Girls Rock!

August 21, 2010 § 1 Comment

T & I have had this documentary on our list for ages and we finally got around to seeing it last weekend. It was awesome (Here’s the trailer – go see it if you aren’t familiar with it!). I’m still thinking about it… Some associated thoughts:

– I’ve been thinking offhandedly for almost as long as I’ve been thinking about teaching yoga, that working with girls or young women would be…. incredibly rewarding. difficult. awful. awesome. worthwhile. Contradictions. I’m finding that a lot of important things usually are. And who knows if this is one of those that will continue to sit in the back of my mind for years or forever… But I’d like to explore this idea more. I’ll have to do a service project as part of my teacher training and this might be a good opportunity to do some work with this age group.

– The film brought me back to my own girlhood and it had me in tears several times. For the girl’s awkwardness, their pain & frustration, their fumbling and finally their joy and exuberance and solidity in having a way, a place, a forum, a tool to express themselves no matter what and for that to be ok. I remember so much of these struggles and could never have verbalized the essence of it. Which is really being ok in who you are and giving other people the space to do the same.

– I love that the music is the tool in this example. I love music. I’m not a musician, I don’t even really sing much anymore (despite 3 years as a music major in college). Right now, movement is my tool. Yoga. And it’s amazing for me to see the paralells. The only difference is the tool – the outcome is actually really similar. Be in Your Self. In this moment. Unhindered by outside influences, memory, societal pressures. Expressing yourself without fear, in whatever form. I’ve been loving these paralells lately – in my friend the painter and how he writes/thinks about his process – in these girls and the music – in any sort of artistic or physical expression that pulls you out of your head for a few minutes and into who you really are when all the voices in your brain are stripped away.

– Talking with my friend H about this – she sent me this article – a very worthwhile read if you are on topic with me so far. And, H, I’m with you – why is an article like this relegated to the fashion/style section of the newspaper? Someone explain this to me?

– Most adults don’t know how to interact well with one another. We aren’t necessarily taught this as kids – certainly not in a traditional education system and playground environment. And I think that teaching these girls how to interact and express their feelings, and giving them a constructive outlet  for their feelings and their creativity – will serve them SO well in the future (and everyone they come in contact with – this kind of thing has serious ripple effects) I don’t have a lot of illusions that one week can totally change their world, and that it might not be very difficult to excercise these new attitudes in their home environments, but for some of them I think it might. And for others, it might be the start. and it might be something they keep thinking about, and keep coming back to, and keep practicing, until they get better and better at it. I’m full of admiration for the people that have set up and run these camps.

– This all resonates with me so intensely not only because of some of my own painful childhood experiences, but because I am 35 years old now and I STILL struggle with some of these things. I’m a grown woman who likes to picture myself as strong and capable and independent – and whether I am or not – none of those things make me good at these core behaviors. How do I tell someone my feelings are hurt and give them the space to explain – and for me to own that it might be my own emotional history that’s causing my hurt moreso than their actions – or more importantly, their intentions. This simple point of expressing an exact feeling and taking responsibility for it is strong stuff. Simple point because it sounds simple, right? But if it really were, we’d all have a lot more compassion and world peace might not be reduced to a funny phrase (whirled peas?) Understanding how this works for myself is allowing me to forgive some things I’ve been holding on to for way too long. Because I can look a little deeper, and know that whereever the behaviour is coming from in this other person, it likely has very little to do with ME, and very much to do with their OWN experience, emotion, history. (Note – This is no way excuses anyone from being an asshole.  If someone’s intention really is to do harm, I don’t have patience for that. I don’t know that it’s worth trying to interact with or rehabilitate that kind of behavior at the expense of your own sanity.)

– How does this translate to some action outside of myself? Or does it stay right here for now?

§ One Response to Girls Rock!

  • heatherknits says:

    Ah, yes. I feel you on all of this. A friend/neighbor here said to me that he learned from a friend something very valuable: You can’t skip steps. We all progress at different rates, and have different challenges to overcome. Some of us may get where we’re going faster or slower, but most of us have to go through the same emotional processes to become – what, grown up?

    I would really love to help girls develop into women and ease that passage for them. Looking back, I never felt strongly mentored, or that I had mother/sister figures or role models that I could really count on. It would be amazing to have an opportunity to be that for someone.

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