My Days with the Girls
-The hidden virtue behind the girl’s voices
We made it. We were able to reach 1000 girls. I’m still amazed and can’t stop wondering what this really means in terms of the lives of these girls.
After 2 years and 3 months since we officially started to meet with the girls and women through this amazing quest, I find myself among hundreds of moments and stories, of girls and days with them. There were thousands of words spoken and offered for a deeper connection to ourselves and the feminine.
I have had the privilege to listen to the girls speak out what they think, what they are and what they hold deep within. There is something very special in these voices, a vailed virtue that I will call it ENDURANCE. Let me tell you about our first day of our encounter.
When our FLUYE starts, I ask them what is the first word, image, sensation that shows up when I say that word. A huge number of them talk about shame, fear, disgust. They use different names to refer to it. Not pretty names and names that try to “cover it up”.
Some other girls can’t say anything, they are too ashamed or they speak with their tears or they freeze. A few girls, those who had the opportunity of having a caring woman that would mentor them in this transitional moment in their lives, (a mother, an aunt, an older sister, a godmother) would associate menstruation with other ideas like ¨natural, becoming a woman, and.. that’s what makes you have babies…¨
And this is all there is when it comes to their understanding of the monthly ritual without which human life wouldn’t exist. There is no familiar or social support that would help girls comprehend at least a basic ground of the vast universe in feminine health and feminine wisdom that is not only menstruation but the menstrual cycle and our feminine nature. There are no cultural references, no stories, no narratives that would allow girls and women to know about their great powers within.
That has made me wonder, how can girls live their daily lives with the weight of this shame that makes them avoid looking at people in the eye. At the best, the information they get in school is that it is normal, but of course, it needs to be hidden. How can girls grow up to their full capacity if their self-esteem is so deprived and damaged?
I will leave it up to hear at the moment. But think about this: Menstruating women spend roughly 52 days a year on their period – that’s 14% of their time. Do you think that a whole week with the girls reinforcing their own value and allowing them to understand the menstrual cycle and to see it as a gift and a “Super Power” will change how they see, live and talk about their periods from there and on?
In my next article about My Days with the Girls, I will tell you more about the sessions and what I teach during the FLUYE week. I will try to communicate to you how the voices of the girls both bear hardship and also voice their inner power. Together with Days for Girls, we are helping our girls to raise their voices as the world needs to hear them.
Dulce is the sweetest girl, and highly intelligent, as the teachers report. She is 12 years old, and she lives in San Cristobal. At the end of February her group at the secundaria received our FLUYE educational program where they all got their DFG kits. This was the group that on the last day of the program brought out to the world (with me and Kathy as the astonished witnesses) an unimaginable sum of pain, due to the abuse and violence many of this girls have faced along their lives. Together we went through a profound learning and transforming experience that week, that culminated in this relieving outbreak of their stories.
Since then, these girls have become very close to me. I hear from them almost everyday through messenger, as they are followers of our FLUYE fan page that is our online girl´s community. They share with me thoughts, feelings, moments. And for me it’s pure gold, their words.
Dulce is one that is always telling me things that might be simple comments for her, but for us means the most valuable feedback we can have on our impact among girls. One day we had this conversation:
Hi Hana! Guess what? I’m on my days…
That´s great Dulce. And how is it going?
I´m wearing my kit, of course.
That is awesome Dulce! Can I share with our DFG community that you are using it?
You mean with the woman who came to the school to give us the kits?
Yes, but there is a whole bunch of them.
Tell them that I love it!”
(Emojis of hearts and happy faces)
So I´m sharing…
In March I was promoting another workshop in San Cristobal that was not to happen at the school. With the help of teacher Marcela we where visiting some of the girls to get them motivated. Without planning it and actually looking for another girl, we arrived to Dulce ´s home. We both jumped up and down with joy when we saw each other. She took us inside because she wanted to introduce me to her mother.
Dulce´s mother is almost my age but with seven children. She has worked at night turns in a factory for years. She looks a lot older than she is, but she had an enormous smile when she saw me.
“Dulce will not become me.” she said. “Now she knows what I didn’t, thanks to you.”
My heart filled immediately with an unexplainable emotion: the knowing from women to women of what this all meant.
Dulce ´s school runs in the afternoon and her mother arrives home in the morning; not to sleep but to take care of the house and children. So every morning Dulce explained to her all that she had learned in the program. Dulce became her mother´s teacher in women’s bodies, menstrual cycle, fertility awareness and self care.
The mother says Dulce is super smart. She says sometimes she didn’t understand and Dulce explained over and over. She even taught her menstrual charting. She brought the explanation chart they did together and I really wanted to cry.
Finally, she urged me to say thanks to you. As Dulce, she loves and treasures the gift.
It was no mistake we came to Dulce´s home that day. It was an opportunity for me to acknowledge extraordinary dimensions of this work.
And I wanted you to know this, so you can too appreciate and honor more and more what we do with so much love.
Thank you for all of it.