Enough small, attractive, vari-colored stones for everyone in the group (perhaps from the shore of one of the Finger Lakes). Have the group sitting in a circle, close enough to each other to hand off and receive stones easily.
"This warm-up exercise is designed to help us get in touch with three aspects of life that contribute to our overall health and well-being: a right relationship with ourselves; a right relationship with all other living beings; and a right relationship with the earth."
"After everyone has selected a stone from the basket that I will pass around, we will each share briefly with the group:
- Our full name and some mention of its possible meaning or significance to us, its family or ethnic origin, etc. (expressing right relationship with oneself);
- An animal that has been special in our life, as a pet, e.g., or as an object of fascination and interest (expressing right relationship with all other living beings);
- A place on earth that is special to us as a place of beauty, comfort, good memories, inspiration, relaxation (expressing right relationship with the earth)."
"I will start, and when I have finished sharing, everyone should pass their stone to the person on their left and receive the stone from the person on their right. This is the process that we will follow after every sharing. By the time we have finished the exercise, everyone will have had their stone touched by everyone in the group and will have touched everyone else's stone, and we will each end up with our own stone."
"You may keep your stone for the rest of your life, or give it back to the universe at some point. You might keep it in your pocket, your pocketbook, on your desk, or on a shelf and it can serve as a reminder of each person who shared and with whom you connected during the exercise; it can serve as a reminder of this workshop/session/training/experience and of all the things that you will learn from it; and it can serve as a "touch-stone" to rub when you are feeling stressed.
"My name is . . . . . . . etc."
(You may have to remind and prompt about the way to pass off and receive the stones after your sharing as leader.)
Right relationship with oneself can be expressed in a variety of ways:
- "My name is and my favorite color is . . . and why,"
- "My name is and I was born in (country, city, state, province, etc.),"
- "My name is and my parents are/were (professions, careers),"
- "My name is . . . and what gives me great joy in life is . . .,"
- "My name is . . .and when I retire I am going to . . .," etc.
Right relationship with all other living beings can also be expressed in a multiplicity of ways:
- "My spouse/partner/children/grandchildren/ favorite friend is/are special because . . . ,"
- "What I value most in my friendships/co-worker relationships is . . .,"
- "It is easier for me to forgive someone who has wronged me if . . .," etc.
Right relationship with the earth can also be expressed in many different ways:
- "What I do to care for the earth is . ,"
- "One way that the earth nourishes me is . . .," etc.
It is useful and helpful to process the exercise a little bit at the end and to allow for some expression of how it felt to do it.