Universal Laws  are basic truths- also known as “Laws of Nature” or “Spiritual Laws”- that are the foundation of all humanity. JAIA uses these laws as guides helping our participants to learn to “go with the flow” of life.  It’s like learning the Law of Gravity, what goes up must come down, which we’ve tested many times in our lives, only to find that it’s a Universal Truth that never changes. Knowing these Truths helps teens and adults make life-long empowered choices as they go through life.

Universal Life Principles  i.e. integrity, awareness, acceptance, etc.  These core principles, which are the building blocks of character and can be found in the teachings of most cultures & spiritual traditions. Unlike values, Universal Life Principles do not change with the passage of time. By learning principles rather than values, youth and young adults are equipped with guideposts to make better decisions.

 See our programs page for more info.

For examples of Universal Life Principles check out the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development

Personal Development is the process of becoming our best selves. Often young people are expected to do their best while still in the midst of a stage of self-discovery.

How can we teach young people to become self-aware, increase their self worth and self esteem? At JAIA we support young people towards attaining a sense of self-mastery over their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual selves.  We use experiential games and exercises, spoken word and other art forms that foster self-awareness and self- expression.

Teens, personal development and self mastery is all about learning how to Know yourself, Accept yourself, Love yourself, Trust and Honor yourself and most of all Be yourself.  To find out about “Just As I AM” and other personal development workshops Contact Us

Read more about personal development online:

Mindfulness Techniques– Mindfulness is a state of awareness and acceptance.  It’s a way of being in the present moment without judging yourself or your situation.

How can mindfulness techniques benefit young people?

Mindfulness strengthens your self- awareness, your ability to concentrate, to reduce stress, anxiety & worry in the face of the constant changes that happen in adolescence and young adulthood. It helps one move from hopelessness to possibility, from seeing the glass half empty to seeing it as half- full. Some of the techniques we use are meditation (including walking and movement meditations), visualizations, deep breathing, pair and group exercises.

Learn more about how mindfulness helps reduce stress:

Spirituality & Positive Youth DevelopmentJAIA engages youth and families from all cultural and religious backgrounds. We do not teach religion or tell young people what to believe. Because the Principles we teach are Universal, our participants are able to clarify their values and beliefs, which in turn strengthens their sense of self and their decision-making.

Adolescents can be at risk for depression, suicide and anti-social behaviors due to feelings of worthlessness. Spirituality fosters a sense of purpose and belonging. It is clearly linked to higher levels of positive outcomes and lower levels of dangerous at-risk behaviors among young people.

To read more about spirituality and youth development see:

1) King, P. E., Ramos, J. S. & Clardy, C. E. (2010). Religion & spirituality in diverse adolescents. In M. B. Spencer & D. Swanson (Eds.), Adolescent Development. Amsterdam: Elsevier Press.

2) King, P. E. (2008). Spirituality as fertile ground for positive youth development. In R. M. Lerner, R. Roeser, and E. Phelps (Eds.). Positive Youth Development and Spirituality: From Theory to Research. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Foundation Press.

About Positive youth development:

Best Practices Positive Youth Development

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