When human beings have milestones: a new year, a new house, a new job, or when we lose someone, we have celebrations. Celebrations of life, of memories, of accomplishments, of where we are now, because of this person we lost. This delicious and potent part of being human is unique to our species, and with that uniqueness our humanity resides.
To help us celebrate ourselves and others, past present and future, we create art, dance, music, poetry, prose- all the Peace Arts. With these peace arts, we weave and express feelings, thoughts, love, appreciation. Usually some kind of prayer pulls our celebrations together.
Historically, the “toast”, “cheers”, “bottoms up”, helped and lubricated with alcohol, was always a call to the future, A kind of prayer of goodwill, or prayer for success. Now, when we are more solitary in our celebrations, we must more consciously apply the formula for celebration, so as to preserve our humanity, process our emotions over change and loss, change and gain, and just change.
The Procedure of Celebration
Introductions: naming ourselves and others in the space,
Agreeing our goals and intentions here today.
Sharing: food, drink, feelings, checking in
Presentations: things, creating or co-creating, gifts, accolades, memorials, praise
Dance, Song, Poem, Expression in the Moment
Acknowledgement, feedback, checking out
“Prayer”: Concluding Words for the future.
When we do Empatharian Peace Arts Groups, each meeting is a celebration, a memorial, an intention, an accomplishment celebrated. We use verbal language for a lot of the meeting, but when we get deep, we use Empatharian, the gestural language so that we can authentically connect and communicate on an intuitive level.
Just as a Celebration has a host or hosts, an Empatharian Peace Arts Group has a facilitator who is trained to give each participant opportunity to contribute and participate equally. There are rules about communication, so that if a participant forgets the rules and is violent, judgmental, or criticizing in a hurtful way, they are reminded by other participants, by the facilitator, and invited to re-examine their intentions.
Intentions in Empatharian Peace Arts Groups
Empatharian has a structured curriculum of practice and learning so that all can grow and expand to the next Empatharian ranks. The structure is set up as intentions for each meeting, so that learning builds on the previous session.
Emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and non-violent communication are part of the curriculum, but also processes where you will look and consider parts of your own life, past, present and future. Letting go of patterns that are not serving you, and developing new constructive self-nurturing habits becomes part of the intention for all groups, and grows as the group interacts.
There is a physical training as well, doing the Empath Stretch, to begin, and continuing on to create the language with expressing your own stories and intentions. Back and forth conversation and discussion is an important continuing element that feeds the impact and warmth of the group.
The groups do breathing exercises, tapping techniques, self-massage, and energy generating practices, all of which are part of the Empatharian credo and intention for betterment of each individual’s health and well being.
Prayer? Concluding words
Using the word “prayer” at the end is not done, in deference to the sometimes religious connotation of the word prayer. We create affirmations and statements which with consensus, express a thought going out, to the future, to the ether. Who are we to say who hears our silent or spoken thoughts. We are using this concluding opportunity to express our luminosity, to shine our light, and so with practice, it grows.