Thoughts of the undertow crashed through my mind.
I caught myself watching them – braced, breath held – as if my intense stare had the power to keep the tide from tripping them off their feet, pulling them under, dragging them out of my life. The pain of their imaginary passing came alive for me.
“If I stare hard enough“, came the thought, “I can save them“, as if my will was mightier than the ocean.
My husband could not see the same dangers as me. He thought the sea was a bit choppy. Fierce, not foreboding.
And the children?
Hand-in-hand they faced the colossal salt, pitting their wits against the waves. Backs turned, they raced the surf to shore, squealing in delight. They could not have been happier.
One sea, three perspectives.
In that moment, it occurred to me that I had got it all wrong on my parenting path. I often failed to see the might of them. This constant connection they have, that we all have, to the intelligence of life that powers us up – the principle of Mind.
“My children would grow better knowing this unbreakable, unshakeable connection“, the thought came.
I was reminded of our inner guidance system and knew for sure that if I helped them to really see this – by seeing it more clearly for myself – they would grow to trust their ability to face anything life threw their way. They wouldn’t have to rely on me because their inbuilt navigational system would always steer them in the right direction.
It is not up to me to try and manage the circumstances of their life when I truly understand that their experience of life comes only from their thinking in the moment. I serve them best by showing them that they are not what they think, no matter how real it feels. They are more than they could ever imagine.
As my thoughts settled, so my feeling state returned to calm; the pressure was off.
And gratitude swelled once again for an ordinary Scotsman who spoke to me from beyond the grave, to share the secret of how life is.
Life as we know it is a divine dream suspended within the boundaries of time, space and matter
Sydney Banks, The Enlightened Gardener (p. 99)
What Sydney Banks Taught Me About Life:
1) Believing what you think can give you daymares
It ain’t what you think it’s the fact that you’re thinking. The nature of thought is fluid – it moves like the tide; ebbs and flows. Thoughts come in, thoughts go out. They only get stuck when we catch a wave and ride it, giving life and meaning to it.
As I watched my children, it was incredibly easy to latch onto those scary thoughts and, momentarily, believe them, because we feel what we think. No matter that what I was thinking was a horror show in my imagination.
The principle of Consciousness brings whatever we think to life and gives us a full bodied, sensory experience of it. Every time. No exceptions.
2) Listening for a feeling lets us know which thoughts we can trust
The good news is that helpful thinking comes with an entirely different quality of feeling, a sense of calm certainty. My friend calls this a “no-brainer”. Knowing this makes it easier to steer in the right direction no matter how compelling our emotions may be. I could tell that my thinking was way off track because I basically scared myself sh!tless when standing in the sand, whilst my children ran around giggling hysterically.
Thoughts that come with a bad feeling are to be treated with suspicion. Proceed with caution; they are not telling us the truth.
3) Individual realities are what we live in, created via the principle of Thought
We all saw a different sea that day. My husband saw a choppy one, I saw a life-taking one, my children saw a pleasure-giving one. No wonder my husband looked at me as if I was nuts when I asked him to keep an eye on the wave racing children.
We each live in a separate reality, created by the power of our own thinking, brought to life by the gift of Consciousness. No wonder we can’t understand why people do the things they do. We live in a different world. All. Seven. Billion. Of. Us.
But isn’t it wonderful to know that our reality changes the instant our thinking does?
4) Softness is our centre
Fortunately, I didn’t contaminate my children’s minds with my fearful thinking because I kept my trap shut; there was a hardness and rigidity about me which would have served them up a dish of sharp words had I spoken. I have frequently fallen foul of this trap and it never works out well. It has taken time to realise that words are better received when they come from that ever present place of softness inside – the place of love and understanding.
5) Surrender is powerful
There is strength in giving up trying to control what is not ours to control, in realising that there is something infinitely more powerful and wise running the show. I often forget the connection we have to the formless intelligent energy behind life. Remembering it and having the thought that I could point my children in the direction of their own connection to it – rather than try to micro-manage their existence – was incredibly freeing.