In high school, my list of activities included the gymnastics team, yearbook, running the charity dance marathon, playing the flute in a swing band and various menial jobs. At the time, I was keeping busy and even way back then, heeding advice to collect sought-after resume-builders for college applications. My memory tells me it was fun to juggle, but I am certain my parents would describe me as a whirling dervish.
My penchant for juggling and keeping occupied continued for decades, until I hit my mid-forties and decided there was a better way than constant mayhem. Or at least it would be better to slow down periodically. Often in our lives, we pursue seemingly disconnected activities that tap into our various interests. I love having various interests, which now include cooking, yoga, paddle boarding, writing, knitting, walking, training teachers, learning, reading. It still does make me feel like a whirling dervish at times, but I love all the things I do. I’ve learned it (“busy-ness” and “have-tos”) can create stress. Unhealthy stress.
I am deeply intrigued by how our kids grow up and am committed to better understanding their journey, busy or not. It’s become a desire of mine to learn ways to support them and celebrate with them, so they learn to manage the stress in healthy ways. You or I will never know their true experience – what it feels like physically, mentally, emotionally. We know far more now about the toll stress takes on them than we did in the ’70s and ’80s. Unless you’ve been under a rock for years, you are well aware that the stress our kids face and how they manage it is not our kind of teen stress. We know more about how their brain works (the folks over at Grown and Flown wrote about this, highlighting Dr. Jenson’s book, The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults ) and we need to help them learn to make good choices, explore what they love, manage stress, and enjoy this period of life.
When my various interests overlap like a Venn Diagram, I tend to geek out and get wildly tickled. It’s thrilling and exciting and makes me work harder to understand how all the pieces fit together. And that’s where I am now with my various pieces.
My passion for teaching, children and emerging adults, yoga, mindfulness, and health in general, are coming together in a new way. As school ends for the year, hopefully, that brings down time for all. But then August will roll around and for many tween/teen girls, that transition will resurrect old stress. Stress doesn’t have to consume us, especially our young girls. It can be managed with things like exercise, yoga, good eating, trusted friends, honest conversation and a whole host of skills I will be exploring and sharing with local middle school and high school girls in Girls Rock! Mind Body Empowerment Camp.
If your girl is in the Annapolis, Maryland area in August, why not sign her up to come work with our group? This course will be offered over five afternoons and includes exercise, mindfulness, lively and honest conversation, skills practice and of course, some healthy eats. Have questions? Want to bring it to your site? Shoot me an email and we’ll make it happen.