A Pillar of Encouragement

 
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“ENCOURAGE” en·cour·age /inˈkərij/ 

• To inspire with courage, spirit, or hope: HEARTEN. 
• Give support, confidence, or hope to (someone) so that they will continue to do something. 
• Help or stimulate (an activity, state, or view) to develop.

To encourage is to give courage to someone else. I think this is what we need to be doing every day. Giving courage to each other to face challenges and climb mountains. 

In Bloom, encouragement is a pillar. I think one of the reasons we’ve been able to create such a safe, fun space for girls is because of our first session. We write our names down and then think of positive adjectives to describe each other corresponding to each letter of the name. It’s the best way for me to get to know their names and also just take a moment to call out what’s good about each girl. This sets the tone for more encouragement to follow and it’s so wonderful to see them smile as they hear the words and then write them down. Afterwards, I have each girl say my name is…and I am…And then introduce another girl. Her name is and she is… 

I love that encouragement is practiced so much in Bloom because I know that in our world, encouragement -- although free to give and receive seems like it’s in short supply. Bloom is a place girls can know that they can go to and receive encouragement and grow.

 
Andi Long