A Joy-Full Mother’s Day

As I hang out with my little guy at the park today, a few thoughts percolate through my mind. In no particular order, here are my thoughts today about “mothering”.

Parenting as a process that shapes culture.

Do we really need more cultural minions?!

In our society, to parent (as a verb) is to pass along to the next generation the most valuable “lessons learned” from the previous generations, culture and norms. Through the process of parenting we show our children how to become “productive members of society” so that they are “winners” in this game called life rather than loosers. The way we qualify that is we set parameters of what a good, proper, civilized citizen looks like. We teach our children the rules of the game and how to follow them so that they too become “successful”. We teach them that the rules, even when contradictory, are for their own good. We teach them how to fit in and how to be manageable. We reward them for compliance. We shame them for everything else. When that doesn’t work enough, we teach them something is wrong with them, and we drug them to oblivion.

Shame-full and drugged children, after all, are easy to manage.

So, despite the lies we tell ourselves, we end up raising confused, broken beings who learn to live in contradictory states and who surrender their personal power to that of the collective (who is directed, not merely influenced, by the powers that be). All you have to do to notice is look …

Parenting by expectations is killing us.

But there is an alternative way to parent…

Parenting for possibility is the way of the future.

In my reality, to parent is mainly to become the large space of safety so that our children discover the truth of their own experience, and in that, live a quality life of their own creation from the unique yet magnificent Signal of consciousness that they already are. This way of parenting gives children permission to become that which they are born to be, rather than to shape them into what we believe is best for them (or worse, society).

In my model of the world, to parent is to share vulnerably and honestly the truth of our own experience as we move through life. This means that we model to our children that which we wish them to live.

To me, that would be the goal of parenting in the ideal way to parent. There is a certain uncertainty there of the acceptance that what we already know cannot possibly be all there is to know. Possibility and potential live in the great unknown… in the undiscovered … in the wildness of the imagination of what could be!

This teaches us to be humbly curious in the way we approach life. It shows us that what we know and how we choose to live life is no more or less valid than how another chooses to live their life. It is simply a matter of choice… of culture … of conditioning. There is no good, bad, right and wrong …there is simply what we choose in each living breath.

As you can see, the way we choose to parent today will give us the reality of tomorrow. If we parent children to listen to authority and obey, if we parent children to do as they’re told, if we parent children to ignore the truth of their experience and follow the rules instead, if we parent children to silence their internal cues, if we parent children to have no sense of their own unique truth … we are merely raising mindless minions that replicate that which we’ve been replicating for ions.

Question is: how’s that working out for us?!

Is anyone else noticing, how we are parenting is killing our species?

I believe few are noticing, and fewer still are courageous enough to face that reality head on, and then create mindfully a different reality.

Here’s my truth about it: parenting is a force that shapes culture. That means, parenting is power.

I don’t believe children need to be controlled or disciplined. I believe children need to be guided and directed. Not the same thing …

To guide is to educate. To educate is to take time, to give space, to question, to consider, to be willing to change your mind. To educate requires we become the space that does not know, but is willing to discover.

But control and discipline are a lot easier and faster. If I wack you, you will do as you’re told. If I shame you, you will do as you’re told. If I embarrass you, you will do as you’re told. If I diminish you, you will do as you’re told. If I humiliate you, you will do as you’re told. If I put the fear of God in you, you will do as you’re told. …see where I’m going with this?

Rules and regulations are, in fact, not for our own good. They are a means of controlling a population. Period.

Teaching children how to think is far more powerful than teaching them what to think.

To give them a fish or teach them how to fish?

If we taught our children how to think rather than what to think, we wouldn’t need rules and regulations and strict means of control! Teaching them “the way it is” simply accomplishes the goal of keeping them closed minded, replicating (more or less) the status quo. Rewarded for what they already know, not for their willingness to discover, they become increasingly less and less curious about that which they don’t already know. That’s how they become “a chip off the old block”.

Teaching them what they should think, in essence, teaches children to be externally referenced, aka to look outside of themselves for the answers (up to and including their own internal cues).

If, instead, we taught our children about the process of thinking, we would find ourselves in a very different reality. When people are directed toward process (how to) and context (framework, paradigm) they are much more powerful, because they are not easily distracted by the content that is presented to them. Instead, they know to focus their attention on the process of listening to their own internal cues about an external stimuli. And, through that filtration process, they are able to look for patterns in the narratives they’re being taught to consider as real.

Teaching children what reality is rather than how it could be discovered is the equivalent difference between giving them a fish than teaching them how to fish for themselves.

That would mean we teach our children the process with which to be able to listen to their own internal cues and choose mindfully from there. There is tremendous power to living like that. To mindfully choosing to live from our internal cues. What would life look like if we taught our children (by modeling) to honour and live by their internal cues, and thus their highest values? I believe we wouldn’t need rules and regulations and strict means of control because the space inside each individual, and thus the collective, would be SO massive than respect, integrity and generosity of spirit would guide our way forward.

After all, life is but a dream.

Reality is a construct of mind and nothing else.

That’s a weird statement to make to someone who, like the vast majority of people in the Western world, believes reality exists and those of us who have access to it the most are “winners” because we can use it to our advantage (aka against other people, who, are obviously “losers”).

Here’s my take on whatever reality is or isn’t: it is holographic. That means that it is a construct of mind. It is shaped by our beliefs, values and attitudes. This is why you and I can look at the same thing and argue about what we experience, what it means, how it works, or even what it is or isn’t.

In other words, knowing what is “real” is necessarily dependent on the perceptual filters we have about the thing we’re talking about, the world, and ourselves. For example, if we have been taught to believe that women are dumber than men, we will create a reality where that’s all we see and that message will get reinforced in our nervous system to the point it becomes truth, which then shapes the reality of how we treat women.

We have become really good at teaching (through modeling) the content of our culture to our children. Be polite and say thanks, even if you don’t mean it. Otherwise, to speak the truth of your experience (not-thankful) is to be considered rude. So… we teach our children to be insincere and live in contradictory internal states so they don’t offend another. We teach them to be dishonest so they can manage an external appearance labeled “polite” and “good”. We teach them to shun their truth so they do not have to face the shame imposed on them by authority.

In essence, we teach our children that shunning themselves is better than living in fear of being shamed by another.

I can’t help but wonder ….what is the intelligence of that?! What is the fucking point?! How can we expect our children to grow up to be sincere inside themselves if we are teaching them to not be?! …and all this for the sake of optics, for the sake of external approval, for the sake of …hopefully fitting in.

To teach them, first we have to become.

It’s easy to teach our children to be a chip off the old block. All we have to do is live what we preach. The question is, what kind of chip are you? Are you the kind of chip you want to be? What kind of chip would you want your child to be? Do all those match? If not, you’ve got a problem. Because your kid won’t do as you say, s/he will do as you do. Modeling, after all, is our greatest teacher.

Unless and until we rise up to the occasion and mindfully create a life of our choosing, we won’t model to our children what that looks like… and therefore, we can’t expect our children to be better than we were. With every passing generation being willfully blind to it’s conditioning, the spiral deepens and intensifies…

We cannot have different expectations of our children than we have of ourselves. We now have ample evidence that shows us: we replicate that which is familiar to us, no matter if it’s hurting us. We know that we marry our subconscious mind. We know our minds are is shaped by how we were parented when we were literally babies. We know that unless we courageously choose to mindfully transform our minds we cannot transform the quality of our lives. Period.

That’s what it takes to transform the quality of the lives of our children: us, right here right now, rising up to the occasion ourselves. We have to become the very person we want our children to replicate. We have to show them how to live majestic lives, full of self-respect, integrity and generosity of spirit. We have to show them that self-sacrifice is detrimental. We have to question our own conditioning, our own beliefs, our own presuppositions, our own constructs of mind, our own “reality”. We have to mindfully embrace our own fears, our own deamons, our own history. We have to digest and metabolize them all in our body so that they no longer hold charge. In doing so, we reclaim our own power, our own sovereignty, our very our lives.

What I notice around me, instead, are a people who are fine to settle for what they’ve already got (even when it’s killing them or hurting their children) because they are deeply terrified of the presupposed alternative. I see people living in full-blown denial of their own truth out of fear of what would happen in they dared. I notice people lying to themselves, to their own detriment, in a futile effort to defend the life they’ve already got. I notice people keeping ugly secrets close to their chest, hoarding intergenerational shame inside their bodies, afraid of the presupposed consequences of what the shame, revealed, would do to them. I see people protecting predators and shunning those predated because they feel powerless. I notice bodies in pain, contoured into unrecognizable shapes, filled with dis-ease. I notice people living repressed, diminished, dismissed, outraged, terrified, shame-full lives, with little possibility for an alternative.

But for most of us, if we were honest with ourselves, we would notice that our denial of truth, our secrets and the lies we tell ourselves, are driving us fucking crazy. They are causing us to collapse in on ourselves, to live lives smaller than we had ever imagined. How many of you have found yourselves thinking “how have I managed to become my mother?!” or “how is this my life right now?!” or “I never thought I’d be like this …”. The good news is that you no longer have to be.

This does require that you wake up to your own majesty, to your own power, to your own capacity, to your own resilience, to your own resourcefulness, to your own divinity. In that awakening, you might discover there are many different ways to see the world. You might empower yourself to question how else might you choose to live your life, today. You might begin to realize that you can mindfully choose a choice that will propel you toward your desired life.

If you could make one choice today that led you toward your desired life, what would that choice be?

Truth is, if we keep living the way we have been, and if we keep parenting the way we were parented, will only get more of what we’ve already got (more or less). To keep doing what we’ve always done hoping for different results is killing us.

As for me…

I’m very mindful that I live a particularly different life. I have had many people applaud me for their perception of my courage to stand my ground, to live my truth rather than preach it. It’s easy to talk to the talk, we are a very intelligent species after all. But it’s very fucking difficult to walk the walk, every waking moment of every day of of your life. It requires courage to wake up, and then stay awake to our Selves. It requires we become what we wish to create in the world. It requires seeing our own unique majesty for what it is rather than trying to diminish it to fit in or to be accepted by another. It requires brutal honesty with one’s self. It requires vulnerability. And that requires deep intimacy. Which requires we get to know our minds, our bodies and our essence better than anyone else ever could know it. And that, is not how our parents taught us to live.

It isn’t good, bad, right or wrong. It simply isn’t how I choose to live my life. How about you?

I won’t wish you a “happy” mother’s day…

Happy is such a wishy-washy word. It is so airy-fairy. It isn’t quite a dirty word to me, but I feel it might be becoming. Because it fails to recognize the depth from which we can live, because we are a deep, spiritual species (in denial).

Instead, I will wish you a joy-full mother’s day (not because you’ve birthed a child, but because you’ve chosen to be a mother, at all logical levels). A day full of intimate Self-discoveries and claimed opportunities of personal evolution. I wish you a day of majesty, of reclamation of what’s true and meaningful for you. I wish you a day of expanded consciousness. I wish you a day filled with congruent, mindful choices that propel you toward your emerging future!

I wish you a day of choosing your Self over everything and everyone else…

If you’re curious about how else you might choose to live your life today, get in touch with me!

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