Warning: extremely long post that may change your life. Or not. But who knows? It may just change mine.And that’s okay. I’d love to hear your thoughts though.
Last night, after teaching Nia, I was buzzing with energy. (And of course, I was thinking – if I could teach Nia in the morning, then I could be buzzing with energy the whole day instead of when it’s almost time to go to bed. Which is what I’ll be doing next month at the Center, so stay tuned!)
I felt so full.
In fact, I was overflowing.
And when I’m overflowing, I want to give of myself.
Like, a whole lot of myself. (Which is the whole point of my other blog.)
So I sat down and started planning our “homeschool curriculum” for next year.
Oh Yes! We are doing kindergarten at home, our way.
Now I have to tell you that for the past year, I’ve agonized over THIS decision: to homeschool or NOT to homeschool. I’ve read the literature. I know what my gut is telling me: I want to homeschool. I’vee been wanting to homeschool since my little girl was born. And in many ways, we have homeschooled since birth, according to my definition of homeschool.
Which is this: homeschool is about self-leadership not only when it comes to what one wants to learn but how to LIVE life. And in that sense, homeschooling is the IDEAL kind of education for any kid. And by that I am not trying to be an elitist, like some people accuse Penelope Trunk (whose homeschooling blog I follow – she is one of a kind and perhaps the first highly visible-successful business woman to openly advocate for homeschooling in our time) for asserting that homeschooling is the RIGHT choice period. I am careful saying anything like this, because I know how people respond: no, nope, we each have our own way and not one way is right for everyone. Which I totally agree.
Except for this:
I believe there is an IDEAL for everything.
There is such a thing as The Way Things Were Designed. Call it Nature’s Way or the Universe’s Way. Life’s Way. Or whatever you want to call it.
Take the Nia Technique for example.
What sets apart Nia from other fitness programs out there is that it is based on the Body’s Way. It’s based on the art and science of how the body is designed to move. And the routines, the choreography, the movement forms, the moves are all crafted into a class meant to move every Body closer to the Body’s Way. Yes, we always always tell every Body in the class to listen to their own body and tweak the movements based on where there body is at. Because we are all different.
The foundation of Nia is the Body’s Way. The reason why a Nia class feels so freakin’ good (that one of our student commute to work from West Seattle to Downtown Seattle and then commute back to West Seattle to take a Nia class and then commute back to work!) is because we all get a taste of the Ideal Way the body needs to move.
The Ideal Way is Our Design and it is there to Guide us towards Fullness, Aliveness.
Too often, when we pursue the Ideal Way, we get caught in the trap of Perfectionism and Judgment or we raise up our hands and silently whisper…F*ck The Ideal I Was Born This Way.
There is an Ideal Way to Raise a Child. There is an Ideal Way for a Child to Learn and Grow Up To be a Creative Leader in the world.
It is Ideal to breast feed a baby for at least two years, if not longer.
It is Ideal to keep your baby close to the mother’s body and breast for the first year of life, if not longer.
It is Ideal to eat real food and none of that icky processed sugary stuff that poses as food.
It is Ideal for a child to grow up alongside a primary caregiver/parent at home who is intentional about modeling a life attuned to natural rhythms, conscious work and simple wonders of the world around.
It is Ideal for a child to have a lot of unstructured play, time outdoors and a village of nurturing grown-ups and kids of all ages to connect with and learn from.
And of course. There is an Ideal Way to Raise Ourselves as Women and Moms. And Ideal Way for the Feminine to Rise up as Creative Leaders in the World.
It is Ideal to put ourselves first and fill up to the point that we are overflowing with GoodNess and Joy and Sexy that we can’t help but to give.
it is Ideal to pursue our passions and convictions within the context of our most important relationships: with ourselves, our Family, the Divine and our community.
It is Ideal to be connected to like-hearted sisters who are big on support, vulnerability and FUN!
It is Ideal to work according to our feminine biological and psychological needs, aligned to our monthly cycles, to the ebb and flow of our energy and to our deepest and immediate desires.
We really don’t need to be debating about these things. If we put away our attachment to being right, we can all agree that we are designed for these things. And that the closer we are to all of the above, the happier and fuller we are.
The problem is that we take these Ideals and make them a measuring rod for our worth.
The closer we are to the Ideals, the better we feel about ourselves and the more prone we are to judge others who are not there yet. And the farther we are from the Ideals, the crappier we feel about ourselves and the more prone we are to not even wanting to bother trying.
So Back to Homeschooling
Homeschooling is not the ONLY choice. Nor it might be the best choice for someone in their particular situation. BUT homeschooling defined as the environment and the opportunity for a person to learn about life asking their own questions and finding their own answers and to grow up into the best version of the person they are at their own pace in their own way IS the Ideal Way for any child.
It’s not even about education. It’s really about the Ideal Way to live for all of us.
Now, I get that our personal circumstance may seem so far far far from the Ideal Way that it feels impossible to even conjure change that offers the slightest resemblance. And here is where we get tripped up.
We’ve lost our ability to imagine. To be curious. To open up to possibilities beyond our current limitations.And we’ve lost our ability to accept ourselves the way we are. To withhold judgment, to do away with measurement and comparison. To hold that positive tension between What is Possible and What is Now.
What we need is courage to say, okay, yes THIS is the IDEAL. And THIS is where I am at, where my family is at. And THIS is what we need to do us right this moment that is closest to the Ideal and that feels Good and Right for everyone involved.
And we tweak along way towards the Ideal. Slowly. Small Steps perhaps. But we tweak. Without tearing down our ideals. Or ourselves. Or other people.
We tweak together. We celebrate the Ideal together. We celebrate our own journeys together.
We don’t need to argue about what is Ideal.
Instead, we need to support each other towards the Ideal that we are all designed for, our way, our time.
And that is what super duper long post is all about.
Wow you’ve read this far. You might as well leave a comment and tell me what you think. Maybe you are an idealist too like me and it’a time to hold the Ideals up without the Icky part.