We started the day with a hike. Empowered girls need to move! To get out! In this techno-crazy world it can be easy to forget that the best place to get away from it all isn't on a screen but on a path that leads you to...who knows where? We didn't have an agenda for this hike. We just wanted to point out that hey! You can hike! It's another way to use your body. How does that make you feel?
Because today was all about how you feel. Pay attention. I asked the girls yesterday to pay attention to how they feel on their screens- after watching movies, tv, texting, surfing the web,whatever, how does that time spent make you feel? And then, can you contrast that to how doing other things that make you feel good? We all get the same hours in a day, and aside from school, we do get some choices about how we spend that time. Do you really work to chose things that make you feel good?
My reflection/journal time came after the hike- I wanted to let them think about those contrasts of movement outdoors with hours online. We segued into a discussion of how sometimes choices trip us up- we get indecisive because we aren't really listening to what feels good to us. So I asked them to think about that- where do they get tripped up? indecisive? why? and how might you find a better way to figuring out what feels best to you. And an excellent point was made in a small group. One young lady brought up making a pros and cons lists. She likes visually seeing the clear answer. The long pro side tells her--This is what I should do!
Can I just tell you now that I love a good but?
BUT.....sometimes it turns out the list says one thing but you FEEL a different way......dingdingding!
That is your intuition, your gut, your true feeling about what is true for you. And that, my dear ones, is that feeling that we always have if we can learn to listen for it.
Annika brought us a change of pace with movement. She taught us a bit of choreography and then asked us to do the same dance as different characters illustrating how effective body language is. We can simply change what we mean and who we are by how we carry ourselves.
This is essential to conveying what we really mean to say. Annika and Erica spent some quality time discussing how and why we say Yes and No in different situations. They role-played how we say Yes when we really mean No and when we say No when we mean Yes. Why do we do that? How we can actually start saying what we mean in a way that conveys that? We discussed body language and hurting other's feelings and honoring our own feelings. How does it FEEL to say Yes and mean it? How does it feel to say No and mean it? This is big stuff. The situations girls find themselves in with a friend, a stranger, a potential partner, a boss, a teacher are endless. This particular exercise seemed awkward for girls and we know why-- we simply are not taught to mean what we say. We are taught to say what people want us to.
And that's the thing here in Camp Empower- we really are trying to get the girls to understand how everything- our words and our actions can line up if we let them, if we learn to listen to what we really believe. As awkward as some of the role-playing and movement exercises might feel to the girls, getting this sort of practice helps us believe in the possibility of doing it in real life.
Can I take a moment to say that this is BIG stuff? The hours fly by and Erica, Annika, and I are sweating like mad with fear that we aren't paying enough attention to this or that, we haven't honored each of their concerns adequately, we haven't given them enough of this or that.
But what I believe is what we keep telling these girls. Knowledge is power and we as leaders are learning on our feet and we are doing it!
I am falling behind as the days slide past me and I try to wrap my brain around all this fantastic, important, heady, EMPOWERING stuff.
Believe me when I say we are learning just as much, if not more, as they are. It's circle- the teacher, the learner, the girl, the woman. Where one starts and the other begins is sometimes hard to pinpoint.
Stay tuned for more....