Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Winter Teen Camp - Nor Cal Style!

2017 Northern Ca. CSL Winter Teen Camp Group Photo

On January 13 (through Jan 16) - approximately 125 teens and advisors from 14 Centers through out the western states gathered together on the grounds of YMCA Camp Loma Mar for the Centers for Spiritual Living Northern Ca. Winter Teen Camp. 

Concurrently camps occurred in Southern Ca. and the Rocky Mountain region. Each location participated in five workshops throughout the weekend that were created by the CSL teen leadership team and selected teens through out the CSL community. These camps provide teens an opportunity to gain a deeper experience of their Divine nature and to build friendships with like minded individuals on the spiritual path of awakening. 

Our crew from Santa Rosa, consisted of 7 of our teens, 4 who where attending for the first time! Thanks to the outpouring of support received by our community fund raising events each teen who attended received a $200 scholarship toward their registration. We also provided transportation to and from camp and were able to sponsor our co-advisor Tanya Sumner from Fresno to join our Santa Rosa family. 

The time on the mountain passes quickly yet the memories of what we experience linger in our hearts. Now that we are back home, excitement is already building for the CSL summer camp in July and plans are brewing for a regional overnight somewhere in-between.  

It is an honor and a privilege to be in service to these brilliant young people. Our team of advisors are pretty amazing too. Most of them take time off their jobs and away from their families to participate in these camps. We share a common bond, we love what we get to do, we love witnessing the transformations that occur and we support each other every step of the way. Life is so Good! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 Values Based Spiritual Living

2017 Values Based Spiritual Living - is the annual theme for Centers for Spiritual Living. Over the course of this year we will visit and explore 12 core values that were identified through a survey of our peers throughout the CSL community. 

On January 1st, we in Santa Rosa, invited all of our youth and teens to join a special youth service that was designed to identify the personal values and qualities of being that are important to us individually and collectively. What transpired in our time together was both inspiring and a demonstration of the values we are already living from as well as those we wish to step into in a greater way.

The values identified were: God, Empathy, Diversity, Kindness, Love, Creativity, Honesty, Compassion, Friendship, Beauty, Peace, Joy, Wisdom, Happiness, Integrity, Supportive communication, Authenticity and Unity. Statements came up such as, celebrating our differences and being supportive to others with special needs. Many of the same values were spoken into the room and underlined so we could have a visual of those that held the greatest importance. Love, Creativity and Kindness were at the top of the list. These qualities/values will be incorporated in the weekly curriculum that is being developed to support our annual theme.

As the remainder of the month is unfolding we are sharing together our ideas about God. What is it? What does it look like? What does it feel like? And, how does it work in our lives? The photo above came from a creative project where the children were asked to create an image of what God looks like to them. We are also collecting words and phrases that we use in our affirmative prayer practice. We'll wrap up the month on the 29th by threading them together into one giant prayer.  

If you haven't taken the time to explore what it is that you personally value, I encourage you to give it a go. Expand it into a family event and discover the core values you share together, then plan something to do once a month as a family that expresses your values in your community or the global community. Together we can make a difference for good! 

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