“A Piece of Me” incorporates T.H.I.N.K.

By Lauren Galley

442313682_640As I travel visiting young girls I am reminded more and more how our society and social media can be toxic when it comes to being kind to others. It’s no big news flash that girls can be mean. This is not new to my generation either, it’s been going on for decades. My mom has told me stories of her school years and how girls can be caddy to one another. Bullying happened at slumber parties and lunchtime chats at school where girlfriends were talking one on one. Many times the bullied girl never knew…

My generation takes this to a new level with social media and the advancement of technology. An all out war has begun and you can be attacked as you sit in your room, minding your own business and visually witness the meanness of others as they attack with no warning. Bullies are allowed to attack and they are allowed to pick their weapon of choice. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Text Messaging and those that are bold will choose face to face combat.

With any war you have to be strategic on how you fight back. Bullies are looking for a response, whether it’s sadness, fear, or a traditional physical round in the ring. I tell girls to be confident and look above the bullies, or better yet compliment them… that tactic is always a weapon they don’t expect you to use. Some girls have the confidence to arm themselves in brutal attacks. Most girls do not possess the ability to shield themselves with “Girl Power” ending the bullies ability to harm which ends the war, and that’s where I come in.

I love spreading my “Girl Power” engaging girls in activities that help them learn the best weapon of choice… CONFIDENCE!! “A Piece of Me” signature Girl Talk teaches girls the effect of hurtful words and the tools to spread kindness and love. I incorporate T.H.I.N.K., a program designed by Rebecca Moore that reminds us all to THINK before we speak, type, or text, and ask yourself is it True, Helpful, Important, Necessary and/or Kind? These are amazing qualities for everyone to live by and the THINK portion of my Girl Talk has a great impact on these girls that influences them to end this raging war we face called Bullying. Whether you are 5 or 95 I encourage you all to THINK!!!!! Thank you Rebecca for giving me the power to spread the word ~
The photos below were taken at Camp Susan Curtis in Waterford, Maine
These Awesome girls loved our girl talk and the concept of T.H.I.N.K
Each girl painted their river rock with THINK. I encouraged them to keep their rock with them as a reminder to THINK and to share their rock with someone they felt might benefit from learning about THINK. These girls loved the idea and were excited to take their rock on a new journey….. My wish would be for these rocks to go on a long journey reminding us always to THINK ~

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I Believe……

photo_15543_20091121Growing up as a teenager in today’s media driven society can get a little crazy sometimes. Our cell phones are attached to us 24/7 and social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.. alert us that someone has tagged us, messaged us or there is new drama. When I think of the social media applications we teens use, I think of it as our own TV News Network. Who needs CNN or FOX when we can see it almost as fast as the stations do? As I travel giving my “Girl Talks” I am finding more and more that young girls spend way more time than necessary worrying about what everyone thinks about them. Rumors, gossip and drama spread like a bad disease causing girls to second guess themselves or better yet, they are afraid to be themselves because they are being judged under the microscope of social media.

When we are little we don’t think about how mean other girls can be. Everyone is our friend and we just want to play imaginary games and eat ice cream together. Fifth grade comes around and we are given a dose of bad tasting medicine and realize girls are mean. Instead of being judged whether we can play nice together we are now being judged by what we wear, how much money we have, who has the best figure and who’s popular. Not meeting the criteria immediately puts you in a “grouping” whether you like it or not which continues throughout your school years…. UNLESS…. you believe in yourself, know your self worth, and are confident to ignore the haters and rock who you are and what you stand for. I like to call it having “Girl Power.”

Finding your “Girl Power” is easier said than done. Parents can tell you how wonderful you are your entire life and one can still feel inadequate. Getting bullied takes you down a notch and many times girls never get back up. I’ve always been the type of girl who wants to fit in and wants to be liked, but not at all costs. I found my “sparkle” in middle school and at the time it was cheerleading. I was very small and therefore was a great flyer. This boosted my self confidence and I was surrounded by others who shared the same hobby which gave me friendships that remain today. My high school years were no longer filled with cheerleading, I found theater and choir to be what made me “sparkle.” Again, being a part of a team and working together for the same cause enabled me to find great friends who shared my morals and values. My film and modeling career was my true love, but I only chose to share that with my closest friends. Once again, girls are mean and I found myself not wanting to share something that I was so proud of for fear I would be judged. That is so wrong and as soon as I figured that out I felt home free. Worrying about what others think keeps us from expressing who we are and what we are passionate about.

As long as I am making good choices and have positive morals and values, I can take my “Girl Power” and my “Sparkle” and make a difference by being just me – the best that I can be. No one is allowed to judge me except me – I believe having confidence has given me the opportunity to see my “girl power” and rock my “sparkle.” My goal through Girls Above Society and the reason I created this organization is to help empower young girls to believe……in themselves……and be the best that they can be……not what society says they should be. So, go on and get some “Girl Power” of your own ~

Like a fine wine we get better with age.

photo_1839_20060807On June 6th I turned 50 years old. 50 YEARS OLD! Like most other 50 years olds, I’m not sure how this happened – it feels like a blink of an eye. One day I’m a college girl, the next a young mother, and now one half a century old. How can I be 50? Most days I feel, think and act like a 24 year old, so I know it’s only a number, but when that AARP membership card arrives …

When I was growing up, I thought 50-year-old women were old; they were on the downside of life. Or were they???

I know I’m not the first half centurion to say age is only a number. We have to say that, right? Growing older can be a challenge. We must work hard at looking good, keeping our mind sharp, and maintaining our weight and health. Nothing comes naturally any more. But, to be honest, I truly feel the best I have felt in many years. I am stronger, more confident, much wiser, and doing work that I never dreamt possible. And, this transformation began at age 46! An age that most feel the best is behind them.

I think the reason I feel so great is because I never bought into ageism. Sure I joke about getting older, but I don’t really buy it! People always say 50 is the new 30, but if you look around it’s true. Middle age people are accomplishing more than ever before and doing it at later ages. Growing older does not mean it’s time to retire, I truly believe that it’s time to refire! Have you seen Roger Daltry, Mick Jagger, or Paul McCartney lately? At their age, they aren’t the grandpas I knew when growing up!

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Diane Gilman (you may know her from Home Shopping Network). When she was younger, Diane was a fashion industry “it girl”, but in later years she found herself at age 50, widowed, overweight, unemployed, and depressed. She created her DG2 brand, which was met with a negative response from fashion industry experts. She did not let that deter her and went on to create a brand that has sold more than 7 million pairs of jeans and leggings. Now, at age 66, her life is rewarding in every aspect possible.

My advice to you, don’t let age be a factor in your life. Don’t buy into ageism. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old to embark on a new journey. Follow the example of so many people that have achieved greatness during the 2nd half of their life.

So … happy birthday to me (and to you)! To turning 50 years old I say, bring it on baby!