Thursday, January 23, 2014

Insight Inside Children

I was listening to the 22 November 2013 BlogRadioTalk of Elsie Spittle and Linda Pransky when Linda talked about a young girl she was coaching in the 3 principles.  At one point Elsie commented on the level of wisdom in that young soul and in a flash I could 'see' what she was talking about.  Wisdom or Insight is not something that is given to us. Sure we learn a lot from being in physical form and experiencing life (if we pay attention) but the realisations that come, even from our reflections, are insights from deep within ourselves. They are information that we already know.
I do not have the same insights as another person.  I frame my insights with the use of my attention and focus. What I am curious about provides the temenos for the insights that come to me.  If I ponder and reflect upon the 3 principles then I will have insights about them, if I ponder and reflect upon the complexity of living in today's world then I will have insights about that.  Insights will always come to us, but whether we recognise them is another matter and will depend upon our own consciousness about the fact of wisdom or insight from within.
Young people, if engaged with in such a way that they feel secure and safe, will have their own insights about the three psychological principles operating in all of us and about how they are using those principles to create their lives.  As therapists and parents we are never in control of what they may 'hear' or 'realise' from within, we can only listen to our wisdom about how best to quiet their minds, create feelings of security, provide information and pose questions.  But what is realized from within them is totally out of our control.  But insights and realizations they will have - and they will come from the understanding or connection they have to understanding that already exists within them.
Doesn't that blow your mind away?  If we can help our children to understand the nature of the principles that operate within them, to be mindful of their state of mind and the feelings that come with it, to recognise the quiet and loud voices of wisdom and insight, and to reinforce their relationship with and trust in that wisdom, then their lives will be beyond what we have come to realise in our own and they will be okay always.  They already have everything they need inside them.
Elsie and Linda talk about the need for the adults in children's lives to not look for what is wrong in our children, but rather to look for the fact that they have wisdom. Cultivate that awareness and bring it to your children.  This amazing gift will allow them to reap all the richness that resides in their inner being, that gift will be like allowing our children to open their own treasure chests (and not just the ones flashing across movie screens).  Bring to their attention when you see them in their wisdom and doing things right. Talk to them about what this feels like versus the feelings that come with being in other forms of thought.  In time the feeling of being in wisdom will be something they consciously seek and nurture every day and they will notice sooner rather than later when they are in thought that leads them astray.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

When Insight Seems Small ... but is Huge!

During 2013 I did my best to manage part time employment with mothering, maintaining a large and older home, and caring for our family pets.  It was a big ask.  Cleaning the family home became an irregular activity, the pets were provided with the bare essentials and my parenting seemed to swing wildly from taking the time to be present to often rushing from one thing to another.  There were many many periods in which nothing came together in a satisfactory way. And to top it all off my year ended with the feeling that I just didn't earn enough money to keep it all afloat.
But it's interesting how our minds can get carried away by frenetic trains of thought.  In the midst of all that activity I decided that I needed full time work to bring in the money and would just have to pay for a cleaner, after school care, and every other support I needed. This decision didn't make much sense really, my mind was already filled with too much to do, adding more things to manage and keep afloat - all in the name of having more money available - didn't feel right.  Something deep inside me knew this, and I was walking around with one of those inner niggles going on but didn't pay attention to it.  I half heartedly applied for a couple of additional jobs, and then one day I was told of a job going and that the organisation was 'desperate' for someone to fill the position.  The word 'desperate' stuck in my mind (wisdom signalling!).  'Desperate' wasn't my problem or responsibility, it was someone else's - so what was mine?
Finally I stopped blindly moving forward and instead took out my journal, writing what I thought was really my problem and what I could do about it.  The feeling inside me was that rather than extend myself further I needed to slow down more, simplify and nurture my home, including all its inhabitants.  I started sewing, ideas for two blogs came to me and it felt right to stay with my part time work and extend myself through two new blogs rather than seek more paid employment.
I decided to look for sewing ideas in my local library and came across the book 'Down to Earth' by Rhonda Hetzel.  Immediately, I clicked with the information contained inside.  The first chapter begins with questions about defining what is important to each of us and about how we can align our lives more simply with that calling.  My path has now turned, no more continuation with the frenetic thinking about doing more, instead, I am slowing down and simplifying.
And then I listened to the 22 November 2013 BlogTalkRadio with Elsie Spittle and Linda Pransky.  Both these women talked of how much they enjoyed being in service, but had recently experienced the quiet niggle (wisdom) about the need to do less.  They followed the insights that came out of that space and have now realised so much more - for themselves and others.  And just this morning I was talking with my (senior) mother about how overwhelmed she is feeling coping with the complexities that come with technology in her home.  She seems to have more to respond to, sign ups these days seem to come with automatic upgrades (at a cost) unless the company is notified and websites seem to be very difficult to navigate.  In talking with my mother it was clear that much of what she had subscribed to was now no longer necessary - she had enough information in her areas of interest and probably could live without the internet. What I could see clearly whilst she was talking (this is insight) is that we all can get involved with something which, untethered, can lead us into overwhelm and imbalance.
Oh, how grateful I am for the unassuming and often overlooked activity of wisdom in all of us. Neither myself, nor all the women mentioned above needed to keep a conscious and calculated check on their activity, they just needed to heed the quiet murmurings of wisdom, it is always there.  Activity out of intellect will feel one way whilst action out of insight feels another.  One potentially imbalances, whilst the other always balances and harmonises.  Sometimes the murmurings of wisdom out of insight can seem small .... a niggle in the background, but if we stop and listen and follow, its unfolding can be huge!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Insight Always Comes

The beginning of a new year and the beginning of a new direction with this blog.  Children ... are we raising and educating them in a manner that will provide them with the mindsets and self awareness that will sustain them well into middle age and beyond?  I remember my own childhood - and how different the world is now compared to then.  From experience I know that this will be the case for my own child.  But unlike yesteryear, today's children are not so healthily supported by the environments and contexts in which they live.  Children of yesteryear had cleaner air, cleaner food, more nutritious food, cleaner seas and water, more structure and therefore more psychological security in their homes and communal life.  Parenting in that context could be less conscious than what is required today if we are to truly support our children to grow into sustainable human beings.
As a parent today I am surrounded by endless information on how I should raise my child, some of it contradictory.  How do I make good parenting decisions and how do I model for my child how to make good life decisions. The answer lies in knowing myself.  Knowing that within each and every one of us is wisdom, an innate capacity, when our mind is slowed and if we choose to attend, to know from within in which direction to move.  I need to model for my child and use language with my child that points her attention to the fact that within her, if she chooses to listen, is the most powerful source of direction, wisdom, intelligence, she will ever come across.  The fact is that, if one quietens their mind, information will come about the direction in which they turn their attention.
Insight comes all the time - if we quiet our mind, if we let go of the type of thinking we were raised to use, and listen.  Insight is not the same as intellect.  It is almost a still seeing or a still voice, some of you may call it intuition.  Whatever the name you give it, it has a certain quality or timbre and comes with a calm feeling.  For a brilliant discussion about the presence of insight even in moments of anxiety go to the 10 January 2014 BlogTalkRadio Fireside Chats with Elsie Spittle and Linda Pransky.  As a parent you want to develop your own relationship with this 'home' within yourself and develop the art of observing the quality of your mind so that you may consciously drop old patterns of thought and live more from insight.  It is this same observation of one's own state of mind that can then be transferred to observations of and interactions with, your child.
For example, yesterday I had the opportunity to observe my child in an environment outside my home and not my responsibility.  Her behaviours changed considerably.  Instead of seeing my normally present and centred child I was witnessing one that was demanding and unbounded.  I spent most of my time trying to unobtrusively bring her behaviour back into the bounds of some degree of normality (for her) but this felt like trying to contain spilt paint moving quickly in all directions.  Later that evening, when I had a quiet moment to myself I reflected upon her behaviour and what might have been going on for her. What I realised is that she was in a pattern of thought she draws upon when in that situation - but it was not thought from innate wisdom .... insight.  She (her mind) was stuck.
In the past this situation would have been enough for me to drop into my old patterns of thought.  But with a deeper feeling for intellect/insecurity versus insight, I had the wisdom to know I simply had to let things be until she was with me again.  Then I could observe where her mind was at, do what I could to quieten it down and then use language that would start to build a knowledge base (awareness) for her about being in insight versus being in insecurity.  Her understanding would come from her experience of her feelings and the language I use to differentiate and highlight insight.
Insights always comes. In the year ahead I intend to blog regularly about the insights coming to me during my day, both at home and work - about the importance of modelling and teaching about the fact of wisdom and insight within each of us, and about the contexts and information that support the sustainability of our children, or not.  I hope you will join me for this journey, any questions would be most welcome.