We opened with a metta meditation in which I asked them to imagine they were saying loving kindness phrases to themselves as a child. Continuing to speak to that image, I asked them to think of an empowering statement that they would have liked to have heard at that age. Participants formed two lines. As each participant walked in between the lines to receive their certificate, others said that participant’s empowering phrase to them. With a joyful and celebratory tone, they cheered each other on, saying things like “You are loved,” “You’re going to make it,” and “You can be successful”.
With their certificate, we gave each of the guys a “deck” of empowerment cards. I had created cards of the 12 empowering choices on nice heavy paper. Graduates volunteered to pick a card and read it aloud. I suggested that after graduating, they could pick a card and practice with it for the day, or if they were having a difficult time with something, they could pick a card and see what it might offer the situation. The guys expressed gratitude and appreciation.
The Twelve Choices of An Empowered Person
- Basic Goodness
- Mindfulness & Awareness
- Unhook from Drama
- Radical Responsibility
- Transforming Problems into Opportunities
- Living Possibility
- Speaking Peace