Guiding our children to shine their inner LIGHT by being our absolute best!

Posts tagged ‘camps’

The Reflection I See

This past week was truly an amazing week…  I had the distinct privilege of empowering 35 young ladies (ages 7-9), presented a Live Online Hay House Event on the 7 Essentials to Creating Strong Foundations for Children & Adults, and had the opportunity to look in the mirror, at myself, in a very different way!

Every year, I run a few camps in the summer with my good friend and colleague, Stephanie Liberty, to empower children to believe in themselves, speak their truth and be their absolute best.  We started our camps about 4 years ago because we were both teaching 2nd grade and had a ‘difficult’ class.  Our classes had more boys than girls, several children that needed our extra attention to help with behaviors, and very shy, introverted girls.  Towards the end of the year, Steph and I looked at each other during a conversation about our classes and we got that bright light idea look on our faces.  We both felt that our  ‘quiet girls’ may have been cheated during the year and we wanted to find a way to give them a little extra attention, so GIRLS RULE Camp was born!  The first year, we kept it simple.  We had about 10 girls in the group and we ran the camp at Stephanie’s house.  We did crafts, yoga, meditation, danced till we dropped, and produced our own skit/performance for the parents.  Our intent was simply to give the girls a little extra attention and let them know that they in fact, were very important to us.  What came out of that week was oh so much more…

Stephanie is one of those amazing people who always smiles and says in any crisis situation, “Its okay, we can work this out.”  She’s got a light inside that glows even when she sleeps!  Steph loves crafts and she can choreograph a group of girls to perform like they’ve danced for years like nobody’s business!  I, on the other hand, am a very non-conventional teacher, who believes that it’s critically important to teach kids 7 Essentials to build a strong foundation in life (Sign up for my email list to receive the 7 Essentials in a bookmark).  We both LOVE kids and are feisty when it comes to doing what’s right for them, so when you put us together…FIREWORKS!

There’s nothing more powerful, than watching a child learn to love themselves, speak their truth and believe in their overall power!

Each year, a beautiful theme organically arises as we begin the camp.  This year, it became apparent very early on, that our theme for this year was, I Am Important!  On Monday, the girls and I had a discussion on feeling invisible.  One little girl said, “Mrs. Savini, you’re telling us to feel our feelings, but sometime’s adults tell us we don’t have those feelings!”  I probed her a bit more, and she revealed something that we should all stop and listen to for a moment…

Well, sometimes, I am sad or upset about something, and when I tell a grown up, they say, Oh, you’re alright, but I’m really not alright in that moment.”  The room fell silent as all of the girls shook their heads in agreement.  I suddenly flashed back to my own childhood when I heard those very same words.  Sad to say, I’ve said those words to kids a few times, but I can guarantee you, that I will think twice the next time those words come to mind.  I then gave the girls a tool for their ‘toolbox’ (an imaginary toolbox we create to help us through life)… The ‘That’s NOT True Tool.’  We decided that when someone else tries to tell us what we are feeling, instead of pushing that feeling down deeper, we would say that’s not true and then use an ‘I Statement’ to tell how we really feel.  For instance; let’s say that the little girl who brought this to our attention were to tell an adult that she was sad, and adult said, “Oh, you’re alright. Don’t be so dramatic.”  She would respond with, “That’s NOT true!  I feel sad when you tell me how I feel, because I know what I feel inside, and what I really need, is for you to NOT tell me how I feel.”  Whoa…EMPOWERING!  That was only one segment…believe me, you have no idea how much inspiration occurred in the last week! It gets better…

As I stated, the girls create a skit/dance performance for their parents every year that illustrates the lessons that we learned during the week.  Stephanie and I allow the girls to choose an empowering song each year (with a little guidance), and this year the song they chose was, “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful,” by One Direction.  As Steph was choreographing throughout the week in front of the mirrors (we were at a dance center), I kept having this vision.  All I could see was the girls, walking toward the mirror and talking to themselves as they recited the words, “Baby you light up my world like nobody else…you don’t know you’re beautiful.”  I couldn’t get it out of my head, so I asked Steph to put it in.  Sure enough, as I was videotaping the dance and the girls walked towards the mirror saying those words, the tears ran down my face (and several other moms too), because…

I wished someone had taught me to love myself when I was little.

Sure, I got a lot of praise.  I won tons of art contests, singing competitions, and even pageants.  I was noticed, for the things I did, but I never really learned to LOVE myself for just me, without seeking approval, praise, and acceptance from others.  I realized that on Tuesday evening after finishing the LIVE event with Hay House.  I thought I would feel totally exhilarated, but I didn’t.  Instead, I felt let down.  I felt sad.  I couldn’t hear the clapping noises in the audience.  I didn’t receive immediate feedback from others, and then suddenly I realized that I too needed to dance that dance that we taught our girls to dance in the week!

When you look at your reflection, what do you see?  Do you see your flaws?  Do you see what others tell you they see? OR, do you see YOU?  This week shifted my perspective in a way that I cannot explain…

Love yourself…no, I mean really LOVE yourself.  Not, love yourself when others tell you that it’s okay to do so.  I mean love yourself, even when you don’t feel like you’re at your best.  Just LOVE YOU, totally and unconditionally!

With Love,