In our lives, we focus almost entirely on human life and almost never on our Being.
It is our human life that earns us titles. We are first a fetus. A life. A son or daughter. A toddler. A friend. A teenager. A BFF. A boyfriend, a girlfriend. A student. A trouble-maker, a music-lover. A lover. A worker. An MBA. A fiancé. A husband, a wife. A runner, a hiker, a surfer, a yogi. Unemployed, candidate, new-hire. An entrepreneur, a CEO. A divorcee. A health buff, a sick person. A cured person. A grandmother or grandfather. A retiree. A dearly departed.
The human is always on his or her way somewhere. Whether you are a newly born or someone at the end of your life. But the Being in you, the spirit, is the one that never changes and is always present. It’s the thing or feeling inside of you that is always the same.
From the earliest memory of oneself, to the very end, when the body is failing and the parts don’t work, there is always a part of the person inside that body that doesn’t “feel” 40 or 50 or 89. Some call that the soul, the spirit or one’s consciousness. This is the part of us which is unequivocally the most real, important part of our being human. It’s the seed of who we are that remains the same while the exterior is cracking and falling away.
So how is it that the focus is entirely on the human?
Because at an early age, parents focus on human development, the job of ‘upbringing’ and not on consciousness development. We say “clean your room,” “do your homework,” “change your underwear and brush your teeth,” and “get a haircut.”
To support the whole child, to teach them about how to be happy or at peace, or to deal with the suffering they will experience in life, we have to also teach them about being a conscious human.
We need to raise human beings, not human doings, so we can’t just interact with children on the human stuff, because both dimensions of being are part of our essence. The problem is that so many parents are unconscious themselves and have forgotten who they are, beyond their own immediate title, how could they teach their children to learn who they are?
Labels of who we are shortens our horizons and creates separation from self and others. They create a separation from the miracle of nature, our own miracle. Labels kill the ability for us to be bigger, to live from our own unique essence. It’s while we are trapped in our labels that we suffer.
It’s our job at parents to really look in the eyes of our kids and see their spirit so that they will also see it. We have to teach them to experience the weather, to walk in nature and breathe the air, see the clouds, smell the earth and hear even the small sounds.
We need to look at the stars together and be in awe that we are made of the same ingredients that make the stars. We can teach them gratitude and meditation, even in five minute increments. We can read them books that teach them about mindfulness.
And as adults, we can know our own greatness and not get lost in our smallness. But kids do as we do, not as we say.
We must talk to them about who they are, inside and help them learn that is who is connected to all forms of life, and who is so much more than a future label. That is who can weather the storms of life, and and who is infinitely more powerful than imaginable. And we can easily make this practice a conscious, on-going part of their upbringing.
And the best part is that none of this takes more time—it just takes more awareness.
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Assistant Ed: Renee Picard / Ed: Catherine Monkman