Generation Y: ‘Surfing the Energy’ Beyond Everyday Thinking

Overhead view of small group of young adults networking at cafe tableThose who encompass the youthful “Y” generation, often referred to as “millennials,” are facing a paradoxical dilemma. On one hand, they are entering into a goldmine of opportunities for self-actualization that is beyond imagination. Never before has human interconnectedness been so tangible or our potential for individually spirited effectiveness so great. Some will break through barriers and explore frontiers we can’t even name today.

On the other hand, they are practically born knowing dangers and stressors many children of previous generations were not exposed to. Given the scope of economic insecurities, wars, environmental disasters, global terrorism, and political disillusionment, it is small wonder that many can get lost emotionally in their own rapidly shifting perceptions and experiences. The result can be confusion and suffering.

If ever there was a generation that needed to think outside the box, it is this one. How can we ever hope to help them, as friends or as therapists? Focalizing and other similar healing modalities offer us a promising place to start.

What is a “millennial,” exactly? While there’s no ironclad age range for this generation, my personal experience with 18- to 35-year-olds suggests to me they are the people we need to think of as millennials, although individuals may exist who bend such parameters. Over the next 10 years, they will account for three quarters of the American workforce and will comprise the largest human peer group ever. While they tend to be optimistic, artistic, eloquent, liberal, and more adaptable to change than any recent generation, they also know they are living in a dysfunctional world that is evolutionarily at risk. We need to reach out and find ways to help them reach their potential; their future is our future.

To survive and thrive, this population needs to think outside the box, certainly the old discarded confines from “steam punk” generations gone by. To fail to seize the moment in these times would be disastrous. They will need new ways of thinking, and will need to invent and/or discover these new modes of consciousness by themselves or with support of allied elders. Those who were educated either by the institutions built in the 1800s and 1900s, or “on the street” in a previous century, will be hampered by blind spots they don’t even know exist. All these “experts” and advisers can hope to do is to help the “Y” generation learn how to learn. Focalizing is one of the emerging technologies that offers a way for all of us to move more gracefully into an unknowable future, especially this generation and those following.

We are now transitioning from older conventional systems of healing, limited by dependencies on linear biographical stories, toward approaches that are holographic and grounded in our bodies. These methods are still evolving, yet the results can be remarkable. Focalizing is a process that helps individuals and groups to remove the conceptual blind spots that prevent them from achieving their goals and realizing their intentions. It is a process that helps us set aside familiar but limited thoughts and feelings so we can better access nature’s gift to us: our innate intelligence.

Focalizing these aligned technologies together helps us to suspend everyday thinking, thereby assisting us in transforming overwhelming conscious and unconscious life situations into opportunities for transformation. It facilitates access to our own enlightened intelligence so that natural healing can occur. This is not just a mental process; focalizing works in additional dimensions, bringing new perspectives and greater cognition. It reconfigures our emotional and psychological DNA, the energetic sequences within our psyches which were imprinted by our life histories. Through this process, one can be transported to a place of peaceful calm where intentions and desires can be safely expressed and manifested.

The old modes of rational, conditioned thinking cannot bring us to a rejuvenated state of joy and rapture. Through focalizing and other similar technologies, we gain deeper access to that fundamental quality of nature we call consciousness—and enjoy its innate ability to connect us with unseen realms of connectivity that lie “outside the box” of binary thinking.

Energy Surfing—the Millennial Way

I have often used the term “energy surfing” to describe an expanded mode of being-ness that keeps us “outside the box” of conditioned thinking. Coincidentally, the word “surfing” is one frequently associated with the newer generation. Surfing on ocean waves is still quite popular with young people, and it requires physical flexibility. Like riding a bicycle, it’s good to start young and never stop. Surfing is all about connectivity: continually rediscovering the heart of the wave.

“Surfing the internet” is a phrase closely associated with the emerging generation as well. Again, it suggests flexibility and connectivity—to flow freely and intuitively from one link to the next, ending up in a place you have never been before.

We can learn a lot by working with millennials. Starting out in an environment of unprecedented change and flux, they find dangers at every turn. They do not have the option of falling asleep spiritually, or becoming complacent and rigid. To keep at the top of their game, they have to open up to new sources of creative energy, and much of this is accomplished simply by not getting trapped in old energies and ways of thinking.

Also popular with the “Y” generation is “couch surfing,” an art involving no money, but a hospitality trade among strangers. Right now there are 110 million “couch surfers” in 220,000 cities, supported by an online hosting organization that is popular with the twenty-somethings. Some millennials have an admirable sense of how to network on all levels, another “outside the box” way of creative living I call “dynamic linking.”

Another “Y” generation art form is “butt surfing.” Some urban youth use this phrase to describe the ability to just keep going—“by the seat of your pants”—without visible means of support. Countless millennials are unable to find jobs but still find ways to accomplish all they need to by thinking outside the box.

All four of these types of “surfing” require that we stay “edgy,” mentally independent, fluid, and responsive to rapid change. They require that we learn to keep moving and trust in the process. It is more than a matter of not losing the ability to step outside the box; it’s also about not losing the belief that we can.

We can learn a lot by working with millennials. Starting out in an environment of unprecedented change and flux, they find dangers at every turn. They do not have the option of falling asleep spiritually or becoming complacent and rigid. To keep at the top of their game, they have to open up to new sources of creative energy, and much of this is accomplished simply by not getting trapped in old energies and ways of thinking. As new energies become available, changing thinking and behavior becomes easier. We’ve all had attitude changes at one time or another, and we’ve all stumbled across new solutions. In this new playground, we want to take full, conscious responsibility for the ability to catch a new wave, to shift our hearts toward the future. We need to think fluidly, abundantly, selectively, and self-reliantly, but most of all we need to think “outside the box.” That is the best way to get “juiced” with the creative energies that are around us, to feel and become youthful, no matter our age.

Animals and plants in captivity rarely are as large as those in the wild, which have more room to grow. A flowerpot is a good place to plant an acorn, but a bad place to grow it into a tree. If any of us were that acorn, we’d want the whole earth under our roots.

The choice to stay or move on is ours. If we have a choice between being a warm body for someone’s head count, and being a dynamic and vibrant resource for our own evolution or for that of many people, we tend to choose the direction our hearts and feet tell us to move in.

Many in the “Y” generation are still not completely aware of their potential, either individually or collectively. Some are filled with doubt. In order to develop the strengths and skills that will enable them to achieve what they must, they will need the acknowledgment and support of previous generations. By holding clear intentions and directing their energies toward a sustainable future based on their own vision of what this might include, the youth of this emerging generation can avoid becoming distracted by the cascade of stimuli around them. We owe it to ourselves to help the “Y” generation become leaders of the future, without getting in their way. Perhaps they will help us, as their elders, to remember to enjoy life as energy surfers and not get trapped in a box of our own uniformity.

References:

  1. Benckendorff, P., Moscardo, G., & Pendergast, D. (2010, March 3). Tourism and Generation Y. Cambridge, MA: CAB International.
  2. How couchsurfing works. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.couchsurfing.com/about/how-it-works
  3. Machado, A. (2014, June 18). How millenials are changing travel. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/06/how-millennials-are-changing-international-travel/373007

© Copyright 2016 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Michael Picucci, PhD, MAC, SEP, therapist in New York City, New York

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Maddie

    Maddie

    October 31st, 2016 at 7:04 AM

    I really worry a whole lot about these kids. These are my own children so I see on a daily basis the amount of things that they are exposed to very early on and it scares me that a lot of their childhood is being eaten away by outside forces,. most of which is beyond their control and even understanding at this point.

  • Michael Picucci

    Michael Picucci

    October 31st, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    I understand your worry. It is shared by many parents and millennials themselves. They may not be aware of the possibilities and unique calling of their generation. As a starter, your own children may way want to check out theinstitute.org/focalizing-projects-in-action and if interested contact the nonprofit Institute and see if there are any ways they can be supported. They are also welcome to Skype w/me professionally. See my GoodTherapy.org profile for my email address.
    I hope this helps, Michael

  • marco

    marco

    October 31st, 2016 at 10:11 AM

    I hear people say all the time that they have no faith in my generation but I don’t get why they don’t. We are savvy, we are smart, and for the most part, we are responsible. We are not racking up huge debts and we want to be friendlier to Mother Earth and clean up the environment. How come we are making you scared? What about the things that we believe in strike one as so irresponsible?

  • Michael Picucci

    Michael Picucci

    October 31st, 2016 at 3:05 PM

    Thanks Marco for illustrating what the article attempts to do. I believe the older generations are fearful of you because of their own ‘conditioned thinking’ that was part of their generation. They don’t often really look around to see that that thinking is outdated and dysfunctional in present time. Therefore, they expect the younger ones to do their way without even noticing that their way doesn’t work well for others these days, and they default to criticizing millennials who are simply trying to find their way in unchartered territories. When elders understand this, they can begin to be supportive allies in supporting new ways of seeing and negotiating the world. Perhaps they can be part of intergenerational creation that supports everyone and the planet.

  • elicia

    elicia

    October 31st, 2016 at 2:01 PM

    The world today is fairly intimidating and if their parents have not taught them coping skills then the children of this generation are going to have a tough time dealing with the reality.

  • Michael Picucci

    Michael Picucci

    October 31st, 2016 at 4:27 PM

    That’s sadly true Elicia. Yet, their parents can’t be blamed for the fast-paced changes that have taken place. They too are lost, yet many are in denial of this – a self-protection mechanism for what we can’t handle. The reality is we are all going to have a challenging time moving forward w/o using the outdated past as a guide. It simply does not work! My dream is that we come together for this challenge of creating a new world that our parents could not possibly have dreamed of. Yet, younger folks are more open to the new and have vast resources at hand. They only need some support (rather than demoralization) from their elders. If this happens, all kinds of new and rich possibilities can open for future generations. If it does not happen, there will be a very unfortunate time ahead. Help us do it: theinstitute.org/focalizing-projects-in-action and if interested contact the nonprofit Institute and see if there are any ways they can be supportive and supported.

  • Eleanor

    Eleanor

    November 2nd, 2016 at 12:26 PM

    Just like the previous generations have always managed to do, this one will succeed too. So it may look a little different than what we are accustomed to seeing. That is not their fault. Perhaps some of us older folks just choose to wear our own blinders and refuse to change what we deem to be a success.
    This all has to be kept in context with who this generation is today, and not who we were forty or fifty years ago. Our parents probably thought some of the same things about us.

  • Michael Picucci

    Michael Picucci

    November 10th, 2016 at 10:15 AM

    I agree Robbie. Yet, this generation is unique for a number of reasons (check some of my other articles on them at michaelpicucci.com/articles . They are larger than and more informed on many levels than past generations, and very misunderstood by elders. For the good of all, they need to be earnestly heard, and supported. In five years they will represent 75% of the workforce and they will mostly do that in different ways than us elders.

  • robby

    robby

    November 3rd, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Couch surfing?
    Isn’t this just basically crashing at someone’s place while you have no where else to stay?

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