Girls love Girls Circle

May 1, 2009 at 2:28 am 3 comments

Girls love Girls Circle. Having heard possibly thousands of stories over the past 14 years, I make this statement with 100% confidence.

Isn’t it great to know that we have a way to offer a safe environment where girls want to be? Occasionally, I have the privilege of visiting a Girls Circle, and I ask the girls what they want to say about the group – how is it? what do they think of it? – they say they like it, a lot. Sometimes they say they love it. Always, honestly always, they say that it makes them feel better because they get to talk about things they were carrying around inside, they get to hear other people’s experiences, they get to express themselves creatively, and most of all, they are respected in the group.

Yesterday, I visited a group in Santa Rosa, CA – high school girls referred into the GC group for legal reasons. All of them laughed about how angry they were at first when they had to come to this group, they thought it would be a horrible punishment….and then how quickly they realized they liked the group. One said, “it helps me feel better after a bad week so when I go home I’m in a better mood,” and another said, “I think about a lot of stuff in a different way when I’m here, and then I think about it sometimes before I go and do stuff now, so I think it’s good”. One girl said, “I’ve never had adults respect me the way I am respected here – ever. Now I know what it feels like to be respected.”

It’s hard for me to pinpoint the thing I love most about Girls Circle, but I’m going to try here. It’s knowing just how much girls thrive in respectful environments, very quickly, and they respond in turn by extending that kindness, caring and humor with each other. It’s a positive, deep, genuine kind of caring, the kind that counts, and it characterizes a whole group of girls and facilitators all together connected, interacting, understanding, being there for one another. That doesn’t sound so complicated, but in group after group, girls tell us that there is no where else they receive that kind of respect. Fortoo many, home is a place to survive until they can or must be out on their own. For others, there are really upsetting things they have to manage everyday, and their Girls Circle group is like the home where they can bring their whole selves, lay it out if they choose, be accepted, and find they’re not so upset or angry at the end of the day. They find their own ways, but are able to do so in healthier ways because they’ve been there for each other. Even when home is stable and supportive, school and peer groups and romantic relationships affect how girls feel and the decisions they make. And what girls say is that when they have that acceptance and caring in their Girls Circles, they feel better….think better…and make better decisions on their own behalf.

I love the fact that each girl has such unique ideas, perspectives, desires. I love seeing them gradually bring more of their dreams and wishes and talents to the fore. I love that they are often careful to hold their thoughts, feelings, opinions close and not let others in until they really start to trust that the group is not there to use them but to accept them. They’re smart and they know they need to be careful. They’re also wise and they know authenticity when they feel it, and this is where the power of the group comes to life. Girls participate at the pace that’s right for them, and there are always girls who lead the way with their energy and willingness, and make it easier for others to open up.

Girls have such enormous hearts and empower each other toward safe, thriving, connected lives. They are open to answers inside and wisdom from their Girls Circle group, and they take action as soon as they start experiencing the connection in the group. How awesome is that?

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Velvet McGowan  |  May 8, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    I don’t want to overload the system, but I would need my own web-site just to talk about Girls Circle and the tremendous impact that it has had on the girls I work with. SInce starting Girls Circle at the facility, we have seen a calmer much pleasant environment. We are almost at our goal of ensuring that every female employee is trained as a facilitator. The girls enjoy their weekly Girls Circle sessions and look forward to the big celebration at the end. The girls have learned to express themselves in a positive manner and learn that it is O.K. just being a girl. A big THANK YOU goes out to the founders and to all of the Girls CIrcle trainers and facilitators across the US.

    Reply
  • 2. Melody Lawson  |  May 8, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    I have had the pleasure of facilitating Girls CIrcles in a Juvenile Correctional setting in SC. It amazes me how the girls blossom and bloom with such confidence after the first week of a curricular. I hope that Girls Circles are conducted around the world for hundreds of years to come.

    Reply
  • 3. Joanna Randolph  |  May 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I have had Girl’s Circle at my alternative high school all year-this is an AMAZING program that works!
    Girls really do LOVE Girl’s Circle!
    Thank you for developing this program!!!

    Reply

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