“Are you a magic genie?” she asked. “Yes!” I replied. “How did you know?”
I wish I were a magic genie. How fun would that be?!
This fifth grade girl with the boisterous laugh and wide grin was a participant in one of my latest workshops called, “It’s All About You.” A group of fifth and sixth grade girls met with me for eight weeks where we used writing and expressive arts to discuss and explore what it means to have self-esteem, how to set boundaries and what to do when those boundaries are crossed, how to recognize and listen to their intuition, plus an assortment of other topics for adolescent girls.
That particular week we were talking about goal setting. I walked them through an exercise where they imagined how their lives would look in ten to fifteen years. They visualize themselves in this future place and time with the help of a magic carpet. (This is one of those moments when it’s great to be a kid since their imaginations are so vivid and easily retrievable no matter how fast their brains are swirling. A lot of adults, with equally swirling brains, can no longer access the dreamy state of getting lost in that imaginative pocket.) After visualizing where they are in their future and what they’re doing there, the girls write down everything they remember. Then they choose one image of their future that they most want to come true. They write down that image as a goal and then determine what steps they need to take to get there.
It was near the end of this exercise that one of the girls asked if I was a genie. Then she said, “I’ve never thought of my future this way before and now I know exactly what I want to do with my life.” Though not all the participants have this kind of light-bulb moment, the fact that one does is why I love facilitating these workshops.
The girls are really the genies. But I get the awesome wonder of watching the magic as they start to fly.