It’s World Goth Day so we’re working with our Inner Teenagers to help make peace with the past
Feeling misunderstood like Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams? For everyone else who now has her as one of their favourite fictional characters of all time, this one’s for you:
1) Make peace with Teenage You
Find a photo album if you have old photos and find at least one photo of Teenage You to work with.
Put it in a frame and use it as your phone screensaver (and other devices) to help you really connect with Younger You.
Why did you choose this picture? To heal a painful past? To remind yourself that even if you were filled with the self-loathing and revulsion that’s so normal for teenagers, LOOK AT YOU! Look at how adorable you were!
Remember what pain you were in.
What pressure/s you felt before you were adult enough to manage life better.
What love, care and compassion can you send Younger You right now?
Maybe you chose a happier photo to remind yourself it wasn’t all bad and it’s safe to look back and integrate your past?
There are plenty more journal prompts in this week’s newsletter
2) Look after your body
I’m mortified, looking back, at how little care I took of the one body I’ll ever have. I existed on crisps, chocolate and alcohol for several years as a teenager and when I briefly went back to eating meat, I had an enormous growth spurt. I wish I’d had a better understanding of the links between the body and mind.
I wish I’d known that by nourishing myself with food with actual nutrients, I’d have FELT so much better.
I wish I’d known the benefits of strong movement for anxiety and so many other really SIMPLE ways to get out of that teenage rut of wanting to feel better but having absolutely no idea of how to regulate my emotions.
What do you wish Teenage You had eaten or done differently? How might you extend some of that care and protection to yourself right now?
YES, the teenage years are incredibly important for long term mental health and bone density etc etc BUT it’s never too late to start cherishing yourself and eating and moving as if you recognised the absolute miracle you and the body you dwell in for this lifetime are.
3) Heal your heart
What issues did teenage you feel desperately overwhelmed with?
Social justice? Peace? The environment? Animals?
As an adult with more resources, how might you channel some of that teenage angst to reconnect with the changes you wanted to make to improve this planet we live on for all who share it?
How might you work peacefully and powerfully to honour your strong feelings while also using the benefits of age to talk to people you disagree with in a wholehearted and loving way?
How might you own your shadow and stop projecting out the parts you hate about yourself onto others by Othering anyone different or who you disagree with?
It’s a daily practice (and Metta helps enormously).
4) What did you KNOW that you’ve forgotten?
Your Inner Teen has so much to TEACH you if you let her/him/them.
What did you know then that you’ve forgotten now?
When you give yourself some time and space to remember the things you longed for as a teenager (connection? World peace? An end to pain?) what comes up for you now?
I’d been running my own practice for YEARS before I realised I’d unconsciously created what Teenage Me (a healthier Teenage Me than the one I usually reflect on) had longed for.
A way to connect with my inner knowing and to help others do the same.
*adopts ancient voice* Back in my day, adults thought they knew best.
My sense that EVERYONE knows what’s right for themselves when given the time, space, safety etc etc to connect with that inner knowing is something I built my entire practice around.
How was YOUR Inner Teen trying to help you connect with that highest, wisest, wildest, truest, most brilliant and miraculous part of yourself?
5) Create a new relationship with Teenage You
Friday’s New Moon (now Waxing and building towards Saturday’s Half Moon) means it’s a great time to think about how you want to take this time to heal your Inner Teenager.
What new insights will you bring into 2023?
How might you provide 2023 You with some of the peace, love, stability and security that Teenage You longed for?
How might you create routines and habits that help you feel more balanced and empowered?
6) Delve deeper
There’s exclusive content (and pictures) reflecting on Teenage Me (and the healing I’ve had since), journal prompts and more for free and paid subscribers of my weekly Self Care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing Substack
If you’d like more, this week in the Personal Peace online membership, there’ll be self care and Self care coaching around healing your Inner Teen and a unique Yoga Nidra guided relaxation.
And, of course, there’s the book, 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing. Full of ideas – one for each day of the year – to support that anxious part of yourself.
What will you do differently this week to make peace with your teenage self?
Something from this list? Something that’s helped you in the past?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!