Aligning ourselves by just one degree

parent session at Grow the Grown Ups camp 2014

parent session at Grow the Grown Ups camp 2014

Many of us at Embercombe experienced the wise words of Pat McCabe, Woman Stands Shining, this Autumn, speaking about “Thriving Life – Feminine Design and Sustainability”. If you missed her talks – at Embercombe, Schumacher and Findhorn, and her day workshops, I highly recommend listening to the recording made by Schumacher’s Rob Woodford:

There are many things she said during these talks which I return to, and which continue to inspire me.
One of these things is how if I change the way I am facing by just one degree, and then walk, as time goes on I will end up in an increasingly different place than if I had walked without making that one degree turn.
This is not new wisdom – “a stitch in time saves nine” has been said before in many ways. It is spoken by Pat with a vivid presence and open heart.
This is also at the core of the message of the Children’s Fire, close to Embercombe’s heart, about which Mac speaks so eloquently http://macmacartney.com : “The Children’s Fire is part of the Earth teachings of the elders of ancient America. Over time the elders came to understand that all human-created institutions needed to reflect the balance and wisdom observed in nature. The Children’s Fire was a reminder of the first promise: “No law, no action of any kind, shall be taken that will harm the children”. It is now time to re-kindle this fire: in our corporations, governments, religion and education.”

Each shift each of us takes, even if it is apparently small, contributes to a different future.  Each time one of us chooses something life enhancing, something that acknowledges and celebrates Life Itself, we are “revolutionaries” for Life, as Pat says.

I hold this to be true in the work of conscious parenting.

Conscious parenting is a valuable contribution to actively changing our world.
The starting point is that parents all want the best for our children.
We are automatically, biologically, motivated to make the world a better place for our offspring.
When we become parents, we seem to find ourselves both repeating and reacting against things our parents (or carers) did. If our parents were overly authoritarian, we may become permissive parents, with the best intentions, and then struggle to give appropriate limits. If our parents were laid back and didn’t notice us as much as we’d have liked, we might be so diligently attentive to our children that we don’t trust them to find their own way. If our parents acted towards us with violence, we may even avoid conflict for as long as we possibly can, and then snap and find ourselves dishing out what we received, in spite of ourselves. If we are curious, and confident, these moments are golden opportunities to change – to heal our own child-aspects still there inside us, who needed something they didn’t get growing up. This takes time and a willingness to feel vulnerable. And often needs to be done with support.
The effect of us making even a slight change in how aligned we are to our deepest values, how present we are with our children, how able to allow their (and our) feelings to come and go, how much we pass on a deep trust in Life, plays out visibly before us in how open, relaxed and confident to be themselves our children are. And how resourced and ready they are to meet challenges.
And so, our own alignment to what we know to be true, as parents, and as adults around young children, even each degree to which we can align ourselves, will have its influence on those who may become leaders in the next generation.