New Activity for Beauty and the Beast – BELIEFS

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    • #210611
      benjackson
      Keymaster

      We’ve obviously performed to a lot of schools with Beauty and the Beast. I’ve just added this new section about Beliefs in there, and as such, many schools will not have received it. I thought I would post it here so people can use it if they want.

      If you had Beauty and the Beast years ago, we changed and added HUGE amounts of content. You may want to check it out, just go to the curriculum section on the website. http://www.alphashows.com.au/curriculum

      Anyway, here’s the newest activity:

      > The Beast – A lesson in how beliefs can effect our lives

      The character of the Beast is a great lesson in how disempowering negative beliefs about people and ourselves can have undesired effects in our lives. This is REMARKABLY relevant for children. Especially as children progress through the middle and later years of primary school they are starting to make sense of the world and their place in it. The smallest event can have significant ramifications for a child. We often think that it’s how a child is made up in terms of genes and DNA and gender etc that determines their quality of life, but really, it is the beliefs and attitudes they develop as habit in these formative years that really effects what they will accomplish in their lives.

      The life of the Beast is no easy one – as many people claim their lives to be as well (not easy). The Beast’s ‘global beliefs’ about himself and therefore what other people think of him control virtually all his behaviour. It’s not that his life is hard, it’s that he has set up (subconsciously) his ‘model of the world’, his belief systems, in a way that makes it very difficult to be fulfilled and happy.

      For example, the very first time we see the Beast on stage, Papa Billy has arrived at his castle, lost in the woods. Papa Billy is cold and hungry and knocks on the castle doors to ask for shelter (despite the children screaming at him to go away!). When the Beast sees him he dismisses what Papa Billy tells him as the truth and assumes (based on his beliefs about himself and the reason Papa Billy would be knocking on his door) that he must be there to ‘stare at the Beast’ and to ‘Take a picture’, to satisfy his curiosity. This results in the Beast becoming angry over an entirely imagined circumstance. How often have we been guilty of this in our lives? Of creating a false reality, and to be upset about that creation. This has ramifications for all those around us as well, Luminaire/Mrs Potts, and most especially Papa Billy who gets locked up in the dungeon for doing no wrong.

      Later in the show, the Beast has had some massive ‘leverage’ applied to him by the audience and the characters – ie. he has been associated to the pain of NOT changing his behaviour, and the the potential pleasure of changing and being ‘kinder’ and ‘nicer’. With the children’s help he realises how he should treat Belle. The interesting thing to note here, however, is that even though he has lots of leverage (ie. motivation) to behave in a very different way, the beliefs about himself still pervade his life. For example, he has been encouraged by Mrs Potts and the children to ask Belle to dance with him. Belle says “Yes I would love to” and he replies “Oh it’s ok I understand…” before realising she hasn’t said ‘no’, but YES! In shock, he replies “You would?!” and Belle says yes and so they dance. Even now, his belief about who he is and his lack of self-esteem result in him coming to the incorrect conclusion. The difference in the 2nd instance however, is that because he is not so governed by anger and fear, he is more open to eventually hearing the truth despite his beliefs – which would go a long way to shaking those disempowering beliefs anyway. Another example of how love is the antidote to fear and heals all things.

      One extra thing to note is that we must learn to bless and find the gift in those that ‘wrong’ us or the seemingly ‘bad’ things that happen to us. Whilst the children were trying to warn Papa Billy to not knock on the Beast’s door, they might be interested to realise when you talk with them afterwards that it was this single event that set in motion the entire story which resulted in Belle finding her soul mate and the Beast becoming human again. So from a horrible event, destiny was served. Reinforce the belief in your children that no matter what happens in life it is ‘all for good’.

      So in the story, the Beast transforms back into the human he once was, because of Belle’s love for him. She has a moment of seeing deep within the Beast’s soul and sees the real him, not the behaviour, and therefore has love for that soul. Now the Beast has an instant transformation and therefore, we assume, an instant transformation in belief and behaviour. Although this is a magical fairytale, the point that I would like to suggest this makes, and how it is relevant to our own lives, is that instant transformation is also possible in all of us. We all have limiting beliefs that hold us back from our full potential, and it is possible to instantly destroy those beliefs and transform our lives for the better in a moment.

      ACTIVITY: BELIEF BUSTING EXERCISE

      Using whatever language you feel is appropriate for the age level of the children you are working with, see if you can elicit a belief or beliefs that they have that are ‘limiting’. Examples of a limiting belief are things like:

      “I can’t do that because I’m too young”

      “I can’t do that because I’m not smart enough”

      “I am not very confident”

      “Nobody likes me”

      “People think I’m different / I am different to everyone else”

      “I can’t do maths”

      “People that have X or look like X are not as good/smart as me”

      “I can’t sing / dance / play sport”

      Once you have elicited the belief have them write it down. Have them close their eyes and ask questions that will cause them to doubt those beliefs, but more importantly, ask questions that will make them associate to the pain of holding on to those beliefs, the pain in the past, in the present, and in the future. Examples:

      “What has this belief cost you in the past? Who has it hurt? Who else has it hurt? How has it hurt you? Before today, because you believed this thing, what have you missed out on in life?

      “What is this belief costing you today? What pain is it causing you today because you belief this thing? Who is it hurting right now? How is it hurting you right now?

      “Think into the future 1 month / 1 year / 5 years / 10 years. How terrible will your life be if you continue to believe this thing? Who else will you hurt in the future? How will your life suffer?”

      Then the most important part is to bring them back into a pleasurable experience (some may be upset at the above), so ask questions that elicit what they would prefer to believe, what is the truth, etc. You can link back to Beauty and the Beast, asking what Belle believes etc. Eg:

      “What’s the truth? What would you rather believe about X? What did Belle believe? If you could choose what you believe like you choose what to order from a menu, what would you choose? How great would that feel? What about in 1 month / 1 year / 5 years, how great will your life be because you changed a simple little belief right now?” etc etc…

      Ensure you run through the exercise in its entirety and end on coming up with something better to believe. Ex of empowering beliefs, that relate to those above:

      “I can do anything I put my mind to, no matter my age”

      “Whatever I want to do in my life, my brain has the power to do it if I really want it”

      “I am a confident, smart and fun person!”

      “I am unique and special”

      “Everyone is talented and has a gift to give to the world”

      Ensure you get them to repeat over and over these new beliefs using their full bodies, shouting them out. Nothing gets ingrained in us without using our full bodies, voice and emotions. This is why Alpha shows get them to move and shout out and to feel things, because that’s the way you have an impact.

    • #214154
      benjackson
      Keymaster

      I think in 2012 we have now taken Beauty and the beast to a whole new level, with the new set and script. The way the belief section is structured and delivered by Lachlan is very powerful, and I’m proud of how this show has evolved over 10 years of touring!!

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