Lessons from the Formative Teen Years
A decade in review...
I remember thinking 2020 seemed so far away when I was a kid. What would I be doing? What would the world be like? Where would I be living then? Such were the ruminations of a dreamer teen still forming her ideas about life.
Even ten years ago, 2020 seemed like an eternity away. And, what a decade it’s been. The teen years. It got me thinking about how the last decade has also been, in so many ways, the formative teen years in my adulthood.
My adult coming-of-age.
Usually this time of year I review the past 12 months – the highs and lows, lessons learned or taught, relationships that shaped and grew or phased on because the contract was complete, projects culminated, new ideas birthed and coddled, loved ones getting married, passing on, babies arriving, blessed pets lost, health experiments, new words learned and used, books read, transformative thoughts conversed… Gotta say, I love the review and recap.
However, this moment, which only happens a handful of times in a person’s life, we get to glance into the rearview at a decade before the digits roll over onto the new one. It’s a collective step, leap or roar forward. In this case into the new roaring 20's.
Although it’s a huge span of time with numerous milestones, events, highs and lows, that were met, seen and experienced, I’ve found that it’s the heart, mind and spirit stuff that has bubbled to the surface. The lessons life has presented along the way.
My coming-of-age has definitely been from the inside out. I took a gander at my blog posts on Thought Changer over the last ten years and they showed the GPS for my adult teen-years path.
Here were the 23 biggest ones I will take with me into my (our) 20’s:
- Slow down inside of a fast-moving life – the in-between moments are what life is all about.
- Own your words and use them wisely. And, kindly.
- Trust yourself. It’s the simplest way to find your voice and stay on your path.
- Listen to your own cues. With discernment and curiosity.
- Pay attention to life’s metaphors. They speak to us everywhere. Life is pretty magical in that way.
- Life is a laboratory. Live the questions and be open for the answers that come.
And, in that way life is also a river when you learn to go with the flow and to ride and navigate the currents.
- Gratitude, compassion, kindness and understanding are our connective tissues. They connect us to ourselves as well as others and the world. They are the keys to unlock meaning and purpose.
- We really are all connected. To each other. To the seasons. To nature. To the universe. It’s a comforting reminder, always.
- Everything is a choice. We have permission to make our own. It is our greatest freedom and it starts with our thoughts.
- What we think about, is. Change your thoughts, change your life. It's oft said and there's a good reason for it. It's so, so true.
- Let go of perfection. Surrender instead into being a work in progress.
- Declutter often. Recalibrate often. Refuel often. Get quiet often. Learn from your own thoughts often. Learn from the ancient masters often. Repeat.
- Stop apologizing.
- Listen to your body – it tells us everything we need to know. Allow the heart to lead.
- What you believe creates your reality.
- Take regular strolls outside your comfort zone.
- Lean into what’s working and do more of that.
- Know your own resilience, your own phoenix that rises from the ashes of disappointment or setback. Mine is creativity. It’s what I turn to over and over again.
- Be available for what’s in front of you. Just saying “I’m available for…” puts you there.
- Relish the feeling of legacy when it taps you on the shoulder. Listen to your soul calling. When you get quiet enough every day, you’ll hear it. Feel it. Look at #12 again.
- Don’t waste too much time looking at the horizon. Focus on what’s next. Just the next step. Then, you’re ready for the leap when it shows up.
- Integrate. Know that contraction is a part of every life expansion. When you know that, you take the time to fully integrate big transformation.
- Hone the skill of perspicacity with will manifest in a life guided in insight, intuition and intellect.
I also asked myself these three questions, to aid in the review:
What feels like a lead weight, or a chained shackle I want to cut free? Things I want to leave behind in the teens. Like the need to please, or the need to apologize, or fear of completion, or of asking for help…
What feels light, like a hot air balloon, or a cloud on the atmosphere? Things I want to guide me forward. Like the desire to learn. Also, the tenets of understanding, gratitude and love.
What feels like connective tissue? The mind-body fabric that becomes ingrained. Like self-trust, confidence, certainty, inner wisdom, curiosity.
What I know in my bones now, after trudging, crawling, strolling, running and soaring through my formative adult teen years, is these are all part of becoming seasoned, gathering the stones that will pave and smooth the next part of my path.
What might yours be? I'll be thinking more this week about plans for 2020. But, for now...
Happy New Year!
Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash