What are teens doing? What do they want? What do they need? And how can we support them?
We offer groups, 1:1 sessions, workshops & retreats to help girls and their families navigate growing up and raising teens in these complex times.
As youth make choices that will affect the rest of their lives, what support are we offering them?
How do we meet this evolving global moment and movement - with love and courage?
Our “Real Talk” curriculum creates a safe space to share honest conversations,
make meaningful connections, learn essential life skills, and have fun!
What is REAL TALK?
We offer practical wisdom to help girls cultivate meaningful relationships, practice authentic self expression, and make choices that truly serve them. Our Real Talk curriculum includes valuable information to help girls navigate the complexity of being a teen in these times, as well as decision making tools and space to practice and learn. Time with us is spent connecting with skilled mentors, other girls, and nature, through guided conversations in circle, small group and paired activities, and solo time. We hope you'll join us!
This is a page for teens & parents. CLICK HERE to read more about our more formal philosophy in adult speak.
Real Talk is...
- a fun way to make meaningful connections, learn, and get inspired
- led in an age and developmentally appropriate way
- supports girls to create a safe space together, ask real questions, share experiences, and practice listening deeply
- facilitated by skilled non-parent mentor to maintain a welcoming atmosphere
- inclusive of girls and female-assigned youth who are exploring their sexual and gender identity
- using curriculum around "the set up" and "fallbacks" from Marin-based youth advocate Charis Denison
- flow in a natural way from opening > activities > break > activities > closing
We want participants to walk away with :
- practical tools to negotiate present and future relationships, including family, friendships and budding romance
- an embodied sense of confidence and self-esteem
- resources to be able to respond from an empowered place to messages about our bodies and who we "should" be
- exploration of LGBTQ matters and getting curious about gender
- understanding more of the nuts and bolts of our bodies and it's cycles
- a sense of connection to a group of awesome girls and greater trust in the power of friendship
- an understanding of the "set up", "fallbacks", and ways to make choices that end in honor and joy
- practice finding our authentic voices, consent, and asking for what we want
"This weekend really opened my eyes up to how special we should feel to be a woman. In today's society it's easy to forget what it really means to be a woman. I appreciate everything that I have learned. Not just the technical things about sex, but the deep meaning and beauty behind it...Thank you to the leaders for letting me in on your wisdom without making me feel awkward or lectured. Keep doing what you're doing! - Real Talk Retreat Teen
REAL TALK is for girls interested in engaging in a REAL way about...
Relationships are our life - especially as a teenager! How do we make choices and cultivate relationships that nurture joy and honor rather than shame and regret? We explore our sense of identity and belonging in relation to friendships, family & intimacy.
How do I know what I want and don't want? How speak about my desires and my boundaries? We explore common scenarios and build communication skills to empower girls in their relationships.
BODIES & BODY IMAGE
Even though we all have bodies, we rarely have a chance to have honest dialogues about the experience of our bodies and their changes, as well as the impact of media on our body image and sense of worth. What does it mean to live seeing your body from the outside v. feeling it from the inside?
SEX & SEXUALITY
Beyond the birds and bees! When we talk about 'sex', we are also talking about sexuality, desires, bodies, safer sex, choice, exploration, boundaries, safety, risks, sexual orientation, and gender. We offer an inclusive and taboo-free environment for teens to receive sexuality education that includes both practical and emotional tools as they make choices related to sex. Our approach is that if they are old enough to ask then we owe them the respect of an honest and age-appropriate answer.
GENDER & SEXUAL ORIENTATION
We create an inclusive space for youth to openly explore and discuss gender, sexual orientation, and whatever is on their minds and hearts about LGBTQ matters.
When we talk about 'drugs', we're not just talking about the adventures and perils of substance use. We are also talking about the longing to explore, expand, and belong. Do teens have accurate information and a strong enough sense of themselves and what they are really after to make choices that truly serve them and who they want to be?
MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY
The youth of today are facing an entirely new Coming of Age experience that requires new conversations about what it means to be part of social groups, community and a quickly changing world. Topics often include the impact of social media in addition to media as we've known it to be, managing healthy relationships to technology.
STRESS & ANXIETY
Navigating adolescence is full of new challenges, hurdles, and milestones. Teen are often stretching themselves in new ways on many levels at once, including personal, academic, social and physical levels. It’s no surprise that stress and anxiety are so common in their lives. How do we manage our stress? What self care practices can we implement to help navigate hardships and stress? What are some somatic, embodied practices to help ground us in our bodies?
HEALTHY (and not so healthy) RISK TAKING
They are inevitable. Risks are an essential part of growing up. What are "good risks" and how to prepare for lots of scenarios. Our job is not to scare you, it is to prepare you!
CHOICE, POWER & RESPECT
Where is my YES and where is my NO? How do we understand how WE fit in? How do we understand our rights, limits and desires when it comes to sexuality? How are those rights, limits and desires being received and respected? How does one layer of our relationship to choice, power, and respect relate to other parts of our life?
We consider it our job and our honor to mentor teens into young adulthood, our task to pass along the wisdom we have learned to the next generation. Similarly we try to hold a space that supports the emerging leader in all girls, which looks different for each of them. We do our best to model this as facilitators and create opportunities for leadership as we go.
ANTI-RACISM, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
As educators, it is our responsibility and opportunity to engage youth in this dialogue, and how we can use our power to create a more just world. Whether we like it or not, whether we understand our complicity or not, our history lives in us. We must commit again and again to not just disapprove of, but actively dismantle systems of power and privilege that oppress and destroy lives - especially black lives - and dominate our living earth. How do we meet this moment with love and courage? We each have a part to play and a responsibility to the whole. It takes each of us calling ourselves in, and it takes community.
CONFIDENCE, INTEGRITY & SELF ESTEEM
What does it mean to be ME in all situations? What are my values and how do I live them? Who am I, really? We teach our girls to know their own hearts, find their voices, and use it for good - to not shy away from uncomfortable conversations.
Questions We Often Explore...
- How do I cultivate friendships and intimate relationships that are meaningful and supportive?
- How do we have experiences that bring joy without regret?
- How are we influenced by cultural forces of sex, gender, and media?
- What's the connection between how I treat myself and how others treat me?
- What does it really feel like to state my needs? How do I know what I want?
- Who am I behind all the masks, really?
- How do we cultivate intuition and learn to follow our instincts?
In girls' own words...
"You're never going to find a space or an energy like the space Emily and Quetzal create. Do it, I promise you'll love it."
"If you're not sure about joining a group or coming to a retreat, just go for it. You'll find people who can retreat to you and connect with you, and it will be worth it!"
"Do it! Trying doesn't hurt but if you don't, you're missing out! Changed my life!"
"Thank you so much for this weekend. I met so many different girls with the same problems as me. It's just good to know I'm not the only one dealing with these problems."
"I feel more secure in knowing what I want in a relationship, and the kind of guy who I want that relationship to be with. Asking for what I want is still difficult, but I think that's something that takes time to learn. Thank you so much for creating this space for me, my friends, and other girls - I hope as many girls as possible get to have this experience!"
"I liked this retreat because I could feel comfortable with opening up and others could easily say anything they wanted to."
"I learned a lot about our culture and it was amazing to be able to talk openly and not feel judged. I met new girls (who are all amazing) and because of what you've created I got to hear and learn about other young girls' perspectives and experiences of all sorts. I've taken away a lot of important things to remember that will help me in the future, and through the rest of my life."
"Please do this! You will not regret it! It leaves you with so much life experience."
"To anyone who wants to do this... DO IT!!! It's amazing and you'll love it!"