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  • Writer's pictureMichele Taylor R.Sc.P.

SMILE—Seeing My Inner Life Everywhere

 By: James Otumba


CSL Kenya Youth Outreach

 

We often say to our young people, you are our future. Yet, the truth is that they are the vital seeds, which are sprouting for our now! Using Science in Mind teachings and principles, I have the privilege of working with disadvantaged youth in a rural community in Kenya called Kisii. I feel deeply pleased to share with you a heartfelt understanding of our youth outreach program called SMILE: seeing my inner life everywhere.

In Kisii, the children come from strict religious traditions that constantly reinforce the belief that life is a struggle. We persevere with whatever situation we're in because good comes to us when we die, we go to heaven. At Harambee Boys Home, the boys are brought from the street and are cared for in a dorm like setting by Andrew Obiero Okachi. CSL Kenya asked if we could provide a youth program, anchoring in positive thinking, that would offer these children a greater view for their present and ever unfolding potential for their life. A CSL Kenya student, Duke Nyakweba, offered a space at his home for the program in his community.



Creative Process

We began our journey with them more than two years ago. We started with the basics of science and minds creative process dash seed soil plant. To help them experience this in profound ways., we created actual gardens. Through the process of preparing the soil and planting the seeds, the teens learned several essential principles of Science in Mind.

1.    The seeds we plant in the soil transform into the plants.

2.    How we speak to the plants, positively or negatively, affects their growth.

3.    We can regenerate plans by changing our language.

4.    This same principle affects our growth when we speak to others and even ourselves.

5.    What we learn each moment is influenced by thoughts. And each choice we make, moment by moment, plants the seeds for choices and outcomes we will experience beyond this moment. So, a thoughtful idea and action today creates a powerful memory of yesterday…and... a magnificent map for tomorrow.

Process




The students have a daily calendar with ideas based around a quality or value. We spend time in a talking circle and practice gratitude each time we come together. They keep a journal, which allows them to engage in deep introspection with themselves. We create posters and practice think before you speak. We've made videos about bullying, interviewing each other about our own empowerment. Recently, we produced radio announcements about our accomplishments.

Through these lessons, the students are expanding their capacities to monitor their thoughts, words, actions, reactions, and responses. They are developing an understanding that, like seeds they plant in the soil, the Creative Process is unwavering. From the seeds they plant in their own lives, internal and external experiences will grow. Such experiences can include bodily health, environmental conditions, relationships, personal progress, and so much more. As they absorb their expanding awareness, students realize the immensity of the Power and Intelligence inherent within themselves. Focusing their minds and passion--heads and heart--on these qualities, they can achieve anything. Through their own conscious choices, their lives are filled with unlimited potential. This is huge. This is truly liberating.

Bullying

In Kenya, bullying is an extensive (acute, invasive, and endemic) problem.

Through role playing, we learn about different perspectives and making it personal. “How do I feel when I am bullied?” And…”What if--and why-- I am the bully?”

We learn about being responsible for our own actions, how feelings get hurt, and that there is a healthier way that involves cooperation and empathy. We can use our words to diffuse these situations and support positive interactions. We discussed doing what is right even if we need courage. We process how to make equitable, responsible, and inclusionary choices, even when peer pressure might demand otherwise.

 

Leadership

Through our leadership unit, we learn about our distinctive inner strengths, including our individualized qualities, core values, and powerful word choices. We are growing a deeper understanding of how to claim what is our birthright for this journey called life. We are learning how to overcome the pain of exclusion---as both the source and the victim---to engage the power of language and emotion to ask, to share, and to respect… others and ourselves.

Our goal is to guide these young souls and to inspire them to realize that their destiny is in their own hands. They can enter that sphere of all possibilities…. Where every dream is a reachable reality. We invite them to see for themselves a place from which they can move beyond their past to create a new future. They learn the Truth behind that which they see in their daily lives.

So the reality is the smile program teaches what we already know; each face we see is the individualization of God. Each of us has within ourselves a seed, a spark, I life that is the gift that we bring to the world. And God is all there is. It's all good. Changing our thinking changes our lives.


Outcome

The feedback from the Harambee Boys Home is powerful. They have experienced improved harmony in the institute, with minimal disputes to be resolved. The boys are growing healthier inter-relationships. The boys are developing a greater sense of responsibility, as demonstrated by how they respond to their duties with minimal supervision. I am thrilled to share an example; a great five boy, Wilson, shared how his daily use of positive affirmations about his studies helped him keep watch over his thoughts. With this practice, he was able for the first time, to excel to the top of his class. Hearing his testimonial, we all went into a wild celebration, as it was very invigorating. What a great demonstration of the practical application and outcomes of this teaching.

At Duke's home, parents have noted positive behavioral changes in their children. They report an improved sense of responsibility and a general improvement in their academic performances. They say their young ones are showing greater listening abilities, expressing a more contemplative engagement, and demonstrating more mature general conduct.

These are our true and generous rewards, and we deeply appreciate our times and opportunities to be active participants. We are boundlessly grateful to have these experiences with our youth. To each exchange, they bring their receptive minds, adventurous dispositions, curiosity, and creativity. What a gift this is for all of us and for them and our entire society, in this moment and going forward. With this level of pure potential, each generation is gifted an opportunity to fashion and shape the next level of evolution.

 My friends, it is such a joy to celebrate our youth and we need not wait for the future, for they are the now. Thank you and blessings to all, Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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