Intention-->Attitude-->Action our intention is to love, heal and educate. We are excited to play and interact (attitude) and we take action by applying the principles of the Son-Rise program. How awesome is that?!
So, what are we doing with volunteers in the beginning? We're building a cocoon for Danniah, one where every person in her program looks at her with a smile and a solid belief in her limitless potential. We're creating a sense of family where we are all captivated by the wonder of who she is, knowing she is fully capable.
One of the ways we begin to build relationships is by learning about something that the person loves. We spend time observing and paying close attention to the things that Danniah loves and is passionate about. Somethings are super easy to figure out. For example, she loves music, dancing, singing, being silly, Sesame Street Muppets (Elmo remains a fav!), the musical Oklahoma!, Laurie Berkner, and the mirror, where dressing up and making faces is so much fun! She loves it when we dance, play,laugh, tickle her! Her eyes twinkle, her smile lights up her face and her laughter fills the room and our spirits! Somethings are a little harder to figure out, like when we can fully sing with her or when we can fully (big or small) join in a particular "ism." As we observe and respond to her reactions, we learn to join her in a way that is comfortable for her and in so doing we learn more about her (more on joining later).
The first step is in this whole process is connecting and building rapport. We set our intention to be inviting and inspiring. Our attitude is one of enjoyment-we enjoy Danniah and delight in all she does. We take action by animating our faces, varying our voice and moving our bodies.
I think sometimes there can be some misunderstanding about the 3Es. People often hear Energy Excitement and Enthusiasm and immediately think 'Big and Loud.' While it's true that sometimes the 3Es are big and loud, they are not always big and loud. Let's face it you can't be big all the time-it becomes predictable and boring if not annoying. I'm reminded of some outtakes I saw of the Jim Carey movie Liar Liar years ago. I don't remember the specifics of what went wrong but Jim Carey said and did something and his costar yelled "Over-Actor!" That's what we don't want to be. We want to be genuine and use a range from small and soft to big and loud. We want to gauge how big and loud or how small and soft according to her reactions. Try big and loud if that seems like it might be fun. If she loves it, go with it! If she doesn't love it, tone it down, try whispering, softening, taking a step back. Most of all we are present emitting loving, accepting energy in all we do. And boy does she love it! It ensures that she is not only part of the process, but most often guiding it. When you see her having fun, relaxing and truly enjoying herself you see how effective it all is.
All that said...she most often does love big and loud. I suspect she would wholeheartedly agree that you should "never underestimate the power of the Snoopy Dance!" Let go, be a kid again and have fun! It really is the most beautiful connection there is.
Monika & Sam