What Krishnamurti Taught Me about Parenting.

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Towards the end of his life, spiritual teacher Krishnamurti told his disciples his big secret was that he “didn’t mind what happened.”

I surprised myself last week by noticing that his statement brought up feelings of bitterness and anger in me.

“Yeah, easy for him to say,” I snapped. “He wasn’t a parent.”

“Huh, where did that come from?” I wondered to myself.

Of course I’m not the only one who’s ever had the experience of feeling so overwhelmed by the busyness and demands of life. You know those moments—the ones between five and six p.m. when everyone’s hungry and tired and the kids are screaming and spreading your well-intentioned-carrots-with-hummus on the walls—when you think there’d be nothing better than giving it all up and moving to some (ideally comfortable) cave in a mountain, and spending your days in idyll bliss, meditating, doing yoga, walking in the hills, swimming in waterfalls..

To be honest, I know very little about Krishnamurti’s personal life. From the tidbits I’ve read, I have an assumption that for most of his adult life, he was privileged, and “spared” the burden of having to worry about mundane details such as work, bills, or deep interpersonal relationships.

Still, this doesn’t account for my bubbling resentment.

The truth is, even if someone doesn’t have the same physical demands in this lifetime, it doesn’t mean they can’t discover deep truths.

In fact, when I’m open and connected to something greater, I know that ascetics and monks, who step out of it all are, in fact, doing us all a favor. They are in a sense sacrificing their own life experiences for the sake of searching and discovering lessons, which they can then pass on to those of us who are open, or ready.

So I can then have the privilege of falling in love, raising a family and incorporating deep spiritual lessons in my everyday life.

So who’s the privileged one here? The one who gives up everything in search of a possible answer, or the one who can “have it all” and use that monk-gained knowledge if and when it pleases her?

It’s all about perspective.

So this morning, equipped with my newfound perspective, I was walking my daughter to her new school in the frosty air. Her first ever day of “normal” school was yesterday, and, in a word, she hated it.

We had three hours of her screaming last night that she was “never ever going to that stupid school ever again.”

Last night, I minded what happened. Krishnamurti would have been disappointed (or rather, he wouldn’t have cared, as he never minded what happened, right?).

This morning, something clicked. Emotions are volatile. My own mood certainly can be—it’s what I’ve been working with much of late—and my highly sensitive daughter is ever-changing. If I rely on her happiness before I can settle into my own, there’s no hope.

I’ve been going about it backwards. I mean, I haven’t intended to. But I think many parents (and non-parents—who are we kidding to think only parents attach their moods to the well-being of others?) fall in to this trap. And this morning, I caught myself doing it again.

I was waiting for her to tell me she was okay before I could feel okay in myself.

This is certainly not going to result in my feeling consistent peace. And it’s not setting a good example for her of emotional responsibility.

The secret behind what Krishnamurti says is not about us suddenly not caring about things, dear ones, or events in our lives. It’s about finding that place within us that is unshakeable. And when things on the surface feel unstable, the key is to tap into that place before reacting.

So this morning, I checked in with myself first:

“How am I? A bit nervous for her, but feeling pretty strong in myself. Enjoying the clear, frosty morning. Have some doubts about a project I’m working on, but overall excited about this new phase and all the new possibilities it brings. Feeling a sense of peace underneath all the fluttery surface stuff…”

Deep breath and connect with this peace.

And now I’m able to be with my daughter, and be present. To not transfer my own doubts onto her. I’m solid and clear in myself, and able to be with her, not impose upon her. And whether she is happy or not, her volatility won’t shake my underlying solid core (well not in this moment—it could be different when I’m tired and there’s hummus smeared on the wall). And this solid, safe, consistent holding is what she most needs from me as a mother.

Today I’m grateful to Krishnamurti for the sacrifices he made, so that I may deepen my own learnings and practice.
Today I feel connected to ascetics and monks all over the world.

And I didn’t even have to live in a cave.



Relephant Favorites:

Surrender: Finding Peace When Parenthood Feels Like Chaos.


Author: Stacie Whitney

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Author’s Own

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About Stacie Whitney

Stacie Whitney is a mother, wife, writer, sage, intuitive mentor/teacher, lover-of-life, and the founder of The School for the Awakening Woman. She had her trial by fire when her son was born with a life-threatening condition and she, her husband and daughter spent five months in intensive care with him, living four hours from home. This time taught her to not only survive in challenging times, but what it takes to thrive in any conditions. She shares these core lessons with her students and clients through her online courses, coaching and writing. She can be found these days living, loving, talking to trees, and generally gallavanting in the far north of Scotland where she lives in the Findhorn community and ecovillage. You can download her free “Soul Compass” for awakening women who are looking to reconnect with their path and their light on her website.


4 Responses to “What Krishnamurti Taught Me about Parenting.”

  1. jane says:

    Love the last line! The great thing in this article is the idea that we get to practice what Stacie is talking about in the moments that are less challenging, and then it's so much easier to find access to that unshakeable peace in the more challenging times.

    • Stacie says:

      Thanks Jane. Yes, it’s great to see the challenges of everyday life as ‘practice ground’, to use those skills we learn in the calmer times. I think this view also takes the pressure off us – that we don’t need to be perfect, just learning, evolving and growing. Ahh, what a relief!

  2. Pramilda says:

    It is about finding that unshakable place within us even during the moments we feel shaky isn't it. I love this line especially Stacie. I also have found time and time and time again that our children can be the perfect muses to inspire out own learning.

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