We are in a time of great transition, which is reflected by the numerous challenges and hardships people are going through.
It has been said that hardship is necessary for people to grow. Sometimes people use the example of the caterpillar which goes through its laborious transformation to become a beautiful butterfly.
So the premise is that we are presented with challenges so we can rise above them and grow from those experiences.
The one thing I have been struggling with, especially since I have been a parent, is that following that logic, the more challenge and hardship I present to my children and the best and stronger a person they will become.
Not only this is not something I could even do intentionally, but that logic breaks down pretty quickly by just observing people.
It would mean abusing a child for instance will make them stronger. What I see though, seems to be that the more a child is abused and the more chance they end up doing drugs, violence, or worse.
Maybe abuse is too extreme of a challenge, we need some middle ground.
Do you mean something like constantly pushing your child so they get good grades at school, so they can have a better job? Or pushing them very hard into a sport discipline so they could become a champion.
Sure some end up with very good jobs, some end up Olympics athletes. However for each professional athlete how many young adults are left behind feeling disempowered because of the constant pressure when they grew up?
To answer the original question we need to go back to the root. What hardship means?
Life is a succession of experiences. Some experiences are regarded as challenges when we have a difficult situation which we aim to overcome.
Those challenges become hardships when they cause suffering or privation.
However, there is a caveat to that. Those experiences are perceived differently by different people. A hardship for one person could simply be a challenge to another. A challenge could simply be a fun experience. So how or who decides on that perception?
The mind defines it based on previous experiences and interpretation of the outcome of those experiences.
That is where lies the answer to the question. The egoistic mind defines how we perceive the experience.
Does that mean the ego creates hardship? In fact, we could even push the logic a bit further, and realize that the more the ego resists the experience and the more difficult the experience might get.
Imagine someone cut you off on the road, you might get upset with that event and express your disaffection. However, some people might decide to take it further and create road rage. That road rage could turn into an event where someone gets harmed.
On the other hand, after expressing your disaffection, you might realize maybe that person cut you off because they had an emergency with their child sick in the back seat. Would that change your perspective of the situation?
It is almost like the ego creates hardship in order to prove itself, it exists! And in that process, it demonstrates the exact opposite, dissolves and one reconnects with spirit.
On one hand, one needs to be clear from which perspective, ego or spirit, we make a decision in our life.
On the other hand, it seems when we feel suffering, it might mean we identify too strongly with ego.
It is also clear, that there is no purpose to inflict hardship on someone intentionally because that would mean we are god and we know exactly what the other person needs.
However, when one is in a situation that they consider a hardship, it might be important to consider how much we have contributed to being in that situation and what was the decision which leads us to those circumstances. Maybe we are not as innocent as we would like to believe and maybe our wrong identification with ego is a factor in us ending up in that situation.
Would that mean, the more we identify with spirit and the less we experience hardship? Maybe, that is up to each one of us to experience and find out.
Why schooling a sardine when you can raise a dolphin?
Our children are the future. The best path, to a better society, is to focus on the young and allow our children to express themselves fully.
We have chosen to “unschool” our two young children. Here are some of the reasons for our decision.
First, let go back to the start. What does school mean? From the dictionary: “a large number of fish or aquatic animals of one kind swimming together”.
Oops, that is one, but you were probably expecting more the following one: “a group of persons who hold a common doctrine or follow the same teacher”.
I love free-diving and I have to say free diving amount a school of millions of fish is one of the most amazing experiences. However, do you really want your child to be one of those mindless fish? I am not sure about you but I would prefer my child to be like a dolphin, swimming freely in the vast ocean in a very playful manner. When you observe a dolphin it seems there are always enjoying themselves. When you watch a school of fish it seems there are always extremely scared of everything.
Most people send their children to school so they can learn knowledge. However, my observation leads me to believe that school before anything is a way to learn behavior. Moreover, in our new area of information technology, knowledge is freely available to anyone having access to the web. Not only do you get access to an infinite body of knowledge but you actually get the best teachers. In school, your children get whatever teachers are assigned to them. Most of us can testify that although we have some memory of amazing teachers, most of them were just average and there are courses, we failed or did not enjoy simply because of the teacher.
The one thing which really bothers my wife and I is the fact that in school children learn to behave a specific way. The first thing they learn from a very early age is to comply with authority without having a chance to define if it is the right thing to do. At no point, the child is presented with an alternative so that they can formulate a choice. In school there is no choice, there is no discovery. There is only a curriculum and that is it. Follow the curriculum and comply. We don’t think that is how our children will become like dolphins.
I have to be honest, I did not like school and indeed school did not like me either. It did not work for me, it felt more like torture every day. I never understood why I need to sit 8 hours a day on a chair listening to things I was not interested in. What surprised me the most is when I started to ask around me, how people felt about their years in school. It seems most people did not like school either. The good memories they have about school are not about the classes they attended, not about what they learned, but mostly the friendship they made. So people didn’t like school but yet send their own children to school because they think it is the only way. It seems there is misalignment here, you are forcing someone to do something you did not like yourself. No wonder most people don’t like their job. We have learned from a young age that is the only way and we need to learn to live with our discomfort and frustration.
There must be a better way! Indeed there is, it is called unschooling. So what is unschooling? It is the belief that children learn best when they are with their parents and are engaged in everyday life and learning through their surroundings and circumstances. It is also referred to as child-led learning, interest-based learning, or delight-directed learning. As with any philosophy of education, unschooling families vary as far as their adherence to unschooling principles is concerned. However, all have a strong desire to instill in their children a lifelong love of learning – a realization that learning never stops. Most like to employ the art of “strewing.” This term refers to ensuring that interesting and engaging materials are readily available in a child’s environment. The practice of strewing creates a learning-rich atmosphere that encourages and facilitates natural curiosity. There are many benefits to unschooling education, for example, stronger retention, build on natural gifts and talents, and strong self-motivation.
From a personal experience, this has been one of the best decisions we made for our children. They are joyful, very curious, extremely talkative. One thing which strikes me the most is that they love to share every day what they have learned. It is often said the best way to learn something is to teach it. They naturally do that every day. Every time they learn something they are so eager to share it with us. I don’t remember that being the case for me when I was young. The other thing which, my wife and I enjoy tremendously is the relationship we have with our children. It seems it is more a friend relationship rather than an authoritative relationship. Since there is no hard schedule, they have the time and space to express themselves, hence even when there is disagreement, there is never build-up frustration since we give them the time to process their emotions. And since we don’t have a specific schedule on our end, as to when they need to learn/know something, we don’t need to put pressure on them to achieve something or reach some kind of milestones. Goals are not necessary in order to learn. in fact, I will go the extent of even saying goals inhibit and slow down the learning process.
Now, let me also put at rest some concerns. “But if you don’t provide guidelines how would they learn the essential things?” Well, first how did people do before school existed? Second, our daughter who is only 5 years old, knows animals that we as parents didn’t even know existed. How is that even possible. I had what most people will call a very good education in a first-world country. The reason is simple, children are naturally curious and if you let them be, they will assimilate so much knowledge at such a rate, that schools could only dream of achieving with the curriculum. They want to learn. All you have to provide them with is the tools. Another thing, I realized by observing my children's learning, is that they find their own balance throughout the day. They might watch an educational video about marine life for one hour and then switch to some simple entertaining video for half an hour. Then go outside play. Then in the afternoon, they come back and watch again that education marine life video until they understand everything. The natural ability they have to learn is quite astonishing when you let them be themselves.
We can’t see a better way to educate children than having them learn through the experiences of life alongside their parents. It is so natural, it is so obvious you ever wonder why we ever invented school. Give your children the time and space they need and your children will be thriving in life more than you can ever conceive.
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
In one way or another we are all in pursue of happiness and success. In order to achieve that we have dreams and set goals.
Sometimes we fall short of reaching them, sometimes we do but feel disappointment because it does not bring us the fulfillment we expected.
In either case, what we missed, is to really understand our true inner desires, that place inside which is us, that place from where all manifestation is possible, finding our bliss.
Our bliss is a state of being, where things flow in harmony with our environment. It does not mean we do not have challenge, but it does mean that we walk through those challenges with confidence and trust that whatever the end results it will be for the greater good.
You might have many success inn your life, many happy moments in your life and yet it still it has been ephemeral and what is left is a sense of emptiness.
Once you find your bliss, you truly align with who you are, using your talents to walk through the journey of life, you will come in touch with a deeper part of yourself which flow with the collective consciousness and will bring your lasting peace and happiness.
Are you looking for what is next in your life?
Are you trying to fulfill your dreams but feel like they keep eluding you?
Are you in a phase of soul searching?
Are you feeling that all the efforts you have made have not manifested in the results you deserve?
It is time to find your bliss, and realign path with who you are.
Society would like to convince us that if we follow the "rules", get an education, a good job, and have a family we will be happy ever after, in short the dream life.
However as young adults are thrown into active life, it does not take long to realized that not only that is not how life works, but also the education provided provided by the system at best, ill prepare us for the real life and at worse totally mislead us on what a happy life is really about. In fact education as never been design for that, it sole purpose was to create factory worker.
Because we are mislead about what life is really about, we are constantly bombarded with overwhelming challenges, which in turn inevitably create stress and a state of powerlessness.
The truth though is much more simple, once you discover who you are and start to walk on the path your journey was meant to be, things start to make a lot more sense. Challenges will not go away, but you will be able to face them with courage, confidence and a deeper sense of purpose throughout your experiences.
Rather than running senseless after goals that you are not even sure are yours, you will journey peacefully through life, in harmony with people and nature surrounding you.
Deep inside most of us feel something is off. We cannot really explain, we do not understand that feeling, but we know our society is not functioning properly any more. Moreover, this feeling is not only affecting one aspect of our life, but permeate throughout all aspect of our society. It seems that people are getting sicker, poorer, there is less justice, and less happiness in general…
The reason is simple, we are at the cusp of a new era for humanity, and a new era mean new ways of doing things. When people believed the earth was flat, that believe system allow a certain conception of the world and therefore defined a way of doing things.
Once they realized the earth might be spherical, it open to new way to conceptualize life, re-questioning established principle and way of doing things. We are again at such a transitory time now.
We are living in an extraordinary time, a time which prophesies of different cultures around the world were forth told. At some level consciously or unconsciously we are all being affected by what is going on.
Everywhere we are see, high level of stress, anxiety and fear about the future and everyone of us is having our comfort zone challenged.
Not only we are becoming more aware of all of this, but we are also more sensitive to lies, with light being shined in very dark corner of our society.
We are being more and more uncomfortable with those day to day little white lies, the search for truth is important now and one of our major focus.
Many people are also reporting feeling their senses are expending, they are becoming more intuitive, more emphatic, more aware of other dimensions. Something huge is happening out there, and the majority have a sense of something coming, some big event is growing nearer.
Most people look at the world and conclude it is getting worse, and we are heading to an apocalypse and we, as human being, are destroying everything.
This could not be further from the truth! Reality is what you decide to focus on. Yes the old way of doing things got to such an insane level, but that is also what is necessary for people to wake up.
Should you decide to look underneath the noise, you will realized that there is an awakening, many new green shout which are going in strength by the day.
There are more and more people being aware of all wrong doing. More and more people wanted positive changes, more and more technological advancement which could alleviate many of the current problems.
The old system will collapse, it is the inevitable truth about the cycle of material life. Should you clench to the old system you might perish with it, however should you choose to make the appropriate change to be part of the new paradigm, the future was never brighter!
Any system need to get worse, collapse before it can be reborn. The collapse of an old system is necessary before a new one can be born. The old tree will fall during the storm in order to let the space for the new green shout.
The consciousness of humanity is rising to new level. New technologies allow us to breakthrough old bondage and invent new way to interact, generate energy and harmonize with our environment.