A Day in the Life

Happy Autumn, Gentle Readers!

I've been taking time off to complete our move into our new home, to paint doors and trim, to buy couches and rugs ...

No, not a "teacher" at this time. Sometimes a mother, sometimes a wife, sometimes a housekeeper, chef, playmate, decorator, handywoman, hiker, meditator, negotiator.

Which role is there to play, now?

Allow each role to come to you, to find you, moment by moment. No need to be "prepared." Let that role become the deepest expression of yourself; be honest, open to your own invulnerable vulnerability.

Who am I?

No one. Nothing. Just this Space. Who will I be? ... The same.

Who was I? Also, yes, the same.

Energy with no name.

Here is a moment from one Mystical Mama's life, my autumn offering to you, Mystical Friend ...

It was another hectic morning, getting kids off to school, packing lunches, bribing, cajoling kids to brush teeth, get dressed, don shoes, pack up, load into car.

Then, finally at school, a deep sigh, not late today! My Kindergartner and I, holding hands, enter the gated courtyard that leads to her classroom. There is a giant, regal evergreen there and suddenly, the wind howls through, bending its branches, sending fallen leaves on the ground up in skittering swirls. We stop and watch and hear and feel ...

Standing within our own silence.

"Is it Fall?" asks my little one.

"Yes, it is." I say.

"I never saw Fall before!" she says.

There is silence ... silence ... silence.

"Yes, it's very cool, isn't it?"

"Yeah."

And here is your gift from God Herself to you, Most Precious One: this whole world. Your reality, as it is.

Can you see it? Do you see it? Heaven ...

Here.

Now.

You.

"Graceful Parenting" ... An Oxymoron?

Although not everyone is a fan of this blog's overall title: Mystical Mama, I find it suits me so well, and more and more so. I've thought of changing the name, but nothing brilliant, as an alternative, has occurred to me yet.

Mystical means "having a spiritual meaning or reality" (that's one definition) and Mama, well, a Mama is me. I am a Mama! My life is about kids, kids, kids: feeding them, dressing them, dropping them off, picking them up, arranging for childcare, cooking, cleaning, tidying, tidying, tidying, nagging, berating, playing and loving!

My husband and I have your average, garden variety, long-term (20+ years) relationship. We can be madly in love and ready to divorce, all in the same day. My mother lives with us, too, at this time. There is coming and going, laughter and arguing, irritation and gratitude, often futile attempts to "balance" it all.

It's a "normal" life and yet, the deep mysticism of it is also always there--a deepening of understanding ... understanding the true nature of life, dropping more and more of what's unnecessary in Thought, dropping the choking, restrictive garments of "me" and "mine." Finding, instead Silence, Stillness, Love ... and a great unfolding of Life in ways and avenues un-planned, unexpected, delightful.

Life! The greatest, mystical Mystery of all! (How is that we can barely see It sometimes, so preoccupied are we with our own "successes.")

Thought patterns from the past still sometimes intrude on my "parenting" and I am graced with the ability to see that I have been unfair, unkind, have lacked understanding. Oh, children! Your sweet, innocent souls must put up with so much from us, your crazy parents, with our limited understandings, worries, fears and concerns. And look what we have done with your lovely planet!

For the sake of children, let us begin to know Ourselves beyond the limiting thoughts and beliefs that have plagued every generation up until now. It has been for children that I have stayed the course with my non-profit for more than five years--through thick and thin, death and disaster--for children that I have worked so very hard, and for my own children that I have stopped working altogether from time to time.

Please join me, dear Readers, in the now global movement (with many names, really) to bring peace, clarity and loving intelligence to parents, so that parents can recognize all these in their children, Now.

This Friday, August 5, is my first radio show through the CSC on "Graceful Parenting." Tune in through the Internet at 10 am Pacific time, and call in! Go to this site to listen live, or find the archive a few days later: www.cscmediacenter.org.

Can we take responsibility now for everything? Especially within our absurdly priviliged lives in the West, lives in which food, water, shelter and survival are distant concerns ... Can we end the madness of me, more and mine, mine, mine? (And remember, I am talking about grown-ups, here, in whom such attitudes have real and tremendous impacts.)

Yes, my friends, yes we can. Perhaps the better question is: Will we?

Every day, more children are born and this "gentle rain of children*" serves to remind us of some innocence, some clarity and purity that resides within us all still ... Can we "grow up" along with our children, now?

Join me!

With Love,

Your Mystical Mama

*from Spiritual Parenting: A Guide to Understanding and Nurturing the Heart of Your Child, Hugh and Gayle Prather

Teaching a Child with ADD/ADHD about the Mind

Dear Mystical Mama,

I know you suggest that to live in your health, as a parent, is the best course.

[Note: in 3 Principles psychology, this means "mental health," as in: a quiet mind, receptivity to insight, grounded feeling states (when possible!), & love. --M.M.]

But, besides this, do you know of how to best describe the principles, say, to a 5-year-old? Or what to suggest to parents on how to explain the principles to a five-year-old diagnosed with ADD or ADHD? Can a five-year-old with extreme hyperactivity, impulsiveness, short attention span, etc. grasp or understand how their own mind works?

If so, how would one explain it to the child themselves? Do you explain in story form, parables to them ...or is it fine to just live in it yourself? How do you explain the principles to your own children? Just curious here.

--Robert "Walking Rabbit"

Dear Robert "Walking Rabbit"

and Dear Parents, everywhere! We cannot underestimate the importance of "putting our own oxygen masks on first." (See the two posts below.) Indeed, how will we teach our children about their minds, when we do not even know how to handle, or understand our own?

Are we not all a little ADD/ADHD from time to time? Can we investigate within ourselves, becoming gently curious, as to why? What occurs in Thought to create a sort of "running mind?" How is it that we can run to the store and spend all kinds of money on unnecessary items in a sort of frantic frenzy--what is that state of mind? Or, what creates the need to always be stimulated by some form of entertainment, be that people, TV, books, radio, Internet, and now, gotta-love-it Facebook?

And what happens when, rather than respond and react to this sort of running thinking, we simply allow this mental frenzy to be, understanding that our Health lies beneath this, our Health is the container for this ... ?

Children, it's been said many times, also respond mostly to how we are, much more so than to what we say. This is actually true for adults, too, is it not? We respond to each other's energy. Thus, our own calm-mindedness, our own grounding, guides us around our children, and helps them to calm down, too.

My dear friend and 3 Principles colleague, Gabriela, used to work closely with autistic children. She noticed that the children "behaved better" around those adults whose energy was present with them, who were Mind-full with them (and here I mean the "big Mind" as Mr. Banks defines it.) Finally, our own grounding and understanding speaks to our effectiveness with children if we do decide to share: How attached are we to their "changing" and "getting" what we are saying? How urgent do we become in trying to share our message? Is our trying to teach them really our way of trying to save or protect ourselves somehow? Are we overly invested in the whole thing?

Therefore, do put your own oxygen mask on first! As another wise colleague, Elsie Spittle, has written: "When we change the way we see things, the things we see seem to change." And the "problems" we see in our children look far less insurmountable. In my own case, with my own children (4 and 6), many problems have simply disappeared with the withdrawel of my worry and attention. I "kid" you not!

Finally, please note that I am not advocating walking around in a false kind of "calm," in which you are stirring and unhappy underneath, but showing a placid face. We are going for total self-honesty here. This must be first, above all: self-honesty, ruthless self-honesty. And being truly calm-minded does not mean that one's physical actions are slow and evenly paced, somehow. It simply means that all action comes from the place of wisdom, within.

OK, now, I will actually answer your question Robert. (Geez! I know!) ... What are these many diagnoses for our children--and ourselves--that we face today? I am by no means the expert, but are they not all made up names to describe some condition we believe is somehow the same across individuals? As we have created the words "tree," "faucet," "lawnmower," so have we created "ADD," "manic-depressive," "bi-polar," "anxiety disorder." It is also true that when we rely on the word to convey meaning, we lose touch with the reality of our own, or our child's situation now. We stop exploring for ourselves, we stop observing. Let the experts handle that, we say. What do I know?

Do I believe that children and people with ADD can learn about their own minds? Yes. Do I believe they have mental health and wisdom? Yes. We have a 14-year-old with an ADHD diagnoses in a school with us now who can sit for 45 minutes as we talk about the 3 Principles in his classroom. His teacher says this is phenomenal. How is it so? Because we don't care if he does or not, actually. Because we love him anyway.

Now, I am not arguing for or against medication. I have seen Wisdom point in both directions on this one. But I am suggesting that a "diagnosis" is merely the current and latest thinking of a society that, generally speaking, does not really understand itself at all.

Can a five-year-old learn how their own mind works? Yes. Can we teach them directly? Yes. Can we use a parable? Yes. Is it enough to just live the Truth ourselves? Yes.

I have done all of the above with my own older daughter, and I notice that if I am invested in her learning, or anxious about her learning, she tends to tune out. When our dialogue takes place within a context of love and real curiosity, she gets a lot of it, as do I. But truly, what has been most effective for me is moving into the space and spirit of Love, for myself, within myself. Love for Life, Love for myself, Love for her. So healing. Love is Mental Health.

One final story: I worked with a mother of three rambunctious and "diagnosed" young boys (two of them were.) She wound up with some of the Sydney Banks DVD's and played them on her television one day--just for herself really. She told me that as Syd talked, the boys started to slowly stop what they were doing and come around the television to listen.

And so it seems that the truth is the truth is the truth--for us all. And it can emerge in our families in many forms, "principles" or not. Going back to check our own feeling state, (do we move from Love or anxiety?) is the key. If we are not getting oxygen, we have no oxygen, really, to give to our children, or anyone else, no matter what words we use.

I appreciate and invite your further comments or questions.

With Love,

Your Mystical Mama