Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board

Last night, my daughter had a sleepover for her eighth birthday.  For almost 24 hours, my house was filled with giggling, squealing, laughing little girls. As the night wore on I began to notice some of the dynamics of this group of friends starting to emerge.  

Some of the girls were shining as natural leaders, unafraid to ask for what they wanted.  At the same time, some were being left out, disappearing into the silence because they couldn't find their voice.

Seeing this magnified the importance of the work I do with women. Many of us still show up the way we did when we were eight-years-old. We interact with other women as if the stories from our childhood are still true today.  Many of us are stuck in the same fields of complexity.  Lost in all the competition and vying for power.  Whether we feel one step above or one step below, it is still painful and untrue.

Underneath, we all just want to be loved and accepted.

This is why conscious women's community is so important. It helps heal wounds from the past and create new possibilities for the future. 

I also think that anyone who is around girls and young women has a responsibility to help them find ways of relating with one another differently.  Its time we start asking questions like, how do we begin to teach them to support one another rather than compete? How do we help them to see the value of bringing the voice of every girl into the circle?  How do we show them the benefit of leaving no one out, and working together so that everyone feels like they belong?

In my own experience with my daughter, I have learned that all I can do is take it one day at a time. I try to talk openly with her about these issues and to also model healthy behavior in my own relationships.

When I was a kid at slumber parties we used to play game called “Light as a feather, stiff as a board.” One girl would lie on the floor and everyone else would gather together around her.  Depending on how many people there were, we could lift up the girl lying down with just one or two fingers each.  This feels symbolic of the way the support of the collective, is so much stronger than just an individual.  When we let go of competition and come together with a shared intention, anything is possible. 

Together, we can lift each other up.

Kirsten Warner