Okay, I’m excited about life. I haven’t put anything on the blog for a while because I feel a bit OTT and evangelical these days, but the time has come. If you’re not up for reading a rant, scroll somewhere else, if you’re not sure, don’t worry I won’t push it down anyone’s throat, not in person, or on this blog again.
I went to a women’s retreat in early October, and it was just awesome… If you ask Daryl, the woman who ran it, I’m not sure what she would say, however from my perspective I would say the whole thing was designed down to the most minute detail to allow participants to listen to ‘self’.
We let go of technology, concerns about food or even taking dishes to the sink, external stimulus like books, phones etc were out… The idea; to tap in to your own wisdom and voice. And that was remarkable, it was even more remarkable than I have experienced before, whether on a silent ten day meditation or an eleven day Kakadu bush walk. I am not sure why other than it was ‘tthe right timing’ for me.. The emotional self reliance was stunning. Especially in this world that facilitates an instant response to thoughts shared on line or where external affirmation is so often sought and too often relied on.. In effect, throughout the retreat so little was really said to us, ideas were floated, information shared, but before you got a chance to ask a question we would be sent off into the bush and told to journal non stop, just write, about what you feel, what ever comes up… In this time I would answer my own questions and I learnt to trust my voice more… Sounds simple, but so refreshing. So sustainable, and self reliant and leaving me in a place of openness and willingness to share constructive power with other people.
Anyway, there was much more than this to the retreat. The point I want to make though is that I clarified and re got in touch with what I really, really want to do. And it all makes so much sense. It even fits in that we came away here to Crete, the struggle with a foreign language, the foray into Montessori teaching methodology that schools so much for the soul, the ages of the big kids in schooling etc and, of course the remarkable and so ‘in tune people’ we have met here. It makes sense that there have been hard times, and that the kids sometimes hate it, and that I have worried about the kids soul and self damage, wondered if this was indeed a selfish act dressed up as ‘educational’ for our kids. ‘Will they (or one of them at least) hold it against us forever?’ Has floated through my overactive mind so many times.
So what is my vision? For a world where kids believe in themselves, where kids who have had hard times and good times can learn from their experiences on a soul level, where teenagers know more fully who they are and what they are capable of… Where parents are not ‘bad’ or ‘good’, but we are parents in the real world. Sometimes creating, sometimes crushing. A world where kids can tap into self belief and self esteem with ease in our over stimulated public and private worlds, where they can identify unhelpful distractions and find space to really listen to self and not peer pressure, and where kids can see through media images and social media trying to influence our self image and purchasing power. I see a world where overtired, stressed, financially strapped parents thinking ‘I should be able to cope’, yet struggle in silence, can soul parent. I, as a parent can react to my children in a way that is not so great for my kids, and I can respond in a way that is so fabulous for them and me… I really want to work with kids where they are at, and families too around soul development, soul parenting. In the bush, trusting our voices, stepping into self power, growing hope and vision for the future. To some it might sound so airy fairy…. At times I think how privileged and indeed wanky to be able to consider such concepts when stomachs are starving, peoples are fighting, rape exists…
But as I parent everyday, I witness my destructive, and my soul nourishing reactions and responses to my children… And everyday I realise that my kids are the most precious thing to me. And what can ground me or my work more than to be consciously aware of nurturing, coaching, growing, challenging and even rejoicing in my children’s self awareness, self belief, self esteem, and soul development. It all connects for me (I think in my first blog I mentioned my hope to get to know my children better, their triggers, hopes, and unique styles- bring it on). I see a connection with kids who feel good about themselves and less bullying, I see kids who believe in themselves believing in others, and abusing less. I see kids who tap into their own wisdom and connection with the earth working for ecologically beneficial outcomes, I see kids that feel good about learning and creating, listening and growing becoming global citizens that work toward peace and feeding mouths. I see creative educational approaches that support those that find traditional schooling challenging…
My dream is to work in this realm with kids and families from financially stressed homes, where family violence has been experienced, as in my previous work. My coach on the retreat gently said to me; ‘it’s important start with those that ‘want’ to do it first’, it was the only bit of clear ‘advice’ she implied, she is right… I’ll find my way, one door at a time.
All that said and done, my amazing family are fairly willing participants in this journey of trying out ideas and activities as I observe the responses of different age groups. They and I sometimes wonder where all the positivity goes at times as anyone of us plummets into self destructive oblivion, but as Bozo says ‘ it’s all about the recovery!’ I love that. It allows stuff ups, and encourages moving on… I u
sed to dwell on my grumpy outbursts. Not so much now, there is too much to do!
Please hold this as ‘my take on stuff’, I offer it as my pondering and I welcome your comments.
Kids are kids, are they not? They are incredibly insightful at the most unexpected times. Yasi asked me just before I went to my retreat, ‘Mummy, how well do you know yourself? ‘Cos I don’t think I know myself that well yet’.
Ah the wonders ahead of us all…. 🙂