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Imagine being able to take every course in my online school — in a row! Maybe you never had the time before, but now the timing is right. You’ll get over 50% off when you purchase all my classes as a bundle. And, as always, you’ll get four months to complete them.

Is the timing right for you? Don’t miss out on this amazing offer!

How much is it to take every course in my online school? You won’t believe it. Click on the link below to find out.

OR sign up for three courses for the price of two.

OR get a discount on individual courses.

Because it’s back-to-school time, I am pulling out all the stops for my biggest online school sale ever. I can’t promise this will happen again, so take your pick now.

Remember to use the pull-down menus after each course description so you can see all the price options.

Are you feeling as creative as you can possibly be? Register now and spend the summer and fall inspiring yourself! You’ve got a week to make up your mind. Or buy them all for this low-low price. You will be so glad you did.

Visit my school now to check out all your options. Sale ends September 30th!

Creative Confidence Courses With Christina Katz

Photo: Danielle MacInnes via Unsplash

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. I am always adding new items to my Etsy shop. I hope you will swing by, take a look and favorite my shop!

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Chinese Lantern Wreath - Physalis Alkekengi

You won’t see this wreath in my shop yet because I am still figuring out how to ship it. But if you love it and you want to order it, email me and we can make it happen. I have an experienced Etsy friend who can help me, so this one-of-a-kind item won’t be damaged.

If you follow me on social media, you know I love seasonal decor.

I LOVE vintage decor, flowers, colors, art, and home organization. I feel like it’s time to make these things a bigger part of my life.

For years, I have kept this pastime a hobby, but this year, it is blossoming into a side business.

I’m pleased to announce the launch of a new branch of my online Etsy store featuring seasonal decor.

Right now the shop is stocked with Chinese Lantern (Physalis Alkekengi) decor in the form of bouquets, mantel spray, and pods. I even have one dried wreath, which is pictured.

I love Chinese Lanterns so much at this time of year! To me, they are the perfect decoration to transition from summer into fall.

Last year’s Chinese Lantern Wreath on the right and this year’s on the left. They age beautifully.

As the days go from bright and sunny to gray and rainy, it’s awesome to have some bright orange in the house. This color can take you all the way through Halloween and even into Thanksgiving.

I have both bright, new Chinese Lanterns and one-year old Chinese Lantern pods in my shop. If you want a more Thanksgiving look, choose the vase filler pods or garlands that are older because those tones say ‘November.’

You can also get the new bright orange stems and pods now, which are perfect to mix with Halloween decor.

Samantha finally gets to fulfill her lifelong dream of being an arm model. (Not really, mostly she kept asking if we were done yet.)

Maybe you’ve never heard the phrase “mantel spray”? That’s because it’s a new term that I made up.

The meaning is bits and bobs of things that can’t make a big decor splash each on their own, but when you put them together on your mantel they look amazing.

I don’t have a mantel because I use a wood stove. If you follow me on social media, you have likely seen my black hutch decorated to match the changing seasons. That’s my mantel.

Stay tuned for more awesome seasonal decor in my Etsy shop! I am having a total blast so far, so there is sure to be more.

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. I am always adding new items to my Etsy shop. I hope you will swing by, take a look and favorite my shop!

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Super Cool For Back To School: Online Inspiration

A Big Enough Backpack

I am hunting for a larger backpack for my daughter to use for school. When it’s too small, she just crams everything in until the zippers break. So, here’s what I found: the JanSport Big Student Backpack. LINK Perfect, if your child is in high school or middle school. I don’t recommend the smaller sized JanSport Superbreak Backpack for older kids. LINK But it might be fine if your child is in elementary school, possibly middle school.

A Kick-ass Planner

I am not really a planner worshipper, but I have to admit that my daughter’s planner for the 2018-2019 school year is pretty darn cool. Also neato: it comes in pearlescent. If you are planner-happy, check out these styles from Ban.do. LINK

Picture This Clothing

Have you heard of Picture This Clothing? Print out one of their dress or t-shirt patterns, have your child color it, send it back in and they will send you a piece of clothing uniquely designed by your child. How cool would it be to wear one of these outfits on the first day of school? LINK

Time To Make Stock

I love to make chicken and turkey stock for soups in the fall, and I’ll keep making them until next summer! But I don’t love what my local store charges me for cheesecloth, so I’ve found a better price on Amazon. Next stop: the first homemade soup of the season! LINK

“God Is A Woman” by Arianna Grande from Sweetner

I am craving provocative messages that aim to smash the patriarchy without taking any particular humans out at the same time. That’s why I am loving Grande’s “God Is A Woman” song from her latest album Sweetner. There may be other songs on the album, but I can’t hear them because I am too busy playing this one over and over. Need hope in tough times? You can download this song for free. LINK

Anne With An E

Sometimes back-to-school transitions can be tricky for families and that’s when a really good TV series can become a welcome opportunity to collapse on the couch together and just chill the heck out. I love that we are living in an age of expanding opportunities for female actors. Anne With An E, especially season 2, will either keep you in suspense or make you laugh/cry with delight. “Isn’t the world a remarkable place?” Anne With An E will remind you that it is indeed. LINK

~ Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

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To Your Health: Green Juice Every Day For The Win!

I had some health challenges again recently and they reminded me that I am not the healthiest eater in the world.

As I get older, I sometimes think I should radically change my eating habits, and yet that never really works out. Perhaps you can relate?

Instead of changing everything I eat, I have learned to add healthier foods into my diet. I find this strategy usually pushes out some of the unhealthy habits and replaces them with healthier ones.

One of the best things I have done lately is add a daily green juice habit. For over a week I have been blending frozen fruit and juice with Vitamineral Green powder and drinking a large glass every morning.

I can feel a difference already. I have more energy. I feel lighter and cheerier. I even feel like I am losing a little weight without even trying. Since I was recently feeling unwell, the difference in how I feel is dramatic, and I needed that boost.

Another unanticipated benefit seems to be more balanced blood sugar. I have hypoglycemia, which means I have to eat every few hours to keep my blood sugar balanced. I’ve noticed that I am having less blood sugar dips while taking the Vitamineral Green. I have no idea why, but I’ll take it!

I use fruit we picked fresh locally and then froze, and when this supply inevitably runs out, I will pick up more fresh-frozen from local farms. I find that the taste of the fresh-frozen is quite superior to buying frozen fruit at the grocery store. I can buy frozen over the winter if necessary and Trader Joe’s has a wide selection of reasonably priced options.

The key ingredient is Vitamineral Green. I’ve taken it before and I found a half-empty container in the cabinet to use up (the product has a nice long shelf-life). I don’t remember why I stopped taking it or even when, but I feel so much healthier after taking it again for a week.

Recent blood work at the doctor showed that I had a vitamin D deficiency, so I am hoping that the Vitamineral Green will also help me absorb more of that vitamin, which I have increased in my diet. Regardless, I was probably deficient in other things since the improvement has been so dramatic.

If you are a woman at midlife, you may also find yourself having health challenges. If so, have you been screened for Vitamin D? Did you know that a long-term deficiency can lead to Osteopenia or even Osteoporosis? If you have any joint pain, be sure to get your vitamin D tested by your physician. My sudden joint pain onset disappeared as soon as I increased my Vitamin D intake. That was an easy solution to what seemed like a dramatic problem.

I’m hoping that the Vitamineral Green will improve my overall health. For me, it’s easier not to have extra greens on hand, which often go bad quickly and then have to be composted. When I think of all the greens I would have to buy to green my juice, I know I am saving a ton of money.

I have the utmost confidence in Healthforce Superfoods, which is a company I have been following for many years. My recipe for green juice is simple, I combine whatever juice and frozen fruit I have on hand with a heaping tablespoon of Vitamineral Green powder in the blender. The result tastes great and makes me feel healthier.

I am adding a couple of other Healthforce products into my daily diet, because I have had such good results with the Vitamineral Green, and I’ve listed them below. Let me know if you have tried Healthforce Products and what kind of results you have had. They are available on Amazon or at your local health food market. You can always visit the Healthforce website for more information.

I hope this is helpful. Here’s to your health!

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Turn on the news and you will notice that the world is presented as a fairly ugly place.

The bottom line is: words often fail us. They are…limited.

People get upset and use words as weapons. Next thing you know, we have divided humanity rather than uniting us.

I am not crazy about the headlines or the manipulation of the media to provoke reactions from the masses.

But there is one thing I am over the moon about, and that is the surge of beauty and creativity I find online these days.

Fire up Pinterest and Instagram, and you will notice that beauty has become a global movement and creativity is at an all time high.

And guess who the beauty movement leaders are?

Yup, you guessed it. They are women.

They know a little secret: flowers are powerful. They are quiet, yet transformative. They affect people in ways words cannot. Flowers heal us. Each and every single one shines with earth light.

And we could also shine with earth light, too, if we would slow down to the speed of life.

Maybe like me, you have always adored flowers and yet always found the traditional floral businesses to be rather old-fashioned and ho-hum. No longer! Flowers have become a creative medium, not merely a collection of old standards you can send to express congratulations or condolences.

Flower bouquets are the new poetry. And these poems are multi-sensual, colorful and awe-inspiring. The poets are artists who are also business women. Visual impact is valuable. Variety is something to celebrate.

So three cheers for flowers! I am a big fan myself and I do my best to share the wealth of beauty growing in our yard. The women below are leaders in the flower power movement, and I have nothing but respect for them. Please check them out, if you haven’t already. I’d love to hear what you think!

Armload Of Flowers: Erin Benzakein

Wildflower Worshiper: Katie Daisy

Flower Petal Artist: Bridget Beth Collins

Flowers For Transformation: Katie Hess

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. Though I often write about writing and creativity, I also write about issues that are important to me. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email me about monthly coaching calls. Looking for more fun in your life daily? Then join us for Collaging For Self-discovery, my online accountability group. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for ways to save money by becoming a Beta User for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. If you appreciate my work—school, products, blog and social media posts—you are welcome to make a contribution of any size at any time. Thank you for your support!

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A while back, I took a poll on Facebook asking what kind of shoes people find comfortable because my feet were killing me.

When I was pregnant with Samantha, many moons ago, I gained a bunch of weight and my arches collapsed.

Yes, it was as painful as it sounds.

Fast forward sixteen years later and not surprisingly, my feet often hurt.

I tried going to the podiatrist and was not impressed with the value of help for the cost.

So I put the question out to my Facebook peeps and I was impressed with the voluminous response.

Apparently, if you have sore feet, you are not alone. It does not matter why. What does matter is finding and wearing comfortable shoes as soon as possible.

Here are some brands to help you get started. If you order online, be sure to read about sizing first.

Most Comfortable Shoes For Women

Abeo Janet walking sneaker (I wear these with the Walking Company’s best insert) their website

Vionic on Amazon or at their website

Clarks on Amazon or at their website

Dansko on Amazon or at their website

Finn Thing on Amazon or at their website

Chacos (Ped Shed) on Amazon or at their website

Born on Amazon or at their website

Taos on Amazon or at their website

Naot on Amazon or at their website

Spenco on Amazon or at their website

Olukai on Amazon or at their website (Ohana Sandal was recommended)

Fit Flops on Amazon or at their website

Allegria on Amazon or at their website

Keen on Amazon or at their website

Wolky on Amazon or at their website

Merrell on Amazon or at their website

Ahnn Hiking Shoes on Amazon or at their website

Oofos on Amazon or at their website

Sofft on Amazon or at their website

Soft Spots (professional style) on Amazon or at their website

Bella Vita on Amazon

Comfortable Sneakers For Women

Brooks on Amazon or at their website (Trail Running Shoe was recommended)

New Balance on Amazon or at their website

Comfortable Shoe Stores

The Walking Store (if you go in person, know what you need and plan to spend at least an hour trying on shoes)

Zappos Women’s Comfort

Jay’s Wide Shoes

Shoe Inserts

Superfeet Green Inserts on Amazon or at their website

Next shoes I’m going to get…Taos Crave Boot.

Still haven’t decided on summer sandals, but I’d better decide soon! Let me know if you have specific suggestions.

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. Though I often write about writing and creativity, I also write about issues that are important to me. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email me about monthly coaching calls. Looking for more fun in your life daily? Then join us for Collaging For Self-discovery, my online accountability group. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for ways to save money by becoming a Beta User for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. If you appreciate my work—school, products, blog and social media posts—you are welcome to make a contribution of any size at any time. Thank you for your support!

~ Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

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Every once in a while I need to write about timely things I love.

One thing I love right now are lilacs.

My lilac bushes are in bloom and our home is filled with vases of lilacs large and small.

Why do I love lilacs so much?

They were not part of my childhood. You know how sometimes you discover something later in life and you are like, where has this been all my life? This was the story of lilacs and me. Our yard had a lilac bush for the first time about ten years ago, and the rest is a deep romance.

Others tell me that lilacs remind them of someone they loved who grew lilacs.

I am always happy to give away some of my lilacs while they are blooming because I always have more than I can use and lilacs are better when shared.

What if you do not have any lilac bushes or your lilacs are not blooming yet?

Here’s an idea. Go over to Instagram and type in the hashtag: #lilac. Watch what happens.

You could scroll all day, right? Unless, you have your own lilac bush, in which case you will probably want to go outside and hug it.

Now try the same thing on Pinterest. You won’t regret it!

With Mother’s Day coming up, you might want to pull together a lilac care package. Here are a few lilac-related products to help you get started:

Mrs. Meyer’s Lilac Products

Lilac Hand Cream (any type)

Nail Polish In Lilac Colors

Lilac Essential Oil

Lilac Body Wash

Lilac Bath Bomb Fizzies

Lilac Blossom Rollon Perfume

Lilac Candle

Lilac Girls, A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly

Lilac lipstick

Lightweight Lilac Shawl

Lilac Tote Bag

Lilac Craft Paper

Embroidered Lilac Pin Brooch

Lilac Stud Earrings

Lilac Necklace

One Dozen Homemade Lilac-decorated Sugar Cookies

Lilac Paintings

It’s spring, so go ahead and surround yourself with lilacs and lilac-related things. You won’t regret it.

I know I don’t!

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I attempt to collage daily in my Joy Journal. What this means is that I collage most days. Collage journaling is a straight path to self-discovery, inspiration and everything that makes me tick. What I love most about collage journaling (which I call Joy Journaling) is that it helps me stay up-to-date with myself.

What do I like, want, and need? I can find the answers by flipping through my Joy Journals.

When I stay up to date with myself, life is an exciting adventure. When I don’t keep up to date with myself, it’s too easy to fall into serial monotony. I don’t want to live a life of serial monotony, and that is the primary reason I have a daily creative practice.

While I recognize that there are many possible daily creative practices, I enjoy collaging at this juncture in my life. Since I’m a professional writer, I can use all of the daily inspiration I can get.

I am grateful that supplies for joy journaling are readily available locally and online. I make an effort to use what I have on hand or can find inexpensively around the house in my Joy Journal. Since my journal reflects me uniquely, it makes sense to find scraps from my life. However, it’s also important to choose supplies that make collage journaling fun and inspiring, since that’s the whole point.

Here’s a quick list of supplies I use regularly.

Old magazines: Stop by your local library to see if you can purchase their old magazines. Ours has magazines on a rack in the library store. Visit library stores in surrounding towns, if you want to acquire a bunch of magazine on the cheap. Also consider asking your local friends to drop their used magazines on your stoop when they are done with them, or ask professionals who have magazines in waiting rooms if you could pick up pubs they no longer want. You can subscribe to magazines you love inexpensively at https://www.magazines.com/.

Scissors: I use the orange-handled Fiskars most often, but I also have several types of scissors on hand, including hair-cutting scissors. Try gathering up all the types of scissors you have in the house and test-driving them until you determine what other types of scissors you might need. https://amzn.to/2JIYtty

Cutting pad: I use a pink, self-healing cutting pad from Michael’s. Check out these cutting pads. https://amzn.to/2KoyWqx

Exacto Knife: I use the Fiskars Heavy Duty Die Cast Craft Knife. Choose your own cutting knife. https://amzn.to/2jlLKlu

Bins/Storage Boxes: I use a storage bin from IKEA that slide into cubes from IKEA. But you could also use a paper sorter or a plastic bin. Paper sorter: https://amzn.to/2jnJ4ng Plastic bins: https://amzn.to/2HLm6Ry

Elmer’s Disappearing Jumbo Purple Gluesticks: These are my favorite gluesticks, and I like that they are inexpensive. https://amzn.to/2JJA8Ue

Strathmore Sketchbook, 100 Sheets: I use this sketchbook for my collage journaling. I used to use a drug store variety, but I prefer the sturdier pages that this journal provides. https://amzn.to/2w5nzRe

Washi Tapes: Recently I started collecting washi tapes I come across on sale. I stick to color schemes that appeal to me. Adding washi Tape to almost completed journal pages provides a fun flourish.
Narrow washi tapes: https://amzn.to/2FxUL3e
Regular width washi tapes: https://amzn.to/2JLbhzv

Baggies: I use clear plastic Ziploc baggies to divide my materials up into categories. I currently have bags for small images, words and quotes, and ephemera. Keeping everything sorted allows me to work on my journal in phases without getting overwhelmed by too many choices. https://amzn.to/2HKanmm

Ephemera: Start collecting scraps of tissue paper, wrapping paper, ribbon, doilies, cup cake wrappers or any other type of flat materials you can use to embellish your joy journal pages. Keep these in their own baggies or in plastic storage bins. You can also find fun ephemera collections for sale on Etsy.

Round Vase: I use a large round display globe to store my washi tapes so I can easily see them and dump them on the table when I want to use them. Mason jars also come in handy for holding scissors, glue sticks and and pens or markers. https://amzn.to/2reDcRq

Feel free to make suggestions for collaging supplies, and I will add them to this post!

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. Though I often write about writing and creativity, I also write about issues that are important to me. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email me about monthly coaching calls. Looking for more fun in your life daily? Then join us for Collaging For Self-discovery, my online accountability group. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for ways to save money by becoming a Beta User for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. If you appreciate my work—school, products, blog and social media posts—you are welcome to make a contribution of any size at any time. Thank you for your support!

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There are really no words to describe how much I enjoy my Joy Journaling practice.

As I collage regularly, I reap the benefits of connecting with myself in ways the world does not provide for me.

This is what I hope to address in my work: bridging the gap between women and daily self-expression for its own sake.

The world is never going to offer ourselves to us. Instead the world is going to provide a new distraction, a new goal, a new thing to buy, new breaking news, new gossip, and a new list of shoulds to get us to conform to today’s trends.

But the world is also full of awe and wonder, and our collage journal becomes our map to what matters most to us. So my collage practice helps me filter an overwhelming amount of data by helping me become more aware of what I care about.

I care about the earth, women, girls, mothers, kids, self-expression, art, creativity, writing, gardening, theatre, film, health, personal transformation, feminine power, and spirituality most. But there is no limit to the number of things I am allowed to care about.

My collage journaling process has an impact on me and then I have an impact on the world. It’s incredible how much your perspective can change when the only person you have to impress is yourself.

What if the only person you had to please was yourself? How might your life look different?

Women are deeply trained to become pleasing machines instead of individuals guided by intuition and passion.

Life starts to look completely different and a lot more fun, when you let your heart help you navigate a distracting world.

Do you know what you want out of this life? Do you do what you love? Do you embrace the day?

If you are not sure of the answers to these questions or if you feel caught up in the daily grind, having a Joy Journal can help.

I offer a monthly Joy Journaling group by subscription. You don’t have to be actively journaling to join. You can be getting ready to journal or simply be ready to take some baby steps.

You are welcome to join by paying what you can each month and participate as much as your schedule allows.

I used to do work that involved putting the pressure on. But now I do work that involves taking the pressure off. Pressure is just not helpful or sustainable.

What kind of life do you want to live? A life of pressure and shoulds or a life of honest, organic choices?

I want to live in a world where women can be more authentic and honest. I want to live in a world, where groups of women can share self-expression from all over the world.

And that’s the world I am creating. I hope you will join us!

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. Though I often write about writing and creativity, I also write about issues that are important to me. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email me about monthly coaching calls. Looking for more fun in your life daily? Then join us for Collaging For Self-discovery, my online accountability group. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for ways to save money by becoming a Beta User for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. If you appreciate my work—school, products, blog and social media posts—you are welcome to make a contribution of any size at any time. Thank you for your support!

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Broadway could not have produced a more timely musical than Mean Girls, based on the movie Mean Girls, based on the book by Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.

Across America, moms are talking to moms about the mean girl nightmares in their own backyards.

And if moms across America are talking about mean girls everywhere we live, then what we have is an American bullying epidemic, that can’t possibly get enough ink.

Although I am certainly thankful to the many experts who have shined a light on mean girl behavior in the past, having a few experts on this topic is not doing enough to turn the tide.

We need a kindness movement that redirects bullying behavior in a healthier direction — or at the very least interrupts it.

We do not need an anti-bullying movement, because when you feed what you hate with attention, it just gets bigger and worse. And that’s what we have right now.

Girls don’t need me to tell them what meanness in schools is like. If you are a girl in America, you have experienced meanness and it is likely an everyday occurrence. If you are a parent in America, no doubt mean girl behavior has brought you to your knees more times than you care to admit.

I have an idea. If we want mean girls to stop ruling the schools, we need a kindness, dignity and respect movement among girls. And we need it now. Powered by girls. And perpetuated by kindness.

Moms could also use a movement. But let’s save the girls first. I think we can all agree that the girls, and their futures, are worth preserving. (Boys too, but one group at a time.)

Let’s pull together and create a plan for confronting mean girl behavior as it happens girl by girl, and let’s start today. However, in order to do this, girls need to learn to confront each other with kindness, dignity and respect or all the confrontation in the world will never do any good.

These are my suggestions for dismantling mean girl power trips. I will update it over time with feedback from readers. I hope you will post your insights and suggestions in the comments.

TIPS FOR GIRLS, TWEENS & TEENS

1. Recognize that mean girls have false power. In the fairly tale, the emperor had no clothes, and it’s the same with a mean girl operating on the premise. “I am popular, therefore I am powerful, and you will all carry out my will.” Once everyone stops doing this, the mean girl no longer has power. So stop letting mean girls tell you what to do, what to think, and how to behave. It’s called giving your power away. Why not discuss this idea with your parents today, so you can stop doing it tomorrow.

2. Bravely stand up to mean girl false authority in the moment. If someone is directly mean to you, you have a responsibility to stand up for yourself, whether others support you in the act or not. Good things to say are, “Why are treating me so badly?” or “Why don’t you stop being so mean?” If nothing else works, you can say, “Have you ever considered being kind to others instead of being mean?” The goal is to take the mean girl aback. It’s a bit of a shock and awe approach, so don’t stick around waiting to be thanked. Say what you have to say, then turn on your heel with dignity and walk away. You are not waiting for an answer to your question. It’s her job to hear you. You can’t make someone hear you if she does not want to. But if you speak your mind, then you can at least feel proud of yourself.

3. Let a girl who is mean get confronted by other girls. If you are one of a mean girl’s devotees, constantly there to reassure her how hot, awesome and superior she is while she is treating others badly, then you are part of the problem. Stop doing that. If you are acting like a minion, you need to reconsider your role in perpetuating your mean girl’s rule of terror. Maybe you are just as terrified of getting on the bad side of a mean girl as nice girls are. But guess what? Nice girls can’t change the climate without you. So pick a side, meanness or kindness, and know if you choose meanness, then you also need to be confronted and likely will be confronted.

4. Look for better behavior, without expecting it. When mean girls change their behavior and treat others with kindness, dignity and respect, be the first one to say, “Thanks, I appreciate your kindness.” Don’t throw the mean girl out with the mean girl behavior. Yes, it’s true that most girls are pretty much who they are going to be by the time they turn fourteen, and you should not necessarily try to change a mean girl into a nice girl. Also, you can’t. But if a mean girl decides for herself to behave more nicely, you want to be the first one to appreciate her efforts. Of course, don’t expect a mean girl to transform overnight, but encourage mean girls you know to keep trying to make the kind choices, as they are given the opportunity. They might even thank you for the support some day.

5. Girls, for goodness sake, stop acting like members of a mafia. Be an individual rather than relying on a devoted posse. Your popularity is not who you are. Your integrity is who you are. Integrity means you love yourself and you are not afraid to be authentic, honest and vulnerable. Self-compassion means you can cry without it meaning that someone has to pay. It means, you embrace a range of emotions in yourself and others with acceptance and tolerance. It means you recognize that in life you win some and you lose some and your worth is not made or destroyed depending on those outcomes. It means you stop trying to control the world. It means, if you do not love yourself, you work on that instead of ex-communicating, stonewalling, and punishing other girls according to your whims. At the end of the day, you are either creating a healthier, happier world or a more messed up one. School is practice. Which side are you on?

6. Practice the assertiveness skills you need. The bottom line is that we live in a confrontation-phobic country. No one is teaching girls the skills necessary to confront others in the moment with dignity and mutual respect. As a result, we are raising a generation of terrorizing or terrified girls. Why are we so afraid of girls who can express themselves? We can’t and won’t have equality between the sexes as long as patriarchy keeps us valuing girls for superficial things such as appearance and popularity. Girls, if your parents are overly focused on your looks and how many friends you have, you need to tell them to back off. Tell them you already look good as you are and you’ll have friends when they are genuinely kind and caring people and settle for nothing less. We have a shortage of genuinely kind and caring girls right now and we need more joining the club. So start a club not a clique, and keep it permanently open to new members.

7. Ask your school to give out awards for kindness, caring and emotional intelligence. Varsity letters and top of the class are so 1950’s. If we want to create a future where everyone is not a raging narcissist, it needs to start in families and be rewarded in schools. Right now kind families are sending their girls in to school to get their butts emotionally kicked by mean kids. Enough already! If schools don’t change what they recognize and value, then teaching kindness is a waste of time and the future belongs to the female Trumps of the world. How’s that for something to look forward to?

Don’t just sit around hoping that mean girls at your school get hit by a bus.

They won’t. And they won’t feel bad about being mean either, unless they are confronted about it.

Kind kids can outsmart mean kids by throwing them off their games with directness instead of snarkiness, with honesty to disarm their self-absorption, and by making room for bullies at the table of personal responsibility, if and when they choose to join.

Kind girls of the world, my money is on you. It’s time for you to step up and speak up. Learn how to confront others. It’s time to work together to push back and create a more compassionate world, where there is acceptance for a broader range of types of girls, without as much complicity for girls treating each other badly.

When I have something to say, this blog is the place where I give myself permission to say it. Though I often write about writing and creativity, I also write about issues that are important to me. I help folks become more creative for personal enjoyment, professional development and transformational growth. I am a veteran journalist, author and coach with over a decade and a half of experience and a wealth of techniques to share. Whether you are a professional creative or hope to become one some day, I can help you embrace your personal strengths, explore your creative possibilities, and evolve incrementally into your most inspiring self. If you are ready to achieve creative consistency in your life and career, email me about monthly coaching calls. Looking for more fun in your life daily? Then join us for Collaging For Self-discovery, my online accountability group. To learn more about increasing your creative confidence, please check out my online school. Stay tuned for ways to save money by becoming a Beta User for my next new course by subscribing to The Prosperous Creative. And don’t forget to get these blog posts delivered to your inbox, so you never miss a post. If you appreciate my work—school, products, blog and social media posts—you are welcome to make a contribution of any size at any time. Thank you for your support!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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