In 2012 Journey Outreach North America will be largely focused on providing services for Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. From years of social, economic, and especially emotional repression the conditions at Pine Ridge have become some of the worst anywhere in the world. Unemployment rates run 85 – 90 percent. Alcoholism affects 80% of the population and domestic violence affects 3 out of 5 women. The school drop-out rate is 70%, teacher turnover is 8 times the national average, and teen suicides are 3 times the national average. The abhorable statistics go on and on, and, as with many communities in deep despair, efforts to improve conditions have not succeeded.
We can’t solve these challenges by using the same kind of thinking that created them. A new approach is needed that recognizes and begins to heal generations of emotional pain and trauma. The best solutions lie within the hearts and minds of those affected. Journey Outreach provides tools for emotional healing, personal freedom, and self empowerment to help people re-engage in-life, find purpose, and blossom in their own authenticity. To read more about Journeywork with Aboriginal cultures in North America see the “First Nations” section under Journey Outreach in Canada. Following are testimonials from a February 2012 Visionary Leadership Intensive (VLI) Workshop in British Columbia:
“I was always using excuses not to come (to the workshop) and I feel like i came at the right time for my life. Been going through a lot of struggles in my life right now – VLI really helped me to understand what from my past was holding back my abilities. I found Peace. I’m really grateful that I opened myself up to the ideas and processes of VLi. I feel renewed and more accepting of myself. I also feel this will really empower me and inspire me in school right now — Just taking my thinking to a different level.”
~~ Lauren Kelly, Masters in Indigenous Governance student at University of Victoria.
“It allowed me to see the issues I thought I had resolved; but not deep down inside of me. It has given me a new found strength to be positive about life. It gave me a realization that steps need to be constantly taken so that we can continue to grow. If we stop growing in the mind, body, and spirit we will be brought to our knees at the foot of a system that doesn’t want us to feel. It has pushed me down a road of respect, honesty, and openness to enjoy life with family and others”
~~Geoffrey P. Rankin, Masters in Indigenous Governance student at University of Victoria.
“Limiting beliefs paralyze our people. The squash our innate desire to move up & *fearlessly* act on the passions that drive us. This workshop zero’s in on those issues & beliefs in such an amazing way. A way you can not expect or predict without experiencing it. It puts the truth before your eyes & resolution in your heart. Amazing work”
~~Shannon-Rose Vickers, Mother, Youth support worker.
Examples of ancient wisdom continue to reveal themselves throughout our modern world, providing new ways of looking at life and working through he challenges of our world society. Still, in many ways, there is struggle in recognizing the ancient wisdoms and beauties of Aboriginal cultures throughout the world. Providing opportunities for healing within these cultures, and recognizing the greatness of ancient traditions from within and without, opens larger possibilities of healing and of recognition of our innate connetion with all of humanity – Aho Mitakuye Oyasin(All Are Related). For more information about the conditions and history of Pine Ridge please see the following videos:
- ABC 20/20, October 2011: Hidden America ~ Children of the Plains
- TED TALKS, Denver, CO May 2010: Aaron Huey ~ America’s Native Prisoners
Teachers for Transformation
Since 2001 The Journey North America has been providing training for working with children, focusing on the self first and how to help dissolve the unconscious separation and internal barriers that can impact a child’s ability to learn effortlessly, joyously and effectively. The instruction has been received by over 600 people working with children and teaches a variety of skills that can be used with children of all ages. It also give educators an opportunity to “recharge their personal batteries.”
In 2009 The Journey Intensive, Advanced Skills, and Liberating Kids Shining Potential workshops were combined and accredited for 40 clock hours of continuing education called Teachers for Transformation. This program is offered yearly in Washington State and soon will also be provided in Washington DC, Denver CO, and other locations. After receiving the training, teachers may request in-classroom assistance from Journey Outreach. Feedback and results from using the Journey in the Classroom in the United States and Canada has been phenomenal. Journey Outreach also assists teachers in collecting informative data about improvements in academics, referrals, attendance, and social-emotional wellness.
Junior Journey Program
The Junior Journey Program was created in Australia specifically to provide Journey workshops to teenagers so they can work with and support each other. It has recently grown to also be offered in the United States and Canada. The program has been extremely successful in attracting young people and empowering them to help themselves and others through the challenges and pressures of school and early adulthood. It has helped many youth to claim back their lives, recover from suicidal tendencies, and feel healthy and whole again.
J. Reuben Long Detention Center – Conway, South Carolina – United States
In July 2010 Paula Loehr, a Journey Practitioner in Training, began a pilot outreach program as an optional part of the Life Recovery Solutions Program at J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Conway, South Carolina. As of September 2011 she completed Emotional Journeys with all fourteen inmates requesting it, and has seen tremendous results. Inmates have noticed significant changes in their attitude and their overall awareness of themselves and those around them. Many inmates have reported feeling better in their own skin. They have worked on very traumatic issues and Paula has been impressed with their willingness to open up and really allow these issues to be healed. Program directors at the Detention Center have commented on the positive changes they see in the inmates receiving Journeywork. One particular inmate went from being teary eyed all the time to bright and cheery. They all seem to be dealing much better with their issues overall, beyond the issues they have uncovered in their processes.
Since September, Paula has completed 19 additional processes with inmates and 3 processes with clients at the half-way home which is phase two of the program. Of the 22 processes, 11 were first processes, 7 were second processes, and 4 were third processes. She has worked with 26 inmates since the inception of the pilot program. About every three months, she gives a presentation on Journeywork and invites new inmates in the program to voluntarily participate in the program. Many inmates have shared how helpful Journeywork has been for them. One man in particular was filled with anger that made him lash at all the time. After just this second process, he dealt with that inner anger and has become much softer in his approach to life. Others around him began to question the change and he credited it to Journeywork! Other inmates have been able to move past traumas from years past that they thought would always be with them. One inmate said “Journeywork is like the shower you get after coming out of the salty ocean. You feel all dirty and then you are thoroughly cleaned in the process.” He has been with the program since the beginning and is a great spokesperson for it. This is cutting-edge work in the jails and Paula is excited to be part of it. General Administration of the jail has their eye on Journeywork!