Let’s Start in Child’s Pose… again

Happy New Year.  I’m not a big fan of resolutions, as they seem to set us up for rigidity, perfectionism and, all too often, what feels like failure.

Instead, perhaps we might set intentions for ourselves.  In that spirit I invite you to think about (and share if you care to) what sorts of intentions you might like to embrace for 2011.

An intention can be whatever we choose dedicate our striving, loving, learning and giving to.  It can be as simple, even seemingly corny, as:  I dedicate the folding of clothes, the driving of children, the earning and spending, the helping, the exercising, the writing and creating, and/or the playing and laughing to… (our collective spirit, our children, our world… all of the above).

This sort of deliberate intention makes life into “yoga” (even if you don’t call it that)—the binding of body, mind and spirit to a common focus.

My intention, at least as of today as we crest a new year, is to harness body, mind and spirit toward the healing, and ameliorating, of fear.  This I place in the service of greater consciousness, which is what I feel I can contribute, in my own small way, to the group.

I believe that this is an epoch where we can all do a little bit for a few others we really care about, and that this is an alternative way from top-down thinking where a few elite idea-shapers set the tone for a culture.  A more interconnected, but authentically so, culture will be more robust in the face of messages of fear-mongering that are meant to part us from our money, our autonomy and our individuality.

At a social level, I encourage those of us who cross each other’s path in this corner of the blogging world to consider the importance, for our global culture, of beginning of life issues.  Committing resources (by which I mean attention and intention, as much as money) toward pregnant and new parents.  This, combined with empathic support so that they can accurately understand and attune with their children, potentially changes our world.

Too many of us remain terrified in our core, secret, lonely selves (later this shows up as narcissism, cruelty, violence, greed and even sociopathy; as human beings living in homeless or in prisons, living in poverty or on drugs meant to keep the demons at bay, endlessly searching for a love that will transform them, yet never realizing that they are as afraid of such a love as they desire it).

We can certainly come to understand, and heal, the fear we have been carrying without true consciousness about it, and I’m very excited about that (and wishing to assist).  But the enlightened thing to do must also include addressing the problem of pervasive, and insidious, fear at its root:  and that is in the first couple of years of life, in the pre-verbal and primitive dungeon of the brain before it is a mind.

Parents need to become conscious of their wounds and losses (for then they will not negatively impact their children); and parents need to be supported to accurately understand, and respond to, their children (as this creates secure kids who are positioned to grow into their best Selves).  Getting this right frees us to be happy; getting this right makes our world a better, more compassionate and enlightened One.

The Buddhists speak of relinquishing fear and desire, and I have come to see fear as even more central and deeply rooted than desire, emanating from the lizard brain—the lizard brain that often got freaked out early and never learned to trust, to be able to stop fighting and flighting in terrified an unconscious isolation.  This, I believe, is the fountain of human angst and alienation.

I shall have more to say about healing fear (as this allows greater love, creativity and presence to the moment) as weeks progress, but a second intention I set for myself is toward greater clarity, simplicity and brevity.  Still it’s an intention and not a resolution, so if I go on a bit… just skim, or come again on a more concise day.

In the spirit of relative brevity (yet still in the service of our collective children, and the secret scared children within us grown-ups), I’ll leave it at that.

Namaste, BD

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17 Responses to “Let’s Start in Child’s Pose… again”

  1. Mark Brady Says:

    This invitation to support the beginning of life, Bruce, is something I can resonate with. Doing so turns out to be an investment that pays developmental dividends down through the generations. Where can you get a better return on your investment than that?

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Hi Mark, When well-being AND ROI meet it does seem like a good play all around. Perhaps we have nothing to fear but the fear that lack of fear will collapse commerce? Here’s to an abundant year all around—body, mind & spirit.

  2. Beth K Says:

    Okay, here are some of my intentions:
    to enjoy my daily interactions with family members, to see and accept my children and husband for who they are, to set limits with a demanding relative, to have more fun, and to be flexible while remaining true to myself.

  3. Beth K Says:

    My “intentions” sound a lot like resolutions.

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Hi Beth, Let’s not let semantics get in the way of a wonderful year—perhaps if you are gentle but resolute in your intentions they will prevail. And if you place them in the service of love, or our collective children, they get a little kick of extra spirit. All Good Wishes, BD

  4. rebecca @ altared spaces Says:

    My intention is to be more present with the moment unfolding. One thing that inhibits that is a full email box or a messy horizontal space. It distracts me with its confusion.

    Hence, I’m intending to keep the cluttered places a bit more tidy, thus allowing my truest life to be lived.

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Hi Rebecca, Sounds good—but when you do encounter the clutter you might squint a little and allow yourself to see the beauty in that clutter… in the signifiers of life being lived, children moving through our collective space, magazines calling for attention, dishes reflecting the good fortune that we eat and live… seeing the beauty in the wild tangle of our inner lives. If we see our inbox as invitations, not obligations, we can decline without guilt, find quiet non-action and perhaps harmonious spaces may flow from that?

      I’m just hoping that being connected in our universal clutter may help us find true center, rather that trying to appear to others as if we’re neat, calm, collected and have it all together. I certainly know that I don’t have it all together, but I like being in that space with you and others willing to be real about it—like settling into a well-earned shivasana 🙂

      Namaste

  5. kkenisonbooks Says:

    I’ve certainly learned a great deal about life on my yoga mat. And interestingly, as I’ve made an intention to live more courageously, I also find myself doing a lot more yoga. The practice feeds the intention and vice versa. Thank you for clarifying. Here’s to brevity, ebullience, and flexibility rather than fear.

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      As far as I’m concerned, Katrina, we are yoga buddies—practicing virtually together (along with all who care to join). Here’s to relinquishing fear and cultivating courage—together and in service. Namaste

  6. rudrip Says:

    I like your global metaphor about yoga. What we do, what we say, how we act all contribute to our own personal yoga. My intention this year is to honor my hours. I realized that there are 8765 hour in a given year. In 2010, I spent so much of these hours wasting energy on worry and fear. This year I am making a deliberate effort to honor and accept the unfolding of my life, by consciously dismissing thoughts that contribute to my own personal malaise.

  7. Terry Castle Says:

    I intend to let my oldest child go off to college and not make it harder on him than it already is.

    Please give me the courage.

    Hope you are well. Peace and health and love in the new year.

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Hi Terry, That does sound like a hard one—so we’ll send good wishes for courage (I’m sure you’ll be brilliant, but we’ll meet up here to commiserate if it helps) as well as thanks for such kind wishes. Peace, health and love right back at’cha. Namaste

  8. TheKitchenWitch Says:

    The only resolution I can manage is “Do No Harm” this year. However, my scared little lizard brain is looking forward to future posts from you on this topic. xo

  9. BigLittleWolf Says:

    I long ago gave up resolutions as they served little except a sense of defeat. What you call “intention” I call a guiding phrase or principle. Failure is impossible as long as I remain aware of it, and more likely, in awareness, I heed it – at least some of the time. I’m “intending” to attempt to get back out there – which to me, includes not only socializing more if possible, but rejoining my most deeply rooted passions in the “out there.”

    Perhaps in that, I will model for my sons what I ask of them – to live their own passions well and fully.

    Time is fleeting, as they say.

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