As featured in
The New Zealand Listener & Sussex Life magazines
C r e a t e d b y
Richard K Potter
BA Hons PGCE MA
Writing for Wellbeing
1. Place a postcard sized 'Post-it' note on a wall with your name clearly written on it.
2. On six separate Post-it notes write down (a) three good things that have happened to you and (b) three bad things that have happened to you at different points in your life.
Start each one with your age at the time so that you can stick them on the wall, in chronological order, starting with the earliest first and the most recent at the bottom.
3. The group should end up with columns of events side by side for each member. When everyone has done this take time to look at everyone each others' timeline.
4. A couple of nominated members of the group can now randomly swap the Post-it notes of all the group members around (not the names) so that each timeline has a different story.
5. Group members should then look at their new story and those of the others.
6. Group members could then discuss the significance of this.
Idea by Richard K Potter.
Activity 1: my history, our history
Activity 2: 'an experiment in gratitude'
Firstly you might want to check out SoulPancake's 'an experiment in gratitude' (Science of Happiness) on YouTube and see their short video, which is worth watching!
1. Think of someone really influential (and has made a difference) in your life.
2. Write down as much as you can about why this person is so important to you.
3. Call that person and read what you wrote about them.
According to the study "expressing your gratitude will make you a happier person!"
Activity 3: what are you saying?
1. Create one of these speech bubbles for yourself, being as honest as you can about the things you say from day to day. Discuss with your group if these reflect your inner dialogue/what you say to yourself.
2. Create another speech bubble with the title 'what am I not saying?'
3. Compare both of your speech bubbles and discuss this again within the group.
Activity 4: the hero's/heroine's journey
Joseph Campbell said that 'you are the hero of your own story' and for those who 'take up the call' there is a narrative and a process of unfolding in the monomyth of 'the hero's journey'.
1. Have a look at a visual representation of The Hero's Journey and see that it consists of three separate stages including the 'departure', 'initiation' and 'return'.
2. Go through the stages as a group and come up with examples. Beowulf, Homer's Odyssey and Don Quixote are good literary examples, as are The Matrix, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. The lives of Buddha, Krishna and Christ are also examples.
3. With Campbell's words in mind create your own Hero's Journey from your own life experiences.
Idea by Richard K Potter.