3 years ago, I offered my first and only meditation and mindfulness workshop for teenagers. While I had a lot to learn from that experience and would approach it differently now, there are two moments that stand out when I revisit it.
The first was a loving-kindness exercise where I asked the students to write down three loving-kindness phrases for themselves based on what they listed as stressors in their lives. For example:
May I have peace of mind
May I feel more ease in my days
May I be free of worry.
I then asked them partner up and do a meditation where they exchange what they wrote and offer the phrases to their partner. When we regrouped what was expressed was how nice it was to wish their partner something they needed. It was a surprising and beautiful moment and the feeling was palpable.
At the end of the workshop, when I asked what they wanted to see more of in their world of friends, family, society they all had very meaningful shares. I am reminded why I want to offer this again, but in a different format. For this reason, I am calling on all high school aged students who want to learn how to manage their stress and connect more deeply with other students in a safe space.
Understandably, you might be thinking students already have too much time looking at a screen in the day, especially if their schooling is virtual, but this will be a different experience. It will be a place where they can:
- Feel grounded in the present moment through meditation and mindfulness practices
- Let go of the pressure to perform and let go of others' expectations
- Have a place where they can be themselves, share meaningfully, and interact with other teenagers
- Train their minds to lean toward what is well/positive and not get lost in worry and fear
- Gain self-awareness around their feelings and what's going on inside
Stress is high for students today. Let’s create a safe, peaceful place for teenagers in the midst of some challenging years.
Join me for A MINDFUL LIFE FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS starting October 8th. This four-week Zoom group will be a safe place for high school students to gain tools to manage stress and feel supported. Please share this with your high school student. They might want to gather a friend or two, or come alone. Either way, they will have a chance to make new friends.
P.S. Heads up to parents! Encouragement may be needed, but pushing a student to do it won't help them. This works best if a student wants to help themselves or wants greater connection with others.