Tag Archives: authentic self

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

Love and Intuition Book is a Guide for Learning Your Love Type

Love and Intuition: A Psychic’s Guide to Creating Lasting Love (Llewellyn Publications) is a journey into the world of love and all that comes with it.

While many of us wander aimlessly day-to-day without knowing what will come next and how to find the love of our lives, Sherrie Dillard attests that we really can bring love into our lives—we just need a bit of guidance.

And Love and Intuition offers that guidance.

What’s Your Predominate Intuitive Sense?

Sherrie Dillard PictureDillard’s first book, Discover Your Psychic Type: Developing and Using Your Natural Intuition (Llewellyn Publications), provides guidance for readers to connect more deeply to their intuition by discovering which sense is their predominate intuitive guide. This way, they can learn to follow their inner guidance better and faster.

One reader stated:

Discover Your Psychic Type uses a Myers Briggs-like examination of your own inherent psychic abilities as one caring friend might accompany another. I found this book to be not only an enjoyable read, but one I will actually re-read and study for its fresh, encouraging, and effective approach to spiritual development. —Ruth M. Miller

You Can Attract Love

Love and Intuition is a quite amazing book, and you don’t have to read Dillard’s first book to benefit from this one. This 333 page, soft-cover book opens the mind’s eye to the revelation that we can all truly attract to our lives what we desire—even in the often confusing world of love.

With a little guidance to get you started, Love and Intuition will give you the start you need to uncover your authentic self and innate qualities. As you uncover the root of your essence you’ll begin to understand what you want in a partner.

Discover Your Personal Love Type

In this unique look into creating lasting love, Dillard first teaches the reader about their own selves—a real key in identifying love that lasts. Dillard claims that we are all intuitive; we are all psychic to one degree or another.

In Love and Intuition, Dillard gives real life ways for readers to understand just what kind of intuitive they are. She explains this as what kind of love type you are.

Which are you? Dillard explains the following love types then gives you tools to make an assessment of yourself:

  • Spiritual
  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Mental

Love and Intuition BookcoverFirst know yourself, then comes your partner. Once you understand through Dillard’s light and easy-to-understand descriptions which love type you are and the love type your partner is, life will start getting interesting.

Applying what Dillard teaches you once you know your love type is the fun part. She provides exercises, examples, real life scenarios, visualizations, and even meditations to grow and nurture your love with that someone special.

All of what you’ll learn in these easy to understand and apply love lessons is based on your personal love type.

Love and Intuition also includes personal, light-hearted accounts from some of Dillard’s clients’ experiences relating to love, fidelity, sex, passion, intimacy, and other common relationship challenges.

When you open the pages of Love and Intuition you’ll intuitively feel the magic that waits for your relationship jump off the pages. This book is filled with insight, wisdom, and unique skills that promise to bring you the relationship of your dreams.

To learn more visit Amazon > Love and Intuition: A Psychic’s Guide to Creating Lasting Love

Moving Beyond Stuck: A Goal Setting Secret

An important discovery to make is our personal life mission.

When we identify it, our purpose or mission can increase our life’s joy and happiness.

But, we often get confused and make our purpose far too complicated.

Really, our life purpose is a simple expression of our soul that resonates within our heart.

When we take the time to discover the essence of our purpose, it is much easier to make decisions, like identifying meaningful work.

Question for Alana: Wherever I look for a direction on what I should do with my life, I get just one answer: Set a goal. But that is precisely what I can’t seem to arrive at.

To be honest, I feel like doing nothing. Not only am I goalless, I also can’t seem to zero in on a career.

I’m not happy with what I’m doing right now; my heart isn’t in it at all, but I don’t know what else to do. I just don’t feel motivated to try anything, but I need money.

Daydreaming and ConceptualizingAm I lazy? Am I just stuck with wrong choices?

I feel so lost. Dear Alana, please give me some spiritual guidance that will help get me going somewhere.

Thank you so much.

Alana’s Answer: Greetings, dear one. Thank you for submitting such a powerful question. Let us explore the essence of your question and perhaps we can together arrive at some ways to help you determine your next steps.

One thing we often forget is the power of conceptualization. The creative process has several stages before action is taken. We often forget that within stillness–the nurturing space that knowingness springs from–is one of the very first steps for birthing our concepts and ideas.

It sounds like you have entered this space and know that you cannot jump ahead; that you are missing some steps before you forge ahead with your career ambitions. Trust your lack of motivation because you are actually following your intuition.

Some individuals will judge the fertile space you are experiencing as a sort of laziness. However, you will come to a time when it feels right to move forward.

Give yourself some time to just be. Be still, observe, learn, feel your body, and let your body’s responses lead you. Wait until you receive an internal “Ah-ha” before taking the next “baby step” of creating a goal.

Alana call’s these small actions baby steps because great things are built on a foundation of small steps. Small steps are what are needed to create the space to discover your essence and authentic nature in greater detail. So give yourself some time to fill in each baby step.

Honor the space you’re in. Embrace it. Use it to nurture yourself while you feel “goalless.” Trust that hidden in your being is a goal yet to be realized. It will appear once you spend a little more time exploring your inner dimensions.

But What About the Money?

We do need to make a living and support ourselves. This is true!

Going for the MoneyTherefore, view what you are doing at this moment as the means to earn some income. This becomes a bridge of support while you are in this magical discovery process. Perhaps you can realize that everything is connected and because you are listening you are engaging your heart. There is purpose in how you are feeling in this moment, and this is a grand opportunity.

May you receive a sense of satisfaction knowing that there is a purpose to what may feel like lack of direction, even if your heart does not fully sing while performing the tasks at hand. Trust this process, because you are sensing something greater ahead.

Now you can use your spare time to get to know your inner nature more deeply. There are many books and courses designed to invoke one’s inner passion to uncover a personal mission. When you identify your simple mission, it will resonate in your heart. A simple mission is one that can be shared in one sentence–sometimes even one word. By identifying it, you can explore how you can express this purpose within various careers.

For example, our free course “Discovering Your Authentic Self” is a simple but very effective step by step process to uncover and ignite your personal mission. Take some time and explore this process, and don’t be in a hurry.

A Personal Discovery Process

Often, individuals find themselves working in jobs that others suggested would be good for them. This is sometimes because they haven’t taken the time to get to know their deeper passions. Ambitions can be defined by what socially are deemed as the good, better, and best occupations. When we follow the path of collective social values, we often overlook our innate natures. This is like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. It may fit, but something will be missing.

It seems to Alana that you are instinctively and intuitively sensing that you are now ready to delve deeper into your purpose. Once you do, you will discover many amazing qualities within. You will know because enthusiasm will begin to bubble up.

Following Your PathWhen we engage with inner enthusiasm, the universe follows by opening doors on our path that lead to joy. This is a magical process of self love that will move your creativity from the conceptualization process to a clearer sense of purpose. Then a vocational interest will follow that wraps around this personal mission. It will be time to take the action steps that will manifest your desired outcomes.

Thank you, dear one, for your question.

Click to explore > Discover Your Authentic Self Series