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My son is fourteen. He will be entering high school next fall. He is in a period of questioning who he is. He is learning to become his own individual person. It is incredibly fascinating to watch him go through this from the sidelines. There is something about being a teen that makes the “self” become so damn important. The irony is this sudden clinging to self, the identification with it….causes an awful lot of emotion and drama. It is an exciting time but it isn’t one of the happiest times. There is a lot of confusion. There seems to be an incredible need to label with hair styles, music taste, hobbies. All of these things are suddenly such an important part of this package that is being created. But it is just that.. a package. It has nothing to do with who my son really is.

When I was a teen I remember this driving need to label who I was and where I belonged. I was part of “The Scene”.. which essentially was a bunch of messed up punk kids. Within ‘The Scene” I was part of an elite group called “The Bitch Brigade”. We were tough. We drank and smoked. We were drop dead gorgeous girls who both terrified and fascinated the boys around us. We were breaking the mold of our childhood. We were like toy baby dolls with ripped clothes and pen marks scribbled all over us. Somewhere there was still innocence in our faces but a layer of graffiti now covered us. This layer felt incredibly  important. It defined who we were.

Much of my adult life has been spent undoing this intense labeling of self that I created in my youth. As I peel the layers off I feel both sadness and immense relief. I am no longer a punk. I am no longer in “The Scene”. I am releasing the “Us against Them” mentality. Yoga has been a huge part of this process\. My yoga and meditation practice helps creates space for me to just be. It encourages conscious relaxation in the present moment. There is no label. There is no me. There is just consciousness experiencing itself. I feel scrubbed clean.

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