Being a girl is hard. You expect yourself to be smart, funny, a great friend and a “good girl.” You’re told to be strong and outspoken but also quiet and polite. With so many expectations at such a young age, our daughters are often swept overboard by big emotions. They feel pressure to be “liked” and accepted by their peers and often lose sight of their own unique identity. This is where Lotus Girls comes in. A class designed to offer girls an opportunity to express their truth and find courage to speak up when needed. They’ll learn yogic coping skills and breathing techniques to stay calm and stay centered. They’ll have fun role-playing different friendship situations, learning to embrace diversity in others and in themselves. We can all recall memories, both joyful and painful, from our own childhood friendships. Social upsets and rejections are inevitable. Many of our daughters have already experienced hurtful interactions at school. A Lotus Girl feels prepared and capable; she believes in her resiliency. Through hands-on activities and role-playing, the girls practice asserting themselves in an emotion-free way that isnon-confrontational. They learn to recognize the traits of a true friend. They also learn ways to "opt out.” Girls often hesitate to say no to a friend, fearing she /he might withdraw their friendship. Saying no with confidence is a vital skill. A Lotus Girl knows that how you say something matters. You can be strong, speak your mind and still be kind. In class, we learn the difference between a Shredder and a Builder. True friends build you up, they make you feel good about who you are. Other friends, those who make you feel bad about yourself, are "shredders." We learn how powerful words can be-- and the direct affect they can have on another person. Lotus Girls don’t make themselves feel big by making others feel small. As adults, we have countless external references available to us-- we have online articles, therapy, novels, great films. We have Oprah. We have a mature pre-frontal cortex. ; ) All of these offer us “me too” moments— moments that make us feel a part of something greater. Kids don't have countless external reference points, so their intense emotions, their fears, their impulsive behavior can feel scary and isolating. Essayist Rebeca Solnit describes empathy as an act of imagination, a storyteller's art, a way of traveling from here to there. Through empathy, through kinetic storytelling, we hope to offer as many "me too" moments as we can. A Lotus Girl is not a bystander, she's an upstander. She stands up for others, but above all, she stands up for herself. As adolescent girls get older they tend to have an exclusive group of friends they feel close to at school. These friends can be a source of joy one day, and heartbreak the very next. Lotus Girls create a small community of friends outside of school. These friends are like tiny life rafts, and can be true heart-savers when things get rough at school.
Stay Calm. Stay Centered. Stay Weird!
Weird- (Don't be afraid of what others think-- be yourself.) Empathetic - (Try to understand how someone might be feeling, especially during conflict.) Innovative - (Think differently, be a problem solver! Don't give up if an idea doesn't work the first time. ) Real- (Don't change who you are at heart just to be "liked" by others.) Daring- (Dare to fail! Speak up, share your ideas.)