Letter to the Editor
The year preceding my son's Anasazi experience was filled with turmoil and grief. He was running away from both of his parents and letting himself down in so many ways. He had gone from one of the most caring and empathetic young people I have known, with a strong sense of integrity and purpose, a GATE/Honor Student, to an adolescent frequently filled with despair or anger, failing core classes and alienating himself from his family, even his brothers. He had also fallen into today's typical teen syndrome of entitlement and defiance and he was obviously using, at least, marijuana. We were very scared for him and were arriving at the point where we felt we had lost him.
He did not volunteer for this program. In fact, I had him kidnapped and escorted in the middle of the night. It turned out to be the best thing I could have done for him. His experience on the trail in the Anasazi program helped him to rediscover himself, his gifts and his sense of purpose. Most positive is his heightened self-esteem. He also came off the trail with a much deeper appreciation for small things and I saw him truly excited and happy for the first time in many years, something he often lamented about not being able to feel for so long. He was very influential and helpful towards other young walkers on the trail and I am very proud for him and touched by the way Anasazi Trail Walkers and even another parent speak of him. I am so very grateful for all of the support, encouragement and reinforcement given to my son by his Shadow, the Trail Walkers, and many others at Anasazi.
I have not begun to mention how the Anasazi experience has enriched me, but it has had a profound impact our whole family, for the better. My Dawn Star experience with my son was beautiful and unforgettable. My son has even talked about going back to be a Trail Walker someday. That would be a dream of mine as well. I thank our creator every day for the people at Anasazi for making this possible. I believe this program helped save my son's life and his future.
At this time, March, 2009, he is in a new environment, much different from our suburban one. He is living with his maternal grandfather in the high desert in Nevada, in a sparsely populated, ranching community. Though it is not his first choice, he is making the best of it. He attends high school all day, 11th grade, and is completing two classes online through Brigham Young University to make up lost credits from last year. He should be back on track for the second semester. He just finished playing JV basketball, started on the track team today and talks about his future goals constantly. He did a lot of cooking on the trail, and spent time planning recipes and themes for a restaurant he dreams of opening one day. He also plans to produce music, using his musical talent and his gifts of poetry and writing. He is such a creative young man and very driven. I have not seen him this positive about himself in many years. He talks to me (Mom) on the phone at least 5 days per week and the relationship has improved a lot. He seems so much at peace and I know that he consciously chooses to be so, for his good and for those around him.
I hope for a time when he can return to Anasazi on his own, for fun, to relive some of his experiences there and never forget the enlightenments that happened there.
Discovery Bay, California
Mother of a 16 year-old Anasazi participant