the gift of creating magic and connection with 300 teenagers

as the clouds hang low and dark in the morning sky, i feel somewhat melancholy today and i wonder why. i think it has to do with the intensity of the last few weeks and not giving myself a whole lot of down time to digest the magic of it all until now. on February 20th i completed one of the biggest projects i’ve ever taken on - a Get That You Matter program for over 300 high school students which, from what i feel and hear, was very successful. it all started five months ago when i was asked to create a program for the senior project of two amazing young women who wanted to raise the bar of cohesion and unity at their campus. they wanted to give students an experience that they are more connected than they may realize, and it was amazing. it was a real chance for me to stretch myself as well as to demonstrate what i’ve learned in the last 15 years as a teacher, Challenge Day Program Leader, life coach, counselor and Cafe Gratitude workshop facilitator. in other words, it was an opportunity to pull all of my training and skills together into an experience we hoped would impact the lives of everyone involved in a positive way. i think it worked.

it was an incredible undertaking and, in the end, 40 student leaders trained to help facilitate the days, more than 30 adults volunteered to help hold the space, and over 300 students got to see how very much they matter to each other and to our world. together, we created two magical days which i hope they walked away from feeling more seen, heard and connected than before they walked in. since we all said goodbye on Friday the 20th, i’ve been thinking that it was like we reclaimed the magic we all have within us. we all had the opportunity to be sorcerers who live from love and integrity.

those amazing young people showed us all what it is to do that... to be someone who transforms their reality with grace, power, love and beauty. they inspired me and every other adult who was there, and i believe we all left with a greater sense of purpose, hope and possibility than when we began. in looking back on the experience, i feel as though i was given a great gift- to help create a space where the Get That You Matter mission “to inform, inspire and ignite individuals everywhere to illuminate our world” was wholly fulfilled, and our vision for "a world where everyone knows that they matter and contributes to a just, inspirited, thriving and resilient life for all beings” came a little closer to being realized.

honestly, i have to say, just thinking and writing about the experience now is lifting my melancholy. rather than putting my attention on my massive “to do” list for the next couple of months, taking a few minutes to celebrate what we created is already filling my spiritual tank for all of the other great things to come. it reminds me just how true it is that what we focus on is the experience we give ourselves.

so, as i sit here enjoying the warmth of hot tea and the beauty of the stormy skies, i feel deeply grateful for the many opportunities to serve and live my own personal mission that come my way. i remember the importance of taking time to take stock and celebrate my triumphs and re-evaluate the trajectory of plans for the future. in taking time for my practice of early morning writing, self care and alone time which feeds my soul so much, my anxiety has lifted. what i’m left with is a feeling of more connection to myself, others and life itself. and that is the greatest gift of all. i hope that everyone with whom i shared those days at Bret Harte High School had a similar experience.