Do you know that weird state after a party when it goes from loud, boisterous & full of energy, to suddenly still & quiet? My summer camp girls have just left and the air in my house is full of that electricity. I’m eager to see what the girls wrote on their evaluations of the camp. Teenage girls are a tough audience. I don’t get a lot of “great lesson today, Torie” or “I’m really learning a lot, thank you so much.” like I might from a room full of grown ups. So, the written evaluations always blow my mind a little & this year was no exception.
“I learned I am important in the world.”
Tears well up in my eyes. A 13 year old girl, because of this summer camp, learned she is important in the world. Wow. Mind is Blown.
How did she learn that? I never used those words, “You are important in the world.” How is it that the questions I ask or the games we play or the subjects we talk about, would lead someone to that conclusion? It is such an amazing comment that I want to figure out how that happened and here’s what I came up with:
Life Coaching isn’t just about feeling better and accomplishing goals. It’s about finding purpose and meaning in our lives. It’s remembering that we are spirit, not just bodies and brains, and our spirits like to feel connected & purposeful, while doing our work in the world. I asked the girls, “Raise your hand if you’d like to help the world in some way, whether it’s helping people, animals, or the planet.” I figured I’d have at least a few who, like me, felt compelled to help & heal. Do you know every single girl raised their hand? In both sessions? Mind is Blown.
Here’s a simple but significant exercise you can do to keep yourself and your kids connected to the big picture and remembering you, too, are important in the world.
Every time something happens in your life, use the experience to add to your list of “This is what I want, this is what I don’t want”. For example, one girl complained about the people at her old school. She said they were rude, materialistic & full of themselves. This may be true, but it doesn’t help us grow or feel empowered.
I showed the girls a game to demonstrate how thinking negative/judgmental thoughts, actually makes everyone weaker, less effective and adds more negativity to the world. (Experience and evidence are much more powerful teachers than words, especially with teens!)
Instead of judging someone negatively (even if it’s true), try this instead. “Because I’ve had that experience, I can now say I want friendships with people I admire and whose values I share. Because of my time spent with these girls, I now know that I don’t want to be with people who focus on the shallow, superficial aspects of life.” It is MUCH more empowering, adds positive energy to the world, and reminds us that EVERYONE is here to help us grow as individuals. When every circumstance is helping you grow, there’s no such thing as a bad day, annoying people or a negative circumstance. Instead of life happening to you, it’s happening FOR YOU and for your benefit.
Right now, grab a piece of paper and write this at the top. “This is what I want” and “This is what I don’t want”. Then start writing down what you want and don’t want when it comes to relationships, work, family, exercise, etc. This simple but powerful exercise will add more purpose & meaning to your life, while helping you focus on things you have control of.
Girls, especially, will bond over a mutual dislike or disapproval. “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe she’s wearing that, she’s so weird.” This negative judgment brings everyone down, even if it’s just an innocent comment like “look at her crazy hair-do.” Instead of focusing on others, make it about you. “When I look at her outfit, I realize that I want to dress in a more modest, conservative way” or “I don’t want hair like hers. Maybe a streak of color, but overall, I prefer a more natural look.” Use your thoughts, opinions and judgments as a way to learn more about yourself, and you feel the shift in energy from negative to positive.
When you use other people and experiences to help you figure out who you are and what you want, you’ll feel powerful and in charge of your own life. And a world full of people feeling powerful, determined and at peace with themselves, while focused on helping and healing the planet, well, I can’t imagine anything better.
Are you ready to feel more purpose and power in your everyday life? Sign up for one of my new life coaching packages and see if one of them is right for you.