Touching the Sky

Type of Activity: Trust

Props Needed: None

Set Up: (This activity is similar to Levitation, also found in the Trust Section).  Need a lot of room for this one – being outside is the best place. You’ll need no less than 11 participants in a group. If you make two groups you must have a facilitator with each group. First you need to divide the group (or groups) in half and have each half form a line, each line facing each other (we’re setting up just like the zipper in Cookie Machine also in the Trust Section). Plays well with 11 to 13 people per group (multiple groups can play at the same time) for 25 to 35 minutes.

Process: Next, ask for a participant (the active participant) who would like to be lifted assume the trusting position (as in Trio Trust Lean also in the Trust Section) in the middle of the two lines. At this point the lines of participants (the spotters) get ready to lift the active participant standing in the middle of the lines. The active participant initiates proper commands, “Spotters Ready?” Spotters, (some ready to support the shoulders and upper body, others ready to lift the legs) respond, “Ready!” The active participant states, “Ready to Trust!” The spotters respond, “Trust us _______” (participants name). At this point the active participant leans back into the arms of the spotters. Have the two spotters nearest the active participants head support the head with their nearest hand. The spotters closest to the legs pick up the lower torso and legs and reform their part of the zippered lines – as in Cookie Machine. The active participant is now lying in a bed of arms. At this point the spotters slowly raise the participant up to the sky to the limit of the shortest spotters reach. The spotters can then hold the participant there for a few moments. (The experience is extra powerful if the active participant can keep his eyes open!) When ready, the spotters slowly lower the participant down. We like to use what Tom Smith calls, “grounding the participant back to the earth.” The spotters, keeping their backs nice and straight, carefully lowering the participant all the way to the ground. Once the participant is down the spotters pull their hands from under and place them on top of the participant pressing down lightly “grounding” the person to safety (This part is very powerful for the active participant if he has his eyes closed!) Once the participant is grounded the spotters can help him up to standing.

Note: As you might have already considered, this is a very serious type of activity. It can be a very powerful bonding experience for the group. With this in mind facilitate the energy where it needs to be.

Variations: Some facilitators like to add a rocking motion, movement from head-to-toe, during the lifting and lowering part of the activity – stopping the rocking for a still look at the sky. Some groups also start this activity by doing the cookie Machine activity and raising the “cookie” up to “bake” then lowering them back down to the ground.

Debriefing Topics:

  • What did it feel like to be supported by the group?
  • What feelings did you experience?
  • How did it feel to be responsible for someone else’s safety?

For more resources see: The Empty Bag

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