Everything has come to a head, and someone leaves. Or perhaps you have moved away and now you have to start all over again. Or maybe the family is bereaved and you’ve lost a special relative, or there are money problems. What do you do when it all gets too much, and rising tensions cause the people you love stop talking? How does it feel when your family is affected by stress?
Myriad creates space for young people to explore issues of family tension and family breakdown. These may be caused by separation. But they may equally be due to bereavement, money worries, illness or anxiety. All of these can have a powerful impact on family life. The word myriad means multitude, but in ancient Greece it meant 10,000. That’s a big number. It reflects the many ways there are to be family, and the many young people there are struggling to make sense of changing family life. That’s why we developed Myriad.
What steps can I take to move forward positively?
Myriad isn’t about finger pointing. It’s about creating safe space and providing time for young people to stop and reflect. Myriad leaders offer friendly support, guiding young people through a journey of exploration that asks, ‘Where am I now in my life? What have I been through? Who else is affected, and how do they feel? Can I unpack some of this and begin to make sense of it all? And what steps can I take to move forward positively?
Understanding their own and other’s perspectives, and acknowledging powerful feelings can help young people to move on. It assists them to put the difficulties of the past behind them, and to view the future more positively. Through Myriad they are encouraged to express what they discover through creative activities such as drawing, writing and role-play. And at the end of the project these are collected and presented in the form of an installation at school. Coming from the young people themselves this can speak powerfully to others in similar circumstances. Myriad is about sharing. It’s about making connections. It’s about finding reasons to be positive.
Recently Soulscape took Myriad to The Holt School where a number of students participated. They showed maturity, commitment, energy and courage, and at the end of the project their creative work was shared with the whole school.
10,000 reasons to love life.
Sarah Anstis, teacher at the school, described one young person, normally very quiet and shy in the classroom. ‘I was delighted to observe this student confidently engaging with her peers in the lunch hall, keen for them all to come and see the results of Myriad. It was great to see her overcoming her shyness, fuelled as she was by her excitement and enthusiasm to share what she had been learning.’
And that’s really what we at Soulscape want for all young people. A future filled with hope and 10,000 reasons to love life.