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These testimonials are shown here in their original language only as they are the actual words of the participants. But if you like to get a translation you can use the browser's translation tool.


Diese Erfahrungsberichte werden hier nur in ihrer Originalsprache gezeigt, da es sich um die tatsächlichen Worte der Teilnehmer handelt. Aber wenn Du eine Übersetzung haben möchtest, kannst Du die Übersetzungen des Browsers verwenden

I am coming to enjoy the resources and opportunities provided in this program. To connect with like minded people who are open and willing to seek out true connection and mutual acceptance. To connect with a healthy and open version of myself that is willing to let myself be. To support my peers who a part of this journey. To provide my perspective, presence, effort, love and most of all, honesty. To step back from my life and rethink how I can incorporate further into my life this mindset that is being taught.

Participant (age 19)

This workshop helped me in many ways. It provided me with a space to open up and share without any fear of judgment, where I was welcomed to share myself wholly. In the space that this program created, I felt very seen, by both my peers participating in the program, and by the facilitators. I have never experienced something like this before, and it was honestly completely terrifying to enter this space. However, once I was able to break free from my own internal judgments and let down my walls a bit, I realized what a safe and special place I had been welcomed into.

Participant (age 22)

During the YAEOS Program this summer I experienced some of the deepest moments of self-love, acceptance, and connection in my life so far. The weekend helped me deepen my understanding that I am both dark and light, pain and love, ugly and beautiful.
This weekend reminded me how to completely sink into saying ‘yes’ to my imperfections and marvel at the beauty of humility.

Participant (age 21)

The School of the Essential Self is a wonderful space for young adults to explore who they are at their deepest level and how they would like to move about the world. I have walked away from workshops feeling brighter and more confident, creative, open, sensitive and loving. The people I have met as a part of this program have become lifelong friends. They have shown me again and again that when we show up with our full selves communities flourish. I trust that if you are a young person looking to find more ease and beauty in your life, this program will be a great fit for you. 

Participant (age 27)

I feel very connected to my own power and my center after the workshop. The people in my life who were not there with me are seeing my growth and I had a very powerful conversation with my parents. I shared vulnerably something that happened to me and they saw the strength I have in myself and how I am able to express my feelings.

Participant (age 18)

Thank you so much for creating and hosting this program. I cannot say how deeply grateful I am that my child had this experience. Please know I will move heaven and earth to get them to any more workshops you could host. I have wanted this kind of opportunity for them for so long and to have it actually exist is incredible.

Rachel (Mom of participant)

YAEOS was the first retreat-like space I had ever been to. It was a deeply centering and perspective-changing experience. There was a unique degree of emotional safety as well as the invitation to explore both the shameful and beautiful parts of my human experience...and witnesses to hold me through all of it. That's what I believe is the transformative nature of group work. 

Participant (age 28)

The program opened a place of love and vulnerability inside me; the moment when I was able to fully cry in the circle, I found that my tears lead to an infinite pool of love from you all. My sadness opened up a depth of feeling inside me I haven’t had before. I am able to feel anger, sadness, shame, fear, and happiness in the most real and raw way.

Participant (age 18)

This self image of needing to be “perfect”and having no room to make mistakes - all of this changed for me when I participated in the program to learn how to express myself and build deep and meaningful friendships. What I learned shifted the way I see myself and the way I see others.

Participant (age 22)

The rain really describes what I am experiencing. The monsoons brought this lush, flourishing, brightness to the environment. I feel that the love we created in the circle was like the rain. Every human emotion was turned up to full feeling. I was in complete awe at the puja because I was so touched by the spirituality of the ashram. I felt like I could burst out in tears or laughter at the same time. I found the depth of community, and kindness I have been looking for in my life during the program. And it’s so cool that I found this with people I have known my whole life, and with new friends I met for the first time.

Participant (age 17)

One important moment for me was realizing the difference between the first circle and the last circle. In the first circle I felt shy, awkward and confused about my role. In the last few circles I felt much more open and intimate.
What happened to me is I stepped into the role of working with youth again, in whatever capacity that will look like. It felt amazing. I felt very liberated in moments from my worst suffering, alleviated. I felt deep curiosity and wonder at the distinct personalities of those of us in the circle. I felt delight.

Leo (Support Staff)

I listened as my friends shared, my uneasiness building as my turn to share got closer and closer. Should I say what I’d been holding back? I knew that if I started to share the chains locking up my emotions would break and the room would see what I was truly feeling. I took a deep breath and said, “I need help.” Everyone's attention shifted to me. Tears started to roll down my face. This was a moment of truth, one of the first times in my life that asked for help. My friends gathered close to me as I shared. My world changed.

Participant (age 22)

The program was life changing for me. I have learned that sharing how I feel and listening to how others feel is an essential part of building friendship and community. It's about being in connection with others and being there for them when they stumble and vice versa. It's about sharing and being heard, not to “fix” each other or give advice. I started to learn how to express myself in ways that don't tread on people's toes or make people wrong for their beliefs.

Participant (age 22)

This program gave me an immense gift in helping me see my ability to hold space for others. As I sat with my weeping friend, I felt deep gratitude that I was trusted to comfort and love him in such an immensely vulnerable state.

Participant (age 21)

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