PRETEEN MENTORSHIP CIRCLE
with Lily Kafka & Eliza Reynolds
adj. 1. fearless, authentic, and compassionate, Urban Dictionary
Dear badass preteen girl,
(and adult(s) who love a badass preteen girl)
I’m Lily (I’m 17) and I’m so excited you’re here.
Have we met in person? Maybe! If not, HI! Again, really excited. This is me with some goats in Vermont (I was… very excited).
‘Badass Girls’ is the Daughtering branch of Mothering & Daughtering, and where we create all of our programming by girls for girls.
SO LET’S BE REAL…
You’re pretty awesome. Your life is pretty great, and… then there’s those things that you wish were maybe a little different, or better?? It could be friendship stuff, the crushes stuff, the transitions stuff, the anxiety stuff, the school stuff, the feelings stuff, slash basically navigating all the stuff of being a girl!!
When you think forward to this Fall, it brings up some feelings… maybe you feel really excited about starting a new school semester (!!), maybe you feel kinda nervous, maybe going back to school is like the last thing you want to be doing (you’re actually dreading school), or maybe you’re homeschool/unschooled and you’re on a different kind of adventure.
Whichever way you’re feeling… one thing is true: you want this Fall to be sooooo awesome. You want to feel more confident being yourself.
so, i’ve got a dream for you…
And I want to invite you to try it on with me for a sec. Ya ready?
What if… this Fall things go a little differently in your life (and I mean SUPER GREAT). You’ve got this real, kind, open, supportive, badass circle of girls your age (plus me, your big sister) who have your back, and you can message us anytime you want. You have a place where you can talk about what’s really going on in your life (or just listen to amazing humans talking about their preteen lives).
You feel safe to be able to finally express what's on your mind and how you're ACTUALLY doing. You’re learning how to relate to your friends in a drama-free (anxiety-free way), and yes make new friends, and you finally feel like you have reliable friends you can really trust. You’re tackling that whole ‘daughtering’ thing and your mom/parent actually knows how to support you and relate to you more (you feel less alone, less frustrated, more connected to her/them!). You finally feel free to stop trying to fit in to be liked, or feel cool… and you’re just being yourself (IT’S A MIRACLE!!!! plus you’re making even more awesome friends as your super real self). When your feelings feel like a roller coaster, you’ve got more tools to feel calm, clear and supported. You’re a total feelings badass. In fact, you've never been more excited and proud to embrace ALL of your emotions, the easier ones and the harder ones. And that body stuff… you’re not ignoring it, or dwelling on it… you’re figuring out how to love on and respect your body better every day (yes, even if you have a panic attack, or like people are making body comments, or you get your period for the first time).
You’re doing you, and you’re not alone.
Fast forward to December… and you’ve got 10 new besties, plus a badass big sister (or two) on speed dial. We’ve laughed until our sides hurt, and maybe cried a lil’ bit too (maybe both at the same time??). We’ve messaged each other like a million goofy GIFs, and had real talk about all the things. The dream you had about that one (or more…) things not feeling so hard in your life… it’s actually happened. You’re here. You’re you. You’re kinder to yourself.
If this sounds super good to you… I want to invite you to join me for a 3-month online mentorship circle with me and 10 preteen girls!!!!!!! It’s gonna be super magical, and I’d love to have join us!
Keep on reading to learn more about the program details.
Our monthly themes:
Has anyone ever told you that "hearing" is different than "listening?" Listening to ourselves allows us to delve so much deeper into how we feel, interact, and function. Do you trust yourself? and what would your life be like if you did trust yourself? We’ve all got a wise inner voice (some call it ‘intuition’ or ‘your gut knowing’), but we don’t always listen to it. As preteen and teen girls, listening to and getting to know our truest inner self is one of our superpowers (and yeah sometimes we’ve got to practice, together). Do you listen to the voice of your body (yeah it’s a got a voice too)? Do you listen in your relationships? Do you listen to your anxiety, when it shows up? Rather than trying to rush to fix things, we’re exploring slowing down to listen to ourselves (and creating a circle together where we all feel safe to be ourselves). When we slow down and create time to listen to ourselves… we remember who we really are (and then we get to be ourselves in safe spaces). As we practice listening and reflecting, we can build a strong respect for our mind and bodies, so that we can get into the beautiful habit of self-love, instead of the self criticism that is so common in our culture. Together we’re talking about being real, and really, really getting to know ourselves (so we can be kinder and feel better).
heyoooo it’s feelings month! are there certain feelings that you feel more comfortable feelings? and certain ones that you label ‘bad’ and would rather just ignore/not feel? do you sometimes feel numb? what do you do when you feel angry? maybe you’re wondering: why talk about feelings?? well, cause we don’t get to choose to only feel the ‘good’ or ‘easy’ feelings in life (though maybe that would be kind of nice…), instead the more we cultivate our capacity to be present with our harder feelings, the more capacity we have to feel the joyful feelings! We’re talking everything emotional intelligence, and the feelings that come up with being in a body (yes, periods, body stuff, social anxiety, and more! And not in a weird way… in a real way, cause it’s just us girls hanging out). After we’ve learned to listen to ourselves, we’re better able to stay present with our feelings, and cultivate more tools to express them. The more we create space for our real feelings, the better life gets (period).
Which connections nourish you? Which ones leave you drained? And how can you tell the difference? Do you struggle to connect in certain places (like, school for example)? What kinds of friendships do you dream of? What kind of connections do you undervalue because maybe preteen girl culture calls them ‘weird’ sometimes (for example, friendships with people who are younger, older, or your family)? What friend drama are you dealing with? What would make your relationship with your mom/parent(s) sooo much easier? We’re gonna talk about all of it and more. We often think about ‘belonging’ like it means the same thing as ‘fitting in’ but it’s actually the opposite: it means turning up the volume on being your real self (your whole, wacky, weird, wonderful self). We turn to the amazing connections in our life after remembering how to listen to ourselves and feel it all (and our connections are so much better for it, because we’re being real).
Sunday, September 15th, 2019 at 12pm EST: Group Call with Lily
Sunday, September 29th, 2019 at 12pm EST: Group Call with Lily
Sunday, October 13th, 2019 at 12pm EST: Group Call with Lily
Sunday, October 20th, 2019 at 12pm EST: Parents Call with Lily, Eliza & Guest Teacher Sil Reynolds of Mothering & Daughtering
Sunday, October 27th, 2019 at 12pm EST: Group Call with Lily & Eliza
Sunday, November 10th, 2019 at 12pm EST: Group Call with Lily
Sunday, November 24th, 2019 at 12pm EST: Group Call with Lily
What’s included in the preteen mentorship circle:
6 group video calls facilitated by Lily (2 calls a month)
3 1:1 mentorship video calls with Lily (1 each month)
Lily’s mentor/big sister, Eliza, joins 1 group video calls to teach about periods, body positivity and feelings about being in a preteen body ✌🏼
1 parents circle group video call with Lily, Eliza, and guest teacher Sil Reynolds (of Mothering & Daughtering)
3 surprise packages (1 each month) in the snail mail to the participant’s front door, including a handwritten letter from Lily plus bonus presents, crafts, and goodies to support her journey
3 monthly themes to explore
Safe, moderated, private (optional) online group chat with Lily & Eliza for connection, sharing, and inspiration
A NOTE FOR PARENTS:
Dear person who loves a preteen girl,
Lily & Eliza here.
We’re so honored that you’re here and considering enrolling your girl in this online mentorship circle. We’re not therapists (though we both love therapy!), we’re mentors, facilitators, attuned teachers, and professional big sisters.
We believe that most schools aren't adequately supporting preteens to receive the life skills they need (meaning: emotional, body image, community-based), and that moms/parents/immediate family shouldn't have to do it alone. That's why Eliza created Badass Girls. We’re passionate about there being a generation of girls who grow into women without the same un-learning and healing to do as their mothers and grandmothers. We’re devoted to our collective evolution.
So how do the two us work together in this program? Great question. Lily is the lead facilitator, and she’s mentored throughout this program by Eliza, who oversees each participant’s journey through the program (for example: sometimes joining a 1:1 call as a ‘big, big sister’ to give extra support). Eliza also comes in as a guest teacher for 1 of the group calls to teach about periods, body image and body positivity. We’re a living breathing model of what we teach. We believe we’re made stronger by intergenerational community.
Our curriculum includes mindfulness exercises, emotional intelligence techniques, somatic tools, group process in the circle, 1:1 mentoring, and the Mothering & Daughtering relational approach. We place a special emphasis throughout our programming on the experience of being in a body, as our mainstream culture often strongly emphasizes a brain-focused approach to being a human. We believe that when given nourishing space to be themselves, preteen girls (and all humans) naturally move towards deeper wellness. Here’s one way to say it: if a flower doesn’t bloom, we don’t say ‘oh, it’s a bad flower’, we change its’ pot and get it more sunshine/water. So, we’re here to be part of your girl’s nourishment plan. We believe the experience of belonging is an essential nutrient.
This mentorship circle is a confidential space for preteen girls to gather, and one of our core guidelines as a community is safety support: if your girl is at risk of harm to herself or another (physical, emotional, etc.) than we disclose to her parent(s) immediately. Our approach is to first support your girl in sharing the information with you herself, and then we follow-up with you ourselves. Please let us know if you've got any questions.
As you might imagine (seeing as Eliza co-created the Mothering & Daughtering approach), we’re super pro-parent over here, or #teamparent as we call it. We know just how much our girls thrive when their relationship with their mom/parent(s) is thriving! So what does that mean practically (beyond the curriculum we teach your girl)? We love connecting with parents! You’ll see that we offer an (optional, but wonderful!) parents/mothers call in the middle of the program for our amazing adult community to circle up. Also, you’ve got confidential email access to both Lily and Eliza throughout the whole program (we love hearing from you because then we get to support your girl even better!).
Here’s to creating a magical experience for your girl to feel more at home in herself!
Lily & Eliza
Ready to meet your big sisters?
AKA: Lily & eliza
Your mentor (& her mentor), weaving magic together.
So… wanna know a little bit more about me?
Hi, I’m Lily (she/her/hers) 👋🏻.
I adore spending time in nature (especially to take a walk with my fluffy dog or bask in the sunshine with my besties), playing soccer, writing songs on my ukelele (self taught and it is obvious let me tell ya), making short films (after I took a film class last year I got so inspired!!!), listening to music that just feels so right and so me, and being real with the amazing stuff but also the hard stuff that amazing humans have to go through. I am about to start my SENIOR YEAR (I know, crazy)!!
I’ve been training as a facilitator/professional big sister for 3 years with Eliza to connect with girls your age and just be our amazing selves!! Now I head up the Daughtering Team for the Mothering & Daughtering Preteen Workshops. I’m also a graduate of Year One of her Teen Mentorship Circle (magic ✨).
What does all of that mean…?? It means I love hanging out with preteen and teen girls and talking about the real stuff: AKA what’s going great in life and what’s not going great (because trust me, i've been there), it means supporting our girl community and creating a safe space for every girl to feel loved and heard and having more tools for when tough stuff/stress/anxiety/hard feelings come up, having crushes or not, being humans in bodies (and like how to love on ourselves and respect ourselves more)… and so much more! It also means I have basically the best job in the world. I’m a professional big sister.
I feel this spark inside me come alive when I get to be in circle with y’all.
It’s what lights me up.
I wanna introduce you to :
💁🏻♀️ ELIZA (she/they) 😍
She’s my big sister and mentor (ahem, by choice/fierce love, not blood). She’s the one who trained me how to support y’all in circles, who lead my first Daughtering/girls’ circle, and showed me that being badass means being soft, real, vulnerable, and whole.
I know a lot of you haven’t had a chance to meet her in-person yet (since she doesn’t lead preteen workshops anymore), so allow me to do the honors by proxy:
If I’m your big sister, she’s your big, big sister 😉.
She’s gonna join us for 1 or 2 of our group calls!
Here are some fancy/grown-up things about her: Eliza recently reached the ripe age of 28, and she’s been facilitating for over 13 years (along leaders 4x her age) at workshop centers like the Kripalu Center, the Omega Institute, the Esalen Institute, and the Emerging Women Conference. She co-wrote the kick-ass (and best-selling) book, Mothering & Daughtering: Keeping Your Bond Strong Through the Teen Years, with her her mama, Sil Reynolds. She studied Gender & Sexuality Studies at Brown, worked for Planned Parenthood and consulted with Eve Ensler… and there’s more where that came from. Whew!
Ok fun things:
Eliza loves plants, dancing, taking reallllly long bathtubs, reading fantasy books, and her big fluffy white dog. She loves talking and teaching about body image, periods, feeling calm even when you have anxiety (she’s got anxiety, so she gets it), and trusting yourself. She makes all the ‘awkward’ topics cool. It’s the best.
How many girls are in the mentorship circle?
10 girls + Lily + Eliza.
How old do you have to be to join the mentorship circle?
You gotta between ages 10-12 on October 1, 2019.
I’m kinda introverted/shy, and sometimes I’m more comfortable listening than speaking in a group… is this program still for me?
Heck yes! The first monthly theme of our circle is ‘listening’ so you’re already way ahead of us :) Usually about half of the girls in our circles prefer to share more in the 1:1 mentorship calls with Lily, and then be active listeners for the group calls. The 1:1 calls give maybe the more shy-prone girls the opportunity to feel safe being their shy, beautiful selves while also being heard (at a time when it is comfortable for them to share). You’ll always be invited to share in our group calls, and sharing will always be optional! There will never be pressure to say the "right" thing or anything at all, these calls are for you!!! The more different we all are, the more amazing the circle is (rather than us all trying to be the same!).
How do I know if this is the realest, best fit for me?
If you yearn to belong to yourself and feel safe in a community of accepting girls, this program is for you. If you feel that nervous and excited butterfly feeling in your tummy, maybe that is a sign that this community is something you've been looking for!
Who is this program for?
you feel excited to hang out with an awesome group of preteen girls from all over the country!
you looooove the idea of having a badass big sister to message for support or just chat with whenever and ask real questions about life (because she gets it)
You really love the idea of having a space to talk about real stuff, what's feeling important to you, what's feeling hard, what's feeling amazing, without a fear of being judged (instead, you’ll be embraced)
you’ll be between 10-12 years old on October 1st, 2019
your mom/parent feels sooooo great about you having an intentional community of girls your age to gather with, and a mentor to facilitate kind, age-appropriate, open connection and conversations (including talking about: puberty, periods, body image, anxiety, gender and — if initiated by curious participants — sexuality, sex, and consent). your parent is pro the sex positive family approach, and agrees with the research that shows that the more informed kids are about their bodies, the less shame they experience, and the more discerning choices they make for themselves.
if you (the participant) are struggling with depression or anxiety, you’ve got a wonderful support system outside of this mentorship program (for example: a therapist or counselor), and this mentorship is one wonderful part of your support system (yay!)
—— or ——
$300 x 3 months
If you’re interested in the program and would need financial aid to enroll, message us at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘preteen mentorship scholarship’ in the email title. We have two need-based partial scholarship spots available.
I’m so excited to meet and gather this specific magical, intimate group of preteen girls for a 3-month journey through this fall! I can already feel how amazing it’s gonna be.
Lily (& Eliza)
Got a question? Want to connect heart-to-heart?
Send Lily an email at email@example.com
Or reach out to Eliza at firstname.lastname@example.org