Before it Begins

The launch of this girls program marks my transition into feeling ready to do the work that see as my deepest soul work. For years I have been saying, “I’m not ready.” Even though I feel a little scared, even though I sometimes have doubts, I believe I’m ready. I have been paying attention to the synchronicity that is pointing me in this direction. All of a sudden I have collaborators. Abrah Jordan Dresdale, my soul sister and collaborator since I was a teenager has joined me in dreaming up Crescent Moon Girls. Recently an additional soul sister Alisha Mai Frank has decided to move to my town. All of us have a deep commitment to doing nature-connection work with a particular passion for working with girls. Having the support of these women makes me feel ready. Additionally the mothers of girls that I have been working with on and off since they were 7 years old have approached me repeatedly asking me about rites of passage. Because the need is coming from the community I feel more called to meet them there.

This period of time has been one of preparation. The program does not start until November however it has been some months now of creating program descriptions, writing letters to parents, receiving calls from interested mothers and the like. Talking to parents has been really helpful in that they are bringing forth their concerns about some of the issues this particular group of girls are facing. I have heard redundancy in the concerns about cliques within this class of girls. I feel grateful for compiled work addressing these issues in the book, “Meeting at the Crossroads – Women’s Psychology and Girl’s Development” by Lyn Michal Brown and Carol Gilligan. They describe quite clearly the way that cliques arise,

“As the perfectly nice girl seems to gain popularity with adults, and also with other girls, and as many girls strive to become her, jealousies and rivalries break out. The cliques and clubs so prevalent at this age thus seem to be a response to this struggle – a way for those girls who accept and best approximate perfection to group with one another or around a girl who seems perfect, and also a way for girls who are clearly not perfect to support each other emotionally.”

Having this book as a resource is supporting my ability to think about activities to daylight and talk about these issues. I am right now dreaming on an activity to debunk the image of the “perfect girl” that we are socially supported to strive to become. I’m also dreaming on a discussion about “feeling left out” which is something that every girl has experienced at one time or another. I imagine that bringing this fact forward would level the playing field and give us the opportunity to  talk about how that feels.

In addition to my reading I have gained the support of one of my first nature connection mentors Lorene Wapotich of Her Feet On the Earth. Lorene just completed a MSc. in Girl’s Rites of Passage and the need for nature connection programming. Lorene has agreed to be my project mentor for this year offering Abrah and I a once a month phone call to support our program and curriculum development. We’ve already had two calls with her in the recent months. Her knowledge of adolescent development, her pattern level understanding of rites of passage and her experience as a mentor of girls is such an asset to us. I feel so grateful that I’m not the only one doing this work with such passion and commitment.

In one of our conversations with Lorene we were asking about a quote from her thesis abstract where she stated the importance of women and mentors role modeling genuine connection to their gender. When we asked what that looked like she gave a clear and simple answer. She said that women are all so different and they relate to their gender in so many different ways. She said that the one thing that unites all women, all over the world is that they all bleed, or did bleed at one time. She said that honoring our moon and being open to talking about it with girls is the best way we can role model genuine connection to our gender. Perfect! I can do that! In the last year of honoring my moon I was seeing it as one of the most important foundations in preparing to do this work with girls. Apparently I was on to something. Our one hour calls with Lorene fly by. They feel rich and fulfilling. I’m really looking forward to all that is to come from this renewed relationship with Lorene.

This is where my process lies now, in the dreaming, preparatory phase of the design wheel. I’ve been given the go ahead to create my own “Beginning of Year Workshop” that will happen the weekend of October 23-24. Abrah and I have set aside the entire weekend to flesh out a skeleton curriculum for this year. This time together will support us to be holding a north star vision for where we want to go with the girls throughout this year. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to prepare so intentionally for this project.

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