“At any given time, there are approximately 600 youth between the age of 18 and 23 that have exited the foster care system in Broward County and another 120 youth that are getting prepared for their transition out on their own. While they may be considered legal adults, many of them haven’t fully developed the life skills they’ll need to function successfully in the adult world.”~http://flitecenter.org/
I am buzzed into a brightly lit open format office with bold colors. I walk into a common space with lots of half cubicles and adults mentoring teens, “hallway meetings” are underway and there is a vibration of “hectic” in the air today. Through the doors of an office I see one of YG’s youth from another program across town. We made eye contact and I saw his recognition and a smile. We nodded towards each other and I moved on. That moment was a beautiful way to begin…
My partner teacher is calm, grounded and eager to connect and give. Today I was on the lower side of energy and feeling like taking a backseat. I can because I know the power of community and see it in action through service. The room is still setup for classroom and there is a list of powerful names on the whiteboard, they are studying the influence of African American contributions to the history of Florida. Paint cans, garden supplies, pizza boxes, smart phones and fluorescent lights fill the practice space, along with guarded yet eager older teens some watchful and aloof, others ready to get into all of it. Pregnancy, lady days, chair yoga and essential oils fill the frenzied room built for education of all things. Today was not Vinyasa, not hatha, not philosophy. Today requests for music, requests for guided meditation, requests for sciatica relief and pregnancy support. “How do I lose weight?” “How do I get healthy?” – oh this was a fun one to interact with. I shared the teachings…the simplicity of loving yourself, exactly where you are today, here and now. Her concentration and connection was Divine, beautiful and so tangible. What I said was from my heart. I couldn’t recall it if I tried. I spoke my own truth about loving the body, this miracle we get to live in. I spoke of female empowerment. I spoke of internal dialogue uplifting our heart and the ability to stay focused on feeling healthy, happy whole and radiant. I watched her sit up taller, her eyes get brighter and her face soften into the moment of blissful awakening, acceptance…if only in that moment. Her smile changed. Her head was held a little higher as I walked out and wished them a beautiful day.
Each week is a new gift of why I tirelessly ask our community to support the organization. Each week is a reminder of my purpose on this planet. Each week is an opportunity to reshape their thoughts from “not enough” to enough. Today…we were in the moment a pocket of radiant light, connected through intention of being enough. ~JW
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