Activity time: 30 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Handout 3, Creating an Affirmation
- Pencils or pens
Preparation for Activity
- Copy Handout 3 for all participants.
Description of Activity
While participants are still gathered in their triads, distribute Handout 3. Explain:
Now we will take some moments of quiet for each person to compose an affirmation for the person to whom you were the listener. The affirmation, when delivered, should be two minutes or less. You will have ten minutes to focus on creating an affirmation which you will later speak to the person you listened to.There are many ways we can support one another with these affirmations.
If participants express a desire for an example affirmation, you may share this sample, written for "Jill" who is seeking to be a more emotionally available parent:
Thank you, Jill, for naming and sharing your longings and dreams. You long to be more present to your children, and you face many challenges in life and work that have made this difficult.
May you, Jill, unfurl your wings so that you may gain perspective, so that you may more clearly see what it is you can let go of and what you can claim.
May you trust that even though it can feel like you're all alone in your struggles, you have many friends here who can support you, many friends who struggle, too, to make time for their families.
Even if you know setbacks and disappointments, may you always know that you are held in the embrace of a loving community and sustained by the wondrous spirit of life.
May it be so.
Invite participants to temporarily move to tables to write, if they wish.
After five minutes, re-gather the triads. Introduce the next phase of the sharing with these words, or your own:
Each person will now have the opportunity to give an affirmation, to receive an affirmation, and to witness an affirmation while holding the space. May you express affirmation not only with your words, but with your face and eyes, too. When you are receiving the affirmation, simply receive the words without comment.
Tell the group you will ring the bell to begin the exercise and at two-minute intervals so they can switch roles. Ring the bell, and watch the clock. Ring the bell again at two minutes, at four minutes, and finally at six minutes to end the exercise.
Tell participants they will have five minutes to reflect on the exercise within their triads. Ask each triad to allocate the time evenly, on their own, so that everyone has the same amount of time to speak and to listen. Offer these questions to guide triads in reflection: "How was this experience for you? What did you notice?"
Bring the group back together to process the experience. Use these questions:
- What was it like to name what you wanted, and then receive an affirmation?
- What was it like to compose an affirmation for someone else?
- Did you notice the Spirit of Life in this experience? If so, where and how?