Fifth of 7 Workshops with Youth at Red Hook Initiative: Self-Love Valentines

This week in celebration of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to do something especially self-loving with the middle-school youth at Red Hook Initiative

Laura drew big red hearts on the dry-erase board and invited everyone to etch out an empowering word or phrase inside the hearts using their pinkie fingers. 

We talked in a big circle about how everyone’s week went, as well as using affirmations, observing negative thoughts and saying loving things in the mirror. One thing about questions we learned from Dr. Lissa Rankin is to ask meaningful ones, so we also asked if there were any moments they felt appreciated or upset, and we talked from there.

Patricia led an 8-minute guided meditation to relax and center us. As we inhaled deeply she guided us to imagine ourselves floating on a fluffy, light and loving cloud. As we exhaled, we imagined placing all of our worries inside a colorful balloon. We watched in our minds as we let it float far away, and when we could barely see it in the distance, it burst with our worries, disintegrating them completely. We repeated this several times and then imagined ourselves floating back down on our cloud while feeling warmth in our hearts and saying, “I am amazing. I am special. I am unique. I am loved.” 

This week the empowering art came in the form of creating unique hand-written love letters to ourselves. Most agreed that it is sometimes easier to tell other people how special they are and how much we love them, than it is to tell ourselves. 

Everyone decorated the cards beautifully using markers, colored pencils, stickers, photographs from PatriciaG Photos and paper square appliques. Some were inspired by "Power Thoughts for Teens" cards by Louise Hay that we put on the tables. These special self-love Valentine's Day cards are super heart-warming. We addressed envelopes to ourselves and mailed them.

As always, we ended the workshop by passing around our heart-shaped mirror and saying something loving to ourselves while looking into our eyes. Then we surprised the kids with organic chocolate chip cookies! It’s Valentine’s Day after all. 

Thanks RHI! We love being with you guys. Thanks to PatriciaG Photos for these lovely pics. Excited to be back in two weeks for workshop #6 - Universe Boxes!