It always puts a smile on my face when we do our opening check-in on Sunday mornings. When the children share their age the replies include extra values such as 5 and a half or 4 and three quarters. Sometimes they jump ahead and say I'll be 6 in two months! I can recall doing the same thing when I was younger. Always looking forward to that next birthday, that next new number.
Somewhere along the path of life we adults (or maybe its just me) often stop counting the extra months and almost never count ahead. Recently, I had the opportunity to take a little vacation to quietly celebrate the turning of my new number. Gone are the days in which I want the party with the cake and presents. My preference now is to spend time in reflection and gratitude for all the gifts Life has given me. To notice where I am now, and to look ahead at the ways in which I can give back going forward.
One of the ways I like to give back is working with teens. Sure I get to do that as part of my job as a youth director, but there are also opportunities to go the extra mile and support events like teen overnights or teen camps that stretch way beyond a normal work day. Teens today deal with far more than I remember experiencing when I was a teen. Being an open, loving, supporting presence for them is both inspiring and uplifting - though sometimes not for the faint of heart.
In April the San Jose Center for Spiritual Living, held a teen overnight. Our final workshop consisted of a visualization/meditation process in which we reflected on our past, our present and our future and concluded with the creation of vision boards to guide us on our journey forward. All of the boards were filled with so much hope and promise and inspiration.
Birthday's are great time to create vision boards. Or, if you've created them in the past, pull them out and witness all the ways you've manifested growth or change in your life. Below are a few of the boards that were created by the teens. Take a moment and allow their work to inspire you. Know that what ever way you choose to count your age or celebrate the anniversary of your birth YOU make a difference and are a blessing to this thing called Life!
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