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.