Recently, I interviewed Kitty de la Beche, Founder of Playing Grown Ups, millennial coach, meditation teacher, writer and all round force of nature/wonder woman.
She teaches Transcendental Meditation , which is the type of meditation I practise every day (which makes me like her even more!); I find this meditation to be ah-mazing and a total game changer for me.
She specialises in working with millennials, which is me, and maybe you too, if you were born in the early 80’s to early 2000’s.
So I was intrigued to ask her some questions!
We chatted about meditation, the struggles that we millennials face, some great tips and her incredible work.
You’re a teacher of Transcendental meditation. What makes it special and how can it help people?
Where to start… I have been practising Transcendental meditation for the last eight years and became a teacher of it in 2014. I chose to take the big step into taking the teacher training in order to work with troubled children in pupil referral units within the UK. After my own research and experience of the technique I was sure it would help them and it did. (Check out this doc on her work in schools and teaching them meditation, it’s inspiring!)
After experimenting with many meditation techniques, for me, it is the most effortless and easiest technique that I have come across.
It is special for many reasons; firstly and fundamentally it is a practice that I can do on my own at home. I do it twice a day, everyday, as a way of being able to connect to myself, reboot my system and hit pause. I have a busy lifestyle and having this as a daily routine is my secret weapon in maximising my energy levels, inner strength and solid center.
It can also be practiced anywhere. From the tube to in a car, as long as you are not driving, planes, trains, in bed, at work. It’s the most flexible, efficient and powerful technique out there – in my opinion.
What specific issues or challenges do you think millennials face?
I feel that the main challenge that our generation seems to be facing is the dialogue they have with their own mental and emotional health. An interesting fact I came across online was that as a millennial you are 6% more likely to want to attempt suicide today than any other person in history. As a whole, we make up ¼ of the world population, so what does that say about what our generation is going through?
What I notice is that we seem to be in overwhelm. Our reality vs our expectations for our lives are not even close to the same thing and with social pressures mounting in terms of our desires to succeed and our ideas of success being based within that of fame and fortune. What we do is never enough. Yet what many of us are doing in terms of redefining what it means to have a job today, is in my eyes is amazing.
We are a generation of redefiners, misunderstood by our predecessors, the baby boomers, and living in an age of a connecting economy that for our parents seems from the outside like we are just wasting time. This transition and transformation we are leading is the millstone around our neck. And yet we pretend that we are ‘OK’, that we ‘got this’, we share and post to facebook, twitter and instagram pictures of our ‘amazing life’ when at times we are feeling far from amazing. I know this because I do it too. It’s an attitude of ‘just keep going’. To me we appear to be isolated within a sadness that is never seen or expressed and I think this is the thing I find the most scary. I feel that what I am seeing and hearing about is that we seem to have lost our ability to be freely authentic and ask for support.
As a response to this I recently I started a womens group femaleinnaspace.com in order to host biweekly events that open an inquiry into our journey towards conscious womenhood. As I am actively trying to create spaces in which the conversation around our emotional and mental well-being has a place to be addressed and explored.
What tips or advice can you offer millennials?
My top 10 things I would recommend exploring:
- Have more FUN – it’s simple but laughter is literally the best medicine.
- Get more sleep – sleep is how your body heals; without it it’s no wonder that we are stressed. Go to bed before 10pm to really maximise your energy and feel refreshed.
- Start practising being honest with yourself and others even if this is uncomfortable at first.
- Notice how you are feeling more, breathe into your body before responding during your daily interactions.
- Don’t isolate yourself when you are sad instead get help and support
- Explore what a therapist can do for you, you don’t have to hit rock bottom before you do this, therapy can be an excellent release and way of accelerating your personal development. In my experience all the most successful people have them.
- Try learning a meditation technique that works for you, go to a class, get a teacher.
- Try out a coach, a brilliant way to have support and someone who you check in with who can spot your blind spots and give you honest feedback.
- Inquire into alternative methods such as Calmer You in order to release emotional blockages in a very gentle and noninvasive way.
- Find communities that can hold a space for you to heal and grow, such as Female Inna Space biweekly events.
When we feel our jeans are too tight we hit the gym or go for a run. The mind is as important as the body. You are not alone and there are so many things you can do in order to take care of yourself holistically for both your mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Pick one and start today.
What is ‘Playing Grown-ups all about’?
Honestly, for me, it started as a way for me to communicate to the world how I felt as a millennial exploring my own journey into conscious womanhood.
After a few hugely transformational experiences such as; learning to become a meditation teacher in the woods of Holland, a relationship breaking down that quite literally demolished all that I thought I knew about being a grown up, and running a project teaching kids to meditate in sussex – I was left in a limbo between a previous life as a film producer and a future that felt scary and uncertain. It was through the restructuring of my life, my practice of meditation and training as a life coach that Playing Grown Ups was born.
On arriving back in the UK I was sure that I could not be alone in what I was going through and as it turned out I wasn’t. It would seem the more people I opened up to about my experience of grief, heartache, personal development and transformation the more and more I found my way into a community of like minded-ness that was inspiring.
So I started to investigate into what I could do that might not only allow me to work in the world of wellness but make a difference in a way that I wanted to.
There is no real support for us after university, in educating us in our options we are just labelled adults and left to our own devices to make it work the best we can. It’s terrifying.
Playing Grown Ups is therefore a way in which I am opening an authentic dialogue between my inner thoughts and my generation. I do this through my blog, coaching, holding events and speaking.
What does it mean to become a grown up?
Haha! I don’t know. All I do know is that it causes massive debates when I bring it up at dinner parties!
To choose to grow, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. To ask ourselves; do we want to be committed to growing up, like vertically or outwardly in all directions into conscious adulthood.
I think it’s about looking at how we become more socially responsible, personally accountable, aware of our context around others and the community in which we live.
In order for the millennials to grow up we need help, information, support and communication.
I think defining a grown up is impossible but re-evaluating the journey of growth for our generation is invaluable.
Kitty de la Beche, Founder of Playing Grown Ups
Writer . Millennial Coach . Co-founder of Female Inna Space
Facebook : facebook.com/playinggrownups
Twitter : @delabeche
Instagram : @delabeche5
facebook : facebook.com/femaleinnaspace
Twitter : @femaleinnaspace
Instagram : @femaleinnaspace
Are you a millennial? What are you struggling with right now? Let us know in the comments below.