A Note From Anea

When I was 9, I felt invincible. As was the case through much of my childhood, I felt connected to myself and to the world around me – and it showed. My imagination was rich and abundant. I organized an all-girl air band for which I held rehearsals over lunch hours and even at my home (largely thanks to my very tolerant mom). I entered writing contests and won. I wrote, directed, and acted in plays we would perform for our entire school. I was unafraid to use my voice and unafraid to be ME.

THEN, as I moved into puberty, everything changed. Suddenly my desire to be liked by others became much more important than just being ME. Like many girls, I felt as though I constantly needed to reinvent myself to be whatothers wanted me to be and over time, I started to forget what it felt like to just be myself. My desire to be liked by boys continued to grow and ultimately took a really sad turn when I found myself in a really unhealthy relationship, hanging on for dear life because I was convinced that my self-worth was connected to the young man I was dating. When I finally found the courage to leave after more than 4 years, I wondered how that confident little 9 year-old had ever allowed herself to be treated so poorly for so long – and why so many girls I knew did the very same thing.

I turned to books, to wise women and men in my life, to therapy and to a fairly extensive, well-rounded relationship with higher education in search of answers. I taught in middle and high school classrooms, created a business that provided a combination of education and ‘wellness’ consulting exclusively for girls and completed my master’s degree in Women’s Spirituality.

And I created REALgirl®. It is the fruit of my healing labors. It was lived and learned for many years before it was created and like me, it is a living, growing entity. It is one piece of my passionate mission to get to the root of the crisis of self-value with which most girls and women in our society are plagued, one that can have very dire consequences. My intention and hope is that it will provide lasting healing solutions and action steps we can take together, both instructors and participants, to make this a more balanced planet where girls and women are no longer convinced they are inferior.

In short, REALgirl® is my wish for the world – that girls and women will know their deep and inherent value, wisdom and beauty, that girls and women will trust their razor sharp instincts and intuition, that girls and women will realize that the same life force that enables them to create human life also enables them to create their own path, as well as powerful communities and new possibilities the world has not yet imagined. And when this happens, we will all be better and stronger together – girls and boys, women and men.

With great sincerity,

Anea

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Elle Fanning spreads the word about her favorite charity, REALgirl, and how it empowers girls to reach their full potential and lead positive lives.

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