Serenity Shuffle

Name of Activity: Serenity Shuffle

Group size:  5 - 25

Purpose:  Help participants to embody the serenity prayer as a tool for recovery, create group cohesion, help participants see what they can control and what they can’t.

Props Needed: 

  1. 1 10-foot rope
  2. 1 50-foot rope
  3. serenity shuffle scenarios
  4. 1 Can change and 2 Cannot change pages to label circles

Activity Preparation: 

Prep time needed:  10 minutes

  1. Print off serenity shuffle scenarios
  2. Print of pages with Can Change and Cannot Change printed on them
  3. Prior to class create an open space for play. If you are indoors, put chairs around the perimeter of the room.  If you are outside, find an open space to play that is free of debris or obstacles.

Time needed: 

  • Directions: 5 min
  • Activity: 25 min
  • Debrief: 15 min

Set Up: 

  1. Lay out inside circle with the 10-foot rope.
  2. Lay out outside circle with 50-foor rope.
  3. Label inside circle as can change
  4. Label outside circles as cannot change 

 

 

Activity Directions:

  • Have the participants stand around the outside circle.
  • Explain activity is about putting the lessons of the serenity prayer into practice.
  • Have participants move to the circle they believe is most fitting for each scenario read.
  • Have a mini debrief after each statement to help reinforce learning.
  • Conclude activity with a final debrief.

Facilitator script:

“Let’s gather around the outer circle to hear the directions for today’s group.  As you can see we have two circles. The outer circle is labeled as cannot change and the inner circle is labeled as can change. We are going to put the lessons of the serenity prayer into practice. Remember there are things in life we cannot change and there are things that we can. In a moment, I am going to read a statement, phrase, or scenario and then ask you to move to the circle which best represents whether or not you feel it falls into the category of things you can change or things you cannot change. Once you are in place we will discuss why you choose the circle you are in. Does anyone have any questions? (once questions are answered you can move on)

Ok here is the first scenario. You are in rehab and your roommate decides he doesn't want to stay so he leaves, do you feel this is something you can or cannot change this? Move to the circle that best represents your ability to change the situation. (You might have to reread the scenario more than one time. Once everyone is in place, process their positioning) Ok (pick a participant) Why did you choose cannot change? (If there is a participant in the can change) Why did you choose can change?

(from time to time remind group that there are no wrong answers)

Great let’s reset, everyone back to the outside. Now listen to the second scenario. You are in rehab and your roommate decides he doesn't want to stay, do you feel you can or cannot change what you say in response to this? Move to the circle that best represents your ability to change the situation. (You might have to reread the scenario more than one time. Once everyone is in place, process their positioning) Ok (pick a participant) Why did you choose can change? (If there is a participant in the cannot change) Why did you choose cannot change?

Great let’s reset, everyone back to the outside. Now listen to the third scenario. You are in rehab and your roommate decides he doesn't want to stay, do you feel you can or cannot change what others do in response to this? Move to the circle that best represents your ability to change the situation. (You might have to reread the scenario more than one time. Once everyone is in place, process their positioning) Ok (pick a participant) Why did you choose cannot change? (If there is a participant in the can change) Why did you choose can change?

Great let’s reset, everyone back to the outside. Now listen to the fourth scenario. You are in rehab and your roommate decides he doesn't want to stay, do you feel you can or cannot change what you do in response to this? Move to the circle that best represents your ability to change the situation. (You might have to reread the scenario more than one time. Once everyone is in place, process their positioning) Ok (pick a participant) Why did you choose can change? (If there is a participant in the cannot change) Why did you choose cannot change?

(while it might be tedious, it is important to go through each of the four related scenarios to help reinforce what we can and cannot change) Good job everyone! Ok here is another situation.

Ok here is the next scenario. You are in a grocery store and all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of the wine isle do you feel you can or cannot change your reaction to this? (You might have to reread the scenario more than one time. Once everyone is in place, process their positioning) Ok (pick a participant) Why did you choose cannot change? (If there is a participant in the can change) Why did you choose can change?

(from time to time remind group that there are no wrong answers)

Great let’s reset, everyone back to the outside. Now listen to the next scenario. You are in a grocery store and all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of the wine isle do you feel you can or cannot change your response to this? Move to the circle that best represents your ability to change the situation. (You might have to reread the scenario more than one time. Once everyone is in place, process their positioning) Ok (pick a participant) Why did you choose can change? (If there is a participant in the cannot change) Why did you choose cannot change?

Great let’s reset, everyone back to the outside. Now listen to the next scenario. You are in a grocery store and all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of the wine isle do you feel you can or cannot change other’s reactions to this? Move to the circle that best represents your ability to change the situation. (You might have to reread the scenario more than one time. Once everyone is in place, process their positioning) Ok (pick a participant) Why did you choose cannot change? (If there is a participant in the can change) Why did you choose can change?

Great let’s reset, everyone back to the outside. Now listen to the next scenario. You are in a grocery store and all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of the wine isle do you feel you can or cannot impact other’s reactions to this? Move to the circle that best represents your ability to change the situation. (You might have to reread the scenario more than one time. Once everyone is in place, process their positioning) Ok (pick a participant) Why did you choose can change? (If there is a participant in the cannot change) Why did you choose cannot change?

(you can continue with another scenario or if the group is getting the just of the exercise move on to debriefing)

Awesome job everyone. Give yourselves a hand. (start to clap). Now let’s talk about this for a minute. (Debrief)

 

Debrief: 

  1. What did you notice about this activity?
  2. What did you learn as a result of this activity?
  3. Now that you know this what is the implication for your life?
  4. So how does this knowledge affect your current frustrations in life?
  5. What are other scenarios that this can apply to?
  6. What is challenging to accept about the things we cannot change?
  7. What is challenging about the responsibility to change the things we can?
  8. What is the difference between being able to impact a situation and change it?

Recovery/Wellness Metaphor: So much of life’s frustrations are based on energy spent in trying to change things we simply cannot change or in not changing the things we can change. Helping participants place their energy in the proper place will ease a lot of suffering.

Role of Facilitator: It is significant that the inside circle be marked can change as that is indeed most of what we can change is inside us while most of what we cannot change is outside of us. This is another thing that is nice to debrief is in general what we can change is inside and what we cannot change is outside.

Variations: Feel free to change the scenarios to best suit your participants needs. For participants who are less mobile give them a place card with their name on it and ask them where they would like it placed. You can also have index cards with Can Change and Cannot Change on them that participants can hold up rather than have to move.


 


 

Serenity Shuffle Scenarios

You are in rehab

You are in rehab and your roommate decides he doesn't want to stay so he leaves, do you feel you can or cannot change this?

You are in rehab and your roommate decides he doesn't want to stay, do you feel you can or cannot change what you say in response to this?

You are in rehab and your roommate decides he doesn't want to stay, do you feel you can or cannot change what others do in response to this?

You are in rehab and your roommate decides he doesn't want to stay, do you feel you can or cannot change what you do in response to this?

 

In a grocery store

You are in a grocery store and all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of the wine isle do you feel you can or cannot change your reaction to this?

You are in a grocery store and all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of the wine isle do you feel you can or cannot change your response to this?

You are in a grocery store and all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of the wine isle do you feel you can or cannot change other’s reactions to this?

You are in a grocery store and all of a sudden you find yourself in the middle of the wine isle do you feel you can or cannot Impact other’s reactions to this?

 

At a sports event

You are in a sports event and all of a sudden you find yourself craving for beer do you feel you can or cannot change your reaction to this?

You are in a sports event and all of a sudden you find yourself craving for beer do you feel you can or cannot change your response to this?

You are in a sports event and all of a sudden you find yourself craving for beer do you feel you can or cannot change other’s reactions to this?

You are in a sports event and all of a sudden you find yourself craving for beer do you feel you can or cannot Impact other’s reactions to this?