This week I've had a secret stucknness around my son. We're butting heads, not hearing each other. Each interaction feels hard and I notice I've kept just a little too busy to be able to get real with it. As I sat in meditation tonight, preparing for day 3, sharing from the deep, I remembered this ebook I wrote about embarking on a hero's journey of parenthood, where you bravely (um, as brave as you can, really, anything will do) enter into the quest with an eye to the true fun that parenting becomes when you consider it a hero. Here's the passage I read to night that made my heart remember how to smile ...
"Every time you’re dishonest about what’s real for you or who you are, you place a tiny tourniquet on your life force that’s got to be tended (lies take work) and pinches off your life force a little, steadily. You’ll know you’ve got enough of these going on if it takes mega ton doses of alchohol to fling those tourniquets off and get you loosened up at all, never mind anywhere near authentic bliss, nevermind being steady and present enough to actively share that state with another human.
My tribe kind of has this vision of “swing flinging.”
Imagine a line of people walking together, holding hands. Now, for whatever reason, someone falls behind or gets ahead and there’s a little tension on the line, so instead of letting go of their hand, you swing fling them ahead of you, so when they reach their furthest current zenith, they’ll naturally draw you up, and so on, swing flingin’ into the sunset like glorious authentic fools.
Authenticity is not bigger than the willingness to continually turn towards what’s bright for you, right, now.
Even if you haven't done it much in your history, or chronically wished you would consider and make more room in your life for the bright bits. It's not any bigger than now. And ... in this next now, each daring a teeny bit more resonance and truth: “do I REALLY like drinking that much with my friends EVERY time we hang out?” and the next now, as you make more space for a genuine dialogue with your deeper self, the questions will rise like effervescene in a champagne, lightening, and buoyancying inner you.
What keeps you from letting those beautiful questions have their way with you is this lie, a weird, dense sureness that you cannot, do not, will not.
But your truth is way way more flexible, mutable and responds really freaking well to genuine inquiry: “am I REALLY too “busy” to build a lego tower with my son right now?”
Each effervescentizing inquiry has the potential of freeing you from the tyranny of old beliefs or understandings of yourself that you’ve likely outgrown since they don’t feel good anymore and don’t seem to feel even a little bit heroey.
When I taught at a Sudbury schoool ( where kids basically get to do whatever the heck they want all day) the biggest tension I encountered as a teacher was not with the students, but between the parents and their kids. In the whelp of freedom that comes with a consciously cultivated free environment, the kids inevitably begin to feel the rising of those very questions, like bubbles, they’re a fundamental element of an authentic existence.
These questions often usher in some big feeling life change, like when my quiet-hearted mama asked my pregnant 17 year old self, hell bent on giving my kiddo up for adoption, "what if? what if you could say yes to become a mother AND to being the woman you want to be?"
These questions are the things we keep ourselves busy to avoid hearing. In fact, the next time you discover something you're unwilling to ask questions around, you can mark that territory red flag and move on if you must, but eventually the beautiful, truth-sproinging loose questions will eventually find even this frozen ground.
In their lives before the school, filled with end to end obligations of someone else’s choosing, the Sudbury students had no room for beautiful questions. But in the free school, they did and when someone turns the steering wheel of your own life back to you, you eventually have to ask, "what does it mean to be a human? How do I spend my energy and why? What do I most want? What do I do or not do with myself?"
And this beautiful tension emerged in the family system because those were the exact questions the parents were not asking themselves. It was pointedly stressful to have their kids starting to move ahead in ways they couldn’t conceive for themselves. It was literaly impossible for them to afford their children a freedom they were actively denying themselves.
They could not understand or truly champion the unraveling and self authenticating process their kiddos were going through. I often felt like a bouncer at a club, holding at bay the anxiety junked out parents while their kids danced blissfully within.
As you approach deeper authenticity in your family life, you’re kicking the bouncer out. If someone in the family wants to go into the club and dance they’re going to do it. And if that makes you jealous, great. If that makes you scared, awesome. Welcome to your own hero’s journey"
As I read these words tonight, I realize that I'd forgotten the whole I'm a hero on my journey thing.
How does that keep happening?
Gosh. Who really cares, because wow does it feel good to remember, all the hard bits are the dragons helping me to become the woman strong enough of getting into the tower. Or that my son is struggling to find his own true step on his hero's journey and instead of fighting each other, we could become allies in our quest to be braver about beautiful questions.
"How do I allow someone a level of freedom I struggle to even conceive of for myself?"
"How do I have way more fun in the quest of being a parent, not bullshit fun but the singing open dawn together hallejuah kind of fun that reintroduces our hearts to eachother and to the heart of the world too?"
By taking a moment to listen for where the beautiful questions are pointing the way towards, I feel less lost and judgey of the struggle.
I want to swing fling with my little son, and enjoy the way we've chosen to hold hands and be mama hero and gallant son hero together. The problems are back in a in-joy-able context. I got this.