I am beginning with the premise of “what if?” today. The idea came to visit me in a dream last night and I woke up with it floating around in my head, forming words that had to come out. What if I come from a place of love when relating to all of the people in my life? Of course there are many people in my life that I genuinely feel love for, my husband, my daughters, family members and dear friends, but what if that love could extend out like highways stretching across the map of my world?
I have been reading bits and pieces of a website/newsletter called Love and Logic and besides enjoying the title, I am interested in the premise: raising responsible children and having fun while doing it. We spend a lot of time setting up behavior plans and consequences, structuring our children’s lives for success and focusing on preventing negative behaviors. What if, instead, we came from a place of pure love and helped children become positive, independent thinkers whose actions rise up from a thoughtful beginning? What if we stop solving all of our children’s problems and throw the ball back to them? What will happen? According to Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline M.D. expectations are high. I am willing to give it a try.
Over the past 32 years of teaching I have noticed a shift in the behavior of my students. What is the cause? Influence from the media? Lack of concern from parents, or adults raising the children? A collapse of our social structure and the standards we hold kids to? A lack of real consequences for the actions kids choose to take? It doesn’t really matter. Using a method such as Love and Logic, offers a plan, hope, a solution. I am willing to add this to my repertoire of love-based approaches to guide my students. I have had good success with One-Moment Meditations, Yoga, and Council, all based on coming from one’s heart, from love and from pure thought. Teaching kids to calm their active bodies and minds allows the truth to enter.
I always think it is such a happy coincidence when the universe is able to line things up for a good idea. During my class’ visit to the school library I came across Jon J. Muth’s books: Zen Shorts and Zen Ties. The title interested me so I checked them out. What a nice surprise! Books written to enlighten children through a wise Panda named Stillwater. It was another nice coincidence when he was on NPR yesterday being interviewed about his new book, Zen Ghosts, and his creation of the character Stillwater. Zen is infusing my life.
What if I come from a place of love? Not just for those around me, for those I teach, for my family and friends that I love so dearly, but for myself? What if I continue to nurture myself through yoga, meditation, walking, mindful eating and lots of writing? Maybe love is contagious and everyone around me will catch it too.
John Lennon would have been 70 years old yesterday. Listening to “Imagine,” the soothing chords, the true words and the vision revealed, reminded me that “all you need is love” is not just a wistful dream from the 1960’s, but a cry for change in 2010. Beyond test scores, API, value-added, and seniority lies the love we are responsible to share with the people in our lives. What if?