Recently I met Matthew, an 8-year old boy who, while listening to a conversation about Coronavirus, started to cry. “What’s wrong, Matthew?” his father asked. He tried to respond for a while but eventually just said “Everything”. He was right. Everything was wrong. Everything has changed. And it has changed so fast. There is too much emotion, pressure, stress, uncertainty. Matthew, as a child, didn’t know what it was he felt. He is not aware of his feelings and emotions yet. We, adults, are at least able to name our emotions and these exercises will help us do just that.
These therapeutic and spiritual exercises are tailored for students, teachers and parents. The exercises are interactive and invite to sharing our experiences and reflections to inspire and let ourselves be inspired by others. You can do them on a computer, tablet and/or laptop.
How to propose the exercise to others?
I do it in our school campus in Palermo in two ways:
1) Group meeting – with students or teachers. We meet for an online video chat (40′). Everyone does the Online Exercise on their own device. And then we share with each other online.
2) Individual – with parents. I send them a link. They do the exercise whenever they want. At the end they can get inspired by reading reflections from other parents.
The sharing during these interactive exercises is anonymous.
To get started I would recommend finding a peaceful time and place, each exercise will take approximately 15 minutes.
How many exercises?
So far there are these the two presented in this article. Every week I plan to create a new one each week for the foreseeable future. I usually “test” it and get feedback from my students, teachers and parents, review it if necessary and then publish.
I will send the next exercises to Educate Magis to be posted in the Global Stories section. These stories with the resources will be added to a resource “collection” so you can also choose to access all exercises in one place.
What’s the students’ version?
It has the same structure but uses easier concepts; it contains examples and images that teenagers can relate to.
Here are the first 2 exercises
– 1st exercise: A Bunch of Emotions
If you feel like a bubble loaded with emotions ready to explode, it’s normal. This is a period of fundamental changes, when our daily routine has been violated, our mode of attending school has changed rapidly, we’ve stopped meeting friends, going to the gym or restaurant and now we’re spending everyday sitting at home. Changing our habits provokes a lot of emotional responses in us. How can we deal with it? The first step is just to realize it’s normal…
For students: https://forms.gle/xANv4acoMvJ4zXAu5
For adults (teachers, parents): https://forms.gle/YeDpL4hxVcqBHPN58
– 2nd exercise: A Great Opportunity
Our whole world has stopped. It seemed impossible but it has happened. And we are also slowing down. This time is also a great opportunity. To put in order not only our clothes and wardrobes but ourselves. Our interiority. It’s a world retreat. Obligatory. No preacher is needed though. Reality is questioning us on its own. This precious experience is all around us. We just need to enter into it…
For students: https://forms.gle/CDX115QLyaT7AkbW9
For adults (teachers, parents): https://forms.gle/cXUGj1jUGx5ozdi48
-1° esercizio: Una Marea di Emozioni
Per gli alunni: https://forms.gle/KCo9DSRCN2ypyr36A
Per gli insegnanti / genitori: https://forms.gle/bDCVwnVnUq1zmLUM6
-2° esercizio: Una Grande Opportunità
Per gli alunni: https://forms.gle/4YJarb7ykkESHa9A7
Per gli insegnanti / genitori: https://forms.gle/C48S4oh7hW5D2Htz6
If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section bellow. Thank you!
Artur Pruś SJ, from Palermo, Italy.