by Alyson Showell LaPorta
How do we create a life and value system that creates a better world? If that seems like a huge, complicated question – that’s because it is! But it’s a question that needs to be asked – and answered – which Amy Edelstein did as a recent guest on Thomas Steinenger’s podcast Radio evolve Global.
The show seeks to explore how to live a more conscious, spiritual life in this ever-evolving, ever-changing complicated world. Evolve examines these themes by inviting guests on who are making contributions to the collective cultural consciousness through philosophy, collective dialogue processes, meditation, and, of course tools to build inner strength.
Part of the key to unlocking those tools is to develop the spirit of youth, in the toughest of places. To shed light on that, Amy spoke about Inner Strength Education and work that the organization has undertaken in Philadelphia high schools. The impetus and philosophy behind the work of Inner Strength is that students need – and want – tools to understand the world in which they live, and Amy explained how that is accomplished. Youth want to understand how to deal with anxiety, how to feel love and kindness, how to relate to each other in and out of the classroom, and how to navigate trauma that many face on a daily basis.
Amy spoke about how the 12-week Inner Strength Teen Program is helping to change the classroom culture, one student at a time. Much of the trauma faced Philadelphia teens stems, in part, from poverty. Over 85% of students are at or below the federal poverty line. Couple that with gun violence, housing instability, food instability, domestic violence (experienced or observed), and you have a perfect storm of dysregulation.
Mindfulness helps them to unlock endless potential buried under a lack of opportunity, lack of awareness, lack of understanding and lack of respect for themselves and others. It helps them to capture the depth of the human experience – their experience – and to better prepare them for a “succeed at all costs” world.
Kids are desperate for guidance, for mentors, for tools, for a light to help them along their path and by participating in the program, they gain a lasting foundation to create a more consciousness, whole, authentic, loving version of themselves.
Host Thomas Steininger is recognized as a European Leader in a transformative collective dialogue process that he has pioneered. He publishes the print magazine Evolve, runs conferences, retreats, and trainings. Thomas brings his background in philosophy from University of Vienna to contemporary issues, proving that deep philosophical thinking is not a luxury but rather a necessity to help us solve the biggest issues of our times.