Healing Island

Healing Island
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The Healing Island Exercise

Healing Island is a mindful exercise that will take your group into their safe spaces individually and collectively. Invite your group to go to and stay in their safe space(s) but not to feel any pressure to share what they imagine with others.

If possible, actively participate in the exercise, too. This provides the opportunity to break the ice and share your safe space first which often encourages people to do the same.

Tie a knot in a long piece of rope to form a rope big circle and lay it on the ground/floor. Ask your group to stand on the perimeter of the rope circle.

Invite your group to shut their eyes and imagine their safe place, ie a place they feel most at peace. Guide their reflection by asking them to picture how this place looks, sounds and feels.

When ready, invite your group to open their eyes and bring their safe place with them as they enter the circle.

After all individual group members have entered the circle, ask them to talk about their spaces. As your group shares, they are learning a great deal about each other, for along with the space often goes a personal story.

The rope circle becomes a metaphor for an island to which the group can always return to and recapture the spirit of their safe space together. It also holds out the possibility of harmony that the group will continually strive to achieve and to maintain.

See also  Inspiring Check-Ins
Visual Imagination Exercise

I’d like you to get comfortable sitting around the outside of this rope circle.

You may know that the practice of mindfulness is a powerful tool to help us reflect on what is important. To prepare you for our next conversation, I want to first take you on a guided tour of what I’m calling your ‘safe’ place.

Anyone ever heard of visual imagery? Well, it is a way of going someplace else without physically leaving where you are.

I’d like to ask you to close your eyes and imagine a special place, a place where you feel most at peace, a place where you go to get back your strength after a difficult day or a difficult experience. This space might be your bedroom, on a beach, a mountaintop, on your bike, wherever you wish it to be.

Now once you’ve found that place, try to bring all of your senses into your picturing of it. See, hear, smell, taste, and touch it until the feeling that safe space brings starts to fill you up inside.

When you have got it, it will be time to enter the circle and find a place to sit, bringing your safe space with you.

Moment of Reflection
  • How does knowing something personal change how you feel about other people?
  • Were you able to go to and stay in your safe space? What process did you go through in your mind to get there?
  • How does this connect to being present? How can the thoughts, behaviours, and feelings that you used to go to your safe space contribute to developing behavioural norms and distractors?
  • How did it feel for you to be in your safe space, and why?
  • Why did you choose that particular place to go to?
  • How did thinking about distractors and your safe space feel different?
  • How does this connect to creating a Full Value Commitment for our group?
  • Does thinking about your distractors help you to think about how to move away from them? In what way?
  • How do the Full Value Behavioural Norms help to sort our distractors?
See also  Talk with Words and Pictures

The topics of this publication: reflection, self, mindfulness, imagination, emotions, empathy, relaxation, wellbeing

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