July 25, 2015. Overlooking the Prouty Garden at Children’s Hospital there was a gathering of greatness in the spirit of fun, openness and a willingness to share our superpower secrets. Our first Comfortable In Our Skin workshop: Rockstars & Superheroes. And after a year internal conflict about conflict of interest vs commitment (long story) and conflict about privacy vs public image, I’m back on the blog! How can I ignore the enthusiasm and collective sense of purpose that made history this day? Some of our members/volunteers traveled an hour to join us! I find myself humbled by the strength and positive energy of the young people that make CIOS worth all the hours that have gone into growing the seed of an idea into a garden of goodwill.
I began the day with a “pre-workshop” with my 6-year-old and 8-year-old niece and nephew via FaceTime (thank you technology). It was just a spontaneous thing, when they called from Illinois to wish me luck for the workshop. I wish they could have attended it! It means a lot to have their approval. My sister and I try to make sure they are more socially savvy than we were at their age. We reviewed that it’s best not to fight a mean kid (even if they started it), that it helps to talk about bad feelings of any kind, and to tell an adult at school as well as at home when someone tries to hurt you. Negative things people say are often untrue, or reflect their own inner pain, and should never be used to form one’s self-image. I wish I had been taught this when I was their age, quiet and confused about why some kids enjoy finding out what it takes to make another cry.
I learned a lot from all the superstars (rockstar + superhero = superstar!) who shared their creativity, talents and personal wisdoms. We talked about how having fun and having the confidence to be unique, to be who you are, is the secret to attractiveness and power – not aspiring to some impossible and superficial picture of physical perfection or popularity for its own sake. Real people and real heroes are multidimensional, unlike the 2D Photoshopped images in pop culture.
I learned that the world still has a long way to go in figuring out what schools and communities can do to combat bullying and social dysfunction. What happens in the schools carries into the workplace, into future relationships, future families, and back again into the schools of future children. I saw a room full of leaders and healers who will do their part, using their superpowers: super listening skills, altruism, turning injuries into creative talents, super humor, persistence through undeserved adversity, empathy, super friendliness, Inner Beauty Vision (beats X-ray vision).
Some of the best aspects of running this workshop for me:
- Seeing how the amazing volunteers can run with an idea and produce something so memorable
- Getting to know some superhero moms better
- Reconnecting via some kind of universal synchronicity with someone I shared my CIOS vision with on the subway (the power of Inner Beauty Vision!) two years ago
- The random visit by a patient taking a walk during her long hospital stay
The latter two demonstrate how just doing your thing can lead you to wonderful things and people! Reach out, dare to be different, focus on positive attitude and action, and you will gain more than you give.
If you couldn’t make it to the workshop but would like to work on your own superpowers or learn how to acquire some of the above, let us know! If you attended this workshop, please comment on what you got out of it, and tell us (here or on social media) when something that we did or said influenced what you thought or did later on!