I have a dream for a new generation of children who will retain their connection with spirit and grow up being clear about their path and empowered to shine brightly.
The modern Western spiritual path usually begins in adult life with de-programming.
This is because most adults come to their personal spiritual path after years of following, or rebelling against, belief systems that were not right for them. This can be in all areas of life from a career that you despise, to an unhealthy and unfulfilling relationship.
Oftentimes, being on the “wrong path” is really a way of discerning what it is that we truly value and want to get from our lives—you don’t know what you don’t want until you try it out! Only then can you wake from your slumber and clearly see what you want.
Is a mid-life crisis a window for spiritual awakening?
It’s often around mid-life when the original life goals have been met that a person begins to take stock—somehow they don’t feel how they expected to feel; they have the corner office, a Mercedes and a fat paycheck.
They have the 2.4 children, a nice home and spouse. Yet something is missing—an aspect of personal fulfillment is not there.
They may start to see that they were following the dreams that other people had for them. Usually the biggest influencers are parents.
They expect you to fulfill certain roles: take on the family business, provide them with grandchildren and see they will be looked after in their old age by being financially successful.
Removing the veils of illusion
The result of a life lived in this way can be an accumulation of negative experiences and behavior patterns stored within ones psyche. This can include emotional traumas experienced in childhood, as well as adopted beliefs from parents, teachers and cultural and religious leaders that may not be right for you.
These become so deeply ingrained that one may need to spend years removing the veils of illusion before they can see who they really are and create their life from a clear slate. The best tool that I know for this is meditation.
Through meditation you can let go of absolutely anything! Be it physical pain, old negative emotions, self limiting beliefs and concepts about reality that do not serve your highest and greatest good.
Should we stop programming our children?
Everyone programs their children—it’s impossible not to. After all, we need to teach them useful things; such as the stove is hot, the water in the pond is cold and very deep and it isn’t okay to hit Johnny with your Tonka Truck.
We are responsible for their safety and for teaching them survival skills.
The trouble is that there is a fine line between survival essentials and survival belief programming. Concepts that say what type of characteristics are worthy of being loved, what job is valuable, how much money is respectable and what kind of mate or friends are appropriate are survival programming and just because you believe in it, it may not be right for your child.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult not to do this as our beliefs are so intrinsic to our self expression.
So how can we empower children to be themselves?
I have a dream for a new generation of children who will retain their connection with spirit and grow up being clear about their path and empowered to shine brightly. If we teach children how to meditate then they need not go through the experiences I spoke of above; at least not as drastically.
For example, if we show them how to turn within and let go of disturbances, they will be less likely to hold onto emotional trauma. If we empower them to connect with their own inner divine guidance they will be more likely to know and align with what is right for them and not need to please Mum and Dad by automatically accepting their beliefs.
Dr. Lesley Phillips is a speaker, author, workshop leader, spiritual and meditation teacher based in Vancouver BC, Canada. Her book “The Midas Tree,” a spiritual adventure story for children of all ages is available on Amazon as a paperback or e-book. She can be reached at: Lesley@themidastree.com, or via Facebook or Twitter: @DrLesleyP.
Assistant Ed: Kate Konieczny
Ed: Bryonie Wise
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