Puberty is a fascinating process that involves hormonal changes in our body and brain. During this time in our lives we experience a series of profound physical and emotional transformations. Most of us adult women recognize the importance of guidance throughout those key years in our lives. Why guidance? Because puberty is both an uneven sea to navigate AND an incredible opportunity for teen and pre-teen girls to learn the skills to express their true feelings as they begin their journey to find their authentic voices!. “Moon Circle” provides a safe container for adolescents and pre-adolescents to gain self-awareness and self confidence as they get in touch with and communicate their feelings and perceptions with clarity and honesty.
The practical tools that we use in this exploration are:
Self-care tips and modalities:
This modality will help them understand and feel subtle connections inside their bodies.Massaging certain acupuncture points will bring relief to some of the imbalances usually experienced along the cycles such as: menstrual cramps, headaches or bloating.
~ Herbal home-made recipes: I have seen girls’ faces light up when they find out that they can relieve PMS, acne or mood swings with herbs they can find in their gardens! These home-made recipes stood the test of thousands of years’ trials in China as well as in our western societies. It’s truly empowering to know that you can use your own taste and creativity to design the best formula for your own needs.
~ Nutritional advice: Poor nutrition is a key factor in many of the physical imbalances experienced by teen girls. Nutritional information coupled with observation of their personal experience with certain foods will give them the opportunity to make healthier choices.
~ Home-made body lotions and perfumes: We will use aromatherapy and essential oils to make unique blends to their personal needs and taste.
Council Circles: “Council” is an ancient practice of deep looking, deep listening and speaking from the heart. When girls feel “seen” and “listened to”, they are much more inclined to use their authentic voices and to express their true feelings. Council circles provide a safe space for each girl to understand the way(s) her personal story weaves into the collective story of the group she belongs to and vice versa. The understanding of these core values will become the real backbone and soul of the Moon workshop.
Observation and research: after the girls come to the understanding of what theirs and the group’s needs are through the practice of deep looking and deep listening, we will take an honest and educated look into what mass media shows us as “trendy and true”; particularly in the areas of nutrition, clothing and cosmetics and how and if that trend is aligned with what they want and need. We will also analyze the impact of cosmetics on their health and explore alternatives to reduce the harmful side effects that they have on our planet.
Movement: Chi Kung movements will empower the girls to connect and find their “center” and learn to speak, act and communicate their emotions from that space.
Journaling: The girls (and maybe their moms as well!) will be invited to use a journal as a way to map down the emotions and feelings associated with the moon cycles. This will give them the opportunity to find certain patterns of thinking, behaving and feeling at different times during the lunar month. This understanding will not only help them connect with their bodies and emotions in a much more accepting way, but also allow them to become more compassionate with others.
Rite of passage: The purpose of traditional cultures’ rites of passage was to “walk” the youth into adulthood. Through rites of passage, the youth discovered their gifts, their vision for their role in the community, and their own personal “medicine” for dealing with the challenges that lay in front of them. Their elders facilitated these discoveries, and supported the young adults to integrate their visions, roles, and paths into the fabric of the community.Through exploring their relationship with each phase of their lunar cycle, the teen girls will get a chance to connect with their gifts and talents. This will create a safe space to review and eventually transform the child mentality (“What’s in it for me”) into the adult mentality (“How can I best serve the needs of my community?”).
Even though the whole workshop can be considered as different steps in the rite of passage to adulthood, we will have a rite of passage ceremony at the end of the workshop that will serve as a springboard into the experience of applying their talents to the best use to their own hearts and to the heart of their community.
Gentleness and receptivity are two of the most precious and fundamental characteristics of our female soul. The way in which the contents of these workshops are delivered greatly depends on the group’s maturity level and curiosity expressed by the girls. It is not about imposing any particular point of view; it’s about supporting the exploration of new pathways of thinking but only if aligned with the girls’ fundamental values transmitted by their families and community.
Looking forward to working together!
Yamin Chehin Lac, Dipl O.M