If there is one thing I'd like for Courageous Girls to get from being in the club is the concept that they are the authors of their own life. Nora Ephron so wonderfully said:
"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."
Precisely. If our Courageous Girls could get just this one concept down, we have succeeded. Why? Because this means that they take full ownership of the way they direct their lives, and how they respond to challenges.
Let's say a Courageous Girl is called stupid at the playground. Not so hard to imagine, right? And let's just say that she gets sad, starts crying, and even believes it. This is just one of the ways that this story can unfold. There are obviously other ways as well, and that choice is in her hands.
How do you want this story to be written?
And even more importantly,
How do you want this story to end?
Instead of crying or being passive, she could instead reply: "You're wrong... It's pronounced, AWESOME!!" Which is probably the best reply I've read to this common predicament in Laura Clydesdale's wonderful blog.
We've changed the CGC tagline recently to try and encourage Courageous Girls to view themselves as the heroine in the book that they write with their choices and actions each and every day.
"Power Up your Heroine's Journey" is our new tagline, and by "power up" we mean giving her knowledge, skills, and access to the different options from which she can choose to write her own story.
So at today's meeting we delved into the first concept of a heroine, which is to know herself and to take the time to think about who she wants to be, because...
"The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
1. Our tagline is "Power Up your Heroine's Journey." What is a heroine?
A heroine is the principal female character in a book - she is not a superhero, but a regular person who is in charge of her journey and writes her own story.
Do you have a favorite heroine, or can you give examples from stories or books?
Moana, Hermione Granger (Harry Potter), Laura Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie), Pippi Longstocking, Jane Eyre, Jo March (Little Women)...
For ideas, here are 50 of the best heroines from middle grade books.
Are the lives of heroines easy?
Think of how boring any of these books would be if for example all Moana did was practice sailing in nice weather all day. We need challenges in order to learn and grow from, and through which we can explore our world.
What are some characteristics that these heroines' have?
Adventurous, courageous, kind, perseveres, funny, etc.
2. "I Am..." activity
The point of this activity is to think about who they are as their own heroines. The beauty of it is that as they think it through, they discover more and more strengths that they each possess, in the end filling the whole page, giving them a visual of the many things that they are. We framed this activity based on this Brave Girls Club project. We ended up printing out the sheets, but the older girls mostly drew their own pictures and came up with their own words to describe themselves, while for the younger ones it was helpful to pick and choose and cut and tape from the different options. Whichever way you do it, the point is to take the time to think through who you are, discover your strengths, and who you would like to be.
“The more girls know who they are, the more they can believe in themselves, and trust in the power of their own intellect and intuition. This self-trust is the foundation of self-confidence, the foundation girls need to assert their voice and remain resilient, to rise up as leaders - and to keep rising.” -Elizabeth Perlman, The Intuitive Writing Project (as mentioned on How to Unlock your Strength blog post)