–Expand, in and on Purpose–

Flash as defined by dictionary.com is a (n.) “a thing that occurs SUDDENLY and within a brief period of time, in particular.” THAT is exactly what I feel the time lapse has been since my last update! The plot has officially been thickened, the characters are developed, the clues all lead to evidence, the evidence suggests motive and the motives all point to an interesting mix of possible suspects. Over the next few months, the finishing touches will make this project and ultimately the finished product; a huge success. It’s hard to believe that 6 weeks have gone by since we began our committee work; some as first time teens immersed in the PFO culture, I as a first time advisor and all of us embarking on a first time experience in the creation of our very own Murder Mystery game. The bulk of our charge is nearly complete and we’ve all experienced an EXPANSION in the process, not by accident, but by design.

When PFO talks about not just getting out of your comfort zone, but “EXPANDING” it, they are careful to craft opportunities and objectives for teens and adults to do just that, with attention and intention that it will keep us going forward and growing forward in our own lives and the lives of those we encounter. While, every organization has a mission, vision, value statements, guiding principles or core values, even when there are similarities, the approach is often different, thus is the outcome. Some do a good job of hitting the target; even without the great aim, some are rooted in theory, but rarely in practice (by design in some cases), and some struggle to meet the mark more often than not. Playing for Others(PFO) doesn’t fall into any of those categories and it’s because with every lesson, LifeTalk, Coffee Talk, activity and experience be it for staff, advisors or teens served, the premise is rooted in intentionality.

Meetings that start or end with expressions of gratitude is not by accident, as it reminds us all that there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. CHOOSING to operate out of a place of “POSSIBILITY” rather than focusing on what is impossible, both in the message and what is modeled by adult mentors is not an accident. Choosing to not allow CIRCUMSTANCES or CONDITIONS to limit the possibility of CHANGE in our own lives and the lives of those around us, is not an accident. Reinforcements that keep all of us mindful that we have the power to accept or reject the thoughts that look to shape our lives is not an accident. The practice of not simply telling teens they can lead, or showing them how to lead, but creating opportunities for them to develop and model their leadership skills, is not an accident. Expanding hearts and minds through meaningful dialogue and activities that either further shape or shift perspective and showing genuine compassion in ways great and small, through the Buddy Program and Present Program is (you guessed it) NOT AN ACCIDENT!

The endless gift of ATTENTION and INTENTION wrapped in everything that PFO stands for and everything they do, is not by accident. Having the privilege of serving alongside such a dynamic group of teens, staff and fellow advisors and bearing witness to the energy and enthusiasm they bring to what they do daily, regardless of how great or how small the task, is medicinal. Making room for what could be, what should be, what will be, while embracing what is, is something worthy of aspiration for us all and can easily be attained with a little attention and intention. 

In gratitude!