This is a post from our Thinking Feeling Willing program, part of Mom Lesson 3, Inner Work and Conscious Parenting.
A while back, I was having a moment with my oldest son where I had to really step up my message about something. He was struggling with a moral issue and Erik and I as his parents had to lay down some expectations. The thoughts came flooding to me…this is a simple task, but it isn’t always going to be easy, he has society hurling things at him all the time, how will he navigate these teen years? For our personal lives, we live very Gospel centered, meaning that commandment of “Love God & Love your neighbor” is at the center of our lives. Such a simple commandment, but not always easy on the follow through. Things happen, we get off center, we aren’t always impeccable with our word, but it is our daily striving. It isn’t always easy to heed that commandment… sometimes that neighbor isn’t very nice and I find myself praying for them and for myself to be more tolerant and let their issues be between them and God. Not always easy.
Homeschooling and being a Beacon for your family is also one of these simple yet not always easy parts of our lives. Seems simple enough… there are a few little rules I have in place… take care of me (inner work) – hold the space – foster love & respect. While those rules are simple the implementation often doesn’t seem so easy – or is it? If you could change ONE thing about your Waldorf homeschooling experience, what would it be? Kids fighting? lesson prep? understanding the material? No matter what that thing is… it always comes back to you. Remember, in Mom Lesson 1, I discussed that rhythm isn’t tied to school, it is tied to YOU. You set the pace for everyone. You have to be that Beacon.
I came up with these virtues as few years back in working with the Beacon program, we are going to revisit some of those same concepts here with Thinking Feeling Willing as this is important work! If these virtues don’t work for you, then come up with some that do, make a pretty picture and put it where you can see it.
Look at the center of the picture… U. This is a symbol and a reminder that it is all about YOU. You have to carry within you the things you want to cultivate in your children. It comes from daily work – as Steiner says, “It is worthless to do these exercises irregularly.” Be consistent. It is that consistency that helps this all flow. Consistency helps keep this work simple. Your will forces are what will sometimes frustrate you into thinking this work has to be easy and somehow you are making it hard. Remember, I never said it would be easy. Simple, YES. Easy, well… that all depends on you and how much you resist. Yes, I did just say you were the one resisting. Now that isn’t to call you out and make you mad at me. It is to remind you that you are the master of your fate. Just as William Henly reminds us in his poem “Invictus” – “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” YOU have to be the one to decide that you will strive to become a master of this work. YOU have to decide it is in you to do this.
I love the line by Thomas Merton “What can we gain by sailing to the moon, if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves?” This is a reminder to me always to stay grounded. This reminds me to look within before hunting all over for an answer. This reminds me that I am all that I need to be… I have it within myself, I just need to cultivate it, pull it up and use it, draw it forth… God already gave it to me, all the knowledge, all the strength, I just need to get out of my own way and USE IT.
Take the time to get up before your family and be ready for your day, take the time to bless yourself with a communion with the Divine, take the time to Love yourself, take the time to hold the space and be present with your family (children AND partner), take the time to learn something new. Commit to yourself.
Life will pass you by – even if you convince yourself that you are living it, if you don’t take the time to really let the important parts wash over you. We are often so anxious to say “that can’t work for me,” or “she just doesn’t know me,” when we should be saying “I need to try something new to get a different result.”
Commit yourself to this path…this simple path. Decide that you will focus on the essentials. You can do it! I believe in you always.
Love and blessings.