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True Colors was the first step to so much understanding

Lauren Babcock

Lauren Babcock poses with some added sparkle at an Advanced True Colors celebration.

Editor’s note:  Lauren Babcock, now 22, is a graduate of our True Colors seminar for teens and has continued on to do other seminars as well. We asked her to talk about how she started on this path.

When did you first attend True Colors, and what was the experience like for you? What did you gain from attending? I first went to True Colors when I was 14 and frankly, I wasn’t very happy to be there. I was shy, and my parents had sent me without much input from me. I hardly participated and didn’t really talk to anyone except when I called home to complain. But something shifted on the second to last day: I remember walking down the path with some of the other participants, laughing and feeling completely at ease. I felt safe and loved. I think the biggest things I gained that first time were an increased sense of empathy and accountability. I had lived a fairly sheltered life up to that point and met teenagers who had lived lives full of things I had only ever read about: some with wild amounts of zest and humor and some with abuse and trauma. This was also the first time I realized I really had a say in how my life went. I realized I’d been making a lot of choices based on what I thought others wanted from me, I wasn’t as close to my friends and family as I wanted, and I had a tendency to quit things as soon as it got uncomfortable. From these realizations, I came up with my first contract: I am a confident, trusting, and committed woman, living my life freely.

What other seminars have you attended as an adult and how have these affected your work and personal development? I’ve done PES and CrossOver both as a participant and team member. PES was where I first realized I was lovable, and where I learned that by taking care of myself I can better take care of the people around me. CrossOver was a challenge for me—I remember feeling small and childlike through the whole seminar, but I also remember having two pretty big epiphanies: 1) just because I felt small and sad didn’t mean I had to act small and sad, and 2) ownership isn’t just about making big life decisions (I’m not going to go to college right away, I’m going to travel the country for 10 months), but about my moment-to-moment experience, too: I’m angry right now and that’s okay. I’m scared right now and that’s okay. This is what I think about that. I started to own these things instead of apologizing for or trying to change them.

You have also done assist teams. What motivated you to volunteer in this capacity? What has your experience been on teams? I did my first True Colors team when I was 18. I’d gone over the years as a participant and was (am still) in love with it and wanted to stay involved. I do teams once or twice a year now because I so believe in the work Wings does. Every time I learn more about myself, more about people, and how to better be in service to both.

What would you like to share with teens considering True Colors or parents considering sending their teens to the seminar? Honestly? I started tearing up just thinking about this question! Do it. Absolutely do it. I’ve learned so much over the years I can hardly put it into words but suffice to say: I love myself and my life, and I wouldn’t be who I am or living the way I am without the tools I learned at True Colors.

Anything else you’d like to share? My heart loves Wings because I love seeing people happy, connected, and empowered. My mind loves Wings because I think it’s the most effective and important work we can do. Everyone talks about changing the world, and I believe that to do that you have to go to the root: Go to the people. Teach people, heal people, connect people, create good people, and they’ll create a good world.


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