Don’t Do Anything That Isn’t Play! A big part of Empathy and Compassion, to ourselves
and to others, is the energy behind everything we do. It’s better when we make
choices with a desire to make life better, rather than out of fear, guilt, shame,
duty, or obligation.
When we are conscious of the life-enriching purpose behind our actions; when the only energy that motivates us is simply to make life wonderful for ourselves and others — then even hard work has a part of play in it. Otherwise any joyful activity done out of obligation, duty, fear, guilt, or shame will lose its joy and eventually trigger resistance.
This EmpathyPlay Game was inspired by the practice of Empathy Circles in Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-violent Communication meetings. Ten or so people sit in a circle. Who ever “needs Empathy” is given 15-20 minutes or so (the total meeting time divided by the number of people wanting Empathy) to share what is alive inside them, while every one else mostly Listens. This is what Empathy is: a Loving Whole Presence in the Now, focusing Attention on another Person & what they are Experiencing. Empathy is mostly listening.
The Speaker 1st decides what type of topic they want to explore: 1) a Negative issue, problem, or situation; 2) a positive celebration; or 3) a general CheckIn to what is Alive inside them Now. They then share a Backstory around the Negative or Positive topic, in just one or two sentences, to give everyone a general idea of what’s going on. The Speaker then begins sharing what is Alive Inside them now around this topic (and Receiving Empathy) while the group Listens (Giving Empathy). All are actually Giving & Receiving Empathy together !
People listening in the Empathy Circle only speak when: 1) they need Clarification on what is said by the Speaker, 2) to Acknowledge when ever the Speaker has shared something especially Vulnerable, or 3) they make Guesses at the Speaker’s Observations, Feelings, and Needs. Gently Reframing Judging Observations or Feelings into non-judging Heartfelt ones. Listeners sensitively allow the Speaker to go Deeper into the Speaker’s emotions, and ultimately guide the Speaker to the Needs behind their Feelings. The session is over when the Speaker is “Complete” or Done for Now.
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Last Updated : 8/2/2020