Life journey

General Aim

– To enable people to look at their life experiences in perspective

Learning goals

– To learn to recognise highlights
– To listen to the other and trying to relate to its experiences
– To exercise memory

Short description/background/Introduction/Tips for the trainer

Exercise on remembering and retracing some of life’s highlights. The facilitator should tell participants before the start of the session that sharing important moments of their lives is personal, that they can decide what to tell and what not to tell, and that they should not feel pressured to open up to the group forcibly.

Target

youth and adults

Suggested group

5-10 people

Materials

pens, papers

Duration

90 min

Procedure/steps

Introduction
Give each participant a large sheet of paper and ask them to draw a winding pathway. At the middle of the path, ask them to draw a circle. To the left of the pathway, ask them to write “road already traveled” and to the right – “the path yet to come”.

Step 1 “Looking back” (30 min)
1. Ask participants to reflect and include elements of where they come from: places, culture, language, and/or spirituality.
2. Ask them to reflect on their companions throughout this journey: friends, families but also spiritual leaders, pets.
3. Ask them to draw or list some of the favorite places along the road they have been on this journey so far.
4. Ask them to identify two milestones of their journey. Ask them what key things they have already accomplished and represent it on their pathway.
5. Ask them to draw a mountain and a river to symbolize two obstacles they have already overcome. How did they overcome them?
6. Ask them to draw the survival kit at the top of the page. Within it they have to write down what helped them during difficult times. These could be not only people but also values.

Step 2 “Looking forward” (30 min)
1. Ask participants to write their hopes and wishes toward the end of the path. These might be for themselves, their family members, friends etc..
2. Ask them to identify some places they wish to see on the rest of their journeys and ask them to mark it on the pathway.
3. Ask them to look at the milestones they have already achieved and then ask them to mark three future milestones.
4. Ask participants to draw a mountain to symbolize one obstacle that they can face in the future. How do they think to overcome it?
5. Ask the participants to mark the songs that they will be taking with them in their future life journey. Ask them to reflect on why those particular songs, what they mean to them.

Step 3: “Looking Down at Your Journey” (30 min)
1. Give participants some time to reflect on their Journey.
2. Ask them what are some good memories that they will take with them to the future and let them draw these as stars along their Journey.
3. Ask them to give names to their paths to symbolize what this Journey of Life means to them.
4. Ask them to look back over everything they have spoken about. What is the lesson they learnt during their life journey? Would they like to share it with others?

Step 4: “Sharing the journey” (30 min)
1. When all “Journeys of Life” are finished give time to participants to walk around and look at the stories of other participants.
2. Gather participants in the circle and ask for volunteers to share their story.

Evaluation/Final debriefing

Finish the activity with the reflection on how participants felt, what were the most difficult aspects to identify, if they have discovered something new or forgotten some key elements.
Ask the group: What was it like for you to tell your story to this group? – What was it for you to hear all of these stories? – What insights have you gained about yourself and your group friends?