Introduction to Being You: A Girl's Guide to Mindfulness

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

You are you! That is truer than true! 

There is no one alive who is you-er than you! 

—Dr. Seuss 

I wish I had a book like this when I was your age. I was so stressed! I spent the whole day worrying about doing something wrong. I had nightmares almost every night. And I had no idea what to do when I felt flooded or overwhelmed by my emotions.

On top of feeling anxious most of the time, I was really confused. It seemed like my parents, teachers, boys, and other girls all had different ideas about how I should behave and even how I should think. It was hard to figure out what I really wanted to do and who I really wanted to be.

Do you want to know the worst part? I thought I was the only girl who felt this way.

Now that I’m older, I realize that I definitely wasn’t the only girl who felt stressed and confused. In fact, I’m pretty sure that ALL teen girls feel stressed and confused. There’s so much to deal with at once:

  • your changing body;
  • pressure to do well in school;
  • expectations from parents and other adults;
  • a social scene full of gossip, frenemies, and bullying;
  • other responsibilities, like a part-time job or taking care of younger siblings; and
  • serious issues in your family or your community.

When I started learning about mindfulness a few years ago, I thought “This is so helpful! Why didn’t I know about this sooner?” I’ve talked to several other women who had the same reaction, wishing they’d learned about mindfulness when they were teens.

Mindfulness is for everyone, but it isn’t one size fits all. I’ll tell you about my favorite activities, but I’m not going to tell you The One and Only Way to practice mindfulness. Instead, my goal is to help you develop a personal mindfulness practice. It’s not just about being present; it’s about being you.

Adapted from Being You: A Girl's Guide to Mindfulness, by Catharine Hannay. 
© Prufrock Press, 2019. Used with permission.

Being You: A Girl's Guide to Mindfulness

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