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  • Writer's pictureMary Streeter

dear kids, you don't have to save the world

I was asked recently if I would teach a yoga series to a young group of teenage girls. Of course, immediately thinking of power to the she!! Ideas of empowerment, being in our bodies, ways to cultivate self love and acceptance all filling my head. Things all adolescent girls and women struggle with. I imagine men do also, I just try to stick to the stories I know.

The mother that was asking me agreed my ideas would all be great, but she looked at me and said "I'm concerned about my daughter and her friends. With everything that is going on socially, culturally and politically they are feeling like they are expected to save the world". This caused me to pause and immediately connect with the realness of this statement.

We are living in a time of great change, barriers are being broken down and people are speaking up. This is beautiful and maybe a little scary too. Fresh blank canvases of new ways of being are waiting to be painted. Are we all comfortable with a paint brush or even know what to paint? No doubt we lack strong leadership to provide guidance and it feels a little out of control. Who is steering this boat anyway? If I was a teenager and finding my way toward adulthood it would feel very different today. In one sense the opportunities are limitless, in another sense will it/we ever be enough to save our people and our planet?

It seems overwhelming at times. Our world and stories can be messy, but I believe there is a message in there that can lead us forward. It may require a level of vulnerability we're not comfortable with, but that is where our true connection lies. It allows us to step out from behind our fear and tell our stories which leads to true connection. We are each but a drop in the ocean but together we are strong and can overcome, fix, create, shape the future. Not alone but together. Through connection and community we rise up and grow stronger.

What if we were to lead with kindness and compassion, making these our primary operating principles? Perhaps the fear of failure would be replaced with the courage to dare greatly, opening the door to explore the innovative solutions and change that is called for today. We all want to be heard and validated. It creates space for us to show up as the best versions of ourselves with courage and hope. This is how we can make a difference and maybe not "save" but create our future collective self.

If we could shift this one belief, that some lives matter more then others, our world would be transformed. Change one step in the dance and the dance changes completely.

I don't have the answers but I am open, curious and hopeful. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. What is needed to hold hope for our future generations? Can small things lead to big change so it doesn't feel so overwhelming? What does today's message of hope look like to you?

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