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Life Share

Posted by Betsy McCall from Art Monastery Project


Group size

1 – 500

More infos to group size

If your group is more than 6, you may want to have smaller groups present each day, spread out over time.

Is participant experience relevant?

It's okay if participants haven't seen the inside of a classroom in years.

Physical trust needed

Mental trust needed



60 minutes – half day

Experience level of the facilitator

self explanatory, no experience needed

Number of facilitators



Level of activation


Hidden curriculum

You will learn things about the people who do this exercise that you might not learn even after spending a lot of time with them. It builds empathy as you hear the highs and lows, challenges and accomplishments of the people in the room.

Woo-Woo Level – How touchy-feely is this method?

From 1.Rationalist-Materialist “No feelings here, folks.” to 5.Esoteric-Shamanic Bleeding Heart:

Innovation Phases:

2 Creating an Innovation-Friendly Culture

Method Category:

Appreciative / Community building
Awareness raising
Ceremony / Ritual
Group communication
Team Building / Trust Building


Each participant tells their life story to the rest of the group in 15 minutes or less.



Jahon Mikal brought this process to the Art Monastery. It has been used in many organizations and I was not able to find the original source. If you think you are the original source, please contact us so we can credit you!



An excellent pre-exercise would be Evolution Lines (find it in this database). Evolution Lines would provide a clarifying and deepening opportunity for each person to get really clear before making their Life Share.

PREPARATION (excluding materials)

Why Life Share?
While random conversation between participants in free time can achieve some levels of bonding among a certain few, a structured time for a group share gives everyone an equal opportunity to gain greater understanding of their fellow participants' stories, which can lead to connection points previously undiscovered. This will allow us to create deeply resonating art, and be better aware of the significance of this experience for every participant, oftentimes revealing new ways we can help each other on our paths building connections that outlast the designated time period of the project.

How does Life Share work?
Every participant will ideally go before the entire group and present facts that they consider relevant about their life in chronological order. Think of it as telling a condensed version of your entire life leading up until now.

Here is a video made by a famous YouTube comedian doing his interpretation of a Youtube trend called Draw my Life. His life is summed up in only seven minutes and animated with rudimentary drawings on a white board.

How long is Life Share?
We aim for between 15 minutes for each participant. While the freedom exists to fill less than your allotted time, the same does not apply for utilizing more.

Scheduling Proposal:
Depending on how many people in your group and how much time you have together, I propose you schedule 3 or 4 shares sitting in a circle, or two Life Shares during a meal. Doing too many all at once can make the brain go numb.

What might I talk about?

Where did you come from?
Who are your parents?
When and where on the planet were your born?
Describe the family you were born into?
What was your home, your town/city, your country like?

What were your early developmental years like?
Describe your experience in primary school?
What was adolescence like for you?
How about High School?
What else did you do during these formative years?
How did your family change?
How did you role within your family change over time?

Who are some important people to you (outside of your family)?
What kind of friends did you have?
Role models?
Your first love or crush (and the many more after that perhaps)?
Challenging people that grew you?

What of your early adulthood?
Did you continue into higher education?
What did you study?
What kind of jobs have you worked?
Hobbies, talents and interests?

Advanced stages of Adulthood:
What were some major shifts in your adult life?
Do you now have a family of your own?
Relationships, Marriages, Divorces?
Unusual and memorable life events?
What were your turning points?

What is it that you observe about the world?
Why do you do the work you do?
Do you believe you have a purpose in life and if so, what might that be?
What type of religion or spiritual practices have appeared in your life?`
What do you make of this human life we’re living?
What do you think happens when we leave this planet?

Where are you now?
What has lead you here?
Where might you find yourself next?
What interest you in life moving forward?

*Tip: A lot of people tend to think of their life as boring or mundane and what you’ll often find is that the specific and mundane things hold the juice. The more specific, the more universal. You never know what someone will get out of hearing about even the most simple aspects of your life.
Also, prepare your participants that you plan to do this and maybe even email them or hand out this list of prompts so that they can prepare.

The facilitator can be the time keeper.


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