Young in Years, Bold at Heart

BY Holley Somerville Knott
Young in Years, Bold at Heart
An UPLIFTing Exploration...

Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. ― Franz Kafka

My name is Holley and ever since I can remember, I have been passionate about helping the planet, people and animals in need. Since the age of seven I have been singing, busking and living for education and change. I am just one young voice who is bringing about awareness so we can all ultimately build a clean, green, sustainable future and a world of peace, love, and harmony. Internet and technology mean I can share my work and also be inspired by the fast growing number of other young voices from all over the world. There is much work to be done and I remember that I am not alone … we are a collective of passionate young entrepreneurs. I am not into the blame game. We are here in 2019 with all that is wonderful and all that is broken. I want to focus on solutions for the broken and celebrate sustainability and regeneration.

How My Journey Began

When I was about nine years old, I discovered the UPLIFT festival which took place in my home town of Byron Bay. I am lucky to live in a place in Australia which is quite progressive in its thinking, actions, and policies. I felt immediately connected to UPLIFT’s purpose. I watched incredible speakers from all walks of life who had flown in from all corners of the globe to share their journeys and their inspiring messages full of love and wisdom. And on the very last day of the festival, I had the chance to say a few words on stage and share my own journey. I spoke about making the world a better place by caring for the Earth and caring for each other. I wanted to inspire the kids, like me, to remind them that we are never too young to start shaping our future world. It was amazing to be a part of something that opened minds and ignited souls in a peaceful and loving way. The entire festival was such an incredible experience … it felt to me as if this is how life should be lived. Everyone with an equal voice and driven by the same purpose to simply be kind and show up and take conscious action to make the world more harmonious.

During the festival, I met the founders, Bharat Mitra and Bhavani Lev. I could tell right away they were the ones who created it because everything about them embodied the UPLIFT energy. UPLIFT stands for Unity, Peace, and Love in a Field of Transcendence. That was a lot to take in for a nine-year-old. Initially, even though I felt connected to the festival and its energy, I didn’t truly understand UPLIFT. I couldn’t feel the deeper meaning or essence of what it was. It felt elusive. My nine-year-old mind didn’t necessarily register the finer details but my heart resonated with the intention. They were such warm-hearted, nurturing people and after hearing my speech they wanted to get to know me and we became close. Since then I have become part of the UPLIFT family and continue to meet and be inspired by so many amazing people who carry the UPLIFT message in their hearts.

It takes a very long time to become young. ― Pablo Picasso

Where I am …

Now, at sixteen, I am more determined than ever to have a voice in how we all shape home, magnificent Mother Earth. However, I am someone who overthinks. Someone who stops myself from being the purest expression of me because I can often be afraid. I even overthink how to stop overthinking. My mind is regularly like the loud, crashing waves of the ocean being thrown back and forth in stormy weather. I remind myself to just breathe: to settle myself with the breath. I practise letting myself ‘just be’. Just being me, all of me.

Being cool, being right, being perfect, is, of course, the preoccupation of most sixteen-year-olds. But just being me and stretching into all corners of my true self is becoming more comfortable. I recognise that I am leaving the ideals of a child and maturing into the reality of adulthood. But how do I keep my purist ideals and yet recognise the challenges that might arrive in the pursuit of dreams? This philosophical question is part of what UPLIFT means to me. It’s a place where I can be free to evolve into the many versions of me that will naturally arrive with age. Just being me and being grateful for all of me is a huge part of what UPLIFT teaches me … a place of acceptance that encourages empowered motivation for change – big and small.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ― Salvador Dali

Over time, I have discovered that UPLIFT is a state of being, a wordless language, a voiceless song. It’s something I can experience, find through intuition and share. It’s not something I can find through following instructions or with a complex description. It’s actually quite simple.

To delve into the themes and explore even more what UPLIFT means to me, I did what I do best. I tapped into my creativity and asked her to speak … to pour forth my direct experience and heart-resonance of UPLIFT through words. I wrote this poem as my way of sharing, connecting and inspiring you. I wrote it so you too can join in this mystical and love-filled heart dance of life …


Unity, Peace, and Love in a field of Transcendence,
Understanding, Patience, Leniency, Integrity as a Force of Truthfulness,
Undoing Pain and Learning Ideals of Forgiveness and Tranquility.

Uplifting myself to create a positive space,
Uplifting others in an enriching way,
Uplifting the world when peace means change.

In order to be happy find passion and purpose,
The way to achieve greatness is to focus on service,
Life is worth living … love makes it all worth it.
Everybody step outside yourself and let your mind be at ease,
Everybody stop doing and just be,
And in this way, you can be freed,
Free to make peace with others and yourself,
Free to appreciate living beings and uplift the world.

This word uplift is no longer just a word,
Realising its meaning opens up new worlds –
Deep connections are unearthed,
Expanding the powerful consciousness of our minds,
Embarking on journeys of spiritual rebirth,
Coming into ourselves over time.
To uplift is to both give and receive a gift.
Everyone is special yet we are one in unity,
To use your body as a vessel and your life as an opportunity,
for love then life itself has been enriched.

You can’t actually have opportunity without the word unity.
You can’t actually have community without the word unity.
So come and be in unity amongst this community,
And receive the ultimate gift,
To coexist in harmony and enhance the field of transcendence,
To speak with one voice
Instead of shouting from different places,
To make a single choice
Not argue and fight other nations.
To live as one
And return to our original creation.
We are Human First before culture, colour, religion or race,
We are one people together in one place,
The time has come for the truth to be embraced,
Infinite peace, love, and unity awaits.


And to this day, even after realising all this and experiencing it, sometimes I still overthink. Sometimes I still stop myself from doing things because I am afraid. Sometimes I lose sight. But this has taught me that personal growth isn’t necessarily about reaching a point where you never feel afraid anymore, it is something I’ll always be working with.

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. ― Sophia Loren

Like the rising and falling tides, surging forwards and then receding. Like air filling the lungs, rising and falling, surging outwards and then back towards the heart. I move towards the simple and fulfilling state of just being the purest expression of myself and holding space for others around me to just be themselves also. I aspire to fill my place in the world with the most transformational UPLIFTing energy. UPLIFT to me is a vehicle of hope, vision and new passion for all beings to live, work and play in harmony.


Are there any stories you would like to share about the young people in your life and how they participate in global harmony? Our stories and our creativity really make a difference … we’d love to hear yours.

We wish you many youthful ideals and mature execution of them …


BY Holley Somerville Knott
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kamir bouchareb st
1 year ago


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