I recently saw Utah’s Ballet West perform the timeless tale of The Sleeping Beauty. This fairy tale imparts inspiring truths through the magic of music and dance, truths which are also found in Healthy Transitions for Girls. My heart swelled as I felt the true beauty and power of these insights.
Healthy Transitions for Girls uses the metaphor of “a palace of possibilities” to help girls discover the beliefs and self-talk which guide their emotions and actions. Girls learn that within their “palace” there are different rooms with a vast array of messages “written” on the “palace walls.” These messages come from past experiences with family and friends. They come from media images. Some of these messages give life and confidence while others fear and negativity. In Healthy Transitions for Girls, each girl learns to be a true guardian or “princess” of her palace. She learns how to “rewrite” negative thoughts and beliefs. While watching the skilled dancers, The Palace of Possibilities came alive for me. Like every good fairy tale, there is good and evil. In the lives of adolescent girls: positive beliefs or negative ones.
The ballet begins with the birth of a princess–Aurora. She is born to elegant monarchs who have many high hopes for their daughter. During the celebration of her birth, four fairies comes to impart divine gifts. Lilac Fairy, the Fairy of Wisdom, blesses Aurora with knowledge and savvy. The Fairy of Kindness brings kindness and generosity of spirit. The Fairy of Joy brings happiness and joy. The Fairy of Beauty grants beauty and allure. Finally, the Fairy of Temperament brings character, conviction, and fortitude.
As I watched each fairy dance in delight of her respective trait, I wanted to dance too! I felt a validation which gave me new freedom. Yes! A true princess is beautiful for inner traits, such as kindness and nurturing, not only her accomplishments. I felt relief from the urge to be harsh and masculine as a sign of strength. I felt relief from pressure to achieve career goals at the expense of empathetic connection. I did not feel diminished by the selfish lie that a woman should be able to “do it all.” No, instead I felt true beauty, a beauty bestowed from Heaven to her daughters. A grace that is the gift of being a girl.
My palace, the place inside me, feels different after being immersed in this inspiring perspective on the gifts of womanhood. I am excited to choose to nurture this part of me. This is the part that will give me opportunities to bring joy to a sad soul and to be the best mom and wife I can be.