The United States of You: From Unstable to Stable

Day 4

How do we feel when we are unsteady? We tremble. We wobble. Our breath is rapid and shallow. We are unsure and fearful of falling or failing. Our legs shake. Our voices shake. 

We stabilize ourselves by drawing tighter at our core. By planting our feet firmly on the ground and gazing straight ahead. We are mindful of our breathing. In and out. In and out.

Today we journeyed from unstable to stable by:

  •  Firmly planting our feet and hands on the ground to attempt a Double Dog Dare pose in yoga. (We did it!)
  • Using liquid alcohol inks to marble tile squares for coasters or trivets.
  • Completing our Happiness Quilt.
  • Letting Tal and Maddie - our oldest campers - take the reins and teach us all how to make elves (and dogs and cats and pigs) out of Sculpey polymer clay.

 

In and out. In and out. Minds clear. Breath strong. Bodies tall and steady. Looking straight ahead. No longer afraid.

Overheard sometime this afternoon: 

“I felt most stable when I was making my magnificent clay dog. I love the way he turned out.”

“I felt most stable when I was outside in the yard searching for bunnies.”

“I felt most stable when I was giving someone else one of my tiles as a gift.”

“I felt most stable when we were in the Double Dog Dare pose and my leg was lifted straight up in the air, toes pointed, breathing easy.” 


“I felt most stable when I was lying in the grass on my back in the sun.”

The United States of You: From Anger to Devotion

Day 3

For Wednesday's camp theme, we focused on transforming potentially fraught situations into focused, committed, and patient action. A particularly challenging yoga pose in the morning - Lean on Me - invited us to share weight and balance with a partner to rise up from our feet. (A lot of giggling was involved.) We were also treated with a special visit by writer, artist, and storyteller Christine Mason Miller, founder of the SwirlyGirl brand, and author of Plant Your Dreams and Miracles Will Grow, Ordinary Sparkling Moments: Reflections on Success and Contentment, and Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World. Christine led a book-assembly and collage activity and the girls spread out to every corner of the studio to work on their pages. 

After lunchtime, Christine facilitated a creating writing activity in which our strong selves addressed our vulnerable selves, giving advice and offering guidance about how to maneuver through difficulty. The weather cleared and we made our way outdoors, practicing the ancient art of Ebru, or paper marbling. We floated paint on paper using droppers and other tools to maneuver the colors, and watched as new shapes emerged from our movements. 

 

As we wound up our projects for the day, one of our campers, Tal, sang for us! She'd brought her guitar and played some of her favorite songs as well as an original one she'd composed on her own. We all sat on our yoga mats, blissed out by her singing, inspired not just by her self-confidence, but by her devotion to music - the desire to learn, the hard work of practicing, and the courage of sharing. We finished the day with the deeply restful and restorative Yoga Nidra meditation, which allowed us to come back to our own bodies, hearts, and minds and celebrate all of the ways our contributions are important to the whole.