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Love and Light

Region 2 - YAP: "Life is a Challenge, Meet it"

On 28th September, youth from Region 2 gathered in Croxley Green, Hertfordshire for the second Young Adult Programme (YAP) of 2013. Following on from the theme of last month’s YAP ‘Life is a Game, Play it’, the theme for this month’s programme was ‘Life is a challenge, meet it’.

The afternoon began with an orienteering challenge through the woods and countryside. The aim of the challenge was to complete the route in the shortest time possible without getting lost! Along with the directions each group was also given a hypothetical scenario involving a challenging situation in their work place, university or family life to discuss. During the orienteering challenge, each group discussed the scenario given to them and came up with a solution to the problem. Once all the groups had completed the orienteering challenge each group acted out their scenario and the solution that they had come up with.

The orienteering challenge gave us the opportunity to do something different. As a group we benefitted spending time amidst nature, being surrounded by trees without a building in sight. The suspense of not knowing where we were going made this even more interesting and special. We identified various challenges we faced along the route; including time management, teamwork, getting lost, distractions and maintaining focus on the goal, fear, and letting go of control and trusting other team members. These are also challenges that we encounter in our everyday lives and as a group we were able to share ways in which we could face these such as working steadily, listening to others and playing to the strengths of everyone within the team, following Swami’s teachings to stop us losing our way, reminding ourselves of our aims in life, having self-confidence and faith and ultimately surrendering everything to Swami.

Confronting the scenarios helped us to share solutions to common dilemmas that we face in our daily lives in a humorous way. Every group came up with a clear solution to the problem and each scenario sparked off much debate. Many youth shared personal experiences of when they had been in similar dilemmas and what they had learned from them. Common themes that emerged were that we have to follow our conscience when making decisions and have confidence in ourselves when doing so; good company is essential; we cannot change others by merely preaching, we should lead by example and make our lives His Message.

To conclude the programme we discussed our ultimate challenge which was to realise the divinity and oneness in everything through understanding love. As a group we agreed that we must remind ourselves of this end goal but the only way we will reach this end goal is by meeting all the challenges in accordance with Swami’s teachings.

The action-packed afternoon gave us a chance to do something different, and take time away from our usual busy lives to spend time in Swami’s Garden of nature. It gave the youth of the Region an opportunity to get to know one another and share their personal experiences and connect with Swami. As always, the time spent in good company left us feeling ready to meet all the challenges that come our way, reminding us that Swami is by our side to guide and protect us.

Anshi Dattani
Harrow East Youth Coordinator, Region 2