May marks the time in the academic calendar when “Celebration Season” begins for most. Proms, award ceremonies, graduations, parties. It is a time when parents and adults who have nurtured, taught, mentored youth breathe deeply. The feelings run deep and mixed, from pride, to awe, to concern. This year YHC has focused on our topic theme: “Respecting Self, Respecting Others: Living a Life of Balance and Connection”.

I have just finished reading two wonderful books: “How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life” by Frank Lipman and “Your Spacious Self: Clear the Clutter and Discover Who You Are”. I highly recommend both of these very thoughtful books that I believe are extremely resonant with our guiding topic this past year and provide a comprehensive blueprint for living well, respecting self, respecting others and finding balance and connection.

As we take photos at celebrations I want to encourage that we remind ourselves and our youth that core principles really do matter. That self care is not selfish, that silence restores and can open our mind to creativity, that compassion and understanding is critical for living in a complicated world, that sleep, exercise, healthy nutrition, connection, mindfulness, fun, safe decision making, organization and positive habits give our lives shape, form and function.

We really want our youth to have the tools for living well and being able to explore themselves as they grow and mature. We really want them to know that happiness is not about being wealthy, but it is about peace of mind and soul, about appreciating the little things, about having curiosity and belief about learning as a process not a product.

Breathe deeply and continue demonstrating how to be well and how to live life well lived.

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