Comfortability Continuum - An exercise for the youth to get in touch
with their feelings, needs, and wants and share these with others.
Participants stand in the middle of the room while a facilitator
calls out questions. For example: "How comfortable are you with
authority? How comfortable are you with expressing your feelings of
joy? Anger? Etc. As the participants listen to each question, each person will
move to the spot in the room which represents their position on a continuum of possible feelings--
from most comfortable on one side of the room to least comfortable on
the other. This exercise promotes the concept that our feelings and
desires are natural and it is safe to share them with others.
Milling - Self Appreciation
Participants will take turns standing before another participant, and one person in each pair
will share something they like about themselves. The other person
will say thank you, and then each person will find another participant with whom to repeat the exercise.
Milling - Exploring Triggers
After a short discussion on what being "triggered" means, each
participant will walk up to another person and one person will share about
an experience that triggers them. In the middle of the exercise, the facilitator will
ask participants to add what they would do differently the next time they feel triggered. Participants are encouraged to experiment with new ideas
without judging whether they will work or not.
Milling - Eye contact
Participants mill around the room and look each person in the eye as
they pass by. Then we will have a discussion about eye contact.
Each exercise will be followed by a sharing circle.
More complete details on the class structure will gladly be provided
A Reference for Lisa Stein and Heart of Now for Youth
"As a facilitator and coordinator of a youth leadership group, it has
been my pleasure to arrange and experience presentations from some of
the state's most exciting thinkers in the fields of civil rights,
leadership, and empowerment. Of those presentations, that given to
LEAD recently by Lisa Stein for the Heart of Now program stood out in
"The presentation was both age-appropriate and respectful. Lisa and her
colleague addressed our young people in a way that acknowledged their
individual wisdom and capacity for wisdom. At the same time, they
avoided using language and concepts that would go over teens' heads.
LEAD champions youth rights and respect for young people, and the
facilitators of this presentation were right in step with our high
standards. They seemed to really get the idea of youth empowerment.
"Lisa and Jenny asked questions that invited young people to look
deeper into their own beliefs about the world and themselves. Teens
and adult volunteers alike commented on making new insights. In one
activity, the group members were asked to arrange themselves based on
their comfort levels with different situations. In this way, the
facilitators let the group process in physical, emotional, cognitive,
and interpersonal ways. They were able to compare their positioning
with that of other group members and with the expectations of how they
would respond. In this way, individuals in the group were able to
connect with one another and learn about themselves.
"Underlying the techniques used by the facilitators to lead the group
through this process was an obvious expertise in creating a safe group
space. The activities and directions they did were made effective by
the competent, reassuring, and respectful environment they created.
"Although Lisa and Jenny invited the group to explore more intense
emotional issues, I felt confident that they were able to help the
teens process these emotions in a safe way. At the same, the
activities were interesting and enjoyable.
Here are a few comments about the presentation from young people in the group:
- 'It was fun. They got everybody into it.'
- 'They made sure everybody was comfortable and engaged. It just worked.'
"As a group facilitator, I was both comfortable with the emotional
safety of the group and impressed with the content and effect of the
presentation. Before and after the presentation, Lisa was a pleasure
to communicate with. She sought out ways that she could cater the
presentation to the specific needs of our group. She was both warm and
"I am happy to give Lisa, Jenny, and the Heart of Now program my
confident recommendation as a presentation for young people."
LEADership Groups Coordinator, LEAD