Cover for Your Body of Light

Inner Alchemy: Cultivate Your Body of Light

Taoist sages lived with passion and purpose as part of their philosophical belief that an energy body, or body of light, connects each individual to the universe as a whole.

Using this energy body, Taoists learned how to align themselves with their highest potential, something that everybody today can learn to do.

Your Body of Light: Energetic Practices for Better Health, Emotional Balance, and Higher Consciousness (Sounds True) is an audio course presented by qigong expert Lee Holden, designed to encourage listeners to cultivate their own body of light using various techniques and meditations.

Qigong Master Shares Knowledge

Lee HoldenLee Holden is a qi gong instructor known around the world. His first experience with this transformative healing practice came following sports injuries. Realizing how powerful qigong was in healing his body, Holden began practicing regularly. Today, Holden teaches t’ai chi, qigong, and various stress management techniques using his knowledge as a certified Chinese medical doctor and acupuncturist.

In addition to releasing several audio and DVD programs designed to help people rediscover their health and vitality, Holden is the author of Seven Minutes of Magic: Recharge Your Body Each Day with Qi Gong (Penguin). He is also co-founder of the Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine and Chi Center.

Taoist Energy Techniques

Ancient Taoists were “inner alchemists,” meaning they used energy from life forces to search out universal truths. They also often questioned, “Who are you?” in order to continuously search for deeper meaning and connections. In Your Body of Light: Energetic Practices for Better Health, Emotional Balance, and Higher Consciousness, Holden guides listeners through various Taoist energy practices, ones that are not often taught in the Western world. The goal of learning these techniques is to encourage listeners to harness their life energy and consistently question, “Who am I?”

Holden leads listeners through a variety of qigong exercises and meditations, techniques that are useful for combatting stress, sleep problems, worries, and other common everyday problems. Holden teaches an effective stress-reducing technique called “The Inner Smile.” He also explains “Pearl of Consciousness,” a method of learning to find an individual’s personal place of power within the universe.

Your Body of Light is a learning program that prepares one’s soul and spirit for what’s to come after this lifetime. As part of this preparation, Holden teaches the “Breath of Life,” which is various ways to engage one’s qi—or life energy—as well as techniques to attune the mind and spirit with the physical body—such as with the “Three Treasures,” promoting long, healthy living.

Find Your Body of Light

Cover for Your Body of LightAvailable as an audio download or an 8 CD set with a study guide, Your Body of Light is a resourceful program for people searching greater relaxation and connection with self and with the universe. Complete with a volume of Taoist philosophy, energy practices, and guided meditations, Your Body of Light is a useful guide to developing daily practices and routines for healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual living.

For more information, please click > Your Body of Light: Energetic Practices for Better Health, Emotional Balance, and Higher Consciousness

Cover of Spontaneous Evolution

Making a Shift to a Brighter Future: Our Destined Evolution

Our global society is on the verge of a major culture shift, and each individual can play an important and active role as co-creator of this transition.

Although there are many indications that lead us to believe that a negative fate is what’s next, our species is “exactly where we need to be” in order for a positive future to emerge.

Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and How to Get There from Here (Sounds True) by Bruce Litpon and Steve Bhaerman is an audio program that looks at science and history with a holistic perspective and the next stage of our existence.

Science & Spirit

Author Bruce LiptonStem cell biologist Bruce Lipton is known around the globe for his approach to science and spirit. Through his acclaimed and groundbreaking research with cells, Lipton has been able to propose successful theories of how the mind-body connection can be made using one’s own biological makeup. With a belief that a strong spirit exists outside of one’s body, Lipton gives many lectures and workshops on how science and this mind-body connection converge. Lipton is the author of several books, including The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles (Hay House).

Steve Bhaerman is a well-known political and cultural commentator, giving his perspectives from a spiritual slant. Also a popular leader of various workshops, Bhaerman is an author of several books, including Driving Your Own Karma (Inner Tradition) and When You See a Sacred Cow Milk it for All It’s Worth (Aslan Pub).

Science, History, and What’s Next

In a positive examination of how the human race is evolving and changing just as it’s destined, Spontaneous Evolution presents to listeners a case of the dramatic growth our species is about to take.

Cover of Spontaneous EvolutionIn this program, Lipton and Bhaerman discuss the different belief systems that have been present throughout history, and how the once-revered institutions of thought and knowledge have evolved as they no longer serve society’s needs.

In their “Myth-Perceptions of the Apocalypse” discussion, Lipton and Bhaerman dissect today’s four major thought structures and note how they are about to “crumble.” This is not necessarily a negative outcome, though, as the presenters also point out that in the process of shedding these things that have no purpose for us anymore, there is a new space left for the emergence of a new philosophy.

Discussions also focus on each individual’s cell structure, and how this can be used as a map for directing a positive change in an individual’s life and for society. Lipton and Bhaerman encourage listeners to take steps and actions that will help move our society towards this new state of cultural existence.

Evolving to the Next Stage

Available as a 5 CD set or an audio download, Spontaneous Evolution is an uplifting program for those seeking ways in which they can challenge the status quo and change their individual destinies as well as the path of society. Using one’s own biological roadmap, a positive shift can occur in our species’ history.

To learn more, click > Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and How to Get There from Here

An Enlightening Interview Between Dr. Rita Louise and Bruce Lipton


To learn more, click > Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and How to Get There from Here

Facing Everything by Gangai

Join in as Gangaji Teaches How to Face Everything

“How would your life change if you were able to remain boundlessly open to and fully present with whatever was going on?”

This is the question addressed by spiritual leader Gangaji in her audio program Facing Everything: Meeting Your Life Without Resistance (Sounds True).

Part of one’s spiritual awakening, discusses Gangai, is the ability to encounter what happens without turning away in fear or denial.

Gangai Shares Her Spiritual Philosophy

Facing Everything is an audio recording of a three-part discussion led by Gangaji. At the end of each session, listen in as Gangaji discusses with her audience and callers further questions on spiritual awakening and facing life’s experiences.

Facing Everything by GangaiSession #1: Meeting Fear—In this session, Gangai discusses the tendency of humans to suffer from the avoidance of fear. This suffering show up as forms of denial, excess drama, or even feelings of numbness.

The guidance offered by Gangaji is to meet and accept this fear in order to rid one’s self from this habitual suffering.

Session #2: The Heart of Self-Betrayal—It is when we betray our true nature that we experience the most profound period of grief. What happens is we unconsciously try to prove to ourselves that we’re okay by accumulating unnecessary stuff, such as more power, or knowledge, or more pleasure.

It is common to deny or dramatize this grief. Gangaji discusses how to recognize the self-betrayal we all carry, and to reveal and embrace one’s true nature by facing what has been avoided.

Session #3: Letting the World into Your Heart—In the third session of this audio cast Gangai talks about the importance of individual awakening, as by doing so personal patterns of hatred and other negative feelings exist in one’s mind and are projected to the world through actions and words.

The only person responsible for halting the negative projections is one’s self. Gangai encourages everyone to embrace and recognize unconditional peace.

About Gangaji

Gangaji is a spiritual leader who travels the world sharing her knowledge and experiences of self-inquiry, discovery, and awakening. One participant of Gangaji’s Facing Everything course noted that “Meeting your life without resistance is to accept all that is as it is . . . [this is a] great opportunity for one to really see and be as one naturally is.” Another remark from someone who studied this program said, “Meeting your life without resistance is a life of allowance, surrender, trust, and graceful humility.”

For more information, please click > Facing Everything: Meeting Your Life Without Resistance by Gangaji

Gangaji Talks About Living Life as an Experiment

For more information, please click > Facing Everything: Meeting Your Life Without Resistance by Gangaji

Book Cover for The Diamond in Your Pocket

Awaken to Your True Nature with The Diamond in Your Pocket by Gangaji

If we are constantly searching for happiness, we will never be satisfied, according to spiritual teacher and writer Gangaji.

In that quest, our true nature is overlooked, and happiness can only be found when we discover our true selves.

In The Diamond in Your Pocket (Sounds True), Gangaji posits ideas that will change the way people think and act as they find their way along their spiritual journey.

Referring to the precious jewel we all carry with us, The Diamond in Your Pocket is a reminder to all of us to live in the present as our true selves.

Spiritualist Focusing on Self-Inquiry

GangajiIn the early 1970s, Antoinette Roberson Varner started on a quest of spiritual fulfillment. Her routines involved practicing Bodhisattva vows, as well as Zen and Vipassana meditation. Working for a Buddhist Meditation Center and running an acupuncture clinic, Varner continued to carry with her the feeling of unfulfillment, regardless of her spiritual practices and daily routines.

Varner travelled to India in the 1990s where she met Sri H.W.L. Poonja (Papaji), a spiritualist who shared with others about the true nature of the path of self-discovery. Varner, now known as Gangaji, continous spreading Papji’s message today as she shares her spiritual enlightenment.

Today Gangaj is a teacher, author, and speaker who travels internationally, sharing her experiences and inspirations she acquired from Papaji. Gangaji has assisted thousands of people with her words, specifically discussing the discovery of one’s true fulfillment, who you really are, and what this revelation really means.

Finding Fulfillment Within Yourself

In The Diamond in Your Pocket, Gangaji presents ideas and topics that encourage individuals to contemplate their spiritual path in a new way. People are on a constant quest for fulfillment. Gangaji strives to assist people with letting go of the constant need to control every aspect of life, and rather refocus the mind on what’s truly important.

Book Cover for The Diamond in Your PocketThe Diamond in Your Pocket also encourages people to be vulnerable at times and embrace experiences with the “unknown.” Gangaji teaches individuals that it’s okay to let go of the suffering, or the drama, that gets carried around throughout life. By doing so, one puts his or herself in a better position to truly understand who they are.

Anyone in search of ways to fulfill their life will be captivated by Gangaji’s wisdom.

She reiterates that it’s not the constant search for happiness that will leave one eventually feeling fulfilled, but only when one stops to live in the present moment and to appreciate their true nature will fulfillment happen.

The Diamond in Your Pocket is available as an audio download, on CD, or as a paperback book.

To learn more, please click > The Diamond in Your Pocket by Gangaji

Gangaji Reflects on Searching for the Perfect Future

About the Gangaji Foundation

Established in 1993, the Gangaji Foundation is an educational, non-profit organization that “serves the truth of universal consciousness and the potential for the individual and collective recognition of peace inherent in the core of all being.” The Foundation organizes events with Gangaji, publishes spiritual and inspirational books, and contributes to numerous outreach programs.

The Gangaji Foundation also funds a scholarship program that assists people to attend an event featuring Gangaji, so her words can be heard by as many people as possible. The scholarship is provided by donations, fundraising, and event fees.

To learn more, please click > The Diamond in Your Pocket by Gangaji

The Pendulum Experiment

As we spend time with our friends and loved ones, it is easy to notice many conversations include similar comments such as: “Gee, life sure has been intense lately,” or, “I sure have been experiencing a lot of challenges,” or “Things seem to be speeding up, and events have been pretty difficult.”

From one person’s perspective, current times could seem to be presenting pretty chaotic life events that are unrelated but full of unfortunate circumstances. From another vantage point, one could imagine an inner connected dance that gains momentum as it weaves through everyone’s experiences.

The following is a demonstration of a pendulum wave that was initiated by a single movement, and offers an example worth reflecting on.

A Pendulum Wave

In this demonstration, a single motion started the movement that affected each individual pendulum. If we viewed each ball separately, we would notice its movement and not think of its connection to the other balls. We would never notice any synchronicity. But when viewing all the pendulums, we can see how one action affects all the balls both individually and as a whole. At some points, the pendulum’s movement completely seems chaotic. However, it quickly becomes obvious they are connected as the movement flows into a pattern.

Filling The Space with Your Light

Heart CenterWhen I reflected on the pendulum experiment, it got me thinking about the effects of being happy or unhappy.

When we are unhappy and stuck in a fearful state due to what we notice out in the world, what we broadcast to those around us is that we live in a pretty scary place.

What if instead we punctuated our fear by embracing how we feel and then moved into a heart space? We could then take a deep breath, and move our fear into a lighter place that is capable of transforming our state. Then, with a sense of our inner light, we could turn toward another and share our light. It makes sense that this light would ripple and have an impact on others.

To help, take a moment and breathe in your fears. As Alana shares in the Seven Sacred Steps, place your hand on your heart, and let your heart transform these fears. The following video provided by WildDivine is a delightful reminder to also shine your light.


Book Cover for Moonrise Anthology

Inspiring Anthology Promotes Balanced Leadership of Women

Modern day feminism is the key to today’s need for environmental and social progress, as is promoted in this book featuring a collection of essays.

Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart features the words and ideas of women (and a few men) who are pioneers in various areas of achievement and guidance.

Through the text, readers are exposed to the ideas that to inspire change and to be an effective leader one needs inner awareness, respect for self and others, and a goal to be sought after with determination.

Progressive Thought on Women Leaders

Author Nina SimonsNina Simons is the co-CEO and co-founder of Bioneers, a nonprofit organization created in 1990 with the intention of starting discussions on environmental and social issues, encouraging progressive research in these areas, and positing solutions to these problems.

Simons strives to promote women and leadership in modern “feminist” ways and seeks to strengthen the effectiveness and authority of women leaders from around the world and within every field.

Anthology Features Essays on Leadership, Justice, and Change

With this goal, Simons served as editor for an anthology of essays written by well-known leaders and achievers from different walks of life. Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart (Park Street Press) consists of 37 thought-provoking essays from mostly women and a few men, ranging from topics political or economical in nature to self-transforming ideas.

Each essay in Moonrise has the goal of making the world a better place in some way. And how is this done? Through leadership that seeks a balance of compassion and caring, or more feminine qualities, with the assertive tendencies of the masculine.

Inspirational Book

Book Cover for Moonrise AnthologyI was pleased to come across the essay contributed by Eve Ensler, a creative woman’s activist whom I admire. Ensler’s essay, “V to the Tenth,” represents how pushing past a fear or a supposed taboo can blow the doors open and start conversations even in areas least expected. It just takes one person to start it. “Saying the word I was not supposed to say is the thing that gave me a voice in the world,” writes Ensler.

Although she writes how speaking up can help one reclaim power in their life, she also points out the areas where society lacks in supporting women’s safety and addressing violence. “The only point of having power, it seems to me, is to give it away, and inspire other people to have it.”

Another essay I enjoyed was “The Color of Sustainability” by LaDonna Redmond, a food activist with a passion for universal accessibility to healthy food. An advocate for “being part of the solution to the issues,” Redmond shares her personal story on becoming a food justice expert—from sustainable agriculture to health food preparation—and the ecological connection between African Americans and farming. Redmond notes that sustainability is not a social welfare issue, and requires diversity and inclusion in order to be attainable.

Moonrise provides for readers an inspired vision. This inspirational book offers concrete evidence in the power of women’s dreams, goals, and accomplishments. While obviously, it’s a must-read for any woman, professional or not, Moonrise is also an essential perspective for men to gain in their paths throughout the world.

For more information, please click > Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart

Wonder-When Process: 4 Steps for Finding Purpose

What if you were soon to become aware of wonderful treasures which exist within you?

What if you have incredible inner resources that can easily be activated to enrich your life and help you with life purpose?

What if you you have lived many times before and have mastered many things?

What if all of your resources from past, and future lives, are available to you right now?

Wouldn’t you be more apt to be successful at attaining your goals?

You Do Have …

Well, here’s my experience:

  • You do have wonderful treasures within you.
  • You do have incredible resources within you.
  • You have mastered many things and have these skills and learnings available to you now.
  • You exist in all times at once, therefore having access to your full mastery (a bit mind-boggling perhaps).

The Wonder-When 4 Step Process …
Smiling Girl Sitting on Grass

Imagine how you could fuel your life purpose and create positive motivation for accomplishing your goals.

You can discover these resources for yourself. Here’s a simple four-step process:

1) Pick a word that represents one of your inner treasures that you would like to discover or deepen. A short list of some of my favorites are: boldness, clarity, compassion, confidence, contentment, cooperativeness, courage, creativity, dependability, dynamism, efficiency, energy, flexibility, freedom, generosity, gentleness, goodness, gracefulness, harmony, honesty, humor, independence, integrity, inventiveness, kindness, love, loyalty, motivation, openness, patience, persistence, practicality, radiance, sensitivity, sensuality, strength, thoroughness, uniqueness, and wisdom. Pick one word from this list or come up with one of your own.

2) Write down the following sentence on a small piece of paper: “I wonder how soon it will be before my inner <fill in your word> begins to express itself in my life?”

3) For the next week—longer if you wish—repeat this phrase with as much enthusiasm as you can bring forth. You can say it out loud and to yourself; quietly and with lots of volume; quickly and slowly; or with sacredness then silliness. Just say this magical affirmation in as many different ways as come to mind. The more you speak these words, and in as many different ways, the more you will be evoking your inner treasures.

4) Expect the resource to come forth! How could it not?!

If you enjoy this process, repeat it many times, using a new word each week. Without a doubt, this is the most powerful affirmation process I’ve ever used. I hope you enjoy bringing forth the wonders which exist within you. May you achieve success in realizing your goals and be on a path for expressing your life purpose.

Tips for Getting Paid to Play

I was corresponding with a friend regarding her career and life purpose. She’s very intuitive, talented, and hard working. However, she’s had many job struggles—like most of us—bridging into work that truly gives her joy.

It’s important to remember that it’s just an illusionary perception that one’s purpose and making money are opposites. Polarity perceptions like “business = money” and “spiritual = poverty” create confusion.

Read on to discover some of the insights we discussed.

Gleaming Hints of Joy

When you have hints regarding what brings you the most joy—your purpose—and take consistent, playful action, you begin to move the energy toward creation.

Your life’s purpose often isn’t what your mind perceives it to be. You can’t know what it is until you’re immersed in the energy of pleasant action (yes, there are sometimes “hard” parts too).

When you are moving in the fun of what you love, the next steps open up from there—and they’re most often a surprise.

Letting Go, Moving Into Play

Person Making PotteryAt first, let go of any business model or structured plan. Creative career healing begins as you move toward mastery of activities you love to do. Then, as you lay the foundation by becoming skilled at thoughts and actions that bring value to others, others will pay you well to play well.

People love to flow money to people who are doing what they love, and thus providing positive benefits. But don’t focus on providing positive benefits at the outset. Start with immersing yourself, as much as you can, in experiments that give you feedback on what you LOVE to be, do, and have.

You may think you know your purpose, but perhaps your mind is in the way. You have hints, but too much thought and too little action create a kind of mental constipation; analysis paralysis. Our minds don’t really have a clue at first. Ask your mind’s money-making worries and previously-reinforced strategies to sit quietly on the sidelines and . . . watch. Then, as you continue creating with the energy of enjoyment, your mind will move from passive observer to excited fan!

The world is full of people with money who will pay you well to play, since they will receive positive benefits from your expressions.

Using Your Enthusiasm to Build Energy

Perhaps you need “a job” to pay the bills as you explore. So be it. Do that job each day with as much positive, enthusiastic energy as you can muster to avoid job struggles.

If that job is funding your “life purpose discovery experiments,” do that job well and create gratitude for the opportunity. Find ways to do your current work exquisitely and with joy. This energy will act as a powerful magnet to attract work that you will find to be even more fulfilling.

The key is to discover what you LOVE to do by taking small, experimental action steps each day, and then doing more and more of what feels really good to you.

Renew Your Energy with 15 Self-Care Actions

The stresses we encounter in day-to-day living can take a toll on our energy reserves.

Consider a few examples: watching too much television or listening to the world events on the news. These situations can invoke fear responses and become energy drains.

When we feel heavy, a little self-care can help us restore our vitality and energy. If you have been feeling a bit low or are in need of a boost, it may be a great time to do some of these self-love activities to help you stay balanced and resourceful.

15 Renewal Exercises

Two Friends on Chair Lift

  1. Spend some time in nature with a friend going for a walk or an outdoor excursion. Talk about things for which you are grateful.
  2. Practice some deep breathing. As you exhale, imagine your body releasing any sadness or grief. As you inhale, welcome in love and universal wisdom.
  3. Go on a media diet. If you find yourself watching too much television or news, put yourself on a media diet or fast. If you want to stay current, try reading the headline articles in your local newspaper or read the news online instead. By reading the news online, you can learn about current events in 10 or 15 minutes a day versus the hours that you may spend watching television.
  4. Learn something new. Get with a friend who has a skill you would like to learn, or schedule a class in something you are interested in.
  5. Make something. Creative energy always helps us feel empowered!
  6. Volunteer some time to help a friend or a cause that you find meaningful.
  7. Pets are naturally healing. Spend time with pets or animals. Take them for a walk, or give them some extra attention.
  8. A Tree's Healing EnergySpend time in nature’s healing energy, such as going for a swim, walking through a forest, or spending time in your garden.
  9. Learn a “healing or helping” skill. Then share it!
  10. Start a new hobby in an area that interests you, or you feel would make you happy.
  11. Free up some energy. Clean out your closets, and give things you no longer need or have outgrown to those who may want or need them.
  12. Write a story or a poem, and express something you value or feel is important.
  13. Invite a few friends over and teach them something you know that you feel would be fun, inspiring, or helpful.
  14. Fix something that is broken, or give an item a new and refreshing look.
  15. Let someone know you care! Write to a friend or send them a thoughtful, free e-mail card. A two-way conversation is even better! Just pick up the phone and call someone you have been thinking about. You may find they have also been thinking of you.

The Ripples of Creativity

We have learned from Alana that when one individual takes a creative action, it ripples through the whole and helps everyone. The more reactive energy we generate contributes to a downward spiral that is easy to get caught up in.

May any or all of these 15 self-love, self-care action tips spark your imagination and help you feel better and lighter! As we support each other in becoming lighter, our perceptions can begin to see a brighter and more loving world.

—Kirk VandenBerghe

A Model for Every Community: The Destiny Arts Center Grows Peaceful Warriors

Established in 1988 as a response to Oakland, California’s increasing rates of violence and crime and the corresponding decrease in accessible programs for youth, Destiny Arts Center seeks to “end isolation, prejudice and violence in the lives of young people.”

Youths often live with frustration and depression. Destiny Arts Center seeks to provide for them a safe environment designed for creative and positive expression.

Instilling in youths valuable feelings of safe worth and respect for others paves the way for a lifetime of positive participation at school and within the community, and inspires every child to achieve greatness.

Destiny Arts Center is a community organization to model in all cities, large or small.

Violence Prevention & Conflict Resolution

Destiny Arts Center Kids Learning Marial ArtsThe martial arts and performing arts programs serve as a proven violence prevention strategy for the center’s youths aged three years old to 18 by reinforcing positive and nonviolent behavior in the face of negativity.

Destiny Arts Center seeks to establish in youth the alternatives to provoking or reacting to violence. Through the programs staffed with positive and genuine instructors, the kids learn respect for themselves and for others, effective violence prevention strategies, and positive conflict resolution skills.

Effects on the Community

The programs offered through the center run at the most essential times in kids’ days: after school, on weekends, and during the summer. This gives the youths an accessible forum to “explore, express and reshape daily challenges through physical, emotional and creative growth.”

The instructors and alumni of Destiny Arts Center have witnessed kids become vocal in the community at large about nonviolence. When kids feel safe and have valuable self esteem, their cognitive, emotional, social, and physical growth is dramatic and positive. When kids learn how to engage their authentic selves and connect with peers and culture in a positive manner, the effects last a lifetime.

The following is a transcription of kids and parents talking about the effects Destiny Arts Center has had on their loves.

Destiny Arts Center, Growing Peaceful Warriors

Danny Glover at Destiny Arts Center

Danny Glover visits Destiny Arts Center

Emerald Mitchell: I come to Destiny because I love being a part of something that is just so profound. How many youth organizations are like us? You know, we dance. Some of us sing. Some of us rap. We act. We perform. But we do it for a reason. We include our own stories in our scripts, in our poems, you know, in our dances.

Any decision that I’m making that is a big decision—that will affect another human being, that will affect an animal, a plant, the environment, you know—we cover that stuff at Destiny. And so I’m doing something powerful, you know, and I’m affecting my community. So that’s why I hang out.

Matt Plut: Actually, it’s the philosophy of Destiny, really, that kind of sets it apart. Jake got fascinated kind of with the dancing and just the way they were teaching him, so we decided to start Destiny here on Saturdays. We live in San Francisco, so it’s a little hard for us to get over on the weekdays. But on weekends we’re here, on Saturday, and he does hip hop here and martial arts after hip hop.

Jake Plut: I used to sometimes get angry over stuff that I shouldn’t have. But now that I’ve joined Destiny, they’ve helped me with my life. I was in a competition. I managed to win two medals. I feel proud and it was a great experience for me.

Giana Cirolia: The five fingers of balance prevention and the seven steps of conflict resolution, they’re like the moment you start thinking about it, that’s like taking a breath and stepping back and just the idea of having that in the back of your mind gives you the chance to deescalate the situation.

Payomo Family (mother speaking): So, yes. I have four kids here between the ages of four and fifteen. The first few months I was really, really amazed with how it affected them in such a positive way. They were so excited to come. The energy and the self expression that you teach the kids and you allow them to have, it really gives them a lot of confidence and it also makes them want to share that.

What Does Destiny Mean?

Kids Empowered at Destiny Arts CenterYoung Man: If I could describe Destiny in word word, I’ll say mind changing. Eye-opening.

Older Man: Full of life.

Young Woman: Can I make up my own word?

Matt Plut: For us, community.

Payomo family (young man): My second family.

Young Woman: Fantastically beautiful.

Jake Plutt: Excellent!

Payomo family (mother): Talented.

Payomo family (young girl): Hope. Community. Beauty. Friendship. It’s love. Future. Growth. It’s amazing!

Man: I feel like it’s not about anything but helping children grow to their full potential as human beings. That’s what i would say. Rooted in contribution.

Young Girl: Awesome.

Payomo family (young girl): Fun!

The Spirit of Destiny Arts Center

Javier Santos: Unlike other places, the real hard neighborhoods where the people grow up, have it real rough, you know, and most of the time they don’t come out to be so positive. All they’re surrounded by is violence and hate, and they’re not really surrounded by that positivity and that peacefulness that they need to get to know themselves and get to be creative and artistic. And when you come to Destiny, I feel that you get that.

Herman Pecot: The spirit is very ripe here. The spirit of Bushido, the warrior’s code, Destiny really cultivates that part of the being. You know, the balance of power and peace and skill and kindness, all that mixed together. So that’s what we’re seeing.

Arianna Butler: I couldn’t imagine me without Destiny. I really couldn’t. And even when we have breaks from Destiny, I’m still like, “Dang! I miss dance class! Dang! I miss Sarah! Dang! I miss the company!”

Dalmacio Payomo: I can’t even explain how deep the bonds are between everyone in Destiny and the company, in the classes that I teach. The teachers that I work with are just amazing.

Everything You Could Want in a Youth Organization

Martial Arts KickGiana Cirolia: If I had two words to describe Destiny, I would say presence and energy.

Young woman: Beautiful and empowering.

Javier Santos: Positive. Family orientated. Strong, beautiful, caring. Real . . . hah! Real!

Emerald Mitchell: A short phrase? I’ll try to make a short phrase that can describe Destiny . . . “Everything you could possibly want in a youth organization.”

Fees and Funding

The Destiny Art Center offers scholarship programs to families who are unable to afford the fees for the various dance or martial arts classes offered. In addition to offering free trial classes, the center also enforces a strict policy that no family will be denied access due to a lack of funds.

Destiny’s success and ability to continue offering quality programs and a safe haven for kids is because of the continued support from the community. Be it through monetary donations, the offering of physical space for programs, or the valuable help from volunteers, Destiny Arts Center is thankful for all its support.

Watch The Video!

Programs That Teach Violence Prevention

Growing peaceful warriors does not mean being passive. It’s exactly the opposite as kids learn how to channel their energy while moving their skills toward violence prevention through dance and martial arts, games, and role playing exercises.

  • Real Talk – Real Moves: violence prevention for teens and young adults.
  • The ABCs of Anger: creative conflict resolution.
  • Self-Defense for Boys and Girls.
  • Moving in the Movement: using dance and theater as tools for social change.
  • Dance Basics: hip-hop, modern, African & Latin dance.
  • Martial Arts Basics: kung fu, karate & Capoeira.
  • Hip-Hop and Beyond: the African roots of hip-hop.
  • Theater for the People : theater games and exercises that explore the nature of life.
  • Yoga Program

If you want to learn more about Destiny Arts Center or to be inspired to create a similar organization in your community, please visit their website.

Learn more, click > Destiny Arts Center