The only journey is the one within. Ranier Marie Rilke
Adolescent girls undergo the Heroine’s Journey whereby they transform from a girl to a woman. One aspect of this developmental process involves metaphorically “sleeping”, meaning girls need time to retreat from the world in order to grow in wisdom and confidence until they are ready to meet the challenges of being an adult woman. This requires some quiet, reflective time to connect with yourself and your desires and needs. And we a re falling short as a culture in teaching girls how to do this.
Kids and teens today are moving too fast, and their busyness and constant distractions with technologies leaves them feeling disconnected, restless, and stressed. I coach girls in my retreats, camps, and school programs to learn how to slow down, get quiet, and go inward. As Rilke so beautifully described above, it is only inside that girls will find the answer to crucial questions like: Who am I? What am I feeling? What do I need? What is right for me?
The following are ways that girls can get calm and work on their ‘inner resumes’.
Breath work, focusing on your senses, writing( journaling, short stories, poetry, songs ), listening to music or playing an instrument, physical activities like yoga or tai chi or dance, talking to your pets, real or stuffed, using guided imagery and visualizations,meditation and prayer, and time in nature. I encourage girls to become more mindful, as in doing one thing at a time with your full, one-pointed attention. Multi-tasking is stressful, mindfulness is relaxing and centering.
We need to guide girls to balance out the relentless noise and distractions of their everyday lives with times of quiet solitude where they can reflect, soul-search, daydream, and gather themselves. Learning to connect with your inner voice, wisdom, and knowing can only come during periods of peace and quiet.