Tea Party


Here is a fun and easy activity that can be adapted for virtually any family in any transition to transform  your event into a celebration. It is not customized and not as in depth  as the Sparks & Leaps process, but it gives you a taste and is something you can do on your own.

"When we come face-to-face with the fear and pain in our psyche, we stand at the gateway to tremendous renewal and freedom. ... When we stop fighting the energy that has been bound in fear, it naturally releases into the boundless sea of awareness. The more we awaken from the grip of fear, the more radiant and free becomes our heart." ~ Tara Brach from Radical Acceptance

Here is how to throw your own tea party.

In a group discussion, have everyone in the family identify the biggest emotional charges around your transition and write or draw pictures of them on pieces of paper.


Pin the pieces of paper onto a stuffed animal or pillow.


Decide on a name for your creation and then put it out of sight for the time being. Create an invitation to your creature/creation for a tea party. Have all family members add some creative touch to the invitation.


Have the entire family participate in preparing a tea party with yummy treats and decorations. Make it as elaborate as possible.


Have everyone either make or find a token gift/offering (could be a song or a found object from nature like a rock) that represents gift/resource/strength/service/contribution they have to assist the family through the transition.


Shortly before the party, put the creature/creation outside your door but have a chair open at the table for it.


When it is time for the party, pretend you hear a knock at the door and go let it in. Bring to the table. Offer it tea and treats. Have everyone say something to it about whatever they wrote/drew. Then go around again and have everyone say something about what is good about the transition this creature represents and thank it for it’s gift. Even if it is something tiny – be creative and find something.


Have everyone offer their gift to the creature and explain why they chose it and what it represents.


Thank it for coming and then you can decide if you want to send it back out the door or “dis-create” it (possibly burning or burying the pieces of paper and doing some kind of energetic cleansing of the pillow/stuffed animal.) Or you can make a place of honor for it and pin new pieces of paper to it with the positive gifts. Emphasise how it can now be a helpful ally or friendly mascot. When the time feels right, lovingly and respectfully take it apart.


Tips on how to adapt for participants:


If really young or even preverbal, have them participate in any possible way and if you need to speak for them, do your best to represent what you believe their authentic response would be. Help them discover their gift by making suggestions and letting them choose.


If an unborn child, make sure there is a high chair or bouncy seat near the table.


For reluctant older kids, teens or skeptical adults, do what ever you can think of to make it enticing. Stress the yummy treats! Sell them on the process by explaining that it is for the benefit of the younger kids or to help you and you just want them to give it a try. Enlist them as helpers by telling them you need their gift of (whatever they are good at) Bring in humor and make it campy.


If anyone refuses to participate, do not  coerce, but ask if they would be willing to just hang out with you and witness you doing it. If they do not want to do this, ask their permission to be represented with an object or just a piece of paper on the chair with their name on it. Promise you will represent them in a way that is respectful and as authentic as possible.


If there is a recently deceased pet, have a dog or cat bed or favorite cushion near the table.


If absent parent (and/or new significant other) set places for them too and make sure that for the duration of the party everyone needs to be polite to the  empty chairs, passing them tea etc,


If there is a transition that involves a changing role of a family member, have an extra chair that the transitioning person can move back and forth from the past to future and have everyone talk to both aspects.

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