Pink Tent, September* 2013
This was our first Pink Tent after a long summer off. My family and I did a lot of traveling and Patricia has a new baby who was born in late July. The girls were all much changed too.
Coming into the Temple as the group was getting settled there was a lot of sarcasm and many snarky comments were directed at one or two of the girls. It was difficult to hear and I immediately asked them to please quiet down and addressed the way we agreed to support and love and ‘thrill for’ one another and to not be mean or sarcastic or to say potentially hurtful things in circle. Logically it seemed like the girls ‘got it’, but I also felt a lot of resistance to the idea that it’s wrong to treat their friends that way. It was a weird beginning to a weird circle.
I didn’t tell a story like I normally do and we launched right into the meat of the evening: Crushes. Patricia had a list of questions for the girls, as did I. Hers were hands-on, write down the answers and (girls choice) we read them together, anonymously. Mine were more about focusing their thoughts. Then we had a few questions that the girls themselves had penned for us, the mentors. There was a lot of giggling.
After this, Patricia and I excused ourselves and the girls had their alone time to chat and giggle and snack. As the moms arrived, we mentors stayed inside and let the girls enjoy their time together until the girls came into the house of their own accord. Meeting ended.
We made a bunch of mistakes by leaving off big chunks of our circle routine, we later realized.
-We did not do the flooding before we left them for alone time. Flooding is when we take turns focusing on one member of our circle and each of us says something nice about her. We go around the whole circle each time so that each girl has been flooded with love from her circle sisters.
-We did not tell a story. Even though it’s doubtful that the girls understand the metaphors in the stories as they pertain to the evening’s topic, the stories really ground and center the group. They seem to get the young ladies into the magical, creative, open part of their brains.
-We did not come back out and do a closing meditation or yoga sequence to ground and center them before closing.
-We left the girls on their own for far too long and they came up with some crazy ideas about crushes and how to handle them. Fortunately, we all see one another outside of circle and so I had the opportunity to sit down with them and chat about their thoughts and ideas and do a little feeling work with them.
We are having our next meeting soon and we mentors are definitely back on track so far as how we must orchestrate these meetings in order for the girls to benefit meaningfully from them.
*We actually held this Pink Tent in early October due to illness.