Teenager Hakini

I just learned this week of “Teen Week” from Medicinal Marzipan. Having just gone down introspection road with my post “Seven Sentences to 25 Year Old Me from 47 Year Old Me,” I decided to keep on going with what I call “retro wisdom.” According to its founder, teen week: Words That Heal “is an annual blog series that occurs the last week of March, where bloggers use their sites speak out about their experiences with body image, sexuality, and self-esteem during their teen years.”

Every yoga class I have ever attended has ended with us sitting, with our hands in “prayer position.” Until tonight. When Stacey demonstrated the “hakini mudra,” she explained that this position is the “yang” to the “yin” of hand positions. In yin, we are passively poised to receive; yang represents an energized balance we apply to our actions, like (and she really said this) “changing the world.”

I was a teenager who followed pretty much every rule there was to the best of my ability. Teenager, break the rules once in a while. I don’t mean to harm people or destroy property. I mean jaywalk, don’t brush the entire time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday,” keep the book a day past the due date because you love it that much.

If your family isn’t perfect (none of them are), try like hell to protect yourself from getting sucked into a fatal spiral of thinking you have to fix everyone. Find a healthy outlet (sports, clubs, music, volunteering.) If you gravitate toward some other family that makes you feel accepted and like you are “one of them,” enjoy their company but don’t rub it in your parents’ faces.

For a lot of you, your image of your body may be completely different than reality. Love it. Even though the magazine pictures, movies, and music videos imply something different, a healthy body is gorgeous and will thank you decades down the road for treating it right, now.

Don’t burn bridges. One of my saddest memories is of being critical (somewhat unintentionally, but critical for sure) of the person who had welcomed me the most when I moved to a small town. (I wrote about this __________.) I never fully repaired the relationship after that.

Go somewhere new. Down the street, across the country, or across the ocean. Don’t go to McDonalds in Paris; get some real french bread and cheese then find some quaint French town where you can meet real French people. We live in a great country but we get tunnel vision; see things from a different perspective.

Give back. You will probably have a lot of ups and downs in your life. Trust me, your parents want you to only have ups, but life doesn’t work that way. If you have spare time, spare energy, spare “stuff,” share it. The good you do will come back to you.

And as for what you do for a living, I think this says it all:

Source: Gaping Void/Hugh McLeod
When it comes to sex, you will get lots of advice. I got mine from a lot of people who had pretty fundamentalist-leaning beliefs. In the long run, that worked out pretty well for me. Along the way, there was the camp counselor who handled questions about masturbation well but gave me a magazine article to read that said something to the effect of, “you wouldn’t give someone a gift with fingerprints all over it; you don’t want your future husband to get a compromised gift either.” Fingerprints aren’t all bad.

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