|Creative Training - A User's Guide (IIRR, 1998, 226 pages)|
· Use soft voice
Relaxers are used to calm people down from intense involvement in an activity, e.g., at the end of the day, or after a draining activity which involves some sort of conflict resolution.
As above, but can also be used to help participants focus on issues, to assist participants to internally grasp concepts and to help participants in visioning towards some future activity or condition.
A. Guided relaxation activities
This can be as simple as asking participants to observe a few minutes silence, concentrate on their breathing or do a simple group massage. For longer relaxation, you could guide the group in a visioning experience.
Sometimes, groups can be difficult to control; not everybody likes
to meditate or to observe silence. This could lead to the atmosphere not being
conducive to relaxing.
· Ask participants to imagine they are vessels full of water with faucets on their feet. Encourage them to pretend to open the faucets and let all their anxieties drain out.
· For a longer relaxation, meditation type activity, use the following text:
" Slowly, close your eyes. Take three deep breaths, allow the air to come into your body. Breath in slowly and hold the breath for a couple of seconds and then release it. Take a mental survey of your body, begin with your feet, notice which parts are tense and tight and which parts are soft and relaxed. How does your feet feel?
Mentally, travel up to your legs...., now to your torso. Notice how your arms and hands feel. Now focus on your shoulders and neck. If there is any tension, gently breathe into these areas to relax the muscles. Notice the feelings in your head and face, and gently relax these muscles. Now, go down your back and spine, notice how they feel. Pay attention to every part of your body......
Slowly take a deep breath and allow the air coming into your body to relax and release any tension you may have felt....
Now visualize yourself on top of a mountain... feel that light begin to surround your body.... use it to nourish your organs and tissues...your body acts like a sponge and absorbs all the light it can....every cell in your body is being bathed by the light... take a deep breath and feel the peace as your body completely relaxes....
What do you feel on this mountain top? What temperature is it? What do you smell? Everything you see on this mountain is part of you.... slowly bring your awareness back into the center of your physical body... prepare to bring your awareness back into your present situation.... take a few deep breaths and bring your awareness back into the room and open your eyes.... adjust and stretch."
Optional: you can ask some participants to share their feelings, images or any information they may have gained from this reflection, meditation activity.
Reference: Redfield J. Celestine Prophecy: An Experiential
B. Self-relaxation activities
This is where the participants are encouraged to find their own way of relaxing.
My spirit spot
For long workshops, participants are encouraged to pick their Spirit Spot at the start of the workshop. This can be at the foot of a tree a large rock, etc., or, if it is impossible to go outside, then ask participants to think of an image which means something to them. Give enough time at the start and/or at the end of the day for participants to reflect on the activities, on themselves. Or, if it is a workshop on the environment, then reflection can be about nature.
To aid facilitation, the following text can be used:
" Silence. Solitude. Serenity. Here, I can be myself by myself. Here. I can do more than listen to nature around me. Here. I can do more than observe nature - I can be at one with nature."
This activity has been used successfully at Eco-Camps for High Schools.
Reference: Renewing renew: a restoration ecology workshop
manual by Jose Roberto Guevara, published by the Center for Environmental
Concerns, Philippines (Tel/Fax 632 921 1531)
A relaxed, focused, revived group.