We are all born to parent.
This was the loud-and-clear message of the Home and Family session at the Innate Health Conference yesterday. We have this instinct, you see. An innate ability and know-how to raise our young; even those of us who are doing it really badly. Even we are born to parent.
The session started off by talking about antelopes. I know. Having missed the previous day, I was a little lost to begin with too, but it became clear to me that we are just like all the other animals in the jungle. When viewed from higher ground, we see that they all have the nous to find food, to find water, to run from danger (I think this is where the antelopes put in an appearance) and to raise their young, amongst other things.
There’s an intelligence running through them which allows them to know what to do and how to do it. We have the same intelligent energy running through us; every living thing is connected to this infinite creative power. The difference between us and the animals is that they just do what they do, no questions. There is no worry or angst or upset. There is no measuring up to some made up ideal. They don’t get caught up in their thinking. They just do antelope things or lion things or giraffe things. No problem.
I don’t know about you, but I have frequently faced uncertainty along my mothering path; endless tricky situations seem to crop up to test my mettle. Previously, I looked to books (so many books), to magazines and to other people to find the answers to my dilemmas until I realised that following this line of inquiry was taking me further away from my natural born mothering know-how.
It is our tendency, when we are thought full, to read the mental momentum – and its compelling feeling of urgency – as a signal to act. That’s just what we do. It seems counter-intuitive to us that we might be better able to solve a sticky situation with our children by giving it less thought, especially since we are all taught the value of figuring things out.
I find it comforting – when I wake up and remember – that something more powerful (and, let’s be honest here, much more intelligent) has my back. When I fall out of my head and into that space where the magic happens, without even trying, practical wisdom just shows up.
We can catch glimpses of the truth about Thought and its nature to renew and refresh, but for our meaning making in the moment. And when we do, bit by bit, we wise up to the trick and see it as less substance, more shadow. It becomes harder for us to take our thinking so seriously – despite how compelling it might seem – when we know that its nature is to change and flow.
An understanding of the Principles offers us hope when we momentarily lose our minds, but, the nature of the game is that we will keep on remembering and forgetting. But how wonderful is it to be reminded that we are born ready, even when we have no idea what we’re doing.
No manual is necessary; our parenting instinct is in-built. And whenever we come up against it, the answers we seek come when we do without doing, via the gift of fresh-in-the-moment-new-thinking.
Other things I took away from this talk:
- There is no such thing as a Perfect Parent. We are all just trying to grow our families; doing the best we can with our thinking in the moment. Our children are doing the best they can, given their thinking in the moment. We try a bunch of stuff. Some things work out great, some not so great; but we all turn out in the end
- A mother shared a beautiful story of the power of love and understanding to save a life
- Another mother said that she feels schizophrenic, when she flits from thought full to thought less and switches her behaviour accordingly. She worries that her children might not know which is the real her, but her wise son simply tells her that her “Thought Cooker” is doing her no favours when she’s all caught up. Totally made sense when Erika said, “We’re all a bit bipolar really”
- When we understand the nature of Thought, we have choices. Kara says dim sum, I say sushi
- And sometimes, we just want to argue!
… I circled the problem again and again, beat my fists on it, knocked my head against it … and then one day when I was thinking of nothing much at all, the answer came to me. It arrived whole and complete – gift-wrapped, you could say – in a single bright flash …
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (page 203)