Last night the “Seattle Teen Experience” held its culminating activity. As an advocate for this transformative adventure, I recruited my daughter and her friend to attend. Joining in their “graduation,” I was reminded again of how amazing our teens are.
These youth came from various backgrounds (and as far away as Colorado); they committed to three 12-hour days of personal awareness activities. This included authentic communication, reflection on and release of limiting self-beliefs, and how to be fully present to each other and themselves. They told us hearts had opened and they had been deeply seen and appreciated. We were moved by their joyful candor.
I am reminded that we all need to foster ways for teens to “go deep” and be validated for their unique gifts. Teri Jo Wheeler, was the visionary who had led this experience elsewhere and brought it to Seattle. Charles Hall, a minister with a deep belief in the power of our youth, joined her. Money was raised by caring community members so that the teens could all attend this non-religious event on full scholarships. Thank you!!
The evening closed with the promise of more gatherings to support these teens and others in opening their hearts and shining their lights in a welcoming environment. Then, with over 100 of us each holding a lit candle in the dark, we created a circle of light and committed to contributing to peace and light in the world. I felt like I had just finished a personal awareness retreat, too!
As I left, philosopher Teilhard de Chardin’s quote came to mind: “Someday, after mastering the wind, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”