Friday, October 7, 2011

Gratitude and Girls on the Run!!!

I often write about gratitude on my blog because it is something that I believe is a very important and crucial practice... so I was really excited when I found out that one of the lessons for this week's Girls on the Run practice was all about gratitude!! I have alluded in recent posts to my volunteer commitment, and I couldn't be more excited about it. Along with two other coaches, I am leading a group of 16 girls (3rd-5th graders) two times a week through a character building curriculum that is designed to promote self-esteem, self-respect and confidence.  Volunteering is something that I value for the way it promotes self-esteem, a sense of self and of course service to others:), and while I have had to make some adjustments in order to fit these weekly practices into my schedule, it has been beyond worth the sacrifice! These girls are fabulous in so many ways, and remind me how important it is for us to encourage and support girls from a young age in order to protect them from the messages that they pick up around them concerning what it means to be a girl, what it means to be beautiful, etc..

On Tuesday, we discussed how important it is to reflect on the things that we are grateful for in our lives, and why its so important to live with an attitude of gratitude. No matter how old you are or what you have lived through and experienced, this is one lesson that always seems to be relevant :)
Some things the girls were thankful for:
  • Family, Friends, Pets
  • Lunch and Recess at School :-)
  • Doctors and Dentists
  • Clothes
  • The list may have been more extensive (and funny), but for the sake of this post, I won't include all of it! 
Some things that I am 
grateful for:

Life!! Stephanie, my new friend and fellow coach, is pregnant & the girls wanted to see if they could feel her baby kick. We're all so blessed to be alive. I know that I take that for granted- and when I remember how fortunate I am to be alive, I start to appreciate things around me more, the people around me and the moments in my life that might otherwise pass me by.

How cute are these two? Olivia and Adeline are two of our Girls on the Run and got a little sassy with the camera. (Don't worry, parents signed photo releases at the beginning of the season!!) I'm so thankful for laughter and fun to lighten things up. While laughter may not always be the best medicine, I think it comes pretty close :-)

Challenges! Ok- so this one might sound a little odd. But I believe that the challenging times we go through shape us in important ways, teach us about our inner strength and beauty, and provide us opportunities to develop character. Challenges aren't easy, which is why they're called challenges:) But without the challenges, we might not appreciate the fun, carefree times as much without them! Whatever challenges you face today, remember that you are not alone, that you are strong, and are alive- practicing gratitude can help you to get through the tough moments.

I am so thankful for the opportunity that I've had over the last 4 weeks to work with such amazing girls, and look forward to the next 8 weeks!! If you are interested in learning more about Girls on the Run, or are interested in finding out more about volunteer opportunities if you live in or around Raleigh NC, follow this link. Girls on the Run was founded by Molly Barker in Charlotte, NC, but there are chapters all over the country. To find one in your neighborhood, follow this link

Below is a little video that I thought would be fun to leave you with- this isn't my Girls on the Run team, but this clip features different teams from a few years back. It's very sweet- you should check it out! :)

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