Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Circulate Love!

“She realized as a girl of eight that if she sat down and wrote her stories, she could escape the parts of life she did not like, embroider the parts she did and thus control the life she had.” Dudley Clendinen

This week I am prepping for what may be the talk of my lifetime. On Friday September 24th I will be presenting at TEDx Charlotte. I will have 18 minutes to share THE big idea…behind my life’s work.

Yesterday I had an afternoon coffee with a good friend of mine. His daughter, now a grown woman and preparing for her wedding, was in my first “middle school Girls on the Run” group. (We didn’t call it Girls on Track back then!)

Per his usual self (which is fabulous by the way) he called me out on something…always direct and to the point he looked me dead in the eye and said “you think too much.” I smiled. Is this the part where I’m supposed to be shocked? As if he is sharing something with me that I (and every single one of my friends, family members and Girls on the Run colleagues including YOU) didn’t know?

I wanted to start laughing loudly…”I think too much? (Now put emphasis on the I...) “I think too much?” I repeated back to him with a huge smile on my face.
That’s what I do…I think…I think sometimes until it hurts. That’s why I practice Yoga. That’s why I run. That’s why I write. That’s why I enjoy spending time with the girls in our program. That’s why I dance with my daughter Helen. That’s why I can sit for hours with my son Hank and laugh at ridiculous YouTube videos. That’s why I created Girls on the Run. That’s why I meditate. I gotta give my thinking brain a rest every once in awhile and just be…allow…love.

So prepping for this TEDx speech has really kicked my thinking brain into high gear. What is the Big Idea behind Girls on the Run? How are all the dots connected?
When I look back over all I have written, done, sought, desired, found, allowed and been, one theme rises up. What do we provide to girls and all those connected to our program? What do we REALLY GIVE them?

This is where the laugh begins…somewhere around my solar plexus and then works its way up my spine. This is where I’m almost embarrassed to admit that the idea isn’t big at all…I’m astounded by its simplicity and baffled by why what we provide and do for girls isn’t provided and done by everyone.

What do we do? We provide an experience, where the stories, filters and contexts we individually buy into (and culturally and socially promote) are eliminated and spirits are free to thrive. We offer up a space where those who enter are loved, welcomed and invited to be…be angry, be happy, be joyful, be scared, be loved…just be. We mutually (girls and adults) share our vulnerabilities and in doing so create a safe space, a space where how we showed up yesterday may not be how we show up today and so each hour together is an opportunity to “start again”, “create again”, “begin again”. We grow, evolve and explore the many facets of being human while being rooted in and aware of the mysterious power of unconditional love.

The challenge though to creating this space…is all that darn thinking we do…the stories we construct…the STUFF we begin thinking around middle school because we think everyone else is thinking it. (Unravel from that one will ya?) The amount of time we spend analyzing, figuring out, justifying and rationalizing our STUFF gets in the way of and totally distracts us from being available to be and see the love that is available to us at anytime…if we just allow ourselves to receive it. Turn off the thinking and turn on the heart!

I mean think about it (so much irony again…in all this darn thinking.) Have you ever once thought that maybe…just maybe you are beautiful just the way you are? That all those definitions of beauty are an imaginary construct and that we create these constructs to distract us from our real purpose because we are afraid of our own power? We’ve been so brainwashed into thinking (see there’s that word again) that there is a perfect beauty…when really the whole thing is completely made up…a story we believe because if we really do accept our own beauty, worth and love we might just really be beautiful, worthwhile and loveable ? That we are magnificent beyond our wildest dreams and that our magnificence really isn’t the dream; the stories that restrain us are.

The idea is simple and been revealed in many ways over eons of time:

Love opens hearts.

Open hearts bring forth love.

Someone has got to get the ball rolling. Why not let it be you? What space will you create today to open hearts?

Share with me what circumstances, situations and/or moments (they could be VERY simple moments) where you have felt and feel love’s presence.


  1. Oh Molly! Thank you for the "goosepimples" as my grandmother used to say...

    Last night, I was teaching a piano lesson to a 14 year old girl who used to be on my Girls on the Run team (from 3rd grade all the way up!). In the dark room, with the piano light shining on her orange painted fingernails, she timidly played a song called "Secrets" and sang in her high, head voice. After she was done, she looked at me, and said, "I want to do that again. I can do better." Her shoulders relaxed, her hands curved slightly at the keys and she began again - this time belting the song out an octave lower, using her loud, crystal clear "chest voice" (as she calls it). Her voice was very big in her small, cozy home. She sang loud enough to fill Carnegie Hall, and my ears cringed. Yet I loved every second - and was speechless when she finished.

    Truly a moment I will never forget. Thank you for the opportunity to share.

    ~ Mandy

  2. truly one of those moments. I got goosepimples too. THANK you for sharing!

  3. When I gave birth to each of my children, I felt pure love ... and joy, peace, competence, empowered, inspired, contentment.

    I feel the same feelings stir every now and then, usually unbidden and unpredictable moments when something they say or do, or an expression on their faces, reminds me again the privilege in being a mother and the privilege that role imbues in giving me that second glimpse of life and love through the eyes of children, teenagers ... my children, and therefore, myself.

    To constantly see with new eyes, while cherishing and keeping the visions of the past, keeps love, life and living full, surprising, satisfying and challenging.

    My kids remind me to embrace and love who I am and the life I lead, every single day. And all they have to do is be themselves.

    If they model that power of personal authenticity, I know it's also true for me ... be myself; accept myself; love who I am; love who I could be; love the possibilities; don't let fear, caution, expectations or ruminating cloud the simplicity life could be.

    aJust be. Be me. Love it :)

  4. Well, I felt love when I read your post....I think you nailed it!!! The TEDx Charlotte--just read your post, it says it all.

    Thanks for bringing us this program....and thinking too much!