- We show them how to love moving their bodies and how awesome it feels to challenge ourselves: strength…Yoga…barre…dance…jump rope competitions…JUST FUN WITH MOVEMENT…Not for the sake of “exercise.” (novel idea, isn’t it?!)
- We teach them how to connect how food makes them feel: what to eat (and not to eat) for breakfast…how to make “treats” healthier…enjoyed cooking together…trying new foods…and even how to eat pizza in a healthier way (and not by just putting veggies on it)!
- We help them practice how to speak in front of a group with pride and confidence and assertion.
- We take them through a journey to help them embrace what makes each of us special, unique, and like no one else...
I think it’s because of the responsibility of looking in to the eyes of these beautiful young girls and knowing that every single word we say, every action we demonstrate, every value we share carries with it such possibility…positive or negative.
I’m always amazed at how much I learn about myself by being surrounded by these girls even for a handful of days.
But this year…I was particularly struck by something one young lady said…
You see on the first day, we share with them the importance of talking to ourselves with love and without judgement.
What we say to ourselves, becomes what we believe about ourselves.
So we start the week of by having them come up with their “I AM” statements (for those of you who have been through our 8-Week Body Project, you are familiar with the power of this exercise). They create a list of all the positive things they believe about themselves then pick one that means the most to them. We then have them practice saying it to the rest of the group. Here was this year’s I AM statements:
I am hopeful.
I am strong.
I am kind.I am cool.
I am amazing.
I am powerful.
I am perfect the way I am (yes…read on…)
The most incredible part of this exercise is to see them on Monday – most of them shy, awkward, and quiet – have little to no confidence sharing with the group. Probably because they don’t quite believe it themselves (yet).
By Friday…just 5 short days later…it’s like they have each grown 3 inches taller – and have the confidence to stand on a mountain and proclaim WHO they are. And really, really believe it.
This year…there was one 8-year-old girl who stood up on the very first day and shared her I AM statement with us:
“I AM PERFECT JUST THE WAY I AM.”
Momentarily, I was completely overwhelmed. I actually got one of those awkward lumps in my throat … goose bumps… you name it.
AND IT WAS AN 8-YEAR-OLD!
I found myself reflecting on this quite a bit…
When was the last time I told myself that I am perfect just the way I am?
> the way I look
> the way I dress
> the way I’m getting deeper crow’s feet and gray hair
> the way I talk
> the way I make choices
> the way I parent or the way I am as a wife, or as a daughter or friend…
> the way I lead my life…or where I am professionally, financially, personally…
I can tell you honestly…maybe NEVER.
When is the last time YOU told yourself you are perfect just the way you are?
Have you EVER told yourself that you are perfect just the way you are?
Like me, I bet you’ve told your children and your best friend…but have never have you told yourself.
Instead, most of our thoughts are consumed by what I HAVE to do, what I NEED to do, and what I SHOULD do…
- “My messy house is perfect the way it is. (and I’m going to do what I can, when I can to make it tidier)”
- “My body is perfect the way it is. (and I’m going to make healthier choices that make me feel good, give me energy and keep me feeling strong)”
- “My choices as a parent are perfect the way they are. (and I will keep striving to just do the best I know how)”
- “I am perfect the way I am.”
Imagine if we really believed we are perfect just the way we are how it would change the level of stress in our daily lives. Especially when we stress about things that really. don’t. matter.
Imagine how this mindset shift would impact our children…because if we don’t believe it ourselves…how will they ever really learn how to believe it for themselves?
I felt compelled to share this with you because it has frankly had a profound impact on me…maybe it’s simply something you can reflect on, or perhaps the next time you look in the mirror and your reflex is to put yourself down…or when you don’t make the “perfect” decision…try telling yourself…even if you don’t believe it (yet): I AM PERFECT JUST THE WAY I AM.
It’s worth a shot…
You are perfect just the way you are…
Committed to your success,