When I went away to college it was the most freedom that I had experienced up to that point. As exciting and new as that was, it was also overwhelming. Students today are more stressed than ever and it’s totally scary to go to college not knowing how to take care of yourself.
✨Tried to write a blog, but came out easier as a video! What I’ve been working on lately with my students (and myself): The Subtle Ways to be Sweetly Seen✨
I heard from a lot of girls that they had the back-to-school scaries and I felt it too. Getting into the swing of things can be difficult after break (and now a snow day).
So I decided to make a list of all the resources I had for girls to help make their transition easier, but it turned into a moment where I began to reflect on what I have created. It reminded me of when I used to choreograph for dance. I would hear music and be able to see how I wanted everyone to move in my mind. After months of practice, it was complete on stage. What was once in my head, had become something greater than myself with the help of others. It conjured awe and that’s what looking at my mentoring practice feels like for me. I am in awe.
Last spring while I finished up school, I started to babysit a precocious two year old. I would try (and fail) to define awe. When we would look at the clear New York City skyline from Hoboken, I’d try to convey awe in terms of wonder. One night we chased a big full moon. Awe in terms of vastness. How I wouldn’t see him for a week and by the next time I was over, he’d have all these new words in his vocabulary. Awe from being amazed. This is what I feel when I look at the girls I’ve mentored. The feeling of being blown away, largely thanks to all of you.
I encourage everyone to seek out moments of wonder, not only because it feels good, but studies have even found, “connections between the experience of awe and enhanced critical and creative thinking faculties, improved health, a sense of embeddedness into collective folds and an increase in pro-social behaviours such as kindness, self-sacrifice, co-operation and resource-sharing,” (Psychology Today).
Thank you for all the awe and wishing you a 2018 full of wonder.
Here’s a super personal one:
Everyone is lying on social media and so am I.
I always remind the girls I work with that people online only show you what they want you to see and I’m included in this. There are a million things I’m not sharing here. I haven’t shared that I was robbed a few weeks ago in my own building or that I have about zero holiday spirit since my grandparents passed away. Even now, I’m purposely leaving things out of my story both good and bad. With how easily it is to mindlessly scroll through social media, it’s important to remember that what we see isn’t the whole picture.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how we share ourselves and how much time I spend online after reading statements from an interview Sean Parker, the onetime founding president of Facebook and co-founder of Napster, gave about social media:
“We need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments… It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology… God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
I am hypocritically posting publicly, but Parker’s comments made me think about how I don’t want to be addicted to the dopamine hits of “likes and comments” especially when the forum is inherently inauthentic. Why do I zone out of my own life to watch other people’s fake lives? I’m in my 20’s and struggle with this. Imagine the susceptibility of adolescents who are searching for identity and seeking the approval of peers during an incredibly transformative period of time. Of course, there are benefits to social media, but this is something that has shifted my online usage and that is something I want to share.
I have big news! My meditation album is finally available! When I work with students, whether it’s one-on-one or in a group, I always use these centering exercises. Meditation has been show to reduce stress and anxiety and I know from my personal practice that it’s a game-changer. I produced four different meditations based on what my students liked and wanted most.
They were a blast to put together! As a way to celebrate, our Friday Night HangIn this Friday November 11th on the album launch and talking about stress and how to relax in order to find more happiness. It’s the last one of 2016!! Can you believe it? Please let me know if you have any questions!
I’ve wanted to write this for awhile now and since it’s the beginning of November, I felt it was appropriate to say thank you. I’m so grateful for all of your encouragement as I build this community to help raise happy girls. To my students, thanks for letting me be your big sister! To all the moms, thank you for allowing me to guide your girls. I don’t take it for granted. Your support, whether it’s a referral or always trying to feed me when I come over, is more meaningful than you know. It takes a village! Thank you for allowing me to pursue my dream!
In the spirit of being an ever-growing mentor, I’d love to hear from you. What topics would you like me to cover? Got a group idea? Any questions for me? Feel free to let me know how I can best serve!
I’ve received so many SOS texts about Halloween that I actually feel bad that I’m just doing this video now. Between group costumes and parties the drama has been all over the place. Halloween is a holiday that brings up a lot of issues around inclusiveness, which is HUGE and important to middle and high school girls. Today I’m talking about my two approaches to Halloween stress.