kung fu practitioner must pass through to reach the highest expertise. 

Like the Kung Fu tradition, to mark your journey, we use different color belts.  

Now of course this is not a physical exercise.  So we do not award belts when you reach a certain level of expertise in fighting.  You are rewarded with a new belt when you have completed a certain number of days accomplishing things from your What Dreams Are Made Of and Happiness lists.  

Every day we encourage you to do one thing from your Happiness list and/or one step on your What Dreams Are Made of List.  Even if it's for 5 minutes and one small step.  It could be as simple as meditating for 5 minutes or writing in your journal.

The Four Levels - Tan Lit Fu Ye 

Tan Lit Fu Ye - Courage Power Hard Work and Art - The four levels a shuai-chiao warrior needs to complete his journey.  We ask you to refer to these levels and use them to help you through yours.  These principles will serve to comfort you and to teach you to honor your truth and develop your inner voice.  You must apply them to complete your journey.  The reward will be greater than you can imagine.

  1. The first level is tan (courage), a brave, fearless spirit
  2. Second, lit (power), which refers to the development of strength.
  3. The third is kung fu (hard work) which means applying the dedication and perseverance necessary to learn.
  4. And finally there is ye (art), the expression of the very highest level, in which all techniques can be used effectively and effortlessly, demonstrating complete mastery of a style. back

Getting Started

first step in this program is to connect with your inner spirit - that which moves you.  And makes you happy.  Payson Road created an exercise for this purpose for our Recovery Journal.  It's called the Happiness List.  If you are unfamiliar with the Happiness List, and/or haven't done yours yet, please go to Happiness List on the Recovery Journal.  

We've expanded the Happiness List for the BFC  and created - What Dreams Are Made Of.  It takes the Happiness List a step further.  It helps you connect with your inner truth and your inner voice.  The one that was so  loud as a child.  The one that didn't think about BUT or NO or NOT.  The one that only saw possibilities.  

Here's your first steps to take:

  1. Discover Happiness - Read the information about the Happiness List on the Recovery Journal and take a look at The Wall of Happiness on our Corner Archives Section. Contributed by members of the Payson Road Online Support Group.
  2. Build your Happiness List - Make a list of the things that make you happy. Anything at all.  It could be as simple as curling up in a cozy chair next to a fire reading a book, to traveling to far away lands.  Whatever moves you.
  3. Find What Dreams Are Made Of  for you - Write down a list of things that you dream about.  That make you happy. That you strive for.  Whatever it is that you dream of aspiring, write it down.  

    Try to distance yourself from your ED voice.  The voice that tells you that your dream is no good or unrealistic.  Think about what you aspired to be when you were seven.  Your dream of dreams.  No matter how great or small.  The dreams that you want in your heart of hearts to come true more than anything else.  Write them down.  One, two, ten, a hundred.  Write as much down as you like.  Just write it.  And come from your truth.
  4. Step Into Your Dreams - Once you've done your list now you need to create a set of steps that will help take you to that dream.  Start small.  Don't overwhelm yourself with trying to reach the top.  Work on the process.  I dream of producing my own script. So if that is my ultimate goal, where do I start?  Traditionally I would get so caught up in that top goal and not work on the process and just blow it off and do nothing.  It's very easy for us with ED's to do that.  All or nothing.  But it is crucial for us to identify the things that we really do dream of.  But equally important to recognize that it's the process that matters.  We don't have to achieve them overnight.  We need to set it in motion.

    So what should my steps be? Well, first of all,  I need to come up with the story.  So the first thing might be a paragraph of the idea.  Maybe after that, write out an outline.  Then from there work on a treatment or the story synopsis.  Once I have that together I can work on the first scene of the script.  And so on and so on.  

    In the past what I would do is just say, I gotta produce my script!  And be frustrated that it wasn't happening but I would build it up so much and not take little baby steps.  I don't have to write the whole thing at once.  I just have to take one step forward toward that goal.

    You can apply this example to any dream or goal you have.  Write down the steps.  Baby or toddler, just take them.

Here's an example set of lists and steps


Achieving Belts

You've done your lists, now it's time to put them to work for you.  Here's how.

You achieve belts by completing a combination of things from your two lists, beginning slowly with just the Happiness List.  It doesn't have to be the same thing two days in a row.  One day you could read a chapter in a book and the next day you could go for a walk etc.

Each day earned requires one item from one of the lists.


   2 consecutive days from Happiness List 


  4 consecutive days - 2 days Happiness List, 
2 days What Dreams Are List 
(this can include building your list and writing steps)

  8 days (days do not have to be consecutive) 
within two consecutive weeks (14 days) - 
must incorporate both lists in that time period


  7 consecutive days - 
must incorporate both lists in that time period


  10 days (days do not have to be consecutive) 
within three consecutive  weeks (21 days) - 
must incorporate both lists in that time period


  21 days (days do not have to be consecutive) 
within four consecutive weeks (30 days) - 
must incorporate both lists in that time period.


When you  reach Black, you will become a BFC Master.  We will feature a list of BFC Masters on this page and if you so choose, we will post your name.  You are officially a BFC Member when you receive your Yellow Belt.

PLEASE BE CLEAR:  This is not a restriction list or a cold turkey no binge/purge reward system.  You will not be rewarded based on how many days you abstain from purging or whatever your cycle is.  It is an incentive program to get you to focus on your life and the things in your life that make you happy.  Do not focus on your disease and having to stop your destructive behavior.  It's wonderful if that happens as well.  But put the focus on what makes you happy and what your dreams are.  Get back to your life.  

How Do You Know If I Did It?

The BFC runs on the honor program, so we are trusting you to be honest about having accomplished something from your lists.  Bottom line - this program is for you.  You will only be cheating yourself.

What counts as an Accomplishment?

For the purposes of this program, it must be an activity that makes you happy or a step on your dreams list, and must be at least 5 minutes in duration.  You do not have to do the same activity to build up the belts, just a single activity and/or single step each day from your lists.

How Do I Log My Accomplishments?

YES this takes work.  Recovery does. Nothing comes for free in this life folks.  Your recovery is not going to just happen one day when you least expect it.  You must achieve it.  Payson Road seeks to support you in pursuit of the long term goal of changing your coping methods and thus changing your patterns.  Don't get discouraged because this does not happen over night.  You can recover.  But you need to do some work for this to happen. 

It is up to you to keep track of your belt status.  You will need to send us a record of your accomplishments in order to receive your belts and become a BFC member.  Please only submit a form, when you have succeeded in reaching a belt level.  You must email us your report in order to be awarded with your belt.  It is crucial for you to keep track of this information as you may have achieved up to your Orange belt then taken a break for a week or a month and started on to your next belt.  

Don't be discouraged if you're not making it to Black right away.  Like recovery, it's a process.  We just want you to keep sticking with the program.  If it takes you six months or a year or however long to reach Black that's fine.  Go at your own pace.  But stay with the program.

Here's an example of the format you can use.  We suggest that you put it on a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.  If you do not have that available to you, you can email the list as long as it includes all the fields and all the information.  

Spreadsheet Example:

Name:   Sarah Mason 
Belt Achieved:  Yellow
Day: Date: Duration: Happiness Activity:
1 10/4 10 minutes Wrote in my journal
2 10/5 20 minutes went for a walk on the beach

To email your Belt Level Reports or for questions about the program email, bfc (@ ) 

Example Lists and Steps:

Sarah Mason's Lists

Happiness List:
  • Writing Stories
  • Dancing 
  • Singing and Music
  • Hanging in a cafes sipping lattes
  • Getting together with friends
  • Engaging in a discussion of 
    great depth and intensity
  • Baseball 
  • Taking long walks 


What Dreams Are Made Of  List:
  • Finish my script that I've been working on forever
  • Get my idea for HBO written and produced
  • Get the acknowledgment I've been striving for as a writer
  • Produce my own script for TV and for Film
  • Work on a film project in Boston - my own project
  • Bring widespread awareness of Eating Disorders
    and make crucial strides in recovery and treatment
  • Get this site funded!
  • Start singing and performing again
Steps for item 2 on What Dreams list: Finishing my HBO treatment
  1. Write out general story line 
  2. Research some info on stats from the past
  3. Write out a treatment
  4. Work on the part one by writing out one scene etc. etc.
  5. After script completed, give the draft to others to read
    for feedback
  6. tighten up script, draft 2 etc.
  7. Write down a list of contacts to send to
  8. Write pitch letter 
  9. Make calls
  10. Write down a list of fall events for networking
  11. Work those contacts baby!

back to getting started
on to next step achieving belts

Please Be Advised: the BFC program is not meant as replacement for proper care from a doctor, therapists, nutritionist, support group, etc.  We encourage you to seek professional support in tandem with this program.  It is also not advised for individuals who are actively contemplating suicide or are suffering from a severe eating disorder or mental/emotional disorder.  If this describes you, please contact your local crisis hotline and/or seek treatment from a  mental health professional. Minors should consult with a legal guardian or other adult when considering treatment and providers.  Children under 13 years of age must have parental consent to use the resources on this site.  For more information go to Legal Info and Disclaimer.


Website designed and administered by Sarah Mason, sarah @  Website Logo and  Graphics Designed by Tahara Hasan. Payson Road was created Copyright June 2, 2000.  All rights reserved. Copyright 2000-5 [Payson Road].  All rights reserved. Revised: November 04, 2005 .

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