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Looking back with Gratitude

Bully Free Communities in 2012

In 2012, we committed to developing a comprehensive program that focused on building resilience in girls being bullied. As we learned more about the situations of bullying, we realized the extreme degree to which our children are being bullied. We were shocked to learn that only 4% of young people ever tell a parent or teacher they are being bullied. Youth are fearful of the possible negative repercussions of telling an adult they are being bullied.

Based on our research there are some basic changes in behaviour that one might observe in a child being bullied. If you would like a copy of the “Critical Warning Signs of Bullying Reportfollow this link and enter your email address and it will be emailed to you. Our theory was that if kids were simply not sharing their bullying experiences with parents, there would be many, many parents who would have no idea their child was being bullied they needed assistance in finding ways to notice.

We also created a free presentation for parents “Three Simple Secrets Smart Mom’s Know That Prevent Their Daughters From Being Bullied”. Presentations were held in Abbotsford and Vancouver in 2012. The focus of this presentation was to provide parents with some tangible ways to empower their daughters to be resilient to bullying. We shared tips for improving communication, setting boundaries and then actually practicing these skills. It was at these presentations that we introduced the Bold and Brilliant Program to parents and shared the value of enrolling their daughters in such a program.

Knowing how busy parents are these days, we have decided to design a webinar with all the information that is shared in the live presentation. We look forward to making the presentation accessible to many more people and nobody has to leave the comfort of their own home.
It is almost difficult to put into words the power that this type of program can have on a young person: the power they realize they have within themselves. As is often the case with young people, the degree to which any experience influences or empowers them may not be fully noticed until months or years down the road. It is similar to planting a seed that when nurtured continues to grow.

In May 2012 we facilitated our first Bold & Brilliant Program. Before the weekend intensive, we met online with parents once a week for four weeks to discuss some additional ways for them to support and empower their children. During this time we had a chance to hear some of the most pressing concerns that parents were facing.

The intensive began on a Friday evening giving the entire family an opportunity to meet one another and of course the horses. Then the girls joined us for a two day weekend intensive during which we worked on communication, boundaries and decision making including highlights of expressive arts activities. We were extremely proud of the girls for staying committed to their experience from role playing to horse time. They participated wholeheartedly and moved through the challenges with kindness and grace.

Following the weekend intensive were three 1/2 day sessions in order to reconnect with each other (and the horses) while practicing everything they had learned. This monthly reconnection was a gem. We were really able to see how the girls had changed and grown, especially when they shared how they had applied what they learned in real life. WOW!!! VERY POWERFUL. We couldn’t have asked for better feedback then that.

Seeing the girls leave on the last day was emotional yet inspiring. We certainly feel that there is a big wide open space to continue on into another program. We promised the girls we would get together around Christmas time and choose an activity of giving back to the community. We look forward to seeing them again.

Is this work personal development for young people?

It might very well be and it is most certainly preventative in nature. On one occasion when we were developing this program, Carla had a course design/marketing expert tell me that there should be a Bold & Brilliant for women. Carla laughed nervously not knowing if she was serious: She was and Carla realized why. The things that woman struggle with throughout adult life could be eliminated by implementing the teachings of Bold & Brilliant. So why not give this gift to our young girls? Why not empower our girls NOW especially with the extreme amount of pressure they have on themselves these days to be perfect. How powerful is it to see a young girl who not only can handle herself in the presence of a bully BUT has the tools and skills to thrive in her life and be a heart-centered leader from the power and potential she has discovered within herself. The Dalai Lama states that it will be the western woman who changes the course of the world…..it starts now.

So in summary we’d like to share the Our Bold and Brilliant Pledge that all Girls recite as part of their graduation from the program. It is truly when they find the love and confidence in themselves that we have prepared them to soar high through adolescence and beyond:

I AM Bold and Brilliant!

“I choose to treat people and animals with love and respect. I honor and am grateful for the people in my herd who support me and whom I support also. I am clear and courageous when I set my boundaries – it is important that I take care of myself, even when it may be difficult. I know that I can do, be and have whatever I dream of. There is nobody like me and I am amazing just the way I am, a heart centered leader in my own life.”

  1. Marjorie WarkentinMarjorie Warkentin11-22-2012

    Thank you, Carla for the good work you are doing! I know that there are many young women who are stronger as a result of attending this program.

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