As we move into this new year we bring with us what we’ve gathered and learned through our experiences with youth. The act of simply being in nature is incredibly important for a heathy mind and body. It has a spiritual richness that helps orientate us to the value of life, helping to unify us as a group.
Looking at the beauty of Yosemite through our senses – hearing, seeing, smelling, touching and tasting the spring water – brings us into the natural harmony that wants to happen. For me it’s been a lifetime of being here to recognize the lessons being offered in the classroom of nature.
Learning to walk in your own rhythm, with your breath and heart beat leading you is the way back to the basics. The simple act of placing one foot in front of the other is like setting the timing for your personal awareness in the most natural way.
Between Christmas and New Year’s we had five young men from Uplift Family Services in Santa Clara county. Four of the youth were here for their second trip and for one 12 year old it was his first. The three days we spent together filling our water bottles at the spring, splitting firewood, hiking up Yosemite Falls trail and talking around the fire at night felt really good, much like an extended family, as we entered the new year.
It’s such a great example of how much appreciation there is to simply be together, listening to each other and developing the art of communication. We like to encourage our youth to find their own unique way of expressing themselves. Through showing them respect and equality they are given more confidence to share how they feel and what they are experiencing rather than always telling them what to do.
Sacred Rok is committed to higher education based on natural laws, as an investment for the future of our children and all life.
Check out the link below that details the healing power of nature and further supports what Sacred Rok has been doing since the beginning,
A Note from Uplift Family Services
I will always remember the very first trip we took with Sacred Rok a few years ago. The night we returned I received an e-mail from one of our foster/adoptive parents saying, she didn’t know what happened on that trip, but she had never seen, or experienced, such a level of peace in her soon to be adopted daughter (who was about 12 at the time).
I was not surprised. It happens over and over with our trips with Sacred Rok. These “shifts” are also sustained in the youth, and not just an immediate after effect of the trip. Nature promotes “homeostasis” which is so necessary for youth who have experienced trauma in their lives. The natural, uninterrupted rhythms of nature restore that sense of balance as well as allow for changes and growth in the mind, body and soul.
Of course, it isn’t just nature, but the way Sacred Rok leads and guides these trips – think of a guided visualization or meditation vs. just sitting and trying to do it on your own. Just as in meditation, we first settle our body and mind, Ron facilitates the trips to ensure time when we arrive to adjust to the new setting, slowing the pace and connecting with each participant. Once settled, we venture out with Ron as our guide. It is full engagement of our senses, and awe inspiring. As time goes by in Yosemite, each of our beings’ own internal systems come more into alignment, freeing up more energy to be present, to enjoy, to engage more fully and to grow.
Thank you Sacred Rok!
Stephanie Antonioli, LMFT
FCAS Regional Manager
Uplift Family Services