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This blog post is an excerpt from the forthcoming book Raising Children in the Midst of Global Crisis: A Compassionate Guidebook for Parenting in Turbulent Times by Jo delAmor
In this book we engage parenting as a form of activism. Or, more correctly, what Bayo Akomolafe has termed post activism. It’s about responding to the needs of the world as they are presented in this uniquely pivotal moment by the way we think about and approach parenting. It’s a form of activism that is deeply based in inquiry and sacred reflection.
It is an activism that recognizes that when we approach activism unconsciously, distorted by the mindset that created the problem we seek to “fix” we generally wind up recreating the problem again in a different way. The “work” of this book is not to figure out how to escape the crises of our times or raise perfect kids or to save the world. It is not about ‘getting it right’ or finding the solution.
This form of parenting is about deeply grasping the reality within which we are raising our children and responding to it authentically.
When speaking about post activism, Bayo Akomolafe says that it’s not really about thinking outside the box, but that it’s about “touching the box.” I take this to mean a process of awakening that allows us to more fully understand the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
It’s true that we need a new way of seeing, or a new model.
But “thinking outside the box” as a way of escaping our circumstances is actually the same kind of thinking, dressed up in a different outfit.
I recognize what Bayo Akomolafe says about “touching the box” in what happened for me when I tried to leap into sustainability in my early 20s without really understanding what I was trying to leap away from.
This process caused me to become aware of the box of my own conditioning and that of my peers. It showed me how that conditioning expressed itself in our parenting and marriages, undoing the very things we cherished most. It showed me that the work we have to do is to more thoroughly understand the ways in which we were programmed and the wounds we carry so we can heal from the inside out. Slowly, deeply, thoroughly.
In this way our work here is to comprehend the dynamic, pivotal, powerful, precious, precarious, complicated, unfolding, changing reality in which we’re raising our kids so we can actively respond to it.
As we choose to align ourselves with Life and teach our children to live in that alignment we do our small, but important, part to shift the tides of consciousness.
Grounding in this deep awareness gives us the fortitude to actively break cycles of disconnection, disempowerment and abuse.
Breaking these cycles and healing the trauma that we have inherited is difficult work. It takes patience, practice, discipline and humility. There is no right way to do it and it will often not go the way you want it to. It will be exhausting and confusing at times and there will be unexpected challenges around every corner. You may not get the pats on the back or confirmation of your good work for years to come.
That’s what the creation of masterpieces is all about.
Of all the endeavors you engage in throughout your life, there will be nothing more important for you to do than raise the little humans in your care, to the best of your ability, in a way that will allow their innate human brilliance to take sprout and grow. None of your greatest accomplishments will have more value or influence on the world than the human beings you raise.
New Paradigm Parenting is a life’s work. It is legacy work. This kind of parenting is, in itself, a profound form of activism that has incalculable effects on the future of our world. It is the greatest gift we can give to the world in service to our lineages and future generations.
Children raised in this way with dignity and respect, nourished by love, empowered to enact their Life-serving purpose on the planet can grow into adults who can see, feel and think beyond the Power Over Paradigm, allowing the Thriving Life Paradigm to emerge through them and contributing to a Life Sustaining Society.
This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book Raising Children in the Midst of Global Crisis: A Compassionate Guidebook for Parenting in Turbulent Times by Jo delAmor
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