Thursday, November 19, 2009
Good morning! (And it IS definitely morning. As I write, it is 5:00 a.m. I am traveling to Jacksonville, Florida for an event tomorrow. Long day ahead!)
I've been visiting with quite a few of our Girls on the Run councils around the nation. I've recently been to Madison, WI, Seattle WA, Pasco, WA, and Atlanta GA. I've also been visiting with a number of our Girls on the Run sites right here where I live in Charlotte, NC.
I just love hanging out with you guys. I've come to realize that girls are some of the most genuine people in the universe! Seriously...when I am with you I do not feel judged and I feel like I can be myself.
When I was about fifteen, I began to really struggle with trying to fit in. Being popular and liked became very important to me and I started to do some things that didn't celebrate the REAL me so that I could fit in. For many, many years I struggled with the idea that somehow fitting in was more important than just being the fabulous ME that I really was.
BUT, I learned one very important, amazing thing about myself when I was fifteen. I loved to run. I was really good at it too. When I ran, I felt like I could be myself. I loved the way the wind felt in my hair. I could just pull my long hair in a ponytail, throw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and go sweat! I didn't worry about what I looked like, who liked me or whether or not I fit in. Running became my sweet spot...the one time in my day where I felt ALIVE, REAL and GENUINE...where I felt like I was ME, MYSELF and I!
As I grew older running continued to serve as a safe place for me to be myself. Running still helps me, in so many ways, get through some very difficult times. Running is where I can think, meditate and clear my head. I can sort through my thoughts without the interruption of my cell phone, housework or returning emails.
When I run...I just AM! I feel free to be me.
What do you do where you feel free to just be the FABULOUS person that you are. Do you dance? Do you act? Are you an artist? Is it doing community service work? Think about it and let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Come on! Do share!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Alright...so it is 5:45 in the morning. It's also Saturday. Most people like to sleep in on Saturday...but this morning I woke up long before my alarm, because I was excited.
I wake up most days several minutes before my alarm goes off because I tend to be a very excited and enthusiastic person. (Of course, I can't be totally "up" and enthusiastic all the time. Everyone gets down in the dumps every once in a while.)
When I was very young, many of the adults in my life considered work something they HAD to do...so that they could have enough money to do the things they WANTED to do. When I started Girls on the Run, two amazing things happened. My job and what I love to do...became one in the same.
There is this awesome quote from Joseph Campbell and it goes like this: "Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls."
Bliss means joy and what Campbell is trying to say here is...if we pursue (go after) those activities in our life that bring us joy--make us feel whole and complete--then we are very likely to lead a happy, productive and successful life!
When I started Girls on the Run I combined two things that I love with ALL of my heart: Working with kids AND the power that running gives me to feel comfortable in my skin. I never knew, when I started this program, that the unique combination of "girls and running" would lead to what is now a world-wide program.
What do you LOVE to do? What are your greatest gifts? Do you ever dream about how you could possibly pursue a career or a life that allows you to use your greatest gifts and love what you do for a living? PLEASE write me at email@example.com and tell me what that looks like for you.
And before I sign off, on this bright, brilliant and beautiful Saturday morning, I want to thank Hannah for sharing with me what Girls on the Run has done for her.
Here is what SHE wrote:
One of my favorite things about Girls on the Run is the way it changed my life. It helped me a lot to make better choices in my life and especially at school. Like when my friends are disrespectful to me I know exactly what to do. Or when I am disrespectful to my friends I know exactly what to do, all because of GOTR. And when I met you, I knew exactly what to do. You taught me a lot. Thanks for all the touching life lessons.
Hannah...you are amazing!!!!