I’m really excited to share FA with teens as well. September 22-26, 2010 was the Girl’s Rendezvous at the Vermont Art of Mentoring. It was my fifth year staffing this program for teen girls ages 12-17. On the first night of the program after fulfilling the long-standing tradition of jumping into the cold pond under the stars something incredible happened. We were sitting under the moon chatting and having a midnight snack when one of my collaborators picked up a hard boiled egg and said, “Eggs, who’s eggs are dropping right now?” There were some confused responses to this initial question. One of the girls sitting next to me who had just informed us that she was on her moon said, “Mine are!” It was a good profiling moment. So we just kept going with the questions, “For how long each month does a woman ovulate?” “Can breast feeding women get pregnant?” etc. The girls were soaking it in. They began asking their own questions and sharing their own limited knowledge of how their bodies work. It turned into an informal Fertility Awareness jam session!
This really whet my appetite for sharing this information with teens. I’m so much looking forward to being able to share Fertility Awareness with women of all ages.
Ropes: Girl Time
It was the second night of our Halloween weekend excursion with 13 teenagers from my local community. Our time out had already been incredible. Even though we had taken an afternoon nap, it was going to be an early night. We had only slept a few hours the night before. We had been busy with a 24-hour game of capture the flag under the bright moon.
It just kind of happened that the boys and girls split off. It felt good to have a little bit of sister time. We carried a coal from the main fire a little ways away and made a small fire to warm ourselves as we chatted. The first thing that happened was all the teens started farting. It only took two minutes away from the guys to have them let loose. Then conversation naturally evolved through clothes, bras to sexy clothes and the weird sense of power that there is in being sexy.
My collaborator Mai and I gently facilitated exploration of this thing that they were so beautifully picking up on – Society wants women to use sex as their source of power. So we asked them, “Where do you get your power from?” They each took a turn to reply – friends, family, doing things they loved… After each of the teens had shared, one of them asked with a sense of deep urgency and curiosity, “Where do you get your power from?!” Directing the question at Mai and I. What a perfect set-up! Mai shared first and spoke about the power of her women friends, old ones, young ones, all of them and how much her relationships with her sisters fed her. When it was my turn to share I took the opportunity to share with incredible passion and self-expression that I get my power from honoring my moon and from understanding my cycle. I spoke about the different ways that I feel when I’m ovulating, bleeding and in between. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share some of my secrets in such an authentic way. We ended our time together with a blood curdling scream into the night sky before joining up with the boys.
After I shared one of the girls came to me and asked, “What’s ovulation?” My thought was, oh shit. After sharing with her casually I thought for a long while about the implications of a 15 year old young woman being unaware of her own bodies beautiful function. I’m thoroughly inspired to go deeper with the girls sharing about the inner workings of their bodies. They’re the perfect age for it. I’m dreaming about starting a group for teen girls on Fertility Awareness that meets weekly for a couple of hours. Perhaps I’ll get that started this Spring!