Imagine a generation of young women who feel at home in their bodies and confident in who they are as women.
How would the world and our society change if teen and preteen girls were empowered to see their bodies as magical? If they instinctively built up other women? If they trusted their intuition and ability to make an impact on their world?
In today’s episode, I’m chatting with Eliza Reynolds, founder of Badass Girls and a pioneer in bringing embodiment practices to teens.
8Eliza has been facilitating conversations with this age group since she herself was a teen. Her body of work, Badass Girls, is a devoted online space for teens and preteens. This collection of resources promotes a positive peer community, body literacy, self-trust, and more.
In this episode, we talk about the unique challenges of growing up in today’s world and why Eliza believes adolescence is the most sacred time of our lives. She and a highly trained group of mentors have created the Badass Academy as an intergenerational community that is so vital yet often missing in the lives of girls today. You can also listen in on her Be Real podcast and follow her on Instagram.
Join me in today’s episode as we discuss how we can better support girls on their way to adulthood and help them find their place in the greater community.
And if you have a teen or preteen girl in your life, be sure to check out everything Badass Girls has to offer in the links below.
Listen to episode 358 now!
In episode 358 of the Embodied Podcast we discuss:
- [7:45] The ages the Badass Girls Academy is designed for and why
- [13:56] What inspired Eliza to establish Badass Girls and the mentorship academy
- [16:30] The unique difficulties of being a teen today and how the Badass Academy helps
- [25:48] Why Eliza views the preteen and teen years as sacred and vital to our growth
- [29:27] How many parents struggle with hyper-independence that keeps them from building community
- [35:15] What can happen when teens don’t experience adolescence as a sacred experience
- [42:45] What the Badass Academy is all about, and what teens and preteens can expect
- [55:55] The difference between secrecy and privacy, and the harm that secrecy causes to the self
Resources mentioned by Eliza and Elizabeth in the episode:
- Enroll in the Badass Academy – enrollment closes soon!
- Check out Eliza’s Be Real Podcast
- Follow Eliza on Instagram
- Checkout the Badass Girls space on Instagram for girls and their parents
- Learn more about The Embodied Living Center
- Email us with questions or feedback.
- Don’t miss an episode of The Embodied Podcast.
Quotes from this Week’s Episode of the Embodied Podcast:
“When we don’t have the teen years as a sacred experience, there’s a part of us that walks around as a little girl until we get it. And that can show up in every area of our lives.” – Eliza Reynolds
“If we are side-by-side with our young people, they can take this life force that’s rising in them and direct it in the right places, like out into the world rather than inside to self-destruct.” Eliza Reynolds
How was this episode for you?
Was this episode helpful for you today? I’d love to know what quote or lesson touched your soul. Let me know in the comments below OR share the episode on Instagram, tag me your stories @elizabethdialto, or send me a DM!
About the Embodied Podcast with Elizabeth DiAlto
Since 2013 I’ve been developing a body of work that helps women embody self-love, healing, and wholeness. We do this by focusing on the four levels of consciousness – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
In practical terms, this looks like exploring tools and practices to help you tune into the deep wisdom of the body and the knowing of the heart, which I believe are gateways to our souls. Then we cultivate a new relationship with our minds that allows the mind to serve this wisdom and knowledge and soul connection, rather than override it, which is what many of us were taught.
If you’ve been doing self-help or spiritual development work for a while, these are the types of foundational things that often people overlook in pursuit of fancier concepts that often aren’t practical or sustainable. Here, we will focus on building these strong foundations so you can honestly and thoroughly embody self-love. If you’re feeling it, subscribe to the show, and leave us a review wherever you listen from. You can also keep up with show updates and community discussion on Instagram here.
Transcripts for Episode 358:
– [Elizabeth] Hello everybody. And welcome to episode number 358 of “The Embodied Podcast.” Today, we have Eliza Reynolds with us, and Eliza is the creator of Badass Girls. I am literally obsessed with what Eliza does, because she is essentially bringing embodiment tools and cycle tracking and self-acceptance and community to teens and preteens. So if you are the parent of a teen or a preteen or a girl who will be a preteen soon, you definitely want to listen to this. Also, if you just have any budding, bursting curiosity about what it is like to be a teen in this world right now, which is something I really did, because I actually think about this all of the time. I think about how hard those years were for so many of us in pre-social media times. And I’m constantly curious about what it’s like for this day and age with social media on top of everything else that already makes those years so challenging. So this is an incredible episode, it’s super fun. Eliza’s work is amazing, I cannot wait to get into this. I cannot wait to hear from you, hear what you hear about it, what moves you? What touches you? All the usual things that we’re excited about with these episode, so here we go. Oh my God Eliza, you’re here, I’m so excited to have you.
– [Eliza] I’m here, I’m so honored and delighted to be here. I have loved your podcast for fricking years. So in my little world, this is like stars in the eyes. I remember my favorite episodes I’ve ever listened to that changed my life, so…
– [Elizabeth] Oh my goodness, I love that. I need to ask you first, before we go anywhere, and we’re going to go to a lot of places today. I’ve been asking people how’s your body? But I decided this morning, for this fall season, which we’re, you know, it’s not even fall yet, but your interview will air in September. How’s your heart?
– Wow, thank you for asking, as the first thing that comes up. And the answer this morning, this moment, is tender, golden, hopeful, and a little fucking spiky.
– Boom, boom, boom. When you say golden, what does that mean to you?
– You know, golden feels like warm, melting butter, but it also feels to me like it’s a color and an imagery that has shown up for me so often in my ongoing lifelong relationship with the divine is like, it feels like an invitation to the eternal that lives in my body. So golden shows up a lot as like home color.
– Love it. So I don’t know if you know this, when I was on your podcast, but do you know when I first came across you, it was you and your mom were talking at an Emerging Women Event in 2013 in Boulder, I went to-
– You were there, okay.
– ‘Cause Elizabeth Gilbert and Brené Brown were going to be on the same stage, at the same time.
– I spoke right before Elizabeth Gilbert and almost shat in my pants, that was horror.
– I think you said something about that. I think you were like, how is this happening?
– I’m 19, why did they do this?
– [Elizabeth] I was like, good, get it girl, I was sitting in the audience like, yes, go with your 19 year old self, having to open for Elizabeth Gilbert, reminded me, my brother has been doing standup comedy for like 12 years now. And I remember one of the first bigger shows he got to do, he had to follow, man, I can’t even think of the guy’s name right now, I could think of his jokes, it was a big name, really big name, blonde guy that looks like Drew Carey, I just can’t think of the name at the moment, but my brother was like, and the guy walked into, so it wasn’t the plan, he was not supposed to have to follow this like world, renowned, multiple like HBO special comedian. But that’s what he had to do. Those are like your defining moments though. You never forget that shit.
– [Eliza] You really don’t and I had altitude sickness too. My memory is so warped by hugging a toilet in the hotel room and then stumbling onstage and surrendering. But it really is one of the weirdest speaking gigs I’ve ever done. So many sweet connections came from that, so I’m grateful to hear you were there too.
– What was amazing about that for me is at that time, I think you and your mom were doing work that I think it was literally called like mothering and daughtering.
– Yeah our book, I think had come out the year before, or something like that, which is part of why we were, yeah, “Mothering and Daughter,” which I wrote when I was 19.
– And at that point I had literally just stepped into, I’d probably have been like a year into exploring the mother wounds, though I don’t think I had the languaging for mother wounds yet. And I was like, wow. It just blew my mind to see a mother and daughter working together, consciously. I was like, oh, that’s a-
– We were at it for 13 years.
– 13 years. I mean, and we are still adore each other, we just now mostly do other work, but we were on a podcast together last month. ‘Cause we were like, ah, yeah, sure, let’s hang out and chat about mother-daughter stuff.
– Get the band back together, why not?
– Basically it felt like a little reunion.
– I love that, what was it like? So you took this amazing work with, what’s the age range, is it teenage or tween age or both?
– [Eliza] We call it preteens and teens. So our age ranges, 10 to 17. So 10 to 13 is what we kind of call preteen, and then we do 13 to 17. We split them up into younger teen and older teen, But we love the intergenerational weaving of preteens and teens. I know it can sound hardly intergenerational to us, but when you’re in those developmental years, it feels like fucking forever, to be a 13 year old talking to a 15 year old sometimes. So yeah, that’s our age range. And especially because depending on how someone is schooled or where you go to school, that could be the difference between still being in middle school or being in high school. Like it actually is, that gap-
– Oh yeah, so much.
– Is tremendous. Yeah, so we offer a lot of like, so 13 year olds, we call it cusp ages. You can work with the preteens, you could be with the 15 year olds, you could be with the youngers or the olders, which is just the very beginnings of us trying to honor that like age is just a fricking number. I mean, I’m an example of this, I’ve been doing this since I was 15. So I just turned 30 this year and I’ve been doing this for 15 years.
– I’m like crossing over now this coming year. It’s like now more years than I’ve been alive, I’ve been facilitating preteens and teens.
– [Elizabeth] How was turning 30 for you? So turning 30, I loved turning 30 so much, literally, that’s the only birthday of my life that I remember, like the clock struck midnight and I felt like, like I stopped, I was like, wow, like I hadn’t acknowledged how hard my twenties were until I was like, they’re all over. Okay, I can admit they sucked so much. But I also, in a way, felt like I had become a woman. And actually it was that same, it was just a month before that Emerging Women Conference. I bought myself that on a credit card, by the way, I couldn’t afford.
– Yeah, hear ya.
– That was like my 30th birthday present to myself.
– You know, 30 was an ecstatic experience for me. And I have loved getting older every year that I’ve gotten older.
– Me too, I love it.
– [Eliza] I’m so into aging, I’m so stoked. I know there’s layers of it I have yet to explore in a physical body and I hold out that that will be a different experience of probably like can’t imagine ageism, et cetera. However, at this stage, I love every year that I get older, I think I was always trying to be older when I was younger. I had older friends, for better or for worse, but also I think I was so aware of the rampant ageism with young people, you know, we have the ageism of we’re obsessed with physical beauty and youth, but then I was like, please, somebody listen to me, I have so many thoughts and feelings. And I grew up without siblings, so I was always with adults. And every year that I got older, I got so excited, honestly, to be taken a little bit more seriously, nine planets in Capricorn over here-
– Oh my God, I don’t even like-
– I’m like take me seriously.
– I’m so sorry, nine. I also have a lot of Sage and Leo and a little Scorpio-
– Thank God you got some fire in there.
– [Eliza] I needed to. Yeah, but you know, I used to hate that I was Capricorn because you know, I felt like every astrologer ever was like, oh, like Capricorn felt like the cosmic accountant, like the patriarchal accountant. And I was like, fuck this, I am a like sassy, interesting 17 year old, why is my horoscope every time, telling me like what I should do with my budget? Yeah.
– You were such an interesting 17 year old-
– Come on, I’m not, that’s so not me. Like teaching sex ed in my high school, you know, I’ve just always been the one saying the outrageous thing to see what other people did and keeping a straight face. I’m like the condoms on bananas girl for like five years since I was at school. I’ve come to fall in love with Capricorn, it’s kind of been out of necessity with nine planets and the gosh darn sign, because I think as, we can be in evolving relationship with the really archetypes of astrology and to me, to be a relationship to Capricorn is right relationship to earth and right relationship to others and community. And the toxic side is like basically patriarchy and capitalism and all of our systems of oppression. And if we’re in an ongoing relationship with, how do we do that well? How do you do that in right relationship? Other archetypes emerge like a really wise grandmother who knows what’s up, and is like going to look seven generations forward and seven generations back. And like, you know, I’m always curious, like what does Capricorn look like when Capricorn’s actually in the body and allowed to have pleasure? And you know? So I’m here for those questions, I’m like in the emerging questions of what Capricorn can be, which a little bit feels like… My life, I build communities, I look at how do we steward and be with our young people, because I think we can do so much better than many of the previous generations.
– Pleasure from being a Capricorn.
– Yeah, yeah.
– [Elizabeth] So, women always ask me is there a Wild Soul Movement for teens or can my daughter do this or… And we actually have one of our certified Wild Soul Movement teachers is interested in working with, ’cause she had young girls. But I love like, you’re one of the only people I know who’s this kind of work with young people. And actually my friend, a friend of mine reminded me last year because her daughter was signing up for your program. And you know what’s so funny, I always forget that your last name is Reynolds, because on Instagram, you’re Eliza Feelings.
– Eliza.Feelings, yeah.
– [Elizabeth] And so in my mind you’re Eliza Feelings, like that’s it, that’s primarily where we’ve interacted for so many year, is like on Instagram. So she was like asking me about yeah, Eliza Reynolds, I was like, who are you talking about? I’m like, oh, Eliza Feelings.
– A lot of em, yep.
– So tell how did this evolve out of what you had been doing with your mom?
– [Eliza] Yeah, good question. So for really 13 years, from the age I was 15, to my early twenties, well beyond, actually late twenties. I was working with preteens and teens, just in the container of the parent relationship. And often folks who are mothers, right? Mostly mothers and people who identified as daughters or, you know, on adventure. I was the one who was there who they were coming out to and being like, I’m not a daughter, but my mother has me in this space. So I’ve kind of been in the gender feeling space for forever on my own personal journey, but also in spaces with young people. And, you know, unsurprisingly probably to folks listening in who have preteens and teens or know them, I would circle up in these intensive weekend workshops or online programs and the parents want to go away and talk obsessively about their kids. They’re just like, what do I do? And I have so many feelings and my mother, and let’s just talk about all these parenting tips and I’d get together with these preteens and these teens and step one, they’d be like, why the heck am I here? This is so dorky. And then they would meet me and they’d be like, oh, shit, this is great, like this is legit. And then be like, mostly like, I don’t really want to talk about my parents, I wanna talk about my life. And so really I spent 13 years doing one sliver of the work, we would end up totally in daughtering, and I love that work. And I’m so here for the agency that we can cultivate in the daughter role of the daughter right relationship to lineage and communication and trust and so many things I’m so passionate about. But, I spent seven eighths of my time in conversations about periods and body image and friendship drama, and dating, because that’s what was real, and I just always left those workshops hungry for more. And in the most beautiful way, our current work formed because these girls kept coming to me and saying, please mentor me, please more. And eventually, I was in a place where I was like, okay, yeah. I graduated college, had a little death rebirth life experience, so to speak. And then I was like, okay, yup, I’ve got some energy to create something new. And Badass Girls, the Badass Academy, and our mentorship circles were born out of really them bravely asking me again and again, and me yeah, answering the call.
– Right, and so I, you know me, I don’t have any kids, and I have a little niece who’s three. And I have some friends who have teenage kids, a lot of clients who have teenage kids, but I have no idea. And I constantly wonder what it would be like to be a teenager in this world right now, so tell us.
– I have so much compassion for these kids, it’s so intense, you know? Yeah, I mean, so I think layer on, so we probably all of us listening in can imagine our teenage experience to a certain extent, there’s visceral moments, I think it stays with us of this sensation of being a teenager, right? The not knowing, the insecurity, the emergence, the constant change of body, of psyche, of self, or relationship, who am I supposed to be in the world, trying to figure it out. And then it’s stereotypical, but true. You layer in technology with this generation, right? So if you went to school and you dealt with all the social stuff, but for many of us, like you left school, and then you did whatever you did, whether it was you went home or you went somewhere else. And often there was a little space, you got to break before you went back into the fray the next Monday morning, they don’t have that. It intensifies when they leave school, because you’re really expected, unless you’re in kind of a subculture, which we definitely create in our community, to be online 24/7. And to be in constant connectivity. So if you think about the social development of these brains, brilliant preteen and teenage brains, I’m just obsessed with preteens and teens, I think they’re so cool, I don’t think we talk about how amazing this developmental phase is enough, it gets such a negative stereotype, but the prefrontal cortex, this part of the brain that really creates adulthood in many ways, we could say, doesn’t fully develop until 25 or 26. And so our teens are in this development of being able to have a bird’s eye view, being able to understand consequence, right? And there’s a lot of peer orientation which can go in healthy or unhealthy ways. We see with this generation more than ever, something that we would call peer orientation, in actually a pretty toxic way. And this comes from Gabor Mate’s work, and Gordon Neufeld’s work into we’re seeing teenagers change their primary orientation or primary attachment, from adults to their peers, and this didn’t always happen, this began to happen in the ’50s with more nuclear homes and the changing of how lots of peoples lived, it varies from home to home, but here’s what happens. You change your primary attachment, meaning this is my place of security, stability, and then when life happens, other teens aren’t that stable, so we see things like we are seeing, loneliness on the rise, suicidality on the rise, eating disorders on the rise. And those are depressing things to cite, but it’s true, even pre-pandemic, right. We’ve had a really problematic year and a half as somebody who works with preteens and teens, it’s been really hard, and there’s just so much isolation. And if you think about it, what I’m seeing from an attachment perspective is they don’t have a culture that’s normalizing healthy adult dependence and connection, they’re depending and bonding more with just peers who can’t be a stable place, ’cause they’re still figuring it out because they’re not a harbor in a storm. And so it began in my work with mothering and daughtering, like, okay, by any means possible, can I create a mini culture in our workshops where young people can feel they can trust their adults, can feel like they can come to them, layers of complexity, but can I open any bridge, ’cause I know that a kid is more likely to thrive if they feel like they can be open and like their parent is in their corner. And now what I do is all around intergenerational mentorship, because I think that we don’t need just a parent and then a kid trying to get through it alone, this kind of scary and often hard preteen and teenage years, but we’re meant to have village, we’re meant to have intergenerational connection of aunties and cousins. And some of us may have that, many of us don’t. And that’s what we build, is we have incredibly well-trained mentors, big siblings, big sisters, who are easy for these young people to go to and then create more and more stability. So that’s my long way of saying it’s a lot to be a teen.
– I love this, when you were saying imagine your experience in high school, and then just do some of the things that you explained. One of the things that came to mind for me is integrity because, and this is funny, this is something my mom and I talk about sometimes now, which is I lied a lot when I was a teenager, to be able to do whatever I wanted to do. I lied about where I was going or who I was gonna be with, because I was determined to do whatever I wanted to do and I didn’t care who was telling me, I couldn’t do it, especially once I got a driver’s license and had a car. Which was like, I don’t need to tell you where I’m going. Now lying is not on my menu of options for things, unless I need to like get myself out of harm’s way, It’s interesting because finding out how much I lied when I was a teenager, my brother too, was like really hard for my mom, because she was like, I told you, you could tell me anything. And it’s so funny, ’cause it’s like, cool, but the reality was, we couldn’t really tell you that much because you’d lose your mind, you know? It’s so interesting, because I’m just seeing that gap between a parent being like, but I said, or whatever, of the teen or preteen or whatever, is like, there’s no way I can tell my mom that, the perception of trouble or what might be taken away, and things like this. The other thing though, that I think about so much, that certainly, and my brother and I even talk about this, couldn’t appreciate at the time, was how my parents were more strict than other people’s parents. I think about things that other people were allowed to do that we weren’t allowed to do. But then now in my years in my work, I see how many people’s issues as adults are because they felt unloved by their parents. And I now realize I’m like, our parents loved the shit out the of us. Like I understand like when you’re a teenager and you’re looking at it, you’re like, God, I’m not allowed to do anything, my parents, da, da, da, da, I’m missing out. But then you’re like, damn, these people really care. I never questioned that. Like a lot of confidence and self-esteem issues that other people have, I never had, because I never felt unloved a moment in my life, I never felt unloved. Like these people would like die for me, and And so I’m curious, like that aspect in this like digital, weird, technology age, in pandemic, like that relationship between parents’ strictness or not, are kids doing things, or being monitored because now parents have to monitor kids’ digital behavior.
– I know it’s such a mess, ’cause they’re not very good at it, I’m going to say with love, most parents aren’t very good. I mean the kids are better at tech than you, so like.
– Part of it, right?
– Yeah, so it’s an upending then of like intergenerational community in a really weird way, because usually an older person has the life experience of like, I will show you how to like milk the cow, darling. I know how to do things. And then you get tech in there and they’re like, urgh. And like, they’re going through their own second adolescence, there’s all this research about when you go online, you know, you have a second self, right? You have this self that you have to like get dressed in the morning and like take care of and like make sure they’re looking good and presenting well, ’cause it’s a version of self, but it’s not self. And so many adults who are going online, they’re like going through a second adolescence with their kid and figuring out how to present online. So it’s a whole layered thing. And you know what I say to parents, A, is that I’m really here for boundaries, I’m really here for pretty intense tech boundaries, and sorry, not sorry if your kid throws a fit. If a two year old has a tantrum, we go, yes, two year old, developmentally appropriate. In the teenage years, they also have developmentally appropriate tantrums. No teens will like me saying this if they listen to this podcast. You’re all very mature and very cool. But you know, there’s a mirroring in the rapid development of what’s happening in the brain and the differences that preteens and teens have way different relational tools and can seem really adult. So it seems confusing, and what I have to remind parents again and again, very lovingly is, you are the adult in the relationship, they are not an adult yet, They might seem it, they are on their way. I know your kid is a brilliant, maturing, wise, genius, I’m aware, and you are still the adult. Which is tricky when they can say things that sound adult, but you need to remember, they’re still figuring it out. And it might feel like rejection when they’re like, I hate you, why did you take my phone? I like to reply with resistance and resistance is healthy, and this circles back to you asking me about like, what’s up with teens and what’s it like to be a teenager now is I really hold the teenagers as sacred, you know? And I know I can drop into that with you on this podcast. Not everywhere am I like, the teenage years are the most sacred phase, but I am obsessed with that layer of it because I see that the initiations of the teenage years are pretty much the exact things that our culture is the most uncomfortable with. So we’re like, oh, sensuality, pleasure, and sex. Hi, our adult dominant culture is like, ah, I don’t know what to do with that. So teenage girls, let’s project so much shit onto them, avoid it, not talk about it, et cetera.
– , Tank top straps.
– My God distracting, right? We’re in endless discussions of distracting in my community. Blessed would be the parents who are out there fighting the school boards, go do it. Don’t monitor your kids’ clothes exclusively. Go do something about that, I get asked that a lot. What do I do about my kid and the clothes she wants to wear? We can go into that later if we want. So like whether it be sex, then we have like, for me, I think the relationship between purpose, meaning, what’s my place in the world, which to me is connected to spirit, which to me is connected to spirits and substances and addiction. We see so much of that as a supposed initiation. And then there’s like, there’s a waking up to, I think in many times there’s a waking up to the collective, to systemic injustice, to oppression. We see so many kids becoming like activists, which is like so beautiful. And then also we see them in utter despair at times, right, because all of us adults can visit those places, but even less tools to do that, to hold center as a young preteen and teen. But there’s still that deep feeling, right? They’re often learning, I think, to hold the full range of the feelings in a more conscious way. So we could call that inner dancing with change, dancing with shadow, dancing with all these feelings. Now here’s the thing, most of us adults were not held consciously through that phase, we reached some of those thresholds and people went like, nope, edit, backwards, delete like, no, no, no, it’s not happening. Or they had one very awkward conversation or we were shamed for our anger or our grief or our heartbreak that emerged righteously in relationship to starting to witness more of the world around us. And then we shut down. And so I see with it bubbling up in parents’ kids, that it invites them to be in relationship to that part of themselves that was maybe unmet and unseen. And so this to me, this cycles right back around to boundaries, because can you get down with your kids’ resistance, with their anger, with their sadness, with their beautiful emerging sensuality and sexuality, right? And it’s going to often require that you get down with yours so that you can hold that container when yeah, they’re going to freak out a little bit when you set boundaries, but please do it, the research is so freaking clear, it just means you kind of have to hang out in some uncomfortable spaces while you set loving boundaries. Because part of your job is making sure that your kid is safe, that is part of your job as a parent, and it can get tricky. And so call in allies and support, build loving community around your kids, you’re not the only one doing it, but that is your job. I’m so sorry, and congratulations, it’s your job.
– And you know, I find like when I just reflect on like the women in my family and some of my friends growing up, and I look at their parents and stuff like that, there’s this hyper-individualism or hyper-independence, where people think they should know what to do, even though they’re doing something they’ve never done before. And I think parenting, that’s entirely what parenting is for a lot of people.
– Seems like it to me.
– You should know what to do, you should be better at this, but how?
– Totally, and then the shame for like needing support, and it’s like, please, please, please, let go of that. I can speak for myself as like a village auntie over here, and mentor is like, I want to help, I want to be in there. I don’t know if I’m ever going to have kids, personally, biologically, and yet I’m in devotion to supporting this generation. And I always say to the parents, you’re team captain of like raising this kid, this bad-ass young person, but like tag me in, tag me in to help out, I don’t want you to do it alone. And if it feels overwhelming and exhausting to raise a preteen or teen, it’s not you it’s like our dominant toxic parenting culture and isolation and independence. One of the things my mom and I would always say, and teaching parents and kids and getting into the developmental psychology was healthy dependence creates healthy independence, right? We want healthy independence and we want healthy interdependence versus our obsession with always being so independent. It’s like, no,
– [Elizabeth] And again, like needing to know things that you shouldn’t know, like you have no way of knowing. Think about, as you’re saying this, I’m kind of just like reflecting back on my teenage years of like, did it feel like I had people I could talk to? And you know, one of the things that I loved so much, I always worked, as soon as I could legally start working, I was so excited to like work and have my own money. And in high school, one of the jobs I had that I loved is I was a hostess at a restaurant. And one of my favorite things about that was there were women there, just like in college or in their young twenties. And it was so amazing to have people who weren’t really my peers, but weren’t my parents or my aunt, like, you know, just access to different perspectives, different worldviews. I was raised Catholic and like my family that’s not Catholic is still Christian, and that’s just such an overarching worldview, belief system, ideology, that’s kind of thread through everything in our family, in our home, in our guidance, in our mentorship. And it was just so amazing to see other people and get other people’s perspectives or be with folks who had… And you would get some of that from your friends being in different people’s homes and other people’s parents and stuff like that. But still, those were parents.
– [Eliza] I mean, I think we find mentors. Like you look at any young person and they gravitate towards, and I’ll put mentor in air quotes, but people of a certain age who may or may not know how to do healthy mentorship, I certainly had some very unhealthy mentors as a teen. I was just so desperate, like, counselors, like anybody, you know, I’ll just… I so wanted that cool, older perspective, you know? And I even think teen like celebrity pressures to me is also a seeking for mentorship. They’re like, what do they wear? What do they like? We will find it wherever, that’s where I’m always like to parents, I’m like, they’re going to find it, so do your best to get some healthy ones in there. Help yourself out, by whatever means necessary. Get some good ones, ’cause they’re naturally, it’s healthy, they’re naturally seeking it
– I love that, this is so, I want to go back to, I made myself two notes while you were talking,
– I’m also down to talk about lying. I wrote down lying, like, ooh, you lied, let’s talk about that.
– Let’s talk about about sacredness, and then let’s talk about lying. I mean, you kind of touched on it, but I want to hear a little more about why, and I could feel it, I want you to say things why you find it’s time to be so sacred and before you do, though, one of the most heartbreaking things I see the effects of, again, so I love this because I’m listening to things you’re saying. And I’m like, yes, I see the effect of that in my work, because I’m mostly working with women who are like 28 and 60, it’s a big range. But even plus, one of my favorite clients is like 67 years old, you know? But, the effect of those years not being treated as sacred. ‘Cause you were talking about like initiations, most of us were not consciously initiated through those years, and you said that as well. I see it, it feels like this fertile amazing, ripe, time, that could be sacred, where it’s really, again, I can’t blame parents who don’t know what they don’t know because they didn’t get it either, but damn. So talk, just whatever you want to say about that.
– So I’m like full on starting to cry right now-
– Love crying, it’s good.
– No, it’s great, ’cause I feel that, I feel that that ache and that hunger and that longing that I think so many of us had, and I had a half-half experience. I had an experience, My mom was pretty gosh darn on it. There was a lot of sacredness. But because I didn’t have the healthy mentors and the healthy peer culture, I had one foot in toxicity and an eating disorder and dating the dudes I didn’t really want to date and being in the closet and you know, so I kind of had a half-half, so I did some recalibration of that. And I think when we don’t have it as a sacred experience, there’s a part of us that walks around as a little girl until we get it. And that can show up in every area of our lives. It’s the little girl who’s still in middle school waiting for somebody to pick on her again or building the toughest skin fucking possible so nobody ever does.
– That was me.
– My defense was, I will be so perfect, you could never, you could never have anything, I’ll just be perfect. `- Good luck finding anything.
– Yep exactly, good luck, ’cause I’ve already destroyed myself over here. Woohoo. It can show up, I mean, big one, sex relationships, if that wasn’t held as sacred and consensual, which is a real tender spot here for so many humans. So many of us had early sexual experiences that were to say, the least, not positive and there’s a real spectrum there. It might be unpacking later like, wow, I didn’t know my body’s physical cues, physiology, I didn’t know what arousal really felt like, I didn’t. It was at best, a mystery, you know, at worst, total misinformation and shame and blame. And that can carry forward in such a massive way where we can build layers and layers and years and years of relationship where we don’t have the tools to consciously come into our bodies or combat the rampant sexism that gets projected onto bodies. And so we have layers of like halfway consents and pushing past our no, and wanting to please somebody else. And so I just see layers that build up and I think we can go back, I mean, and I say that tenderly, knowing that I have many things in my life that, and moments from my teenage years, my younger years, my twenties, that they will always have happened, and yet I can learn to do more healing with my body, hold them differently, cultivate my own capacity to walk forward in my life in a new way. And people talk a lot about inner child work and I’m here for the inner teen work, I see that, if we can reconnect to that inner teen. I mean she or they, whatever pronouns feel resonant, I’ll use she right now, like she who has so much rampant desire and it’s not a .
– Like she who is turned on by life, she who wants to burn the fucking world down, she who is a creative fountain, like she who rages and grieves and wears her insides on her outsides, like think about some of the super powers that teens have, you know. And how much we shame and blame young girls because of how our society projects onto them, whether it be a homewrecker or jail bait or too opinionated or a mean girl, and that’s just energy twisted. And if we are side by side with our young people, they can take this life force that’s rising in them and direct it in the right places. Like out into the world rather than inside to self-destruct mode, which I see happening so often, right. The healthy energy that’s supposed to flow unblocked, gets turned inside and yeah, self-harm starts to happen in many various ways.
– So many various ways, ’cause I look at like, as you’re saying this, this is really fun for me. I’m looking at my teenage self, and let me tell you, how I am alive and how I never was harmed. Some of the shit I had the audacity and the naivete to do, that like invincibility part, right. And also there’s so much of the constriction again, of family values, don’t do this, don’t do that, this isn’t safe. And it’s like, for so many years of my life, it was like the best way to get me to do something would be to tell me not to do it. It’s like my response, whether I even wanted to do it or not, it’s like my response was watch me. Oh, you don’t think I should do that? Now, I’m interested.
– Yeah, welcome to how I, it’s funny, but how I enroll any program ever, is a parent’s like, you should do this, the teens like, like fuck no. And then I’m like, we just get them on one call with me, one info session, and then I start the call by being like, I don’t want you to do this. And then they all sign up. ‘Cause I’m just like, I don’t want you to do this, no, seriously, I don’t want you do it for your parents, like I don’t want you to sign up unless you’re a hell yes, and let’s talk about that. And so if we start with meeting the healthy resistance, then all the doorways are open, so I hear you and we can play with it.
– And also, you know, it’s interesting, so I kind of come from some of the things that you were describing, I’m kind of like the opposite. I think we’ve talked about this with a couple of people on the podcast over the years, but at a very young age, I think maybe I was like 10, I just started exploring, I don’t know how I knew to or what to do, but I started masturbating and I mean, I’ve talked to friends, like some people, very young, even younger than that, started just like rubbing their clit on stuff. And they were like, oh, that feels good.
– Very normal.
– I was one of those, and so I was, without any guidance, tuned into like arousal and what felt good, and I was curious, and it’s funny because I think about like the slut shaming also that happens among girls. If you’re a girl who isn’t all like afraid of boys. I mean, this is very heteronormative ’cause that was my experience, or afraid of whatever or social or sexual engagement or whatever, or moving from person to person as teenagers are likely to do, because you’re just like trying things out and figuring things out. And even that, like, just like how interesting, and on a level, how I just didn’t care.
– I love that.
– Someone was recently telling me my moon is Capricorn, to talk about Capricorn again, and that’s one of the things in me that has me wired to like not care so much what other people think. So I appreciate that. I’m like, oh, is that why? ‘Cause people are always like, how are you like this? I’m like, I don’t know. And I’m just gonna tell people because my moon is in Capricorn. And it sucks, like nobody wants to be ostracized, but at the same time, I was more like, but you should try it.
– More people should try it, it’s great over here.
– [Elizabeth] If you actually tried this out. Or let yourself explore or whatever. It’s so funny, I’m remembering in high school, we took a trip to Spain, there were like nine of us or something. And I remember one of my friends, she was the only one of us who had given a blowjob before. She was showing us on like a travel size bottle of lotion, how to do it.
– There’s that friend at every group, man, you know, let me demonstrate.
– A pioneer. So funny. My God, so tell me more, I’m so curious about the academy, at the time that we’re releasing this, I think you’re enrolling for the Academy, right? When can people join?
– [Eliza] Yeah, yeah, we enroll once a year in the fall. our Badass Academy is a program that mirrors the school year for many folks who enroll. And we just find it’s the time of just like highest intensity, highest need for support, and yet there’s this big gap where schools, 99.9% of schools, aren’t giving the full education to being a human that we think we humans need. And so one of our goals is to bridge that gap, right? And so we’re a nine month program that runs from October through June, and it’s steeped in positive peer community, intergenerational mentorship, we have so many mentors, mentors who’ve been through our programs, mentors who are all incredibly trained facilitators. Different identities, gender identities, et cetera. We are all magical unicorns up in there. And we cover everything from body image to toxic diet culture, we do periods, we do cycle self-care-
– Oh nice.
– My kids are obsessed with their cycles. It’s so great, I have like-
– I think I was 30 when I started looking at that. I think about stuff like that all the time.
– [Eliza] Our preteens come in and celebrate with the teens when they get their periods, like they come in and post about how excited they are, that they just got their period. And then so many of our, like we had a whole group, ’cause we just provide information. I bring an amazing guest faculty to teach about it in the areas that aren’t my area. And also just to share more and more rich voices and mentorship. And like we had a whole group of 17 year olds who like went on the pill or had a hormonal IUD when they were like 15, as soon as they kinda started their period or became more sexually active, their parent was like, I’m going to get you on hormones. And you know, they’ve learned a little bit more and they kind of actually want to get a cycle rather than a fake cycle, ’cause they’re now all obsessed with the magic of cycling. So the whole group of them went off together and then did the recalibration. And then started building cycle self-care kits. And then all sorts of getting their period on the new moon, and we’re like, we are witches. So, you know, there’s that happening.
– I love this much.
– Yeah, it’s really great. Because people, you know, there can be this story like, oh teens think periods are gross. Or my kid who cycles doesn’t want to talk about their period with me and like, yeah, they probably don’t want to talk about their period all the time with you. However, I mean, just think about it, it makes so much sense. If we were to present to preteens and teens in ways that are accessible, from voices that are accessible, like mentors and cool people in their twenties, that were like, no, listen, your body is straight up fucking magic. Like did you know, like you are fucking magical. And let me tell you the cool-ass science, let me show you the mystical shit, let me just tell you how also like best productivity hack ever, you are not crazy. Let’s take down the patriarchy together. And I mean, without fail, they sit up and go, oh yeah, I’m fucking magical because there’s that knowing deep down, if we can access that place right there of like, yeah, this lines up with everything on a deep level, I’ve always known and believed about myself. Who would choose shame when there’s that genuine accessible option to remember that you’re magical?
– So how do you prepare them for then you’re in school and you’re in like your stupid sex ed class, that’s like making you feel like a piece of shit for having a menstrual cycle or a boy makes you feel gross because you’re bleeding or whatever.
– So we have whole like segments of the period section, ’cause we had to develop this, that are like, what do you say when somebody makes a dumb period comment, because you just have to talk about it. And so we’re talk about full range, talk about like, I think a big one actually is giving them permission to not be everybody’s educator and to notice when they have genuine capacity. And like when it feels doable, maybe even fun to be like, hey buddy, you know. and really it’s kind of like spread it amongst their friends, so they don’t feel alone. Get their parent or guardian onboard if they’re not already. And honestly they have a lot of rage threads in our group, because they just need to process and vent. Like so-and-so said that it’s dumb shit, because you come into our world and it’s a world where it’s normal to be curious about how to love and respect to yourself in every area. And then you go out into the world and it can be depressing as shit. And so we find there’s a lot of like kind of constant like detox because you come back and you’re like, oh my God, do you know what I heard out there? They often say like, you know, oh, out in the real world, people said that, and then we’d go no, like, this is the real world, this is what’s real, and that’s why we’re a community of practice and why it’s nine months and not like an intensive retreat or something, is because I just find, we need that day to day integration and community care and returning again and again. And so yeah, we do sex ed, oh, and then we do relationships, We do dating, we do crushes, we do friendships, we do parents, we do communication. We do, oh my God, we have so many great teachers like Andrea Renee comes in and teaches about purpose and work and meaning in the world and money, and leadership, Nisha Moodley came in and teach about leadership. Talk about activism, what’s your path to sustainable activism in the world? So really the way that the Academy Content is structured is the first three months, well, it’s all about trusting yourself, that’s our whole thing. Our mission is a generation of preteen and teen girls who trust themselves. We think we have the tools to help this generation do that because whatever life situations come up, and we’re going to have many different ones, that I can’t predict for these young humans, wherever life is headed. If they can trust themselves, if they can have their own back, be a friend to themselves, know what green flags and red flags feel like in their body, know when that red flag comes up, we don’t push it down, we fucking get out of there, on whatever circumstance, right, the job, the car, the friendship, whatever, right? That’s the toolkit I want them to walk away with because that I believe is our birthright, it’s our natural inheritance. And so many of us get further and further from that wild truth right, of that own home in ourselves. And so the first three months are all about self-trust. We start with belonging, we go into confidence and shame, and emotional intelligence. So we unpack like, what’s it like with me, with me in my head, all feelings are good feelings. We build feelings toolkits. We cultivate the capacity to intentionally return to ourselves again and again. We look at intersectional identity and privilege and like, who am I? The I in big quotes. Next up body trust, we spent three months in, okay, so I’ve got a body and body of course is me, but it’s treated as separate in our culture. So we have to go back to reclaiming us. So we do periods, we do body image, we do sex ed, and then we do community trust, and that’s where we go into relationships, we go into expression. We go into, for teens, drugs and alcohol, and we go into leadership and activism and work in the world.
– [Elizabeth] I love it so much. Who do I know that needs this? Most of my friends, their kids are still little., I can’t wait.
– We’ll be here for awhile, we ain’t going anywhere, We’re a we, I started this space, but it’s not Eliza Reynolds, It’s Badass Girls, it’s the Badass Academy. And this is, you know, at this point, and more and more every day, every year, it’s the mentor space as much as it is mine, and that’s always been my dream that these facilitators and these young people have the space to be paid well, to do beautiful work, to facilitate young people. I think we need more really well-trained facilitators in the world, and I wish I’d had that. I was doing this work, but I didn’t have training, I was learning on the fly, I was being trained by my mom. And I wish there had been places and spaces where it was normal to say this matters, and this is valued here, this skill set that you’re developing, to hold discernment, to hold love, to facilitate like a fricking badass, this is some like world changing shit. So we’re working on that.
– [Elizabeth] One of my biggest, you know, it’s funny, I had a meeting the other day with someone who runs a pretty well-known and regarded community here that I was interested in teaching for, teaching there. And he’s originally from LA and he was asking me about, the LA spiritual community and who are your people? Where did you go? And I was like, I have to tell you, I’m a super facilitation snob. There’s just a lot of, there’s a lot of things happening, but there’s not a lot of great facilitation. And that’s kinda like this whole industry, like there’s a lot you could do and go through, but there’s not a lot of well held spaces. And that’s one of my, when we talk about zone of genius or superpowers or whatever, I can not sit in most circles.
– I hear you, I hear you.
– That you are really prioritizing great facilitation is one of the most… To just be able to be in a space and be held and not have to hold yourself. Like we’re all holding so much, to have anywhere we could go to not to just be able to let go even just a little bit, let alone, most of us never really let go fully, but I love that, I’m so excited for you. We’re going to have a special link for people. It’ll be Wild Soul movement, I’m sorry, it’ll be untameyourself.com/badass. If anyone’s listening to this. When is your enrollment until?
– [Eliza] We’re accepting applications through September 15th. But depending when this drops, we got a little week of sneaky coming through the back door. So if you’re hearing this a week later, come on over to us. Just come find us. We have mentorship circles, which are like 12 person, small containers. So if your kid’s somebody who like really thrives in that tight crew and having their own personal mentor, you can look for that. And if you’re somebody who’s like, my kid wants to be in the big old sea of everybody, like doing their thing, we have amazing community events, we have dance parties every month that I lead. I mean, we’re just here being Wild Soul.
– Were you a Qoya instructor, did you go, you did Qoya?
– I did do Qoya seven years ago or something, I did one of the first Qoya teacher trainings. And then I did Qoya Teen for Rochelle, I created Qoya Teen. That’s a thing, yeah, we trained, I developed it a few years ago for her, while I was also just developing our practice. ‘Cause I was really obsessed with how do we do embodiment well for preteens and teens in a way that’s accessible and doesn’t project adult stuff onto them and honors the societal cultural moment they’re in, and so I did that like pre-COVID. We did in-person events, we’re 90% online anyways, and we loved that, but I basically had a lab of 40 teens, who I had dancing every day and doing embodiment practice with me, some super resistant, some super into it. And it became a real adventure where I built Qoya Teens.
– You’re giving me a little light bulb. I’m like follow up with Eliza about Wild Soul Teens.
– [Eliza] Let’s do it, yeah. I’m obsessed, with my mentors, it’s very cute. So we do very extensive mentor facilitator training. It’s like the biggest thing I do behind the scenes, is train mentors really well. And they always say, it’s cute, like half of the training, they realize it, and they look at me and they go, oh, we’re sneakily just teaching everybody embodiment. Like that’s literally everything we’re doing, like we are are just an embodiment army. It’s not my favorite metaphor, but I’m here for it. ‘Cause they’re just like, oh, that’s the root of everything we teach is offering opportunities for them to come back to their body. And I’m like, yup, you got it, yes, we teach about confidence, quote unquote. Yes, I will use that word, I’m fascinated with how people project and talk about confidence, but at the root of it, if you want real confidence, I’m talking body literacy, I’m talking magic, I’m talking embodiment, and unpacking systems of oppression. Those are my big four and that’s confidence for me.
– [Elizabeth] Oh, this is so great. Is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you’re like, damn, I really wanted to talk about this.
– [Eliza] Lying, I wrote a note because you talked about lying. I wanted to go there with you. But all I was going to say about lying was the difference between secrecy and privacy, and how I would put lying mostly in secrecy and how harmful secrecy is to the self, and how my experience mostly, and I’m curious what yours is or if you’re able to recall it, is that when teens are lying a lot, holding a lot of secrets, it sucks, it feels so fucking awful. It’s not as simple as like, oh, it’s like morally, they shouldn’t lie. I’m like no to the body that usually feels heavy, it usually feels like a lot to carry. And I’m really here for privacy. Like, oh my God, the body’s this private space, emotional private space, like really cultivating that. But you can often feel the difference in a body. And that’s where, yeah, as mentors, we then become the people who hear a lot of the stuff that was secretive and that it doesn’t need to be carried alone. And then a kid isn’t working through it by themselves, which is pretty much what I wish for every preteen and teen, is that they feel like they have somebody in their corner. I’ll say to parents who are like looking at enrolling or working with us is, I can’t promise your kid’s going to have it easy. They’re going to have phoenix moment after phoenix moment, because life is hard sometimes. So, you know, there’s valleys, as well as mountaintops. What I can say is that whatever comes, we will be with them. They won’t be alone. We will sit down next to them in that moment. And so we get all the secrets, and it releases when it’s no longer a secret, and there’s somebody who goes, and had secrets also have shame often hidden in them. Now I also hear that with you, there’s some layers around in order to do stuff that’s different than my Catholic upbringing, I kind of need to hide some stuff. And so there’s a different layer there, you know.
– You were saying, I mean, my friends knew, you know what I mean? It wasn’t like, there was withholding entirely myself, but I know for a lot of people, that’s a different case. It was more like I have lie so I can be myself.
– Yeah, that’s the key difference, so if you had a mentor, say you were in our program, we’d be like right on Elizabeth, like right on, let’s talk about it. We see that you’re safe, we see the XYZ ways, let’s talk about a few situations, okay, great. You keep doing you, right,
– Safety is everything, right?
– Yeah, versus when somebody is holding a secret. And so I just want to say to parents or supportive adults listening in if your kid is like some secrets are coming out and they’re kind of freaking out about it. I really want to remind you like, it’s a gift, you’re giving them a gift, that they no longer have to carry them by themselves, even if they’re kind of freaking out. As long as you can do your best to stay centered, to stay loving, to remove any shame-based language, or behavior-
– And not making it about you.
– Yes, it’s not about you.
– Not thinking about what they did to you, but like realize what they were trying to do for themselves or what they were seeking-
– Yeah, yeah, it’s not about you and go talk about your feelings and needs with other adults, please, please.
– Like literally everything, do not ever give them your raw processing, just don’t, just don’t do it, lovingly, don’t do that.
– I had adults in my life I wish it would have had that memo.
– That’s a big one, that’s a big one.
– [Elizabeth] Amazing, well, this is episode, this is gonna be episode number 358. So if you want links to anything that we talked about here, you can go to untnameyourself.com/358. If you want to check out Eliza’s offerings that we were talking about, go to untameyourself.com/badass. I’m so excited to create that redirect for you. I’m so glad, it was so great to be on this side. You’ve had me on your podcast, I loved, I’m so excited, I want to be like, I’m so proud of you. I don’t mean that in any way, but like-
– I’ll take that.
– [Elizabeth] I love it, I love everything you’re doing. You know what I also want to tell you, as we sign out here, I want to tell you how highly people speak of you. Your name comes up here and there with like random people I didn’t even know, knew you. And they speak, every time your name is in someone’s mouth, in my life, they are speaking very highly of you. And you know, obviously I’ve already known this, but after this conversation, I obviously see why. So I think what you’re doing is amazing, I hope everyone will go follow you at Eliza.Feelings.
– [Eliza] @Eliza.Feelings. And if you want the parent content, you can go to, on Instagram, it’s @badassgirls.parents, and you can see stuff there. Or if you want the girls’ stuff, it’s @badassgirls.me, which is also our website.
– Awesome, love, love, love, love, love, thanks, Eliza.