2018 is here! And I’m excited to share some of my big breakthroughs and realizations from the past year. I hope that my perspective and reflection process offers you, your teen, your friend, or your family member a sense of connection, a knowing that you (or they) are not alone.
Because it’s true; you are not alone! AND you are enough just as you are.
Checking In with Your Needs
Have you ever heard your tween or teen say, “I can’t handle the crowds of the hallways.” Or something like, “School is too crazy for me. I just can’t find my place.”
As a parent, have you ever found yourself saying, “I feel so much for her. My heart is breaking for the ways she’s struggling to connect.” Or perhaps something like, “He just seems so stressed and obsessed with being successful. I feel tired for him!”
These statements from my clients- teens and parents– are all about individual needs. Some teens struggle to fit into our often loud, chaotic, and made-for-extroverts culture. They have a need for quiet, spacious, soothing environments. Likewise, sometime you may take on or carry the emotions your children experience.
I often talk to clients, teens and parents alike, about how they want to respond to and honor their individual needs, and often, there’s no simple answer.
However, there IS always an opportunity to Stop. Breathe. Feel. Then, reflect. And get curious.
We all have needs, preferences, limitations, and boundaries to become aware of, and we all have areas of ourselves that we can expand.
Reflecting on Needs
Today, I’m offering my personal meditation on 2017, an account of navigating (and thriving in) the world as a highly sensitive, empathic, and introverted person. My personal practice is very similar to (and, in fact, informs) the ways I teach and coach, especially when I have the opportunity to serve teens or parents with needs similar to mine.
While I DON’T only serve highly sensitive people (HSP), empaths, and introverts, I DO serve people who have a desire to grow and transform. I partner with families who are willing to feel and sense— whether it be connection, disconnection, joy, grief, or any other emotion. This openness to exploring and growing requires and/or brings (a sort of chicken and egg conundrum here) a certain amount of sensitivity and awareness.
Keep reading for some juicy reflection questions to ground you and your family in 2018!
Questions for Reflection
As a highly-sensitive, empathic introvert, social gatherings and big events can be very challenging for me. BUT… after two nights in a row of being out at inspiring, uplifting, women-led events, I’m facing a new layer of reflection. Here’s what’s come up:
1. These labels and descriptors don’t define me in every moment. They are parts of me, they influence my personhood, but they don’t limit me. They may introduce opportunities for me to listen to myself and draw boundaries, but they are also invitations to challenge and stretch myself.
- Are there labels that you want to move through?
- Are there ways that you are being called to expand and grow?
- Are there ways that you can listen more fully to your needs?
2. When I actually and finally arrive somewhere- body, mind, and spirit- I can drop into the connections, I can sense the energy and love in the space, and I can thrive. Ways that I tap into my own arrival include belly breathing, walking around to check out the scene, and bringing something that comforts me (tea, water, a snack, or even a notebook).
- How do you arrive somewhere?
- What rituals or routines help you feel grounded or situated?
3. In 2017 I have shown up in so many new, interesting, and fulfilling ways. This has meant speaking at conferences, going to tons of networking events, and meeting a ton of new friends. My appreciation for these new connections and my personal journey is immense! So, thank you for standing witness and being a part of it!
- What are you grateful for when you look back at 2017?
- Who or what can you show appreciation for?
- How can you appreciate yourself as this year comes to a close?
Reflecting with Family
I recommend sharing these questions with your teens and opening space for collective sharing.
Email me for support on digging into these questions and setting intentions for living with great awareness in 2018 and beyond.
Remember, you are not alone.