Mindfulness and Finding Life Balance – Part 4 – Adolescents

 In Search of Your Mindful “I”

During our formative years we tend to focus on our “Me-ness.” What my parents can get Me?, why Me?, what do others like about Me? and what is good/bad about Me?

By puberty, we gradually shift our attention to “Myself-ness,” It’s the time when we need to show ourselves, and the world, that we are worth something.  We must prove that we can do it by ourselves and for ourselves without the interference from others–except may be our peers, but certainly not our parents.

By adulthood we have rambled through enough of life’s ups and down that we hopefully start developing what I refer to as the Mindful “I”.  This is our wise-sage self which is accepting, nonjudgmental, unassuming, and doesn’t try to predict our outcomes.

Basically, our Mindful “I” knows what we need and keeps us on a safe life track.  For instance, we may “want” to go party with friends, get smashed, or buy that cute outfit, but our Mindful “I” helps to redirect us to what is in our best interest with gentle firmness.  One’s Mindful “I” may say “Yes, it would be fun to get blitzed, but you need to catch up on your sleep as well as get to work tomorrow!”   Our Mindful “I” keeps reminding us that success is predicated on how well we know ourselves, use our inner resources, accept our limitations and believe in the concept of “I can.”

Living yours Needs is the key ingredient to living mindfully

This means knowing how to not only listen to your Mindful “I”, but following up on a daily basis.   Each day try to balance your should do’s and want to do’s with your need to do’s.  Essentially, this means balancing your kid/adolescent ways of thinking/feeling with your adult ways.

To keep your Mindful “I” active, continually ask yourself: does it need to be done?, does it need to be done now?, and does it need to be done by me or only me?

The only thing in life we can truly control are our choices, behaviors and attitudes. The more we exercise our Mindful “I”, the more regulated and fulfilled our lives will be.

Regardless of how traumatic our past, we all have a Mindful “I”, but sometimes we need outside guidance to help us get it rebooted, on track, or simply more active.

References

Erickson, E., “Life Cycle Completed.”

Kabat-Zinn, J., “Wherever You Go There You Are.”

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