Giving as an Extension of You, Not Your Girly Thoughts

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD


’Tis the season, with lots of expectations of what you should do, how you should look, and what you should give when gifting. No wonder your girly thoughts, that toxic self-talk that tells you what to do while simultaneously telling you you’re not doing it correctly, have a field day here.

In my latest book, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power, I explain where your toxic self-talk comes from, how it affects you, and how to get rid of it. After all, who needs a voice inside her head telling her she’s a loser?

One way to challenge your girly thoughts, especially during the holidays, is to take planned, concrete action to defeat them, and what better way than to determine what you will and will not give your friends, family members, and co-workers.

Re-thinking What It Means to Give

Instead of scouring catalogues, spending hours you don’t have online, or waiting in endless lines in stores, think outside the girly thoughts box—the one that says your gift must be the latest fashion, expensive, in the right color. Instead, think about what is meaningful for you, and what is meaningful for the person you are gifting.

Consider giving a non-girly thoughts gift:

  • Membership in the recipient’s name in a national advocacy group. Consider one that may be less well known than others but will have more immediate meaning, such as the National Association of Children of Alcoholics (NACoA). As some of you know, I was a co-founder of this vital organization many years ago. NACoA reaches out, speaks up, and helps hurting children in need of comfort and support who live in silence and fear from their parent’s addiction, letting them know it is not their fault.

  • A donation in the recipient’s name to a program for kids. Want to give to small program that is developing a national model for helping kids heal? Check out Horses Healing Hearts (HHH) in Wellington, Florida, a wonderful organization whose advisory board I chair. “One horse, one child, one day at a time . . .” provides direct emotional support and education for young children whose lives have been torn apart by a parent’s death, incarceration, or abuse due to addiction. HHH teaches empowerment, life-coping skills, and helps children build self-confidence by learning about horse care and riding.

  • Give a gift that also gives a gift. My, a new company you may not have yet heard about, provides a child in need with a comforting and inspiring blanket for every one purchased. Here is a beautiful, physical gift that keeps on giving.

  • Head off girly thoughts by giving the perfect mother/daughter gift that literally gets mothers and daughter on the same page in addressing how we women learn to disempower ourselves, our girly thoughts. Jane Collen, a lawyer turned children’s book author, has just released What More Can a Fairy Be?, her third book in the Enjella series: Each book is for a different age group, making it a perfect gift for girls from 3–15, and a perfect complement to the messages in my book, The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan, for older teens and mothers of all ages.

Let the Gifts You Give Be a Reflection of the Best in YOU

Remember, your gifts are a reflection of you. Give yourself permission to think outside the box that your girly thoughts put you in. Be creative, have fun, and help others do the same—help them give themselves the gift of no more girly thoughts!

Learn more about helping your daughter and the other women in your life avoid internalizing her girly thoughts in my new book, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power.

Find it on:

Amazon paperback, Kindle

Barnes & Noble paperback, Nook

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One Billion Rising….by Dancing?

By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD

Author of: The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (publication date 3/5/13)

Pre-order: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

One billion? and we’re not talking about the Sequestration, which is planning to cut one trillion anyway, or the population of the US that is only about 315 million.  No, we are speaking about a global effort involving more than three times the population of the US — we are speaking about women uniting around the world to end violence against women and girls, and doing this in a distinctly female way – by dancing, walking out, rising up, even giving voice to our concerns by demanding, that the violence, END.  By drawing attention to our concerns, by using the skills we have, and even perhaps having some fun in the process. Why? Because, right now, 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime, about one billion women, and that number includes some of you reading this blog.

Sometimes when something is so very common is feels even normal.  We have what I call our girly thoughts to thank for this, those societally driven messages concerning how we are to blame for all the misfortune we experience, and we are often not even aware that we are listening to them.

Girly thoughts are not new, and we come by them honestly. After all in the Bible, isn’t there a prayer to God, thanking HIM, for not being born a woman?  This example, and many, many others have resulted in many women being seen as less-than and as a consequence, acceptable targets for needing to be controlled, and for the rage of men.  And due to their girly thoughts many women even believe it was their fault.

But this doesn’t stop women from being courageous—you know what that is—acting in the face of fear, courage is not the absence of fear but taking action when you are, well, afraid.  On a daily basis we have all seen that being a woman can be very dangerous, particularly if the woman believes she has rights. But that hasn’t stopped so very many of us.   A woman could be shot in the head is she wants to go to school, have her clitoris removed, be targeted by a commanding officer, be slipped a drug so she is unable to fight off an attacker, or beaten by a drunk father or boyfriend who says he loves her.

So it probably sounds incredible to believe that we can make a difference by dancing.  How unreasonable is that, you may be wondering?  You may be asking where are the guns, the armies, the rockets – the real power?  After all isn’t that how we all been shown to demonstrate our power, through muscle, through clubs, through armaments, not to mention tradition and laws?  Well, that is how many show their power.  That is how we have been trained to understand power, as: might, intimidation, force.  But as for the real power, the answer is clear.  The real power is within each of us. This is the message of our recovery programs, the message our mothers wanted or perhaps did send us, and it is the message in this worldwide effort–onebillionrising.  We can begin to own our power, by uniting with other women, and men, in ONEBILLIONRISING/ is a global call to women and men across the planet to gather in their communities to dance and demand an end to the violence girls and women face, no matter what the cause.

What can you do?  First check out— then dare to use your personal power to consider creating your own event in your school, office, block, town. Plan to make it meaningful and perhaps even fun.  Break out of your comfort zone and even think about making an outrageous statement that is so engaging that others will want to dance with you, with all of us, enjoying the power of community, and the end to violence.  Realize that whether you are a woman in recovery, an ACoA, a sexual abuse survivor, you are connected to all other women who have experienced similar pain, trauma, discrimination, today, and in the past.  But understand that together we can all join to reduce, and even eliminate, the violence of the future, all through the improbable action of dancing together.

Need a little inspiration?  Listen to Lee Ann Womack “I Hope You Dance” after the jump…

Continue reading “One Billion Rising….by Dancing?”