SPIRITUAL CENTER

Love, kindness and openness are what we practice at FOCUS Youth Center. Our sense of spirituality is about connecting with the life force behind our every breath. It’s the awareness of the expanding universe and all people being connected. Having an understanding of something greater than themselves seems to enhance children's sense of self-worth and purpose. It reinforces their connections to their community and to other people. Spirituality transcends superficial differences like language, culture, and religion.

New study indicates spirituality, not religious practice, determines how happy children are, although there’s a beautiful message to take in from each religion. Spirituality is an internal relationship to a higher power that is abundantly supportive, continuously guiding and loves unconditionally. The word we give to this higher power might be God, nature, spirit, the universe, the creator, Source or other words that represent a divine presence. 

 

The connection can occur in meditation or yoga, which both involve attention and focus on our breathing, or in our relationships with animal companions, nature, flowers, enjoying weather elements like; warm sun rays, a cool breeze, playing in the rain and snow. The curiosity, appreciation and fascination for the planet and it’s indescribable essence come natural to children. Nature speaks, they respond and react. A nod or wave of acknowledgement, a loving touch, smile and laughter: in these moments spirituality is the common language we all speak. 

Recent studies by Lisa Miller, Ph.D, The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving, state that kids who develop a sense of a loving higher power or a guiding force are 40 percent less likely to use and abuse substances, 60 percent less likely to be depressed as teenagers, 80 percent less likely to have dangerous or unprotected sex, more likely to have positive markers for thriving and high levels of academic success. “In the entire realm of human experience,” Miller writes, “there is no single factor that will protect your adolescent like a personal sense of spirituality.” 

Spirituality brings about balance and wholeness. This is more essential than an ability to perform in order to achieve material successes like: money, fame, titles and other ego boosters. Youth can actually feel fulfilled and validate their own life choices regardless of external circumstances and influences. Human beings with a keen connection to a source of energy within show positive effects for adaptability and self-healing, as well. ​

There is often a strong spiritual life in parents themselves, and a loving intention to raise spiritual children. Yet, there is not a clear and certain understanding in our culture about the place of spirituality in child and adolescent development. This is what we aspire to provide at FOCUS Youth Center. We combine a multitude of arts and educational programs with a foundation in spirituality to nurture our youth, parents and community.

Our Spiritual Center provides free: yoga and meditation classes, mindfulness education classes, prayer circle sessions and additional spiritual community services. It’s a safe place where families are able to unite and enjoy common ground, even through an array of various beliefs. There will be mandatory attendance each week for youth and adolescents to continue utilizing the arts and athletic programs, as well as the recreational area. Everyone has equal access to this quiet space in order to connect within and develop necessary skills to apply throughout their lives.