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Help Girls Stop Comparing Themselves to Others

You can help girls stop comparing themselves to others.

Your best tools are your own inner work and your modeling.

Here's a simple practice:

  1. Notice when you are comparing yourself to others. Tune into this throughout each day.
  2. Interrupt it when it happens, kindly but firmly.
  3. Embrace that part of yourself with tenderness.
  4. Replace the comparing thought with a positive belief.

Let me unpack each of these steps for you.

1. Noticing when you compare

We all compare ourselves to others! For you, is it:

  • Breasts or other aspects of your body?
  • Clothing, make up?
  • Job or money?
  • Children?
  • How "natural" you are?
  • How feminist you are?

Knowing your special comparison topics will help you tune in with more consistency.

And now your task is simply to tune in and notice when you compare yourself to another.

stop comparing

Art by John Wesley


2. Interrupting

When you find yourself comparing, simply pause and breathe.

There, you've interrupted it! This is an accomplishment! 

It's important to be kind to yourself as you do so. Do not beat yourself up. You are doing work that requires energy, effort, determination, and courage. Bathe yourself in compassion.

stop comparing

Self-Compassion by Lisa Rough


3. Tenderly Embracing

You can come back to this step later if you're in the middle of something. 

To tenderly embrace the part of you that is generating the comparison, you first need to connect with her. At first, this may take a little time. 

Focus gently on the emotion behind the thought. Then, in your mind's eye, "go back in time" as far as you can until you find a memory or association holding that same emotion.

stop comparing

Tree of Becoming by Lucy Pierce

You may be a babe, a child, a teen or an adult.  What's happening?

And most importantly, what does she need in the moment? Offer that to her, and spend some time doing so. Notice how she responds, how you respond, emotionally and in the body. This is healing and wholing.


4. Replacing with a Positive Belief

What positive beliefs might you substitute for your thoughts of comparison? Try these, or adapt them, or create your own:

  • I am enough​
  • I am a unique, divine and amazing human being
  • I don't want to be anyone but myself.
  • My journey is toward my truest, deepest self.
  • I love and embrace my whole self, warts and all
  • I will treat myself with kindness and compassion.
  • Every day, I become more and more whole and healed.

One way to choose your positive beliefs is to consider which beliefs you'd love to have the girls in your life embrace.

Of those, choose for yourself the ones that resonate emotionally or energetically for you.

positive beliefs

Photo by Jodi Nemeth Photography


Again, dear reader, if you want to help girls stop comparing themselves to others, your best tools are your own inner work and your modeling.  Try this practice and see what positive changes unfold for you and for the girls in your life.

Please share your questions and ideas. 

And let us know how it goes!

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Walking in Two Worlds

Clarissa Pinkola Estés is a poet, storyteller, mythologist, Jungian psychoanalyst and author of Women Who Run with the Wolves (WWRWW). I met with Dr. Estés and about 100 other fortunate women last week at a WWRWW Facilitator Training in Colorado.

Women Who Run with the Wolves

Art by 16-year-old Dimitra Milan

Filled with ancient teaching stories (usually called fairy tales), WWRWW is in effect a manual of the initiatory journey from girlhood to womanhood. This is a book for every woman to read, savor, and return to again and again.

Few of us were initiated into womanhood. It our task is to seek out our rites of passage.

Coming of Age

Coming of Age - Apache Sunrise Ceremony . Photo: Rebecca Greenfield

At the same time, we must help our sisters (and brothers) embody their fullest, truest, most human selves – particularly children and youth. It is said that only an initiated adult can initiate others, but in this transitional time, we must magically do the “impossible.”

It is possible and it is essential to bring back mentorship and rites of passage.

Walking in two worlds is crucial to re-instating the adolescent rite of passage. To re-igniting all our rites of passage, from birth to death. To healing and wholing individually and culturally. To co-creating the world we want to live in.​

What’s most remarkable to me about Dr. Estés
and what lights the path of initiation -
is her practice of the art of walking in two worlds.

More than any person I’ve ever met, Dr. E. actively embodies this art, this very human way of being.

We all have the innate capacity for both rational thought and for finding truth, guidance and wisdom from that which is greater - call it Spirit, God, Goddess, one's wild instinctual self, one's higher angels, one’s deepest intuition.  

Whether the words point to within or without, they indicate the same source of universal Truth, Beauty, and Wisdom.

We are born with this capacity to receive truth and insight from the Greater All.

Children are magic

Art by Yan Nascimbene

Observe any child.  She is walking in two worlds everyday ... unless she's been taught not to.

We need both the rational and the non-rational to function in a complete, purpose-filled way, to realize our wholeness as humans and to serve this world and the holy in the fullest way. Only a tiny fraction of the information and support that is available to us is found in rational, consensual reality. The world as we know it today is the result of most of humanity being cut off from this magical birthright.

How does one cultivate the ability to walk in two worlds?

“Practice!” says Dr. Estés.

Walking in Two Worlds practices are straightforward, nourishing and accessible to all.  Incorporate these into your daily life to cultivate your natural capacity.

You don’t need to visit a South American shaman! You don't need substances (other than good, clean food). Everything you need is contained in your body, mind, soul and spirit.

Everything you need is contained in your body, mind, soul and spirit

Inspiration Flow by Valerie Sjodin

Simply attune to what is present
within and around you.

Bring awareness, responsiveness, expression and joy to your entire experience.  The sensations and perceptions of your body, mind, heart, soul and spirit.

Walking in two worlds

Soul's Journey by Freydoon Rassouli

Suggested Practices for Walking in Two Worlds

Choose what calls you and invite them into your life daily.

  • Remember, write down, and reflect on your dreams.
  • Cultivate those moments of altered consciousness such as when you are half-awake in the morning or when a reverie becomes a waking dream.
  • Pray.
  • Meditate.
  • Garden.
  • Sing or chant.  Make music!
  • Be creative – draw, paint, write…
  • Move your body expressively and/or intuitively.  Dance life!
  • Spend time outdoors. Connect with the natural world. For instance, observe trees. What is their gesture? Feel into them. What is it like to be that tree, right now? Listen to them. What can you learn?
  • Tune into Sister Moon. Follow Her cycles. What is She inviting? Gaze at Her. Sing to Her. Draw Her down into your body. Today (Tuesday, August 2) we have a Dark Moon in Leo followed by tomorrow’s New Moon, A potent time of possibility.
  • Honor the Wheel of the Year, the changing seasons. Today is Lammas (midpoint between Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox) in the northern hemisphere – a time to celebrate the early harvest, gratitude for what’s been received, and to ponder how to best serve life with these resources. In the southern hemisphere, it’s Imbolc (midpoint of Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox) – the quickening of new life. What are you growing this season?
  • If you have (or had) a menstrual cycle, you are blessed with an initiatory journey each month. Chart your cycle, noting how your intuition ebbs and flows, how your dreams evolve, how your feelings and what calls you changes throughout your cycle.
  • Learn from children. They are infused with this magic – until they are taught to ignore and suppress what they see, hear and sense what is not of this world. Let them be your teachers.

    And please, hold the space open for children to be the natural shamans they are.

How are you walking in two worlds?

What practices nourish your wild instinctual self?
How have you sought out or offered rites of passage?
Please leave a  comment!

Walking in two worlds

Photo by Treti Pivni

Mentoring Girls Certificate Training

JOYW's Mentoring Girls Certificate Training  is open for enrollment!

You'll enjoy new content, new resources and new collaborative opportunities in addition to an extensive interactive resource platform offering post-graduate support beginning in 2017.  Leadership roles are opening up.  

Deeper Partial Scholarships are now being funded by the Mary Krueger Scholarship Fund, named in honor of my dear mother who passed this past May.

Learn more here.

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Body Image: Positive Role Modeling

positive body image for girls

Art by Maya Burman

All humans learn by imitation.

Girls learn how to be a girl and how to be a women by observing and imitating the women in their lives.

Your own body image and your beliefs about your body have a strong influence on how the girls in your life feel about their bodies.

If you have poor body image, you can still convey positivity by being intentional about your speech and actions, and also doing your best to love all the parts of your body.

I struggle with body shame myself, but I did not pass it onto my daughter.  According to her! I believe this is because I worked consciously, on a daily basis, to feel great about my body and to speak only in positive ways about my body, her body, and all bodies.

Here are some tips. Which of these sound good to you? What would you add?

AVOID THESE

  • Asking "Do I look fat in this?"
  • Weighing yourself daily.
  • Speaking about "good food" and "bad food"
  • Talking about your muffin top, or your flabby or saggy anything
  • Commenting on the weight gain or loss of others.
  • Magazines and media with body shaming messages.
  • Frequent commentary about her appearance

DO THESE

  • Carry yourself with pride whether walking, standing, sitting, dancing...
  • Exercise and move your body in ways that delight you
  • Eat fabulous healthy food
  • Find a daily body-loving meditation, ritual or activity
  • Affirm that people come in all sizes and shapes

These Body Image practices are simple but truly powerful.

Pick one and try it for a week or two. Notice how your daughter responds. Notice how YOU feel.

Follow your body's wisdom as you continue to build your body positive role modeling. Your body knows. At some level, she is working to support your to break the cycle of generational body shame and to raise a daughter who is in love with her entire body.

WHAT WOULD YOU ADD?

What's worked well for you?  What pitfalls would you advise others to avoid?  Where are you struggling with body image issues?

Please share as a comment below. 

Thank you!  Together we rise!

Positive Body Image

Waiting by Tilly Willis


Mentoring Girls Certificate Training

JOYW's Mentoring Girls Certificate Training  is open for enrollment!

You'll enjoy new content, new resources and new collaborative opportunities in addition to an extensive interactive resource platform offering post-graduate support beginning in 2017.  Leadership roles are opening up.  

Learn more here.

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Mother’s Day Gift



We are all born to be a blessing, writes Rachel Naomi Remen.

As Mothers ....

~~~ and please remember that we do not need to be biological mothers to be mothers in the broadest sense ~~~

... when we gift ourselves by claiming our Beauty and "blessing-ness", we give those gifts to the world and particularly to our collective daughters.

Tania Wursig

Would you please pause and drink that in?  

For it is truer than true.

Then give yourself a Mother's Day Gift by repeating these lines to yourself:

I am a blessing to this world.

I am full of Beauty. Ravishing, astounding Beauty.

I delight the Universe.  My presence brings Joy.

I offer gifts to everyone in my life.

I am a blessing to this world.

Melissa Harris

Many of us did not receive this mirroring as children. The adults around us did not reflect back to us our indescribable Beauty, our limitless delightfulness, our unique gifts.

And then our Beauty becomes hidden and silent and unknown.

Tania Wursig

Often we unconsciously turn to other people, hungry for that mirroring and hoping (usually unconsciously) that they will heal us.  

We find, inevitably, that they can't heal us.

But we can heal and whole ourselves.

We can mirror back to our Young Selves
and our Whole Self
the breath-taking, heart-stopping Beauty
that is us.

Richard Davies

As your Mother's Day Gift to yourself: Take up the way of mirroring back your own Beauty to yourself. Daily. Seriously, spend 5 minutes a day, 10 if it feels good.  Use the phrases above or create your own.  Continue for 4 weeks - and keep going, if you like.  

Notice how you feel before, during and after this practice. Notice how the flow of your life evolves over time with this practice.  As well, how does your view of your Self and the World shift?

This practice can be truly world-shaking.  We return to our innate
Beauty and Blessing-ness.



May all mothers, daughters, sisters, fathers, sons and brothers be blessed with these gifts.

Sisters, would you please share you respond to this?  That would be one more gift.

Donna Iona Drozda

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Menarche: Preparing for her First Moon

In many families, no traditional rite of passage has been offered to its young people for countless generations. For many girls, there was no menarche celebration, no first moon preparations, no honoring, scanty information, but plenty of silence, embarrassment and/or shame when they began to bleed.  

And as their bodies and Selves evolved through adolescence, no one spoke of the sovereignty of their bodies, the naturalness and goodness of pleasure, the importance of tuning into intuition, of speaking one's Truth, of aiming to keep one's commitments, of consent and boundaries and what a healthy relationship looks, sounds and feels like. 

Where to Turn for Guidance?

As we recognize how essential is this missing piece of the human journey, and feel the hunger to reclaim it for the next generation, we may turn to other cultures for hints as to how to proceed. In my view, it's important not to simply appropriate another culture's rites. If they do not belong to you, it is not right to take them as your own; also, they will not carry the same meaning in the context of your lives.

One can also research one's own ancestral heritage for ideas. You may be able to find books, online resources or local groups to help you connect with your cultural traditions.

We can learn about the essence, the core pieces, of the rites of traditional cultures, and aim to create modern adaptations that intuitively fit for our family.

A Menarche Party or Ceremony is a Good, but even better...

Offering a Red Party or Menarche Ceremony is increasingly popular. If the young person is open to it, it can be a memorable, affirming celebration.

Even more powerful is to spend a year or two preparing your daughter for puberty, adolescence, her moontime and her human journey.  As a way of connecting in particular with her menses, an easeful yet deeply fulfilling approach is to work with some of these wonderful books as a guide:

  • Reaching for the Moon by Lucy Pearce
  • Menarche: A Mother-Daughter Journey by Rachael Hertogs
  • Moon Mother, Moon Daughter by Janet Lucy and Terri Allison
  • A Blessing Not a Curse: a mother-daughter guide to the transition from child to woman by Jane Bennett

You work with these books as a mother-and-daughter pair or in a mother-daughter circle.

Another great new book written especially to help you create a wonderful mother-daughter group for cultivating many of the skills and knowledge girls need is The Heroines Club: A Mother-Daughter Empowerment Circle by Melia Keeton-Digby, who I'm proud to say is a graduate of the JOYW Mentoring Girls Training.

The Heroine's Club mother daughter

And/or, you could ask an adult to talk with her, mentor her, and be a resource to her.

And/or, you can find a Girls Circle led by wise, caring mentors.  It is the mission of Journey of Young Women to train mentors so that girls everywhere will have this opportunity.

And of course, any of these ways of sharing the lore of womanhood with a girl can include a First Moon Party or Ceremony.

It's Never Too Late! And it's always worth it!

And, in case you did not teach your daughter or arrange for her to be mentored before her first moon, you can seek that out on her behalf - and as well encourage her to find a mentor or mentored experience.

However you structure it, the more your daughter learns to love, honor, respect, understand and care for her amazing body and Self, the more capable she will be to step strongly forward on her path as a young woman.

What have you experienced or heard about that is working well for girls and young women, before and after menarche?  How do you see this impacting their lives?  Please share your stories and ideas.  

Sister Circle by Karen MacKenzie, detail - menarche mentorship

Image credits: Art by Karin Hoogesteger; Sister Circle by Karen MacKenzie, detail

Mentoring Girls Certificate Training

JOYW's Mentoring Girls Certificate Training is open for enrollment.

New content and new collaborative opportunities have been added to the Training.  Leadership roles are opening up.  And we're building our post-graduation support platform.  Partial scholarships are available.