Exploration Into Friendship & Breathing Through Emotion
These last few workshops have been such fun and we are so glad that we got to share it with your Girls! Looking forward to more adventures in 2018!
Our “Friendship” Workshop began with a reading of the poem, “Chasing Fireflies,” by Faith Shearin, which describes the joy and mystery of a particular summer evening spent with a friend. The poem led us into a conversation about the ways friendship can spring up around a shared activity and they ways we might connect briefly with our fellow humans. One of the girls shared a memory of a brief connections she made with another girl while waiting in line at the Eiffel Tower.
“We didn’t speak the same language or anything, but I had this crepe making game on my iPod and we started doing that together and pretty soon, we were laughing and trying to understand each other.”
Another girl talked about meeting girls at the park.
“We were all playing with the ball and running and it was like we’d known each other for ever.”
As a counterpoint to these brief sparks of connection, we read from an essay written by Patti Smith describing her lifelong friendship with Sam Shepard.
“We were friends; good or bad, we were just ourselves. The passing of time did nothing but strengthen that.”
In the essay, she highlights their comfort in silence.
“We didn’t have to talk then, and that is real friendship.”
The girls brainstormed, coming up with many satisfying foundations for friendship including, “feminism,” “animal loving,” “laugh at the same things,” and “shared interests.”
Led by the Bright Lite team, the girls turned their ideas of friendship into colorful photo assemblages. By the end of the group, we had gone beyond the simple idea of a “BFF” and into the deeper definition of “friend.”
“A friend is someone who judges you on personality, not what you look like.” “A friend is kind, creative, smart and a good listener.” “A friend is someone who reads a scary book.”
The workshop was a great reminder of the strong connections made in GIRL GROUP. The girls met new friends and caught up with old friends and widened their circle of support.
“Breathing through our Emotions” with Ann Faison began with an investigation of energy. We held hands and focused on the vibrations of the group. Ann asked the girls to visualize energy as a color and imagine it moving through the circle.
Once she’d connected the girls to the idea of energy, she moved toward grounding the energy by asking everyone to imagine themselves as a tree with roots planted deep in the earth. This kind of grounding exercise is an excellent antidote to stress and can be done standing or sitting at any time. Simply put your feet flat on the ground or floor and imagine roots growing straight down, connecting you to the earth. The wind may blow your branches, but your roots are solid in the ground.
This connection to nature informed the introduction of crystals, stones, shells, marbles and feathers. Some girls immediately connected to an object – the crystals especially – and described them as “heavy in a good way,” “vibrating,” “light and smooth and rough and good.” Once they’d chosen the item that resonated most, Ann led them through a short breathing exercise. The three-part breath is done in two exhales, (the first into the belly, the second into the chest) and one exhale. The girls practiced this energizing breath for several rounds. Some girls found it comforting to breath normally, while others continued with the three-part breath. “It felt like the crystal was part of me,” one said. “I felt like I was levitating,” another said. “It was great to be given the option to stop the three-part breath,” one girl said. “I was tired of doing it, but once I knew I could stop, it made me not want to stop.”
We ended the group with a period of quiet mediation and in our final circle, everyone agreed they felt relaxed and peaceful.
Finding tools for channeling our energy and navigating through challenging situations is one of the main objectives of GIRL GROUP. We were glad to offer yet another way to make the world more comfortable.
We wish you all a safe and happy holiday and a peaceful new year.
#girlgroup #girlsrule #friends
Wesley and Tanya