The documentary Race to Nowhere made a powerful impact on me. The film highlights the state of the problems facing our youth today and the impact of always feeling we have to strive to get somewhere and do something.
Subsequently, I was asked to speak at an inaugural conference, Wisdom 2.0 Youth. I was asked for the title of my talk and somehow Race to Right Here Right Now arose in my mind. What first presented as a fleeting thought, an idea for a catchy title for a talk, has remained with me years later.
Many of us, at a very young age, are already racing to somewhere, but we’re losing the race to being right here, right now. We always want to attain a goal, accomplish a task, or move forward in our education or our career. But how often do we just sit in what is? What would happen to our youth if instead of racing for the next life hurdle we taught them to race towards mindfulness and embrace being right here, right now in the present moment?
Mindfulness is the perfect tool for youth to manage everyday stressors like school pressures, difficulty focusing and feelings of being over-committed. Even in the midst of very difficult times and struggles, if we widen our eyes just a little bit, there is something beautiful worth seeing, and that can rejuvenate us.
I encourage you, and the youth you interact with, to start the race to mindfulness. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, but you can download my three favorite (and free!) mindfulness techniques developed especially for teens.
This blog was contributed by PESI speaker Gina M. Biegel, LMFT. Gina is a San Francisco Bay Area based psychotherapist, researcher and author specializing in bringing mindfulness-based work with adolescents. She is the founder of Stressed Teens, which has offered the MBSR-T to adolescents, families, schools, professionals and the community for over 12 years.
She is the author of the Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness Skills to Help You Deal with Stress and the Be Mindful Card Deck for Teens.