1.18.2015

Fearless



What are you afraid of? Whether it's spiders, the dark, or birds in my case, we're all afraid of something. But the things that cripple us the most are those that we cannot see or touch. They often hold us back from pursuing our dreams and being our best selves. Only when we let go of our fear can we fulfill the wonderful purpose that we were put on this earth to do. 

I asked my girls what they were afraid of and they did a really good job of digging deep for some more serious fears. Here's a few they listed: 
  • Losing a friend or family member 
  • Embarrassing myself 
  • Not fitting in 
  • Moving to a new school and having to make new friends 
We talked about what to do when we're feeling afraid. As an empowered girl, we should allow ourselves to be fearless ever in scary, uncomfortable situations. When we face our fears and lead with bravery, nothing is out of reach. Fearlessness leads to endless possibilities. 


I wanted to send the message to my girls that fearlessness means standing up for something without being afraid of what people think and what they will say. Fearlessness means speaking your mind even when no one else shares the same opinion. Fearlessness means staying true to yourself even when you have to stand alone. This message is very important to my girls because they see tons of things going on at school that they don't agree with yet they lack the courage to speak up. As empowered girls or women, are we using our voice most effectively? Are we standing up for ourselves and making sure we get what we deserve? This is a question I ask myself quite often. I hope to live my life more fearlessly in hopes of being a better role model for my girls. 

I decided to show my girls this video. Someone posted it on Facebook and it was probably one of the most moving and inspiring things I've ever seen. I realize some people may think the content of this video is semi inappropriate for 2nd and 3rd graders. However, they really only picked up the things they could understand. Also, the purpose of them watching was for them to listen for the passion in the voices and how they are showing fearlessness. Enjoy! 

 

So powerful. The girls felt it. I felt it. If only we could all speak with such conviction about the things that matter to us the most. Who wouldn't be on board if we used our voice in this way? Let's inspire our girls to realize when something isn't right. Let's encourage them to get seek passion, get angry, and speak out to defend the truth. Let's support them in using their voice as a force to change the world. 

I gave the girls the assignment of creating their own spoken word poem in which to voice something that bothers them. We'll be working on it this coming week as well. I can't wait to show you all the finished product. :) 

As a bonus, here's a poem one of my 3rd graders wrote on besties (the topic from last week). She's amazing! 




1.11.2015

Besties

Hello again! 



I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! The girls and I reunited this past past Thursday and it felt great to be back together. This week we talked about besties. Besties are those special people in our life that offer us loving friendships (AKA best friends). This is a topic that we all can relate to. It's human nature to long for companionship with at least one other person. Our lives are spent maintaining friendships with lifelong besties, breaking up with besties that don't fulfill us any longer, and finding a new besties to fill in the gaps when we need it the most. But sometimes, we end up choosing besties that steer us in the wrong direction because we are not aware of the goodness we deserve. Instead, we should be looking for best friends that encourage our self-growth, foster our creativity, and support us in difficult times. The girls and I made a list of all of the qualities we look for in a quality bestie: 



Since the girls in Girl Rising are so young, their inclination is to call everyone their friend. Their definition of "friend" tends to be someone in their class that's nice to them. Which, when you think about it, is quite wonderful. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could befriend people as easily as we did when we were children? If we could just be kind to others without judgement or distrust. At the same time, however, as adults we learn to value friends that aren't just nice to us, but also inspire us to be our best selves. Our definition of friendship changes in time and is narrowed by the people who have hurt us along the way. We create a new definition of what we need based on the old friends we have lost. I wanted to spark this idea in the girls mind by having them reflect on conflicts they have had with their current friends. I also shared a story of a friendship I had in the past that was forced to end based on the fact of growing up and growing apart. In these kinds of situations, it is important to know how to breakup with a bestie in a respectful, healthy way. The girls met in groups to brainstorm the dialogue we can use to breakup without leaving tension and pain in the relationship. Although they may not need to rely on that dialogue in the near future, I know it will be helpful for them in the coming years. I sure wish someone would have talked to me about how to deal with friendship breakups when I was their age. 

The girls in Girl Rising  have created an unbreakable bond within the last few months. It is a beautiful thing to watch. They are free to speak their mind and be who they truly are inside. And of course, I have 20 new besties to call my own as well. :)