On a cloudy Tuesday a diverse group of women came together at the Civics Works building in the historic Clifton Mansion on the grounds Clifton Park. It feels like you are stepping into another time surrounded by the crumbling marble walls and the wrap around porch over looking the park.
When the morning logistics meeting concluded, I introduced myself, WombWork Productions and the Virtues Project. WombWork could not drum due to offices on the premises so instead the audience and I performed virtues themed poem called “I am transforming my character”. After that they were honorary members of Nu World for the day.
From there I performed water magic where I explained we are born pure like a clear glass of water but somewhere along the way we here see feel and experience negativity and it clouds our vision. When we use virtues we can see ourselves clearly again and flush out that negativity.
After going over each of the five strategies: speaking the language of virtues, recognizing teachable moments, setting clear boundaries, honoring the spirit, and companioning; we did a deep breathing exercise and took a break.
Everyone was up and socializing after the break so this was perfect time to do a virtue scavenger hunt exercise. Some questions that you had to ask team members were ‘find someone who showed caring by hugging someone today’, ‘find someone who use joyfulness by singing in the shower today’. The group really loved this exercise because it was a unique way of getting to know people better.
Now everyone took there seats and I explained the processes of giving a virtue acknowledgment after a virtue card pull. Two volunteers came to the center and picked a virtue card without looking. The first reader was told to read the card front and back and tell there partner how that virtue called to them. How the used it in a shinning moment and how they may have used it in a moment of difficulty. The partner listens actively and does not interrupt then gives them a virtue acknowledgment after the reader has completed. After that they switch. The individuals were very moved and emotional. They appreciated the honesty from there partner and being able to be listened to completely without judgement.
Once the couple modeled how to listen and give an acknowledgment, the group broke up into pairs to practice. After 15 minutes we came back together the group gave feedback. Many people found it difficult to just listen. I closed with an short evaluation and thanks and praise for their participation.
Thank you to Tina Hike-Hubbard from Enterprise Community Partners for facilitating this training session for the volunteer mentors