Our theme this month with my Girl Guide Sparks group, is about Connecting.
Connecting with Others.
Connecting with the Community.  The World at large.
And of course, with ourselves.



We have done some great activities involving learning about other Girl Guide groups within Canada; and around the world.  We had a fun sleepover to learn how other cultures celebrated special occasions.  We learned songs and games.  And how to calm ourselves with a relaxing routine (using the Apps I have mentioned in my #onegoodthing posts.)

One of the most interesting exercises was the Calming Routine.
Because, ever tried to "calm" 8 little wriggling six and seven year old girls?
Yeah, no.
They don't really know the meaning of the word.

However, given the opportunity to learn... to stretch themselves and focus on something other than whether our friendly neighborhood bat would return.  Or when was snack time?  And did we bring balloons for the game?  It was amazing to see how some of them really would just begin to dissolve into their blankets on the floor and sink into some quiet time.

One poor girl definitely struggled.  The blanket was too short.  And thin.  She could hear noises beyond the door.  She needed a pillow.  And her stuffie.  The list went on.   This girl would just not let her body relax.   I asked the girls to try and focus in on how they were feeling, so that they could determine the cause for any restlessness.

Huh?
Yeah, pretty much.   They didn't know how to answer that.
And I thought, hmmmmm...  how often do we ask children to check in without their feelings? Their current state of mind?   They just seem to always be so impulsive.   But maybe there are reasons for that, just as there are reasons why we react a certain way in any given moment.
So I asked....

HOW ARE YOU?
RIGHT NOW - IN THIS MOMENT

Something really cool happened!
All the girls that could answer that question; that were able to identify their feelings, were able to say it: and then relax.   Whether it was I'm tired; I'm happy; I'm hungry; or even I'm sad... once they voiced it - they seemed to let it go.

But the restless one?
Could.Not.Compute.
She was just having such a difficult time answering the simple: How Are You?
Clearly there was a lot on her mind because her tiny body could not stop moving.
So I worked with her quietly while the others listened to a 5 minute talk about Gratitude using my Meditation App and some quiet music.

Once we figured out what it was she was feeling; once she was able to talk about it this thing that was so pressing on her young mind.  Poof!   The restlessness left, and she lay down on her blanket to finish with her fellow Sparks.
And then we sent them on home, all relaxed and chilled and ready for bed.
You're welcome parents.

So how about that?
You know what I think was the most important thing that happened?  When we voice our thoughts or emotions, we are putting our very Self into anothers' hands.  We become vulnerable.  That's a huge endeavor for most grown ups, let alone a young girl at a public meeting.

But, when we hold back, suddenly everyone we encounter becomes involved in this huge guessing game regarding How We Feel or Think.   And this game has very different rules for different people.  No wonder our communication often fails!    Maybe that is why it's just easier to put those masks on whenever we go in public.   Even if it makes us restless.  Stirs up our minds even more.
Now, we're confused.  Their confused.  It's a land of confusion!

Knowing our thoughts and emotions is the easiest way to Know Thyself.  So naturally if those are rejected; we feel that sting in such a personal way.   Of course it's hard to trust others with that.   But the flip side?   They are not really getting to know, or see, the Real You either. 
Connection Failed. 

You cannot truly connect with someone you do not see; or do not know.
Thus, I think it's best to focus on what is the truest version of ourselves, and then seek to find the right people within our lives, that allow us the safe space to stretch and grow.   A tricky task to be sure; but you cannot achieve it if you don't take the risk.

If a six year old girl can take that risk with me?   I think the rest of us can survive the challenge of uncensoring ourselves, and letting the honesty of each moment come forth.

So I ask:  How Are You?


Time out for Mom




Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

How Are You?  
Honesty required.

Next Week:  Do you want to play a game?  Have You Ever?