This was a class for the kids – a class where they were first, and adults were not allowed to ask questions. A class where they got to ask anything they wanted and were not given pat answers or dogma or made to feel stupid or less than. It was a class about acknowledgment and empowerment and practical tools and information that the kids could use to change their lives. And that is exactly what these kids chose to do!
I would arrive each morning with more snacks and bottled water, to find kids and adults already engaged in basketball, crafts projects, helping to set up, talking to Ricky and, after the first day, asking to have their Bars run and playing games with the other “older” class members – that was us. As Gary talked with the kids – and Ricky often joined him, it became clear that this was no ordinary class. For one thing, the kids themselves were a group of some of the most amazing, courageous, fun, willing to change, generous people I’ve ever met. The dialogue between Gary, Ricky and the kids was not just lively, spontaneous, and thought provoking – it was filled with an honesty and a vulnerability from all that rocked my world.
This class was following the energy in action. Forget plans, exact timing and structure. The kids knew when they needed a change of activity and went for it. They created dance contests, art creations of all kinds, sports games – often using tools they had learned. What else could we do here? – Ask your body if it wants to eat that – Is that your thought or someone else’s? – Then Gary and Ricky would lead another discussion, and more ideas and questions would be tossed around, and you could see the amazing number of wow! moments that kids and adults were both having.
On the third day, Dr. Dain Heer had Ricky Williams up on the massage table, doing the energy work he does (ESB). The kids were initially interested but a bit wary. After Ricky got off the table, Dain invited the kids to come up and either be on the table or just put their hands over the person’s body and “feel” the energy in what ever way they did. It was amazing to see how quickly they went from skepticism to curiosity to enthusiasm. Watching one person on the table, surrounded by 8 – 10 kids and adults, all participating in facilitating the “client” was like watching the Kingdom of We in action.
By the end of the four days, the change in everyone was palpable. Kids who had been slouching as they walked were now moving with confidence. Kids who had “not liked” each other were working on projects together and the adults were more spontaneous and open than I’ve ever seen anywhere. There was a sense of true joy and possibility and gratitude for just being alive.
I am so grateful to have been a part of this class. Those kids, and the changes they were willing to make, have inspired me to be more than I thought was possible. How did we all get so lucky??!!