In the image above, do you see spooks and villains or innocents bearing lights and sweet treats? Unless you are terrified of children, probably the latter. But the skeletons in our closet and other internal powerful villains and magic witches are not all bad and have delicious treats to offer as well. To shine some light on how to access these goodies with a fun activity, join the Family Skeleton Dance Party.
SKELETON DANCE PARTY
Gather your family, (or just yourself and your courage!), paper, pens, markers or crayons for writing or drawing, clip boards or hard surface and flashlights. Have some fun dance music ready to play. A picture of a friendly skeleton posted on the closet door is helpful too.
Either go in a closet if large enough for everyone to fit in or just open a closet door and sit outside of it. Turn the lights off and flashlights on.
Talk about the concept of a skeleton in the closet and explain ~idiom~, Make it clear that the skeleton is just pretend, trying to help us in some way and needs a little love.
Have everyone write about or draw a picture of their skeleton (a secret part of themselves they do not want to see and do not want others to know about). It can be just a quick scribble. If someone wants to take a lot of time and others are impatient, tell them they can finish later, but that their partial creation will work perfectly for the exercise.
Then on another piece of paper, have everyone write or draw the most loving being they can think of. Someone who is deeply compassionate (friend/family/pet/deity/ character from history or fiction). This can just be represented by one word or a heart . The important part is to focus on the feeling that is evoked by the being. Take a minute for everyone to FEEL deep in their bodies the sensation of being loved and completely accepted by their imagined advocate.
Put the two pieces of paper together with the images face to face. Imagine the skeleton telling it's scariest secrets to the loving being.
Then on a third piece of paper, quickly jot or scribble down anything you can think of that might be useful, good or well intentioned about this scary part of you.
Next, take turns with optional sharing of all three pieces of paper with everyone present or perhaps just one trusted family member. Only if it feels safe, if not they can just give their skeleton a little hug, kiss or friendly pat, and fold up their papers to save for the dance.
Adults go first by giving an example (one that is a little edgy and vulnerable, but not too disturbing for the kids to know about). Be a little dramatic and emphasize the emotions and physical sensations. Highlight any transformations such as constricted muscles relaxing.
Finally put on some music, thank both the skeletons and loving beings for their gifts and invite them to dance.
After the dance, everyone can choose to either keep their pieces of paper and maybe put them in a place of honor, or respectfully dis-create them (can burn or tear up). Just make it clear that you are only destroying the pieces of paper to set what was represented on them free.