Healing My Teen Self Through Teaching

Saturday morning I crawled out of my sleeping bag, stepped out of the tepee and watched my breath create vapors in the chilly air. I passed the fire pits and other tepees with sleeping women and made my way to the Wellness Tent to stretch.

I adore the way women dress at the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium: vegetable-dyed woolen socks, tie-dyed yoga pants, Tibetan symbols on t-shirts, stripes with polka dots, layers and layers of funky clothes. Through the asanas, the yoga instructor’s baby cooed and giggled the entire hour.

I wasn’t likely to hear such wonderful sounds of pleasure and belonging in the teen class I would be teaching in an hour’s time. But that’s okay, because I know teen angst. And I’m honored  to be one who helps them cross the bridge of troubled waters.

My class was down a dirt road about 300 yards removed from the main meadow where the tepees stood and we gathered for drum circles around the fire. I spread a silk sarong I got in Fiji over a picnic table and bench and tossed my tarot cards down. The first few girls trickled in and I introduced myself and Copperwoman, my co-teacher, while sitting on top of the table. It seemed an informal, irreverent way to approach the girls that I thought they would appreciate.

As always I began class with teens with vulnerability as a way to get them to trust me and for me to remember what it means to be raw as a young adult. I said, you know how it is when you mom yells at you for something completely out of the blue, then later says, hey I’m sorry that was over the top. I had a hard day at work, the fridge broke, etc. Well my mom couldn’t do that. She needed to be perfect, but now that she has breast cancer, she has learned to accept her mistakes and not be so perfect all the time. Shocked silence.

But it was different growing up. I didn’t feel she understood me. So I wrote The Teen Spell Book to be that friend to myself and you. Today I’m here to help you feel empowered and learn intuition.

I explained the chakras. Then I led them in a meditation to connect to the core of Mother Earth. I asked them to think of a problem that’s bugging them.  Now find a part in your body, your third eye, throat, gut, elbow, that doesn’t care about the problem. Ask for guidance from God, Goddess, Love, the Great Mystery. Now set an intention.  Open your eyes and choose a card.

Then I went around the table and asked each girl if she understood how the card related to her intention and problem. If she didn’t (and even if she did) I would read her energy and the card and help her find that bit of truth that rings unmistakably through you.  Where do you feel the tingling? In my heart, in my gut, they each had their own unique place. Put your hand there, I said. That’s your intuition talking.

Then Copperwoman sang and we’d join in.

But you don’t always know that you know
You always know
But you don’t always know that you know
Listen to the old woman
Who lives by the well
Believe that she speaks
Take heed, she will tell you
Follow, follow what you know sister,
Follow, the words of the well
Follow, follow what you know brother,
Truth will tell © CopperWoman

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