“A mother has two lives, the one she lives herself and the one she is reincarnated into as her own child.”
caption for “a mother’s journey”
What is called for in the cultivation of mindfulness, and in mindful parenting, rather than judging, is discernment, the ability to look deeply into something and perceive distinctions keenly and with clarity.
Discernment is the ability to see this and that, as opposed to this or that, to see the whole picture, and its fine details, to see gradations. Being discerning is an inward sign of respect for reality because we are taking note of subtleties as well as the gross outline of things, aware of complexity and mystery. There is a fairness in it, a rightness in it, because it is truer to the whole of reality…
When we bring mindfulness and discernment to our parenting, we come to see how much we tend to judge our own children as well as ourselves as parents. We have opinions about them and who they are and how they should be, and hold them up against some standard that we have created in our minds. When we judge our children in this way, we cut ourselves off from them and us. We also cut ourselves off from ourselves by contracting and becoming rigid. By intentionally suspending judgment and cultivating discernment, we create the potential to reconnect with them.
Discernment includes seeing that even as we attempt to see our children for who they are, we cannot fully know who they are or where their lives will take them.
We can only love them, accept them, and honor the mystery of their being.
~ Myla + Jon Kabat-Zinn,
“Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting”
“A baby wasn’t an idea, as love was an idea. A baby was a fact.
It was a being with a mind and a nature, and you could feel about it any way you liked, but a baby wouldn’t care.
Just by existing, it demanded that you believe in a future: the future it would crawl in, walk in, live in.
A baby was a piece of time; it was a promise you made that the world made back to you.
A baby was the oldest deal there was, to go on living.”
Guerrilla Learning is coloring outside the lines, finding the shortest direction between two points, moving directly toward goals, doing the best you can with what you’ve got to work with now, making what you want for your kids and what they want for themselves as real as you can, asking people for specific kinds of help, getting out of theory land and into the trenches, realizing that schools could take centuries to significantly improve (or to get out of the way altogether) and that meanwhile your children are barreling through childhood…
In a nutshell, Guerrilla Learning means taking responsibility for your own education.And Guerrilla Learning is relaxing—knowing that you’ve made a lot of mistakes as a parent (and an educator) and that you’ll make a lot more, and that that’s okay—your kids are resilient; it’s not all up to you, and life will provide.
For young people, that includes thinking clearly and seriously about one’s own goals, interests, and values—then acting accordingly.
For parents, it means supporting your child in doing so.
It might mean giving your child a kind of freedom that may seem risky or even crazy at first.
And it also means continuing your own involvement in the world of ideas and culture, continuing to read, to think, to discuss, and to create––and being a walking, talking invitation to your kids to do the same.
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