Kyle led an active childhood. He played street hockey with his friends (he was the goalie), and in sixth grade, he made the football team. This elicits spontaneous movements and gives children the satisfaction of a successful escape. The Empowerment Game This is a very simple game that can be played for as long or as short a time as seems productive. Its purpose is to restore grounding and a sense of empowerment and group solidarity. The class is divided into two parallel lines facing one another with approximately twelve to twenty feet (space permitting) between them. One is designated Line A; Instruct Line A to march toward the other line, holding hands or locking elbows while stomping feet in unison. As they march together building self-confidence, they chant, I have the power! I have the power. You may have the power, but I have the power! For example, your job application was denied. While this may be disappointing, it is not the end of the world. Your mind might be saying, I'll never get hired, but that is not true. You were only turned down by one company at this particular time. Also, think of the good that came of this. Your resume was seen by someone. You had the experience of applying and possibly interviewing for a job. You might have noticed some mistakes you made and resolve to correct those next time.

If you let yourself get discouraged, you'll miss out on these learning and growing experiences. In order to embrace stoicism, you need to be able to get into the mentality of it. In the grand scheme of things, few people we meet in our lives even form a well-developed opinion of us, good or bad. There will be a few people who do not like you on sight. You could do all the right things, but the two of you just will not click. Many times in movies, you see someone meet a person who is bitter and wants to be left alone. After a number of rejections, the person keeps trying to get them to see the light. In the end, the cynical one is moved by how much effort they put forward, and the two become friends. Unfortunately, that is only a story. In real life, when someone does not want you to be near them, they will only become annoyed if you do not listen to them and try to get close to them anyways. This behavior is actually a failure to respect boundaries, so it is not one you want to engage in. If someone does not like you, it does not always mean you did something wrong. I was clueless as to what he had signed me up for. Wagon Road, as it turned out, was for kids with serious illnesses and disabilities of every kind. Some of the children had diagnoses that were familiar to me: muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or deaf, dumb, and blind. Others had illnesses or disorders with names I'd never heard of. Many had missing limbs and major deformities, along with severe emotional limitations. Everyone had something that precluded participation in mainstream summer programs. The counselors arrived at the campgrounds several days earlier than the campers to settle in and get oriented. I was assigned to the job of co-counselor of one of the girls' cabins.

Finally, the first day of camp arrived, and a big bus from Port Authority in New York lumbered in to the campgrounds. One by one, the kids were unloaded. Usually, their problem is difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep or waking up too early, if not a combination. One of the things I like to do is unpack what their evening routine looks like. This helps me think about some of the barriers that might make getting to sleep more difficult. Unsurprisingly, for many of them a screen isn't far from reach, and in some cases they might be guilty of `multi-screen multi-tasking'. Ever find yourself simultaneously scrolling through your phone, sending a text to a friend, watching Netflix in the background and maybe even working on a project on your laptop at the same time? That's an awful lot of stimulation for one day, let alone one evening! Your evening routine should be about unwinding and prepping your mind and body for sleep, particularly those crucial couple of hours before lights out. Yet we do everything in our power (binge-watching box sets, the mindless scroll) to sabotage that, keeping ourselves awake in the process. If you struggle to log off in the evening, you end up over-stimulating your mind at a time when it should be slowing down, so it is little wonder that your brain never quite gets the cue to switch off. When we hear about screen use in the evening, the perils of blue light are never far away! Isn't it wonderful to know that you can stand calm and strong through the storm? Tell yourself, It's okay that I'm feeling discomfort. I'm in control. It will pass. Finally, you might start to notice interesting things happen the more you practice. Watch your discomfort and watch your growing and changing response to it. Are certain things getting easier? Are you becoming familiar with all your idiosyncratic ways of resisting discomfort internally?

Say to yourself, I am capable of sitting with discomfort and any other negative feelings that may pass. I'm watching with curiosity. This is a tempting appeal for a caretaker who truly wants the relationship to work. Now it seems that the narcissist finally understands what you've been saying and is ready to make things right. He seems genuinely sincere. You breathe a sigh of relief and hope builds in you again. Inevitably this hope disintegrates. Narcissists can't stop trying to control you, and they can't seem to control their own behaviors for any length of time. For a while, you think things are getting better. However, when the narcissist gets comfortable in the relationship again, he'll go back to being self-absorbed, inconsiderate, arrogant, insensitive, and blaming. And, of course, if things don't go his way, he's instantly back to the same defensive and antagonistic patterns. How many times you are willing to believe the narcissist's false promises is up to you. Kyle hung tough on the football team, but his physical differences put him at a disadvantage against other players. Eventually, his father encouraged him to try another sport that would put Kyle on an even plane with his competition--wrestling. Kyle started wrestling in sixth grade. He lost his first thirty-five matches. During this period of time, Kyle had to dig deep to find the confidence to continue. However, he was a warrior, and he didn't like to lose. With the support of his father, a former wrestler, he learned to train with weights, became very strong, and learned some moves unique to his strengths. Kyle overcame the self-doubt he felt during his early wrestling days and became a winner.

In his senior year, Kyle won thirty-five times on the varsity squad and qualified for the state championship, where he won his first three matches and had to face his final opponent with a broken nose. Although Kyle did not win the state championship, he gained a level of self-confidence and became a source of inspiration for everyone he met. The students are told that both teams have equal power and this is not meant to diminish either team's power. The idea is that Line A and Line B take turns so that the students all have a felt experience of their own strength and resources through movement, gesture, and voice when they work together in teams. When Line A reaches Line B they repeat the chant marching in place, while Line B listens. Then Line A returns to their starting place and Line B takes their turn chanting, marching, and moving toward Line A, whose turn it is now to listen. After both teams get their turn, repeat the exercise. This time have the students drop their hands with a snap and engage the power and strength in their upper body by rhythmically pumping their arms in coordination with their legs as they march and chant. They should be encouraged to increase the volume of their rallying call congruent with the movement, so that they can feel the growing power of using their own voice. After both sides have had a turn, the teacher draws them together in a circle, directing their awareness to their internal sensations (as in the other games). If during the course of the game some of the children feel shy, withdrawn, or tired and don't want to play, have them hold hands with another student or an adult to give them the support to feel their own power. Any time during the course of the game, the teacher can stop to do a quick check-in with the students' sensations and feelings. This philosophy places high emphasis on keeping your emotions in check despite what is happening outside of them. Think about a teacher you had that handled unruly children effectively. One of the reasons they were able to do this was most likely that they did not engage in the mind games these children tried to play. They did not get into a shouting match with them or show anger towards them, which would pull the learning environment to a halt in order to do something completely unproductive. They probably asked them to excuse themselves from the classroom if their behavior was too obnoxious. Stoicism is all about thinking and behaving in a practical way. This means a person does things that make sense, and that will contribute to their success. With the case of the two teachers, the one who keeps themselves in check and doesn't stoop down to the level of the students has their career in mind, and they know they will not provide a good classroom experience to the rest of the students if they do not act like the bigger person.