Posts Tagged ‘self esteem’

13 Going on Fabulous!

February 11, 2010

I’ve just returned from my niece’s 13th birthday celebration in Portland. Let me tell you, 13 is the new fabulous! It brings me such delight to be in Libby’s company. I could listen to her wise, funny and poignant thoughts on life for hours. She is perceptive, inquisitive and completely accepting. She generates pure joy.  

Her hugs last forever and she’ll still hold my hand when walking off the soccer field after a winning game. She she says things like, “I meditate in bed. I like to embrace the last few moments before I wake up,” and, “I love spending Sundays with Aunt Eleanor and Nanny Kathleen.”

Because she inspires me so with her genuine spirit and unique style (notice feline socks with flowered ballet flats in picture above), I’d like to say a word on behalf of teenage girls for I believe they routinely, unfairly, get a bad rap. Adults label teen girls as “difficult.” We approach them anticipating angst, closure and disregard. If that is what we expect from girls, that is the dynamic we will create.
 
For several years, I’ve been a part of Girls For A Change, an organization that respects girls for exactly who they are. I’ve seen many a girl, including those from challenging circumstances, blossom upon realizing that an adult genuinely cares about what she has to say.
 
As most of you may remember, it is damn hard being a teen girl – on the inside and the outside. Trying to be cool is usually masking painful insecurity. Our society doesn’t make it easy for girls to feel at peace with themselves. Among the twisted messages girls receive about their value, or lack thereof, are this week’s display of young women’s bodies in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue and yet another Nicholas Kristof report of a young girl being repeatedly gang-raped in the Congo

For this reason, my niece’s sweet and profound soul opens my heart even more. Will she go through emotional and physical trials as she grows into a woman? Of course. Can we honor and have patience for her and other girls’ natural process of discerning who they are and what they will become? I pray so.
 
When I look into Libby’s eyes, I see her love-filled teenaged heart. I hope she is certain of my complete admiration. My wish is that every girl has at least one person who thinks she is the absolute cat’s meow.

My 12-year-old Guru

June 16, 2009
with my niece at a Girls For A Change Girl Summit

with my guru at a Girls For A Change Girl Summit

My niece Libby is my guru. Once again this week, she’s come out with a nugget of wisdom that belies her 12 years.
 
While donning a blue polka dotted skirt and fuchsia flats for her first school dance she said, “lots of people will probably just be wearing shorts, but that’s ok, I will look good and I’m in Libby’s world which is a good place . . .”
 
I was blown away. At an age when most girls’ self esteem is starting to plummet, I am so proud that sweet Lib is confident, spunky, and loves her own world! Hallelujah!
 
It made me wonder, “What is Eleanor’s world and is it a good place?” Because of Libby’s example, I’m going to make damn sure it is!
 
What is your world? The place you live within yourself – is it good? What would make it so? What would allow you to feel, “Yes, I’m here and I am lovin’ my fine self!”
 
I invite you to come to the Women’s Circle to explore it. Come to feel your value and source your confidence from the deepest part of you. (instead of what the kids at the 6th grade dance think about you!) Come to open your heart through your amazing ride of a life. Come to receive support as you create a nurturing world inside yourself.