Break the Shell

Hi friends! I am feeling more and more inspired lately to grow this girl empowerment mission to its full potential. My mind races on a daily basis with all of the things I want to do. Most of my ideas stem from my own personal experiences as a 24 year old single woman. I am constantly made aware of the reality of being a woman in this generation. It's difficult, frustrating, confusing...I often wonder what it's going to be like my girls once they are my age. Social media has taken over our lives in almost every facet. You can't escape it. Because of it, we seek instant gratification, we get bored easily, and we lack the ability to communicate because we can find out everything we need to know about someone from Facebook and Instagram. We seek attention by posting selfies begging for others to notice how beautiful we are. And when we don't get the amount of comments or likes we were expecting, our self esteem is diminished. What kind of life is this? I'm guilty of it just like everyone else but when I step back to take a look at it, it freaking sucks. What kind of example are we setting for our girls? We're telling them that their beauty is defined by the popularity of their pictures on social media. Instead of placing the value on what's on the outside, let's encourage our girls to value what's in their heart and mind.  

More times than not, the lessons I teach to the girls are lessons for me as well. I need the reminder too that it's important to stay true to myself and not be crippled by self-doubt. Being an empowered woman is easier said than done. I talk about my girls empowerment vision with people often and it's interesting seeing their reaction. Guys are often thrown off by it and don't understand why I'm doing it or why I care so much. I'm willing to make the sacrifice of people not liking me though because it's truly who I am at this point. I try to teach my girls the importance of nurturing their heart and embracing their passions. Regardless of everyone else's opinion, they should be making themselves happy first. Let's stop defining ourselves based on expectations that are not our own. 

A couple weeks ago, I gave the girls this quote: 

I asked them this question: How many times do people compliment you on how pretty you are? How many times do people compliment your outfit or your smile? They all were able to relate to the fact that it happens all the time. It happens to me too. But the real question is: How many times are you complimented on your brain, your talents, your passions? Not often. I gave them the challenge to start defining themselves and others by the qualities you can't see on the outside. Let's crack open our "shell" and be defined by what's underneath. Let's allow people to get to know our most inner being rather than what's on the surface. Let's stop faking it and be valued for what really matters. 

Here's what one of my incredible 3rd graders had to say: 
Maybe my shell is pretty.
But my heart is more powerful than my shell and so is my soul.
My brain and heart will work together to make a bigger soul.
Maybe being popular or pretty matter to others - not to me.
They think they are awesome, but really, someone could be better.
Please girls, you are all pretty. Do not let your soul be defined by its shell. 
It completely warms my heart to witness reflections such as this. This is what I hoped for when I dreamed this up and it's actually happening. They are really getting it and I feel so blessed to have them all in my life. I am inspired by their willingness to dive head first into this world that isn't always so friendly. Girl Rising was started as a way for me to teach them. However, they're not the only ones learning. They have impacted my life in more ways than one. 

Here's a few pictures from this past Thursday. We played "red rover" to practice how, as a sisterhood, we can support each other. So much fun! 

Have a wonderful week! :) 

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