Last week I had the pleasure of 21 children visiting here at Human Liberation. And I just wanted to share some of this experience with you, as I think it is important to consider in a day to day life which for many children is comprised of a lot of fun, but also of a sense of requirements, expectations and noise and little time for rest, reflection and turning the focus inward.
It makes me happy to see what lies deep within these beautiful kids’ hearts and that they are the future. They still have so much innocence and are formed so easily. Therefore, I feel a great responsibility that we as parents need to be aware of, when we guide them with love from kindergarten to elementary school, from elementary school and into adolescence, and from there into becoming young adults. The very best we can give them, I feel, is to build them up to observe and take action in alignment with their core self and use this in their development and learning prosess, make them able to face any situation with a sense of self power, the feeling that I CAN DO THIS, that we are never tied up, but that we can find solutions to everything. Often we limit ourselves because we are afraid of the outcome. But if we allow ourselves to be influenced by fear, we will never get to experience how lifes’ dynamics actually change radically, if we decide to opt out of this one feeling: FEAR. Leave this feeling out of your life and have trust that things will work out as intended, and that this may not always be what we think it should be (therein lies our boundaries).
It also requires a trust that we are good enough in ourselves, even when we strip away everything else. If children have a basic confidence in who they are, and love this person (theirselves), and have tolerance for everyone else, I think it's easier to face life without fear. Pressure from the outside world will then peel off.
We talked about some of these things, the kids and I, especially about giving themselves some moments during the day to be still. For as long as we are constantly purging our senses with a continuous pressure through sight, hearing, taste, use of the body etc, we are not able to hear the small quiet voice deep inside, that is the essence of who we are. Everything we take in through our usual senses is changeable... our physical body, everything we own, everything we know, everything we do, friends, school situation, all the thing we might think define who we are. But what makes each of us who we are, are not these things. What we FEEL, however, when we close all these senses and listen and tune in, is the REAL TRUE SELF, which is eternal and unchanging. But this little voice doesn’t cry out loud, and therefore it is easy that it becomes forgotten or drowned by the more aggressive aspect of the self called the EGO (which expresses itself through the senses that are directed "outward", mentioned above; how we look, what we do, what we have, what we think we need, etc, NOT the same as egoistic).
These things are difficult for adults as well, perhaps indeed much harder, for children are mostly in strong contact with their heart and emotions. But we must help them to find time and space for silence. It's usually something they do not choose, it is no longer natural to them, they have become too shaped by the environment. So we must help them to choose it, in the beginning maybe not choose even, they may actually need to be placed in such a setting, or be deprived phone / Ipad / TV for a few hours.
As we traveled around the world for a year (we arrived home in July), we experienced just that. Our children had little access to phone / ipad / TV and as time went by, abilities, thoughts and creative expressions emerged that neither they nor we knew was there, at least not to such extent. Our little girl of 10 is being very influenced by sitting with electronic media. She gets annoyed, can not connect to the world around her, do not know what she's thinking, feeling, wants or likes, if being asked, even after she has put it away (meaning the energy stays in her body for some time after), in short she looses touch with herself, and when she “comes back”, she expresses that this is not a good feeling. She is perhaps extreme, but I know a lot of kids and see a lot of the same symptoms in everyone, at least apathy. For her, a new world opened up, as this type of stimuli was reduced (she didn’t use it that much before either, so that just shows how the devises immediately capture and works on the unconscious mind and shuts off the SELF ). And that's what I think it's all about. To unlearn, peel off much of what we / they have created around them, stimuli they think they need, so that who they are under all of this, can come forward. In many families letting the children wander away in their own world with this kind of stimuli works as a relaxation, and this is where I feel parenting is so important. We cannot let them sit with these things for hours, just because we’re tired or can’t be bothered to think of something else for them to do... It's just in the beginning we must help them. First, by taking away / limit the use, then help them with trying out something different, and then they will naturally seek new things out themselves and desire this, for they feel happy and they feel satisfaction of having THOUGHT something, CREATED something... This creativity lies in every person, in one form or another, it's just about luring it forward. And we need to trust the process, have patience and not give up.