Last night I met Edna and her sister Joy. Edna is in sixth grade. Joy is in third.
They moved to the United States from Kenya in 2009. Both girls are vibrant, outgoing and very, very alive.
Our Girls on the Run council in the Puget Sound area hosted a very intimate fundraiser at the home of a longtime supporter. Edna and Joy both spoke so eloquently about how the program had provided them with more courage, self-confidence and in Edna’s words, “wise-ness.”
When asked what they learned from their experience both girls joyfully spoke of increasing levels of confidence, courage and personal-power. Somewhere tucked into each of their testimonies was a reference to the cord and how at any point we can choose to unplug from the negative one and instead, plug into the positive Girls on the Run cord.
In Edna’s words, “Sometimes you just gotta move on, you know? Someone hurts your feelings, hurts you, bullies you or stops liking you…you can move on by unplugging from their negative cord and plugging into your own positive one.”
At this point…I suspect you are asking yourself, “what cord” and “what is Molly writing about?”
Well, dear friend, let me share.
In lesson two of our curriculum we introduce the girls to the concept of visualization. I first became aware of visualization and its potential power in my sports career. For days, often weeks before an important triathlon, I would spend a good fifteen minutes, sometimes an hour a day picturing the entire event. I could visually see, in my mind’s eye, every detail…the clothes I was wearing, the feel of the water on my skin; the wind in my face; my lungs expanding in unison with each bike-pedal revolution. I could feel the sweat roll down my chest, feel the pavement under my feet, the various emotions and mental challenges. I could see the finish line, hear the crowd cheering, picture my family standing there…my mother smiling and crying.
The first year I did the Ironman was in 1989. I was 29 years old. I had never covered this kind of distance in my entire life…not in one fell swoop, anyway. Visualization was a critical component of my training. My goal for this first attempt was 12 hours. I would literally spend hours the summer prior to the October event, picturing the small details down to my final view of the clock, over the finish line, as I ran underneath it. 12:00:00.
I finished the event that year in…(Wanna take a guess?)…that’s right, you won’t believe it. 11:59:57.
Since then I am a believer in the power of our mind’s eye.
Therefore it makes total sense that we incorporate visualization into our work with the girls. This notion that we choose our thoughts, wasn’t a concept I was able to grasp (or frankly had ever heard of) until my 30’s. So, to hear Edna and Joy speaking so vehemently about the GOTR cord and their willingness to unplug from the negative thoughts and plug into the positive…well…it brought home the power once again AND confirmed what I have known all along…children are receptive to these more sophisticated concepts when delivered in a way that makes sense for them. As a matter of fact, children grasp these concepts far more easily than many adults, because they haven’t given up on their imagination…they haven’t stopped believing in their dreams.
It has become quite clear to me that the work we are doing resonates across all ages, genders, ethnicities, socioeconomic levels and is all rooted back in this one visualization that is so beautiful…so powerful…it feels almost unethical for me not to share.
So here goes…I dare you to try it. Have someone who loves you read it to you slowly and with intention. Or read it to your family, your loved ones, your friends, your co-workers…answer the questions and see what conversation ensues.
So…go on…’cause I’m outta here. Now, babies…it’s all up to you. Which will you choose?
Picture a bright white light that rests just on the inside of your body—maybe right where your heart is. That light is so bright and when we are feeling good about ourselves it just shines out of us—through our eyes, our fingertips, in the way we walk and stand up tall and straight. That white light is the very essence of who we are. It is what makes us special, unique and beautiful on the inside.
Now picture a large socket in the top of your head—kind of like a socket that is in the wall where you plug in an electrical appliance. Okay, got it? Can you see it in the top of your head? Okay now, imagine a huge cord going into that socket. But this cord is really yucky—it’s got gooey, sticky very slow-moving mucky liquid flowing through it. And also coming in through this cord are some messages we might get sometimes. Some of these messages may be “You’re not thin enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re not sporty enough, you don’t have cool clothes, you aren’t very smart or even you shouldn’t ever get angry and it’s not okay to cry. When this gooey stuff and these messages go into our brains it oozes down into our body and we feel bad about ourselves—the message of this cord begins to put out that bright like, like syrup oozing down on your pancakes in the morning—we don’t stand up as tall, we might feel sad a lot or even not try some exciting activities we’d like to try. We just don’t feel good about ourselves with this negative cord coming into our spirits.
Okay now, here’s the fun part. We each need to take our right hand and gently pull that cord right out of our heads. Okay, pull it out and throw it right behind us, somewhere far away. Now I want you to plug in the Girls on the Run cord. That’s it…take it with your other hand and on the count of three I want you to pop it right into that fabulous plug on top of your head. Here we go. Let’s all say POP together. 1…2…3…POP!
I can see into this cord and it is bright, multi-colored and sparkly. The liquid in it is bubbly and moves freely down into your body and makes the light inside of your heart…the light that is YOU…sparkle, glitter and become brighter and stronger…so strong that you begin to have light coming out of your fingertips, your mouth, your nose, your toes and your eyes! Even the words that you say have light on them and when you walk in a room, the light of YOU is so beautiful and so warm, others are just naturally attracted to it and want to glow in its warmth. This Girls on the Run cord helps us stand up tall and believe in ourselves. We express everything we are feeling. We know that we are wonderful. We can look all people right into their eyes and we feel absolutely NO shame about who we are! We know that “we are perfect just the way we are!” This is what Girls on the Run is all about! Helping all of us, including ME, realize how special we are, each as individuals, but also as a wonderful team together!!!
- Would somebody be willing to share how the girl, who is plugged into that negative cord, might feel about herself?
- How does she look?
- How do YOU feel when you are hanging out with someone plugged into that negative cord?
- Would someone be willing to share how the girl, who is plugged into the positive cord, might feel about herself?
- How does SHE look?
- How do you feel when you are hanging out with someone plugged into that positive cord?
Plugging into the positive or negative cord is a choice. It is ours to make. How and what we choose to think is our choice. Isn’t it awesome!!!
We are the boss of our own brains!
“So anytime we are having a gooey murky cord kind of day we need to promise to each other that we will ask each other to help us unplug from those negative messages and feelings and let the multi-colored, sparkly, positive light in each of us shine. Can we promise this to each other?”
Can you promise it to yourself?