Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flow...There it Goes.

“Experience has taught me how important it is to just keep going, focusing on running fast and relaxed. Eventually it passes and the flow returns. It’s part of racing.” Frank Shorter

I’m in route to Washington D.C., enjoying a night’s stay at a Hampton Inn in Henderson, NC. Today’s it’s a full day at a conference sponsored by Ashoka. That means the attention my weekly blog entry typically receives is limited. I’m feeling a bit fragmented. Which leads me to the topic of this week’s commentary…FLOW.

As I’ve shared in numerous blogs lately, I’ve become a Yoga groupie. Everything about it enhances my life. Everything about it also enhances my running life. Running has taken on more vibrant hues of gold, yellow, orange and red. The space seems bigger, broader and more available and the air seems richer, more tangible, Oxygen-rich and cleaner.

Getting into the space of “is-ing” is often referenced as flow. The last two days I’ve spent time with 25 women…representing 8 new councils. The conversation seemed to migrate toward the place of flow…the space where all systems are go...the separateness we feel with the world simply slips away and the fragmentation of our experiences disappears. The space where time becomes nothing but background noise and we just are…present and worthwhile.

Spending time with our girls at Girls on the Run is like that for me. I love how the hour and fifteen minutes seems to float by…I’m available to every girl in my group, aware of other challenges in my day, but not tangled up in them. I am on…immersed in the experience.

Running and yoga provide that same sense of flow as do time with my kids, a really good book, burying myself in blankets beneath a cold-aired room or opening myself up to the sun, waves and salty air of a day at the beach.

When I was much younger, flow came intermittently. The noise of my life was much louder than my willingness to quiet it and so flow seemed to just happen, sporadically and often unexpectedly. Now, thanks to Yoga and an intentional desire to find the quiet corners of my experiences, flow can happen anywhere…it’s my willingness and my awareness of its presence that allow it to occur.

What activities bring you to the space of flow? How can you bring flow to other areas of your life? Let me know at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why It Matters: The World I Live In Starts With Me

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” M. Gandhi

I am on vacation. Today I watch and allow. The rain taps on the windows of the beach house where I am staying…a “hi how are ya?” from the sky above.

My days have consisted of little other than waking, meditating, thinking, running, yoga, eating, watching and allowing—a divine chance to reconnect to the Self, the one who takes risks, steps out and with right-brain fully engaged, believes that she can change the world.

I am struck this morning, by why it matters. Why I matter. Why you matter. Why Girls on the Run matters.

It matters to the 12 year old girl, from Peoria, Illinois, who for three years has struggled with anorexia nervosa…nothing left to house her spirit other than bones and skin. Her eyes are wide, intense and uncertain. She is starving herself to become beautiful, unaware that she already is, bones, skin and spirit; wanting to know that she is loved. It matters to the 12 year old girl in Ethiopia, torn from the inside out while giving birth to her baby, urine and feces from her body stain her clothing, she and her baby dying from malnutrition. They are starving, cast out from their village, wandering, wishing and seeking the love of just one other.

It matters to the fourteen year old girl in Atlanta, Georgia who, after a few beers with her friends reluctantly has sex with her boyfriend… unintended, but so it goes. At least in her mind, he will love her, maybe. It’s worth a shot, so why not? It matters to the fourteen year old girl in Somalia, carrying water with her sisters back to their village, overtaken by a group of boys. She is brutally raped. No one wins. The boys do and know only what they have been shown by the men in their lives. They know not what they are missing, the tender touch of a woman, the love between two…The real and raw of it; the transformation possible.

It matters to the nineteen year old girl in Burlington, VT who for graduation wants nothing more than breast implants, to be loved, accepted and alive, be one of the pretty girls…popular, attractive and powerful…to be desired by many…seeking love in that mix somehow. It matters to the woman-child in Mali Africa, tied down and restrained while her clitoris is removed, cut, mutilated. Her body disfigured, but her spirit intact; eyes wide, scanning the space for one loving person.

It matters to each of them, each time I choose to speak negatively of myself, my age, my body or my character. It matters to each of them, each time I choose to judge, criticize or condemn without seeking first to understand, be compassionate, gentle and kind.

I watch the rain fall from heaven above, feel the thunder in the wood boards of the house where I sit, see the lightening bridge the space between here and there, me and you, us and them and know, without question, that what I do, what I say and who I choose to be matters…to them.

I yearn to love that much.

The world I live in starts with me.

What actions will you take today to create the world you wish to live in?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

“I exist as I am. That is enough.” Walt Whitman

This weekend I had a moment of insight that shook me up from the inside out.
I was talking with my friend, Cris. We were discussing the space in our lives where we felt the most real, accepted, loved, secure and present.

This after a discussion around a personal issue that had me feeling fragmented, unsure and downright angry at myself. Cris had gently revealed a blind spot in my life, which I had intuitively known was hiding there, but was afraid to confront. His “third eye” view along with his ability to tenderly remove the blindfold of my unwillingness revealed an area of my life that required some attention…attention I had been avoiding.

The voices in my head were all clamoring for lead vocal in what I would call the anything but harmonious “You blew it again” choir. “You are not dealing well with this,” one shouted. “Run away. Just don’t deal with it,” another shouted louder than the first.” The final and loudest of all, “Come on Molly. You simply are inadequate when it comes to this issue. Give up.”

So…in an effort to QUIET the shouting cacophony of the “You blew it again choir”, Cris encouraged me to ask the question, "Where do I feel safe, real, accepting, loved, secure and present?"

My answer to where this space existed for me was immediate…requiring absolutely no thought whatsoever.

“Girls on the Run.” Even just the mere mention of the words brought a peaceful feel to our discussion.

“Well then,” he suggested. “Go there now. You don’t have to be at Girls on the Run to feel Girls on the Run.

So…I just started thinking and feeling Girls on the Run: accepted, warm, loved, un-judged, welcome, present and encouraged. I was able to see that my willingness to examine the scary stuff, the stuff that has limited me from evolving, growing and becoming my greater Self was a very positive and very brave thing to do. Stepping outside my comfort zone and seeing behaviors that limit me (but have in the past felt safe simply because I have known nothing else) is what Girls on the Run is all about.

I am not inadequate. I am unfolding, revealing, blossoming, evolving.

The next time the “you blew it again choir” (or any of the other top 40 hits of the Girl Box” start singing in my head) I simply need to go to the “Girls on the Run” playlist and hang out there for a minute or two. The Girl Box can’t survive there, what with all the love, acceptance, support, joy and willingness harmoniously sharing their voices.

I am reminded of a letter I received from Ashley not too long ago.

Dear Molly,

I just read your book, Girls Lit from Within and I have to say, it made me cry. You may have been in the Girl Box at a few times in your life, but you are incredibly wonderful. I had one foot in the Girl Box when I started Girls on the Run. Girls on the Run welcomed me into the family even with one foot in the Girl Box. When I am at Girls on the Run I feel loved and hugged. Since I started, I have not felt The Girl Box’s darkening affects again.

I met you once at a 5k celebration. Light flows from you and you can see the positive cord plugged right in to the top of your head. I see the positive cord plugged into my head too. Girls on the Run gave that to us.
I love (add lots of little hearts) Girls on the Run. Girls on the Run rocks!!!!!!!

Be beautiful girlfriend,


(The operative word there, at least for me, is be.)
If you are involved with Girls on the Run, what feeling does the space give you? How do you feel when you think about Girls on the Run? If you are not involved with Girls on the Run, what spaces do provide you with a feeling of being loved, accepted and embraced? Let me know at

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Boxes that Confine Us

"By watching the mechanics of the mind, you step out of its resistance patterns, and you can then allow the present moment to be." Eckhart Tolle

This will be a quick hello accompanied by a VERY quick post. I've been practicing Yoga a lot lately. I was initially attracted to Yoga as a means to enhance my running...a little something to even out the tightness that accompanies long distance running.

What I have discovered, though, is much richer, meaningful and far deeper. Yoga takes me outside the physical, cultural and societal boxes which attempt to define and confine me and into the powerful space of being empty, open and receptive to whatever the moment brings.

So here is an invitation. (Thank you Debbie for sharing this with me!) The next time you are thinking too much, overanalyzing, anxious, depressed or stuck in a thought pattern that shall I put it...driving you bonkers, try this:


If Yoga isn't your thing, try this while on a run. Write each word on a finger tip and kick your heels up and out the door! I promise...yes I said PROMISE without a doubt, the sky will not appear brighter, but be brighter, the objects within your view will not seem more vibrant, but be more vibrant and you will experience something marvelous, real, free and untethered...YOU!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Trust is Love in Action

“The best proof of love is TRUST.” Dr. Joyce Brothers

Hank is fourteen years old. Last night he spent the night with his best buddy Sam…I’m quite certain there were at least three other boys hanging out with them. All I can say is “Thank Goodness” for the cell phone. How did my parents EVER survive without one? At any moment, I can text Hank and engage him in a conversation that eases my concerns and lets me know that he is alright.

Here’s what it looks like:
Mom: Where r u?
Hank: Sam’s house
Mom: What r u do n?
Hank: Hanging out.
Mom: Cool. Sweet dreams.
Hank: Sweet dreams 2 u. I luv u.
Mom: Luv u 2.

That’s it. Certainly no literary prize for expressive writing, but at least some peace of mind. Hank is safe.

When I was 14 years old there could be huge gaps of time between conversations with my Mom. Bonnie and I would go to the swimming pool at 8:00 in the morning and not get home until 9:00 at night. My mom just had to trust that I was where I said I was, as well as safely there. There was a tremendous amount of trust required to let me go, explore and evolve. Sure, I made some decisions that in hindsight may have appeared to not be the best or the most well-considered. But over time I have come to realize that each of these experiences, whether perceived at the time as “bad or good” have moved me toward increasing levels of strength, courage and self-awareness. Now, when in the heat of a a seemingly negative experience, I can, see that these are not “bad or good” by nature; only opportunities for growth and self-examination. I can trust the process. I can trust the experience to teach me something. I can trust that something wondrous will be rooted in the outcome.

Trust has been an area of focus for me lately. It seems to currently be a consistent thread woven in and throughout the encounters I’ve had lately, not only with others, but within myself. To trust or not to trust. I can, if I am not intentional allow too much thinking come in; let the previous experiences of my life shadow my willingness to open my heart and just trust…trust that if my intentions are rooted in love, then all will be okay.

I think this is why Girls on the Run has been such a life-changing experience for me. Yes…lately I’ve been featuring our coaches, parents and girls in the blog, but after months of travel and an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my life's work and the beautiful Power this program brings to the world, I realize that I’ve changed immensely since I started it...and where the change has been most obvious in my life, is in my ability to trust. To trust our volunteers and our colleagues, to trust those within our GOTR International Office, to trust myself. This ability to trust has trickled out into my personal life…trust in my children, trust in my friends, trust in my significant relationships and trust that the experiences I’m having are (whether they feel like it at the time or not) conspiring in my favor!

When you get down to it, the program, both in curriculum content and in organizational structure is built on trust. The girls learn it in the lessons and we experience it in our exchanges with one another. Trust allows us to openly confront, share out opinions, be ourselves and know that no matter what we will be loved, respected and valued. Trust allows us to admit we are wrong, apologize and be vulnerable. Trust allows us to ask for help, lean into the support of another and rely upon others. Trusting ourselves allows us to give our word, be accountable and follow-through.

Thanks to the immense amount of trust the girls have in ME I am courageously learning to trust and in the process gaining the ability to examine thoroughly my role in situations where I am afraid to.

How is trust showing up in your life? Are there patterns of resistance to it or do you trust freely and easily. What thoughts do you conjure up that support your ability to trust or not trust. Let me know at