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Join BFFs Asha and Jestine as they try to figure out this wild thing called life. A companion series to the new guidebook from Rebel Girls, Growing Up Powerful celebrates the messiness and milestones of growing up.
This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls. This episode was produced and directed by Deborah Goldstein, with Joy Smith and Haley Dapkus. It was written and edited by Abby Sher. Sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. Narration by Margaret Ying Drake as Asha, and Imani Parks as Jestine. Fact checking by Joe Rhatigan, and sensitivity read by Schuyler Swenson. Our executive producers are Jes Wolfe and Joy Smith.
ASHA: Welcome to Growing up Powerful with Rebel Girls!
JESTINE: I’m Jestine.
ASHA: And I’m Asha. And we’re two best friends trying to figure out this thing called life.
JESTINE: Asha, yesterday you were talking to me about just having too much stuff swimming around in your brain, like science homework, track tryouts, I wanna go to this party but also, do I actually wanna go to a party?
ASHA: Wait. Why are you reminding me of all the things that make me anxious?
JESTINE: Sorry, I didn’t mean to! I just thought we could try a mindfulness break today – a kind of calming technique to check in with our emotions and clear some space in our minds. Do you want to try it?
JESTINE: It’s called Monster Tea.
ASHA: Yeah, I don’t believe in monsters really.
JESTINE: I know, the word monsters can sound kinda silly.
But this is more about the monsters we create with our emotions.
JESTINE: Here’s how it works. I’m going to lead us through a visualization. You don’t need anything special to do it. You can be sitting, walking, laying down, whatever. Eyes open or closed. Your choice. For the next five minutes, we’re going to invite our emotional monsters to sit with us, listen to what they have to say, and then let them go.
JESTINE: Don’t worry, I’m not gonna leave you alone, I swear. I’m gonna do it with you. You ready?
ASHA: Okay. Let’s do it.
JESTINE: So to start, is there anything that’s been bugging you lately?
JESTINE: For me, I feel like I study a lot, but I see all these people in my grade speeding through tests and getting better grades. And…yeah, it’s kinda embarrassing but jealousy is a big one for me. It takes up way too much space in my brain.
ASHA: Ugh. Yeah, I hear you. I definitely get jealous too. But I think the biggest emotional thing I deal with is anxiety.
ASHA: Yeah, I’m like way too concerned about germs and worrying about does this person like me? Does that person think I’m weird? I just feel like I’m always worried about something.
JESTINE: Great. I mean, that sucks, but for this exercise, that’s a great example. So now, try to picture what your anxiety would like if it were a monster.
JESTINE: I know. It’s weird. But keep going with me. Like, would it be big and blobby? Or would it be sharp and have fire coming out of its nose? Maybe it has big, hairy ears or wears a fanny pack.
ASHA: Wait, I like fanny packs.
JESTINE: Fair enough. You design your own monster. Make it as specific as possible so you can really see it, talk to it, and then, eventually, send it on its way.
ASHA: Okay…I guess my anxiety monster is kinda like a big knot of gray scribbles. Because that’s what it feels like in my head sometimes. Like there’s just so many thoughts and worries rushing around.
ASHA: And maybe I could give it stick arms that sort of point and jab at things.
JESTINE: Awesome. Whatever works for you. Just really try to envision it as this separate entity. Right?
ASHA: Yeah… It also has fangs!
JESTINE: Yes! Great. And now that you can see it, just say Hello, Monster. I see you.
JESTINE: That’s the part where you say it too.
ASHA: Oh! Hello, Monster. I see you.
JESTINE: Now, invite your scribbly fang monster to come inside and have some tea with you.
ASHA: *gulp* Wait what?
JESTINE: Just hear me out. If we want to separate ourselves from our monsters and really let them go, first we have to invite them in and see what they want.
ASHA: (unsure) Oh. Kay.
JESTINE: Picture your monster walking into a small, quiet room. There’s already a little table set up and some chairs or cushions.
ASHA: Cushions. I’d rather sit on the floor.
JESTINE: Me too. So it’s all on the floor, like a little picnic. There’s a teapot filled with your favorite tea. Or juice, or water…nothing fancy. Whatever would be soothing to you. Maybe some snacks.
ASHA: I’m going for hot chocolate. And popcorn.
JESTINE: I love it! Now, lead your monster in… Pour yourself some hot chocolate..and some for your monster…and just…sit there. See what it has to say.
ASHA: Okay…I’m not sure that it’s saying anything. It’s mostly slurping and chomping.
JESTINE: Fair enough. What do you think it needs?
ASHA: I don’t know. I guess it needs to jump up and down and make some noise? It needs…to scribble all over the walls.
JESTINE: Great. Let it! Let it jump and scream and be as loud as it needs to be. You can jump and scream too, or you can eat your popcorn and just let it do its thing.
ASHA: I think I just wanna watch it do its thing.
JESTINE: Yeah. and hopefully soon, it’ll run out of steam
ASHA: It does seem to be slowing down…
JESTINE: Now, take a couple of deep breaths right here. (breath)
JESTINE: And picture the monster slowly taking a last sip of hot chocolate. Then putting the cup down and standing up to go. You can show it to the door…thank the monster for coming by…
ASHA: Thank you…
JESTINE: And then shut the door behind it.
SFX: door closes gently
JESTINE: That’s it. Buh-bye Monster.
ASHA: And stay out!
JESTINE: Haha. Yeah. I love saying goodbye too. We all will have monsters that come in and out from time to time, but the trick is to separate ourselves from them so they don’t take over our lives.
ASHA: Aaah yes. (breath) Bye Monster.
JESTINE: Now if you want, take another deep breath in (demonstrate) and release. Aaaah. How was that for you? Were you able to really see your monster as separate from yourself?
ASHA: Yeah, that was tricky at first…
JESTINE: For sure. But once you can imagine these emotions as monsters and invite them in instead of trying to bat them away or ignore them, there’s so much more space and calm.
ASHA: Yeah, I can see that.
JESTINE: Rebels, feel free to try this on your own. It’s really freeing to separate from your emotions when they start crowding in, and just breathe.
ASHA takes a loud breath.
JESTINE: And just so you know, it may take a few tries to really get this practice. But it does get easier with time, I swear.
ASHA: I’m trusting you on that one.
JESTINE: So, keep your monsters in check, keep popping your popcorn, and whenever you need us, we’ll be right here.
SFX: CLOSING MUSIC
This podcast is a production of Rebel Girls.
This episode was narrated by ME! Margaret Ying Drake as Asha, and Imani Parks as Jestine. It was produced and directed by Deborah Goldstein, with Joy Smith and Haley Dapkus. Sound design and mixing by Mumble Media. It was written and edited by Abby Sher. Fact checking by Joe Rhatigan, and Sensitivity Read by Schuyler Swenson. Our executive producers are Jes Wolfe and Joy Smith.
Original theme music was composed and performed by Elettra Bargiacchi.
A special thanks to the whole Rebel Girls team, who make this podcast possible!
Until next time, staaaay rebel!
If you like what you heard here and want to learn more, check out the newest book from Rebel Girls! Growing Up Powerful: A Guide to keeping confident when your body is changing, your mind is racing, and the world is…complicated. With stories from rebels all over the world and guidance from some brilliant experts, this book is our newest bff. Order your copy of Growing up Powerful today on Amazon or anywhere you purchase books!