In the 90’s, I devoted 5 years to teaching assertiveness and self defense to women and girls in western NC. I held deep passion for this work. The core component that called to me then and continues to inspire me to do the work of empowering women is that when we pay attention, listen to our inner compass and are confident in who we are, we’re more apt to live a safe, fulfilling and vibrant life. And these are learned skills; we can practice and perfect our attentiveness, intuition and self confidence.
From a 1981 study by Grayson and Stein, we learn that what is most important to keep us safe from assault is attitude and awareness - not gender, how someone is dressed, how old or young they are, or how big and strong.
What’s more, social psychologist Amy Cuddy shares in her recent TED Talk how our posture affects mood and alters body chemistry. Her advice: Fake it until you become it ~ strike a wonder-woman pose for 2 minutes a day.
At the beginning of October, I completed training as a Child Protection Advocate with Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International, a nonprofit agency devoted to keeping people safe. We learned how to encourage children to take steps to be and stay safe, including emotional safety techniques. For example, if you’re feeling sad or angry, you may be holding a physiology that is small and disempowering. What we teach is that you may feel one way, but can act another and we show children how to take on a new physiology that is strong and empowering; this not only helps them to be more safe, but it begins to change the way they feel.
The founder and director of Kidpower, Irene van der Zande, is passionately devoted to helping people feel confident, set strong boundaries, make wise choices and stay safe. My goal in attending was to learn positive experiential teaching methods to help younger children learn to set powerful boundaries, pay attention and honor their emotions.
I’ve since redesigned my Power in You curriculum to be less focused on self-defense and more focused on personal awareness, grounding, listening to our inner compass as well as deepening our use of positive self talk, powerful voice and confident physiology.
On Nov. 12, I’ll be giving a free public talk for parents of daughters entitled Skills for Independence and am excited to be offering local Power in You workshops for adults and children of all ages. See Events page.