I used to teach yoga to children ages four to eight years old in Los Angeles, which is not a very good idea. Yoga is based in dogma and rigidity (however flexible your body gets) and that is truly the antithesis of a child's energy, but I was not as aware as they were at that time. So, I would say, "Try this, can you do this?" And instantly the kid would be licking his toe with his knee around his ear or squatting in some contorted half-gainer saying, "Oh yeah? But can you do this ?!?!"
Then we would be lost on the grass of the little park, seeing what new crazy positions we could get into. Inevitably, everyone would just start running around screaming and laughing. The kids loved it, but it frightened the parents, for the most part. Were they "learning any yoga?"
It was hard for me to be the teacher. I found the children's way of being particularly compelling, and often times, I wanted out of my role as custodian of the moment of learning something. Needless to say, I gave up trying to teach kids yoga.
Truth is, my whole human perception is filtered through an immovable belief that I have had since my earliest memories: that this time on our planet is one unlike any we have seen before in the past and that the outcome of this time is not fixed. No matter what anyone wants us to believe, I am convinced this time is up for grabs and can be influenced by any beings who have a strong enough will to see beyond the illusions of our world, to think about and CREATE the experience they desire above that which is being forced upon us.
The universe has given me as evidence these two small, but always noticeably growing larger beings, in whom I can see very clearly that we are at least equals to each other -- if not that they are more naturally equipped for this life than I.
I also have chosen to believe that I was lucky to have had a hugely challenging past that caused me, at a very young age, to ask the universe to bring through my life experiences the keys to understanding myself and my world.
By the time I had children, the basics of happiness and healthy self-esteem were well into unfolding for me. I really knew, except for a few very rare occasions, that I was on my way to being 100% well, and so there was not that worry for me that I could not cope with their needs of me. At some point, I realized that these two children produced so much gratitude and joy in me that in their own ways they were like high-octane gasoline for me to get on with my process and get into my best place.
As I have gown as an adult, my model of the universe has developed, and it allows me to actually perceive and believe that children are the stronger more powerful beings on Earth, because they have spent less time in the physical world and consequently have a sort of innate memory of why they have incarnated in the first place.
I believe as a parent, my job is to step aside as much as I can, and allow my child's purpose to come forward. I was not set up as mommy in our relationship to mess with their desires or to convince them to be some way that appeals particularly to my personal idea of how someone should be. I don't want to influence that. But I do believe there are some mental and emotional labyrinths to the world and I definitely feel my job is to always say, "Hey, you know what? You don't even want to go in there. There is no point to that. Trust me, this thing I know." And that is purely because I was first in our small order of three people incarnating on Earth.
And this is funny business I think, because the parts of the world that I have seen that can trap anyone, and particularly a child, as they are trying to transcend the harshness of society's energy directed toward conformity. These pressures are often the elements of life that are the child's biggest teachers. How do I allow my children to get as close as they can to intense defining experiences and be sure they are not swept up in a wave of the world where they are lost to themselves?
This is the biggest challenge for me.
I feel assured that there is a way if I am continuously allowing them the right to think their own thoughts, to express their emotions, to behave as close to what is normal for them, to be wildly and thoughtlessly creative, that they will have enough of their own high-octane juice to skip along the surface of what right now in the world feels much like a raging sea of energetic oppression.
My kids are playful, happy, messy geniuses. I see how, at times, other parents and adults in general find my approach exasperating, until they sit down with one of them. And then they say, "Oh there is something that he just did" or "look at his that" or "he is so this." And there is a winsome knowing on the adult's part where they are at peace with the fact that all is well with these children regardless of how confrontational their behavior may at times be.
You know the truth is -- we all are like this, but we have lost our ability to tap into this effortless enchanted state of being.
Kids are touchstones, I think. And especially during this time as we are being asked to reorder our value system and come up with a new way of sensing and believing in what is, children are very much the keys to a way of being that essentially could lead us home to our true selves.
The first thing I always see with children is that they are creators.
Every inch of a child's being is enthralled with and incorporating the natural state of thinking out of the box and expecting whatever it is they are visioning to become in the world. My experience is, left to create on their own, they can spend time upon time finding their own personal groove and digging deeply into it.
And I do not think that in digging deep into that groove, a child would wind up in China, by the way. I think a child who began digging at birth and kept digging until he was done with his earthly body would dig an entire new dimension of the universe -- namely, his or her own unique existence. So, I think there is no worry that a child has to learn other skill sets.
Case in point, the whole reason why I taught yoga was so that my son, then 5, would stretch and hopefully at some point meditate. But he hated yoga. He literally would just get the kids going and play. Recently, I passed on constantly going into my yogic rigidity and began to dance, which was my favorite thing to do as a kid. Then I got sore and tight and I stretched a little. My son, now 8 walked up to me mimicking every pose I did to perfection and reminded me that I was not following the correct order.
The point is, children will learn the other skills. They are sponges, even while they are unwilling to show you all that they have absorbed.
The real question is, will our touchstones be able to unlearn our fears and misunderstandings, our emotional constrictions and mental bondage in time for the evolutionary/revolutionary process that is upon us?
We may not have that much time to find out.
Allowing True Freedom of Mind
My heart tells me it is paramount that as many parents as possible must realize that this time is about uplifting creativity and complete freedom of mind that spares our children's natural state of being -- for our own sakes as much as theirs. And to try to very deliberately limit the seemingly essential tools of conformity that abound on our planet as gently as we can, without creating a reactionary dogma of our own. That process will look different for every parent/child relationship. There is no one right way.
I can see a time where our children reach their adulthood physically but their personalities are allowed to be much like healthy happy children of the smaller size. I do not think that we can afford anything less from the generation that is coming up no matter how afraid we are that our children will be irresponsible adults. There can be no manufacturing of some state that is unnatural but feels culturally appropriate.
You see, that model has always betrayed humanity as it has been telegraphed through time from the most primitive order until now. Society for society's sake DOES NOT WORK. It has failed us again and again. Conformity, while it feels that it might serve the whole, inevitably leads to veins of impurity in thought, word and action creating a world that cannot even begin to touch on what is real and important for its own continuation.
If we expect a radical fix for our radically troubled times then I think we must depart entirely from the core of our misunderstandings. Achieving a state of passionately diverse happiness based upon the realization and fulfillment of the desires of every being may at first feel like it is a BAD idea, but as the repression of spirit was to dissipate, our true nature would emerge. WE HAVE NO EXAMPLE OF THAT YET ON OUR EARTH. Because we have yet to truly see beyond the limitations of trying to preserve society in general through societal means.
I think as parents in this amazing age as we stand between two distinct worlds, between past and present feeling the pull of the future to force us to make a decision of unbelievably important possibility, perhaps we should defer to the little ones. They seem to be handling the same experience with exceeding grace. Let us let them lead the way, and as we observe them finding their footing, perhaps it will lead us into a state of being that is in harmony with what we truly desire -- freedom.
How do we defer to our children when they are not articulators or not interested necessarily in the same problems as we? Or when their solutions to adult problems seem oversimplified and even at times ridiculous? I think we look to the way they are for the solution. Meaning, we must spend time and we must watch them. Watch them sleep. Watch them eat. Observe how they maneuver. How slowly do they get from the door to the car? How many things do they notice on the way? What do they naturally eat? Do they keep track of days and hours? Are they overly concerned with their appearances beyond a glance of self-approval?
They know the way. We can trust them, sometimes, even better than ourselves. Taking our eyes from our problems and our constant observation of what is wrong with all that is around us may be our greatest gift to ourselves and to our descendents. Let's watch the little ones, and let's let them fill us up with their way of being. Let them teach us how to raise them. We will know when to be selfish and when to be giving. We will know when to finish everything on our plates and when to say, YUCK! We will know when it is time to go to bed and when to wake. We will know when to dance and when to stretch-a little.
And then as parents of children who are leading the way, I think that we can assume that they will know what to do with their boundless creativity as they get there. It cannot get much more defined than that.
Troubling World Events
In terms of politics and global events including environmental issues and disasters, I cannot express with one answer exactly how I feel it is all handled. From my experience, I do not see how focusing on the darkness can ever bring about the light. I believe that in the case of adults, it is a great bit of leverage. Look at the darkness long enough and either you leave this place and your body or look elsewhere. But where children are concerned, focusing on the problem can cloud something inside them that seems to know better.
An example is the tsunamis. Since 9/11, I have been convinced that when a large group of beings is about to leave a planet in one event, they work out who wants to go and who wants to stay in advance. And being that there is some connectivity between all of us, those of us uninvolved in the event really feel awed and confused and shocked by the external appearance of the event mixed with our sense that some beings did not leave or were spared sort of miraculously.
The news hit about the tsunamis and Monty, my 8 year old, caught on and he was feeling a lot of fear. He felt the bigger fear as well as his own, and it was starting to really resonate inside him.
The night before the tsunamis, Christmas night, we had forgone the big family party in the country and spent a vacation in NYC and were just done with a quiet uplifting dinner with a dear friend. She lives in a first floor apartment and in the basement beneath her floor the boiler started to vibrate creating an effect just like an earthquake. We called the fire department and soon enough they shut the boiler down.
My kids have never been in a major earthquake before, but I have, and it felt enormously foreboding. I could not help but feel afraid and I quickly spent a moment examining the feeling and realized something was about to happen, but I had nothing to fear for my self or the children. BUT, something that was coming created a huge wave of exhaustion that overcame me. I could not stay awake no matter what I tried to do. So I napped uncontrollably before catching a cab back to the apartment where we were staying.
The next morning I heard the news and all of it was very clear to me -- that most of the minds/spirits who were leaving had been leaving the night before the waves hit. I explained this to Monty just as I did here above. His exclamation was, "Oh, they weren't afraid or hurt!" And honestly I had to concur. I felt more sorrow for those who had survived than for the ones who went, which is the way it is, I think, in the physical. But I did not focus on that with my son. I focused particularly on the experience I had that the beings that passed over had done it effortlessly the night before.
We play this game at night before bed, where they lie there and I take the sheet and blanket and make waves over them. They giggle and laugh and get very excited by the sensation. So Monty now says, "Here comes the tsunami. Here comes the tsunami. Yay!!! Here comes the tsunami." He knows that this meant physical death for thousands of beings, but you see, in his mind, he is in "heaven" (his word) first and in his body second. He is in life full force, but he is also supremely aware that life is meant to be fun until it is over.
So what does it all mean? Times are changing. In the past, and I mean the long held worldly past, it was about a specific long cycle of goodness and then one of badness switching sides back and forth. There is this sense of inevitability. All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again. The apathy is thick!
But that is the trick, I think. It is a trick to cause even those of us who are highly evolved to think that in the end, the age of Kali or the age of most materialism or whatever you would call it, comes and goes and comes and goes. But if inevitably it comes back then it really never goes away. Why would that be an acceptable solution?
The truth is, there is a bigger cycle that no one has predicted and that few have chanced to see -- one that is born from a desire that spans a thousand ages of Kali. What we are experiencing right now is one of the most profound opportunities the universe has ever presented to a people. It seems the whole world, not just our Earth, is poised on the brink of realizing all the mysteries that even the uncovered mysteries cannot explain.
It is hard to fathom for sure. It is hard to imagine that these little things we do, when no one is watching in our little lives with our little people, could matter so much to all of the world. But true freedom means that we get to create any life that we want. One free mind is infinitely more powerful than a multitude of enslaved thinkers. There is no greater heroic act than to be a fertile ground for this kind of powerhouse child. And I believe, as we allow our children to maintain their free minds, their energy helps to free our own minds. Imagine, a physical world with limitless possibility to experience all that is!?
At this point, almost everything around us has succored us into believing that what is must be, including duality on its most deep levels. Some of us adults may actually shed that incredible veil and see a life that is entirely different from anything thought possible before. But it is our children, most likely, who will be able to dream a new vision for all that is, especially if we nourish them with our deepest love for who they truly are, and the desire that they be free.++