Mindfulness Lifestyle Advocate for Adolescents, Young and Emerging Adults | Skillshare Projects

Errin Gaulin

Yoga instructor, Aromatherapist, Crystal Healer



Mindfulness Lifestyle Advocate for Adolescents, Young and Emerging Adults

What is it like to be young, wandering the world, questioning all things and feeling a perpetual sense of uncertainy and self doubt?

We are young people, "The Millennials." We might be in the most unique economic and worldly era of modern times. In essence, most of us just don't know what the fuck we are doing.

Our minds rarely rest. They anticipate the future, they mull about the past. We experience insecurity about past and future decisions. We are constantly unsure of what the "right" move actually is when it comes to coming to new experiences in our lives, and when we are faced with choices (SO MANY choices). 

Are you an overwhelmed young person? Does this life feel like a hamster wheel that keeps spinning the more we climb it, but we don't actually move? Is the past and present the only things your mind can focus on the majority of the time? And if any of these are applicable to you, does it cause you stress, annoyance, a feelling of helplessness or just plain human sadness?

Existential anxiety is what psychologists like to call these moments of life. We question, and live in clouds of uncertainty and much of the time a lowered level of self confidence.

The practice of Mindfulness--simply focusing your attention on the immediate present--is a way to work with the difficult nature of daily life and daily thinking. To draw our attention to the present moment means we do not have to worry about our past experiences and choices. Attending to the present moment also means the future isn't something that is necessary to consider--no matter what happens, the futue will always come. The trap is fearing what it might have in store.

While it is important to reflect and grow from past experiences, worrying over what has passed will produce nothing in your life but added stress. Having anxious thoughts over your past will contribute NOTHING to your life, aside from distress and poor feelings. The only way the past will ever serve you is if you extract the information you've learned (weather they were successess or blunders) and remember them when you encounter new experiences. Apply what you have learned, and grow this way. This is what the past can do for you if you are using it right.

And let's not forget tomorrow: we need to schedule and make plans.We need to know what to anticipate in our lives. We feel safe with a sense of preparedness. And this all is necessary and important in order to function and be a succesful person, professionally, socially, and personally. 

But here are the thinking patterns very often invoked when anticipating the future:

Fear of the unnknown. A sense of unsecurity. Anxiety. The downward spiral of depressed thinking. Nervousness. Compulsions and feeling a need to make things happen in a specific way. Obsessive and obtrustive thinking and worry. And importantly: Expectations.

These are the poisons of future-oriented thinking. The cloud our ability to reason and think clearly, In short: all of the above are unnecessary, self-imposed ways our minds attempt to help us cope with the unknown.

And again, what service do these negative thoughts and behaviors contribute to your life in any meaningful way? How do they enhance you? Have you drawn the conclusion yet? They enhance nothing and obstruct you from living a healthy, free life.

Choose the present. That is where you are, right now. This is all you will ever have--now. The past is in the distance and you're moving away from it. The future is constantly out of reach; it will always be out of reach. Now is the only real time we have.

So turn the noise down about your past. Let the future unfold without you trying to control or manipulate it in a way that hurts your wellbeing. Let things come, and let things go. Sit still, quietly, and notice your surroundings, the sensations, your accomplishments and projects of right now. When tomorrow comes, talk about today. But drop the worry and concern, because it's blocking you from enjoying the gift of the moment of right now.


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