Last night I went to a seminar on “The Taoist Approach to Parenting – Being at Ease,” at my new favorite center for yoga, meditation, kirtan, massage, intuitive therapy and other modalities of awakening, True Nature Healing Arts.
Throughout all this time spent devoted to researching how to raise my kids, I have felt desperate to calm the noise in order to fully understand how to navigate these unchartered choppy, monster-infested waters. I have had to turn off all the voices from my friends tossing advice my way; I worried to much, I needed to chill out, I was pushing my teenager away, I was too strict (hahahahahahahahah).
I changed my habits, completely unplugging while mountain biking or hiking and not allowing airtime for any negative thoughts. Instead I started listening to my instincts telling me that I was right to be that mother fucking sheriff and shut this teenage drug use shit down. I also took all my badass beliefs and launched into meditation to clear my path to the holster.
Soon after the meditating began, I had another one of my crazy dreams but the meaning to this one was as clear as the bluebird skies I was reaching out to for answers. I was mountain biking up a single track with a drop off (I HATE drop offs) and suddenly a bright, white light, like a train light, started to rapidly advance towards me. I was confused. Was it that UFO I had always imagined I might see while driving on long stretches of straight, empty roads in the desert? Was it THE white light one sees when they are dying? Shielding my hand over my eyes to stop the glare I jerked my handlebars and launched over the edge. As I was falling I knew that this was the end and I realized that if this was my last few moments I better enjoy the fall. And then I landed on my feet.
A metaphor for my life as I dive head first into meditation, I have jumped off that cliff and I am absolutely happy here – even though our bank account is in the red and we may have to move again. Maybe I am delusional that all will be okay, but i’d rather be here than completely stressed out and worried like I was a year ago.
In my waking hours serendipitous events are happening all over the place. Things that are far more than just coincidental. Like, when I finally had a moment to reach out and say hello to our new neighbors who were renting the house next door to us. He, a champion power lifter, lifting over 1,000 pounds, just happened to have grown up 10 minutes from where I grew up, had been a juvenile delinquency officer for 25 years and taught kids to switch their addictions from drugs and alcohol to martial arts. I kid you fucking not. I will tell you that I looked up into the sky in complete amazement wondering if I had unwittingly ordered this in one of my meditations.
It’s true, I’ve always been a “bit” of a dreamer and a believer in the mystical. Baddy and I once had a conversation where I asked him whether he would believe me if I told him I saw a UFO. His reply? “I would believe you that you thought you saw a UFO.” I think it best if I stay quiet about my “mystical” encounters.
Quietly, my focus has switched from researching teens to finding out what life is bringing to my attention, but where do you begin researching that? I have taken to asking the spiritual people in my life what I should read and have immersed myself in whatever readings resonate with my own philosophy; Dan Harris, Sam Harris, Eckhart Tolle, Anthony Watts, Deepak Chopra.
In addition, I am saying yes to everything I am invited to that helps me in my studies which led me to “The Taoist Approach to Parenting – Being at Ease,” seminar.
The Taoist Approach to Parenting
We sat outside on the beautiful patio and William Martin, author of The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: A New Interpretation: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents, began with a lesson on The Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu. This is where we learned how if we understand the fundamental perception of what life in the cosmos is, it deeply affects the most infinite of relationships.
Martin believed that in order for us to fully understand how Tao relates to parenting, he needed us to absorb it physically as well as mentally. Moving barefoot over to the yoga spiral we did a small Chi Kung exercise. Following his lead I waved my arms up to receive the universe and flowed them down to receive the earth, torn between feeling a great oneness and being thankful that there was nobody I knew there judging my transformation and thinking that Jilly3’s boys have finally pushed her into cuckoo-dom.
But all of this that I am doing, from research to meditation to studying ancient wisdom, is making me realize that I have come full circle in my parenting philosophy and that what William Martin is saying makes absolute sense. It’s not that we have been parenting wrong all these years, it’s just that we sometimes forget to listen to our inner voice telling us what’s what, and if, like I have said in the past, you let your child be a part of creating a structure to work from as they explore their youth, and if you teach them to be accountable for who they are, you might just be able to obtain that peace that you so desperately are desiring.
THEMES COVERED IN THE TAOIST APPROACH TO PARENTING AS PER THE WEBSITE SPIRITUALITY AND PRACTICE:
Take Care with Labels
Accept the Mysteries of Your Child
Don’t Try to Live Through Them
Demonstrate to Them the Value of Openness
Avoid Endless Talking and Scolding
Try Not to be Overly Protective
Know that Everything You Do is a Teaching
Treat Yourself with Tender Care
Love and Guide without Controlling
Look for the Natural Virtues of Your Offspring
Put Aside Your Agendas for Your Kids
Let Your Children Plan Their Own Education
Respect the Goodness and the Free Spirit of Your Children