On the winter solstice in 2012--a time for gathering and sharing stories--I interviewed three women in a family spanning three generations. Nilda, the grandmother, Lili, the mother and Angie, the daughter about to go to college, have all taken IMPACT. Nilda and Lili took the Core Program almost 30 years ago, before Angie was born. Lili and Angie have also taken the Advanced Programs.
Nilda [grandmother]: For me and for most women of my generation, the need to be polite, to not cause a problem and certainly to not initiate something like “Stay Away!." Angie [granddaughter] wasn’t raised like I was. Still, without IMPACT, you don’t think to challenge someone to not come closer towards you when you’re feeling uncomfortable.
Lili [mother]: I think we even grow up to believe that we’re defusing it by averting our gaze or diminishing ourselves, instead of being present and standing our ground, which is what IMPACT teaches. It’s the opposite of what I always thought. It’s more dangerous not to do stand our ground... to shrink and appear to be submissive.
Angie: I was raised differently because they [Lili and Nilda] have been through IMPACT. They said, "If something is wrong, you speak up". When kids said mean things in grade school, I’d step up and say "no". I wasn’t one to back down. In 4th grade, there was a boy who asked me inappropriate questions and it pissed me off; it was none of his business. I would tell him off. The teachers would get so angry and call in my parents and say "That’s not the way to raise a daughter. That may work on the street but that’s not how she’s supposed to be". My parents were furious because they were trying to counteract that trend with the training they’d been exposed to with IMPACT.
Lili: When Angie was 12, a teacher had a problem with my daughter. I called a conference with him. He starts to tell me that Angie is taking things into her own hands and, if she has a confrontation, she should come to a staff member. I said, “That’s not how I raised her. A staff member won’t always be around. She’s going to handle confrontations the way we taught her”. I pointed out that he might be having a problem with strong girls and women. After that, he never gave Angie a problem again.
Nilda: Just the change in the way we raise our kids after IMPACT is meaningful.
Lili: Angie wasn’t even born when I took the Core Program. When my three children were 3 or 4 years old on up, we would have our drills. I would talk to them about using their voice...that it was a weapon. If anyone came near them that they didn’t feel comfortable with, or people that they got a bad vibe from, they were to use their voice. We would practice yelling “No!” and stomping their feet just like we do in IMPACT. They loved that. They loved learning to bring the energy up. I felt I was teaching them to set a boundary and I learned that in IMPACT.
Nilda: Baby IMPACT! [Cheers]