I accept the universe! — Margaret Fuller
IN TODAY'S SESSION... the group learned the third Principle concept of acceptance of everyone in our congregations. They heard a story, "Odd Velvet," about a girl who is a bit different than everyone else but eventually is accepted and loved. We talked about our own differences and why they make us special and unique. Participants also learned a loving kindness walking mediation that gave them an opportunity to send thoughts of love to people all over the world and they sang a fun, new song about being unique. This session demonstrated how everyone is accepted in our congregations regardless of who they are or where they come from and modeled how we celebrate the differences each person brings.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... your family. What makes your family unique? What are you especially proud of? Think about every individual in the family (even pets) and have everyone tell one thing that is special about that person or animal.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try...
A Family Adventure. Has your family ever gone to an unfamiliar place? Have you moved, or have the children started attending a new school? Talk about that experience and how it felt? Did you feel accepted? What would have made you feel more accepted in your new surroundings? Consider ways to intentionally welcome new neighbors or new children at school. What can each family member do to make the newcomers feel welcome? Each time someone new moves in nearby or starts school with your children, you might make it your practice to send a card, make a cake, or offer to take new neighbors on a tour of your favorite spots in town.
Family Discovery. There are numerous books and websites about mediation and yoga. The Fit Sugar website shows some simple yoga poses and has great pictures of animals doing the poses.
A Family Game. Give everyone a pencil and four pieces of paper no larger than 4x5 inches. Make sure all the paper is the same color. Ask every family member to write four things they like about themselves, one per piece of paper. Don't put your name on it! Fold each piece of paper into quarters and put in the center of the table or in a bowl or basket. (If any family members are unable to write, ask one person in the family to assist them, without telling the others what they write for the person.) One at a time, each family member chooses a piece of paper and reads it aloud or has someone else read it aloud for them. Now the whole family guesses who the note is about. Take turns until every paper has been read.
A Family Ritual. Explore loving kindness meditation together. Set aside five to ten minutes, at the same time each week, for your entire family to meditate on sending love to each family member, a group of people, or just out into the world. You can do a walking meditation or simply sit in a group. This could be a nice ritual before bed; mediation calms our minds and relaxes the body, which can help us sleep.