With over 15 years as a Youth of Unity (YOU) sponsor, as the IYOU event coordinator and Licensed Unity Teacher, I found an area that has needed positive support for many years if not decades.
In conducting interviews with former YOUers, from recent graduates to 30 years removed – and from all over Unity I asked them to, “Describe what it felt like after YOU.” The answers were surprisingly similar. They expressed the loss of friends, a feeling of being kicked out, like a band-aid had been ripped off, and an experience of being personally lost or wandering aimlessly.
They shared emotions ranging from anger and frustration to depression and a deep sense of disconnection. These are all a normal parts of the transition following high school. This loss of support and desire for connection, while wanting to be seen as adults, creates a condition of disconnection. Through this transition, and the long period of disconnection some had, meant that they simply let go of the things that they knew worked in the past, such as their spiritual roots.
Some shared that they were “just done” or they could just “go it alone.” Most shared that after a while, their connections with Unity-minded people faded away, or they would intentionally push them away. Several shared experiences of escape through substance abuse and other personally painful experiences.
We know they are not alone but how can we support?
This transition process of releasing the emotions and baggage of the past that no longer serves and moving into the connection and support of small, tight-knit groups called a “light circle” is powerful. These groups, express through action as a support system for deep listening, mentoring and ‘holding light’ for each member in the circle. From this environment of safety, trust and connection, they can return from the event knowing that they already have the tools and power they need to show up in their life – fully supported.
Unity Light Circles is about retreats serving adults 18 to 24 who have been a part of YOU in the past. This means there is an opportunity to connect on common ground, heal the wounds and awaken to a new future.