Courage Integrity Assertiveness Confidence Restraint

Friday, July 29, 2011

Spill it! ... It's Journal Entry Friday!

We had a great conversation over on "the gathering" yesterday concerning what girls do to each other. So, it would make sense that today we journal on the same subject.

If you did not read the post from yesterday, please go check it out - it will make you think and you will get more out of the journaling you do today.

This assignment will be simple in explanation but could take you all day... a couple of days... the rest of the summer to complete - depending on how you choose to digest it.

First, I want you to find a quiet place with your journal. I want you to get comfortable, close your eyes and clear your mind. Now, I want you to run through the girls who influence your life... friends, not-so-much-friends, acquaintances, teammates, siblings, etc. Just let their faces run through your mind like you are flipping through a photo book...

Second, I want you to jot down the names of the girls who showed up in your mind's photo book first... let's say you make a list of 10 to start... you can add names as you go along, but let's start with 10.

Third, look over the names you jotted down and choose the one that pops off the page first. Maybe this name pops off the page because she is your most loyal friend or maybe one of those names jumps out at you because of what you are going through with that girl. Take that name and start a new page by writing her name at the top.

Fourth, SPILL IT! Start writing EVERYTHING that is in your mind and your heart right this minute as you focus on the mental picture of your relationship with this girl. Just write. Don't stop. Don't edit. This is NOT for her... this is for YOU... ONLY! When you are finished, cross that person's name off the list.

Fifth, move onto the next name that pops off the page. Repeat Step 4.

This will be quite emotional for some of those names on your list. You may need a break after just a couple names. Some of you may need a break after the first one. But I urge you to finish. Don't stop before you have done this exercise for each name on the list - and, yes, your list may grow as you work through each name.

Why take the time to do this?

It is easy to stuff your emotions. When we stuff our emotions we ACT OUT in ways we wouldn't normally out of frustration over emotions we have not dealt with. We can become the MEAN GIRL simply because we have pent up frustration over something trivial and we will never know WHY we "turned" on the girl we once labeled as BFF seemingly without provocation. You deserve to know. SHE deserves to know.

It is also a good idea to get in touch with those deep feelings you have toward your TRUE friends. Those girls who you consider your non-biological sisters are part of who you are and knowing your deepest feelings about them helps to strengthen your relationship.

Some of what you write you may deem worthy of sharing with some of the girls on your list. Of course, this is when you edit and re-write. I hope you will choose to share these words with those girls in a face-to-face manner... even if you keep your letter with you as a cheat sheet. If she is worth your time to write all you did, she is worth hearing your voice affirm your friendship!

Some of what you write you may choose to destroy as a way of letting go of the frustration that person has caused you. Letting go of these feelings is a way to truly let go of a friendship that is toxic. You can tear, burn, flush these letters and vow to yourself to not look back... let it go for REAL.

This is an exercise that will make you grow, help you deal and bless you beyond anything you could imagine. Suggest this exercise to some of those friends you will be writing to... you may be pleasantly surprised as to what comes your way after they finish their list.

A word of CAUTION: DO NOT share your writing with anyone (or anywhere... no facebook, formspring, texts, etc) other than the person it was written for. Your integrity in this assignment is crucial. If you wouldn't want someone sharing their deepest personal feelings about you with others, then don't do it to someone else.

Save and print the journal page below if you need to:

Comments are always welcome!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why are GIRLS so mean?

"What girls do to each other is beyond description. No chinese torture comes close." ~ Tori Amos

You call your best friend to tell her your biggest news and before you have a chance to gush, she blurts out, "Jamie told me that you told her that I wasn't your real BFF!" And the insane drama begins... you end up hanging up in tears and you have no idea if she will even speak to you again... sounds familiar?
We are having a LIVE conversation right now over on "the gathering" and girls are spewing why they think there is so much drama between girls.

Apparently, we are finding through our conversation that it is largely related to JEALOUSY!

Ahhh, the big green monster of JEALOUSY! Could someone please just put that thing out of its misery already?

Girls feel the need to say exactly what is on their mind with NO use of any filter... unfortunately what they are not seeing is how UGLY their words and are. It is sad to me to hear about girls who turn on each other almost overnight and it all ends up being over petty things... friendships are such a gift and some girls treat their friends as if they were disposable.

SOME people allow themselves to process their feelings BEFORE blurting them out! That's a good use of a FILTER... we are all human and we all have thoughts we would rather not admit to - it's what you DO with those thoughts that can make you look bad.

Being a teen girl isn't easy. It is downright painful.

"We can all become obsessed with looking better than the next girl and if things go her way instead of yours (guy you like asks her out instead of you) we become jealous and hurt because we don't feel like we're good enough so we become angry and that makes us pick out all the bad things about that person (even if it's not true) and we end up saying things we regret/don't mean." - Elizabeth, 17

So, what are some things you do to keep from hurting your friends when you are feeling bad about yourself?

JOURNAL!!!!! Write it all down, get it all out, deal with your own issues before you make more for someone else! You don't like the way you are feeling on the inside so why would you do that to someone else?

Be honest - does it REALLY make you feel better when you throw someone under the bus? Because it doesn't make you LOOK better. Those actions are UGLY and if you are striving for BEAUTY you have missed the boat by a long shot.

Project yourself ahead 10 years - what kinds of memories do you want to have of your teens? How do you want to remember yourself? Do you want to remember being the friend everyone could rely on or the friend that treated everyone badly to make herself feel better?

Who do you need to apologize to today?

If someone needs to apologize to YOU... put a link to this post on your facebook and see what happens.

Girl drama is just as Tori Amos says, TORTURE!

Don't do it.

It's quite ugly!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Just the Way She Is Day... Awesome amounts of FUN!

Last week we celebrated the very first JUST THE WAY SHE IS DAY with a special FUN DAY CELEBRATION with 32 girls ages 7-17! The theme of the day was loving ourselves just the way we are and not allowing the media to make us feel that WHO we are is a result of what we look like.

The girls had a blast chatting about how the media makes us feel. We talked about how we all come in different shapes and sizes and our differences are beautiful! If we were all carbon copies of each other life would  be SO boring!

We played crazy games, ate a lot of yummy food and sweated in the 100 degree weather!

I have gotten some amazing feedback from moms whose daughters enjoyed the day. Can't wait for our next event.

Check out the LOCAL EVENTS tab at the top of the page to take part in the next event!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Girl POWER... it's Journal Entry Friday (early)

Yesterday at our JUST THE WAY SHE IS event our discussion turned in a direction that I think warranted the good long chat we ended up having. I thought since I didn't post yesterday (because my house was filled with 30-some amazing young ladies) I would post the revelation we had. Then I thought this would be a great journal exercise - but I was so pumped about it, I didn't want to wait until tomorrow to post it - I wanted to give it to you So, it's Journal Entry Thursday...

There is a thing I like to call GIRL POWER! It's a real thing. It's a phenomenon that is not seen too often these days. It is something worth bringing back. It is the mentality that as women, we are all in this thing called life TOGETHER - not pitted against one another. It is the notion that we are all sisters and should be building each other up, not tearing each other apart.

Yesterday, I said this, "Together as a sisterhood of girls we can lift each other up and bring out each other's inner strengths and beauty." After I said it, I immediately felt the need to elaborate because the whole day was about what the media feeds us and how much of it is LIES.

Mean girls are promoted on TV as strong. They are always the popular girls. The head cheerleader who is dating the quarterback. She is the one all her cronies strive to be like.

It is easy to decide you like the POWER that comes along with making someone feel bad. Some personalities find this kind of power addicting. It only takes one time to crush someone with your words. And for some girls, whether you like to admit it or not, it feels good. The automatically feel bigger and better. Before they know it, they are just what the media created them to be.

The sad part is, they have been deceived. There is NO power in acting like this.

True GIRL POWER is working together as a sisterhood of girls by lifting each other up and bring out each other's inner strengths and beauty.

This is how we strengthen our wings so we can fly!

The most painful thing for me to see is the attack mode some girls jump into as soon as they feel they have been wronged. Suddenly the girl you divulged your deepest secrets to has now decided that something you did warrants her gathering some other girls from your circle, telling them HER side of the story and creating an opposing team. Girls! This is NOT how it works! These actions show your immaturity, NOT your strength. These actions have ramifications you are NOT ready for. These actions turn you into a MEAN GIRL! Is that the label you want?

One of my favorite quotes is, "Be the friend you would want to have!"

It's HARDER to stick it out with a friend through the tough times. It's HARDER to say, "I was wrong and I am sorry."

There's no POWER in being mean. Anyone can be a MEAN GIRL! It doesn't take much. A bad attitude and a gutter mouth.

But there is STRENGTH in being a SISTER!

This week's journal exercise is for you to decide if you are a MEAN GIRL or a TRUE SISTER?

Pretend you are one of your friends... and write a letter to YOU from HER shoes about the kind of friend you are. What this letter is lacking will be your clues as to the character traits you need to work on.

Monday, July 18, 2011

ALONE time...

We have all seen the "typical" teen portrayed in movies as the girl who storms to her room, pulls the shades, blares her music, locks her door and only comes out when she's so hungry she could eat her own arm.

We have all felt that way.
We have all wanted to be left alone.
We have all just wanted to hide from the world.
We have all just needed a break.


But sometimes this can be taken too far and that's when it's no longer healthy to take a "break."

A break is something that lasts for a short time. Think about it, when you are at work and your boss says you can take your break. Or when you have spent the entire day cleaning for your mom and you ask if you can take a break... do you mean for a couple years? LOL! I know what you are thinking - you would like to take a break from cleaning for a couple years, right?! Sure you would, we all would.

The point I am making is that sometimes that break we need becomes a habit that alienates us from the world that helps us navigate WHO WE ARE. Taking a break that lasts beyond the norm can actually hurt you instead of help you. You can lose yourself in that break and you will eventually lose the ability to reconnect with the world you once knew. And then you become LOST and that's a scary place to be.

When you are lost like this, you can't even find yourself... this is a downward spiral that suffocates hundreds of thousands of teens each year. Cutting, depression and suicide feel like the only way out. Do you want those to be your only options? Don't you want more options for your life? I do. I want that for you, too.

The hardest thing to do when we are going through a difficult time is to reach out. When your life truly HURTS, the last thing you want to do is share that with someone. It doesn't feel good. What will people think? Will they judge me? What if they think I'm a freak?

But sometimes the hardest thing to do is the thing that will make you stronger. When you feel like crawling into a hole and barricading the world outside your door, picture your life next year... what will hiding under the covers get you?

But now picture your life if you flung that door open and screamed, "HERE I AM WORLD!" Now, I know your neighbors would think you had lost your mind if you did that! LOL! But what is the hardest is sometimes the BEST thing for us. Think about Olympic athletes. Do you think their training is easy? Do you think their bodies don't ache with a pain you and I have never felt? Do you think they WANT to hurt? Probably not. But how badly do you think they want that GOLD MEDAL? More than anything in this world?

Well, I think I can assume that what you want more than anything else right now is to feel a part of something. You want to feel loved. You want to be included. You want to have someone to call when something goes wrong.

Do you have this? Some of you don't. Some of you are thinking, "Locking myself in my room to be alone is no different that walking into the hallway of my school - I am alone both ways!"

I would never downplay the difficulties most teens have making and keeping friends. It's not easy. Sometimes it's the fault of the friend when things go south and sometimes it's not their fault...either way much of the drama is out of our control. We can't flip the switch on a bully so she stops being mean. We can't mute the girl who starts all the rumors. Sometimes being alone seems safer. I get it. I may be an adult now, but realistically, you know I was a teen once, too. Yes, the 80's were a different time and I didn't have social media and school shootings to worry about but what was bad for me and my friends then was just as real as what is bad for you today.

It isn't easy to reach out. I know. But this is YOUR LIFE we are talking about. You only get ONE.

So, make a plan. Look for people LIKE you. Maybe you have an interest or passion. Joining a club or interest group can be the easiest way to find others who will "get" you. Take a class after school or join a service group. Volunteer within an organization that tugs on your heart strings. Whether it is an animal shelter, an after school art club, or a day care center... something that puts that sparkle in your eye will surely have you glowing when you are doing it with OTHERS who have the same passion.

Now, some of you have come upon this post a little too late and have kept yourself away from people for long enough that you don't even know where to begin...

I have created "the gathering" for just this reason - "the gathering" is a CLOSED and PRIVATE facebook page where ALL GIRLS, especially girls who feel alone can reach out to other girls who can help support them. You can ask questions on the wall and you will almost instantly get responses from teen girls from across the country. You can also message me privately and we can talk confidentially about anything that is hurting and/or confusing you.

I hope you will click the link and request to join...

Post your comments and questions - I have a feeling this will be a good one to talk about!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Communication... it's Journal Entry Friday!

Yesterday I posted about having open conversations with BOYS! Check it out HERE so you can follow the journal assignment based on what I shared yesterday!

There are so many opportunities to share WHO YOU ARE with other people through your conversations. Communicating teaches someone what you are all about. I HATE DIRTY JOKES, I don't find the humor in them and they embarrass me. I don't judge other adults for thinking they are funny but most everyone I know knows to wait until I have left the room to get their giggle on over the latest dirty joke. The only way for someone to know this is through communication. I simply say,"OK, eww, I don't think I will stick around to hear this punchline." And I walk out of the room. I didn't attack anyone, it was addressed to a whole room full of people and I can even smile when I say it. No one gets mad. No one thinks I made a scene.

It's a simple way to say, "This is who I am. I hope you remember this the next time."

So, what are some things you could start sharing with others about WHO YOU ARE and WHERE YOUR BOUNDARIES are? How can you say those things in a way that doesn't make you the target for "Drama Queen" stories?

So, let's get started. In this journal exercise write a list of people who need to know just a little more about you in order to treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Could be a coach, a teacher, a friend, a boy...

Now, go in order and re-write their name, an explanation of the situation you are trying to fix and then start "scripting" what you would like to share with them about your boundaries!

Work on these until you have a gentle, crisp and to-the-point sentence or two that will help you guide them in treating you the way you deserve to be treated based on WHO YOU ARE!

Print and use the journal page below to jot down your ideas:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

BOYS! It's all about communication...

Over on "the gathering" the conversation of BOYS and how to deal with them without being in a constant state of confusion is a HUGE topic that keeps repeating itself! Understanding them, their motives and their brains could quite honestly be the biggest puzzle that seems to never have all the pieces... but you know what? They think the same thing about US!

So, I thought this repetitive conversation warranted a post and some thoughts on how to live through your teenage years without deciding to swear off boys forever. Most of them really aren't bad guys ~ a little misguided at times but not BAD.

Guys want to know what's going on in your mind just as much as you want to know what's going on in theirs. So, what's one good way to solve this conundrum? TALK! Seems simple enough, right?

Most teens don't open up and talk about how they feel because they are afraid they are the only one who feels that way. Can you imagine how unlikely that is? The hundreds of millions of teens on the planet and YOU think YOU are the ONLY one who feels a certain way? This is completely irrational thinking.

Own what you feel! Make it known!

If you are not comfortable sharing how you feel with someone then you are not ready for a relationship. If the boy you like is not comfortable sharing with you how he feels then he is not ready for a relationship.

Here is the definition of

1. a connection, association, or involvement.
2. connection between persons
3. an emotional or other connection
I have seen teens in my classroom who are "dating" and they spend the entire classtime trying NOT to have to talk or look at each other. Can you explain this CONNECTION? There is NONE!
So, if you are in a relationship and you CAN talk to your boyfriend about how you feel and what your boundaries are, then there are some rules to follow that will make your relationship stronger because you will be setting up your boundaries so he doesn't have to wonder! This will cut down on the drama of most TEEN relationships!!

This is simple - there are only a few rules and they will change your life when it comes to boys!!

This is one of the first things we learn as toddlers. Instead of whacking your new friend with a bucket when he throws sand in your face, you say, "I don't like it. Please stop!" I don't know what changes between then and now but somewhere along the way girls feel as though they lose the right to speak their minds. We ALWAYS have the right to speak our minds when it comes to our personal boundaries.

*A boy grabs your butt as you walk down the hallway - "I don't like it. Please stop!"
*Your boyfriend pushes you further than the typical goodnight kiss - "I don't like it. Please stop!"
*The boy whose attention you are dying for tells you to lose some weight - "I don't like it. Please stop!"

This rule applies in almost every scenario that can break your spirit.

As long as you are not using your words to hurt someone, throw someone under the bus or cut someone down to make you feel better, this is always the way to go!

No one has the right to make you uncomfortable. My house growing up was a house with NO cursing. NO ONE in my family used foul language (with the exception of a slip here and there but it was not a regular occurrence) so hearing bad words made me very uncomfortable. Even as an adult there are certain words that make me cringe. During my MS and HS years I didn't hold back. When someone swore I was sure to let them know (not in a b*tchy way) that I was not OK with them using that kind of language in my presence. I demanded respect! By the time I graduated there was never an issue, people just didn't swear when they were around me b/c I had set that boundary. So whether it's a boy's roaming hands, someone sending you inappropriate pictures on your phone or bullying you via facebook - if it is making you uncomfortable you have the right to say "NO!"

You are beautiful JUST THE WAY YOU ARE and don't change for anyone! If you truly stay who you are and don't cave to what everyone ELSE says is popular, you will find the boy of your dreams! I promise! It may take a couple years b/c we all know that boys mature slower than girls so finding that boy that will treat you the way YOU deserve to be treated will happen when he is mature enough to know what he is doing when it comes to treating a girl right! If you find yourself in a situation that makes you feel like your own personal boundaries are being pushed b/c HE wants you to be someone else... say "Goodbye!" It will hurt for a minute but the strength that comes after the tears is WAY worth it!

This is something I can't say enough. I know adults who still struggle with this. ANYONE who hurts you ON PURPOSE whether physically or emotionally does not deserve you. The biggest thing to remember is that it is easier to walk away after the FIRST time this happens than to allow it to happen until you feel powerless. Each time someone hurts you on purpose they steal a little bit of power from you. So, the more it happens the weaker you become. If they do it once... they will do it again. I have been married to my husband for 18 years and we were friends for years before that. He has NEVER... not even ONCE... called me a name or had to apologize for treating me badly - NOT ONE TIME! It is possible to have an amazing relationship where you truly are an equal part of the team, where no one belittles or scares the other person. Don't let it happen. And if it does - let it happen ONLY ONCE and WALK AWAY!

Girls! If you are strong enough to share your heart with someone, you need to be strong enough to stand up for WHO you are! You won't regret it! I promise!!

I welcome your comments!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Character Choices... it's Journal Entry Friday!

In yesterday's post I talked about CHARACTER and I gave you a whole list of character traits that are good to have. Some come naturally and some we need to work on. What comes naturally to your BFF may be something that is difficult for you. It doesn't mean she is a better person than you, it simply has to do with the way you are wired.

But these differences can cause drama within a group of friends.

We are all different. No two people are identical (even twins) and that's the glorious truth that makes the world go round. Think of how boring it would be if EVERYONE was exactly the same. If everyone had the same laugh, the same fears, the same annoying habits... B-O-R-I-N-G!!!

So, for today's journal entry I want you to "analyze" your group of friends using the list of character traits. Maybe one of your friends is so sensitive, that she gets upset at every little thing. She's one of those people who can't watch the news or she will have nightmares, you can't tell her the latest gossip because it will have her ranting about the rights of other people.....

According to the list of traits I posted yesterday, your friend is blessed with the gift of COMPASSION which means, investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.

This is a priceless trait to have and to share with others. You would WANT your friend's compassion when you slip up and make her angry. Her compassion would shine through her anger and she would want to get to the bottom of why you did what you did so the two of you could get past it and heal - this, in turn, would strengthen your friendship.

So, your assignment -

  1. Print the page below and jot down a list of all of your friends.
  2. Assign a character trait that is specifically tied to each girl
  3. Write the words PRO and CON under that trait
  4. Make a list next to CON of the things that ANNOY you about this trait in your friend
  5. Make a list next to PRO of the GOOD things that come out of this trait
Your lists should look something like this:

(Investing my time and energy to complete each task assigned to me)
Con - it takes he sooooo long to get anything done
Pro - she is really good at alot of things b/c she is so careful about details

Once you identify the GOOD that can come out of the trait that might bother you the most, it is less likely to bother you and you might soon find yourself modeling similar behavior in an attempt to better yourself!!

Now, get to it!
See what you can do with this journal entry to better your friendships!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You've got CHARACTER!

So much advice is given to teens and some of that advice isn't necessarily over your head but it is out of your reach simply because you haven't been given the tools to do what the advice is suggesting.

People tell teens, "Be yourself."

But the mixed messages of the media confuse you and most of you are probably not even sure WHO you are. Your brains and bodies are still developing, you are getting comfortable (or trying to) within your own skin and now you are supposed to figure out WHO "yourself" is?

This is a tough assignment.

I thought today we would take a look at CHARACTER TRAITS. Some of these traits come naturally and some we have to practice to become good at them. But they are all worth the effort. If you see a trait and you think, "Wow! That is totally me!" Then you are starting to identify WHO you are.

WHO you were created to be starts with those traits that come naturally.

We can't all be good at EVERY one and some can feel just plain out of our reach but these are good goals to set and good traits to be aware of.

Now grab a piece of paper...
  • make a list of the ones that come natural to you
  • jot down the ones you want to try harder to achieve
Post this slip of paper on your mirror and be aware of when you can practice using each one! Stay true to the ones you have chosen - in EVERY situation! Don't let WHO is looking or WHO is listening change the way you react to someone/something.

Stay TRUE to your character in ALL situations - this is called INTEGRITY!

This list was made available through

Alertness – Being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right responses.
Attentiveness – Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration.
Availability – Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I serve.
Benevolence – Giving to others basic needs without having as my motive personal reward.
Boldness – Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just.
Cautiousness – Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions.
Compassion – Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.
Contentment – Realizing that true happiness does not depend on material conditions.
Creativity – Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective.
Decisiveness – The ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions.
Deference – Limiting my freedom so I do not offend the tastes of those around me.
Dependability – Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.
Determination – Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition.
Diligence – Investing my time and energy to complete each task assigned to me.
Discernment – Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen.
Discretion – Recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences.
Endurance – The inward strength to withstand stress and do my best.
Enthusiasm – Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort.
Faith – Confidence that actions rooted in good character will yield the best outcome, even when I cannot see how.
Flexibility – Willingness to change plans or ideas according to the direction of my authorities.
Forgiveness – Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge.
Generosity – Carefully managing my resources so I can freely give to those in need.
Gentleness – Showing consideration and personal concern for others.
Gratefulness – Letting others know by my words and actions how they have benefited my life.
Honor – Respecting those in leadership because of the higher authorities they represent.
Hospitality – Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, or conversation to benefit others.
Humility – Acknowledging that achievement results from the investment of others in my life.
Initiative – Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.
Joyfulness – Maintaining a good attitude, even when faced with unpleasant conditions.
Justice – Taking personal responsibility to uphold what is pure, right, and true.
Loyalty – Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve.
Meekness – Yielding my personal rights and expectations with a desire to serve.
Obedience – Quickly and cheerfully carrying out the direction of those who are responsible for me.
Orderliness – Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency.
Patience – Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it.
Persuasiveness – Guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks.
Punctuality – Showing esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time.
Resourcefulness – Finding practical uses for that which others would overlook or discard.
Responsibility – Knowing and doing what is expected of me.
Security – Structuring my life around that which cannot be destroyed or taken away.
Self-Control – Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right.
Sensitivity – Perceiving the true attitudes and emotions of those around me.
Sincerity – Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives.
Thoroughness – Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.
Thriftiness – Allowing myself and others to spend only what is necessary.
Tolerance – Realizing that everyone is at varying levels of character development.
Truthfulness – Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.
Virtue – The moral excellence evident in my life as I consistently do what is right.
Wisdom – Seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.

I would love to hear your comments on the process you used for making your list and what you learned about yourself as you chose the traits that come naturally to you. Leave your comments!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Meet Me On The Inside...

I guess it's hard for some people who are used to things the way they are, even if they are bad, to change because I guess they kinda give up …and when they do, everybody kinda loses." ~ Trevor McKinney - Pay It Forward

Turn on the television and there is someone somewhere judging someone else. It happens on Phineas and Ferb and iCarly. It happens during the race for Governor and on TLC’s What Not To Wear. And don’t get me started on how cruel the judges on American Idol can be.

What seems "harmless" is teaching you that the judgements of others actually MEAN something. What you are learning as "harmless" can scar your gentle psyche and change who you believe you are destined to be. As a former teacher, I have seen that crushing blow in the eyes of child all too many times. Words can cut. They have more power than we should be trusted with sometimes.
 That is why I had to write this book.
MEET ME ON THE INSIDE is a book that uses the words of REAL teen girls from around the country. These words are raw and honest and they compare what you see on the outside and what you would see if you took the time to meet someone on the INSIDE! Each girl reveals what she thinks you see and what she wishes you knew. The words are sometimes beautiful, some are silly and some will make you cry.
It is no secret how much worth is placed on outward appearance. If you are too quiet, too short, too friendly, too artsy, too studious, too stupid or too much like someone else then you are fair game to be judged.
I have done a lot of soul searching to try to put my finger on how to get what is in my heart onto paper and into a child’s hands. Hands that are still being held. I want empowering words streaming into a child’s mind. A mind that is still too young to judge.
What I came up with was that NO words I could come up with would do the trick, I needed to words of real teen girls to get this job done.

Then I saw the beauty in giving other girls the opportunity to illustrate someone else's words. I thought it  would be a beautiful juxtaposition of today's teen culture.

I want to bring the messages from these girls to every school in America. I want to look into the eyes of the students I read this book to and let them see the honesty and passion from the hearts of teens JUST like them. I want to turn on the news and NOT see another suicide or act of violence that was committed because someone was made to feel small and worthless.

This is my dream. This is the dream of the girls who submitted their words and artwork to this project.

Thank you girls!

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Life... it's Journal Entry Friday!

It's a known fact that being creative (even when you think you don't have an ounce of artistic ability) can pull things out of your subconscience that you didn't even know were there.

Things to celebrate, things to deal with, things to think about...

Today's Journal Exercise - Draw your life - the good, the bad and the ugly!

I am taking a break from the LOTS OF THINKING STYLE journal entries.

Grab a pencil and be FREE!

What do you see?

Leave a comment!