“Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well, it’s you, girl, and you should know it!
With each glance, and every little movement you show it
Love is all around, no need to waste it…”
In a broad sense, those lyrics apply to each of us, because we all possess those abilities within our ‘center’. We have simply ‘forgotten’ to actively use them as a trusted resource. Collectively and individually, we have put so much energetic debris out in front of ‘remembering’ that type of love, that we often miss it’s more subtle notes. The subject of these lyrics, Mary Richards, was a brilliantly funny study in observing our collective ignorance as we fail to fully grasp the depth of ‘power’ available to each of us. Mary Richards exuded soul energy, and she appeared weak to her peers. Their hearts were subtly transformed by her presence and their own egos kept them from seeing the true strength in her perceived ‘weakness’ (her open heart fed a steady stream of compassion for nearly everyone). The influence that regularly radiates from our soul voice is only observed when we pay attention to the little things right in front of us, like Mary did, allowing direct access to the love that truly is all around us when we tune into the raw material that exists at the root of everyone’s knowledge and wisdom.
Whether we are paying attention or not, our knowledge and our wisdom intertwine every single day as we move through our daily lives. Our ‘knowledge’ consists of the set of facts and data that we, personally, gather and accumulate. Our ‘wisdom’ applies our personal experience and our personal thoughts (so naturally, our personal ‘judgment’ as well). This experience-rich soil is where our unique, individual perceptions are absorbed and fashioned.
Knowledge and Wisdom each draw from personal circumstances, and assist in the process of establishing our facts around ‘what we know is true’. They also join forces to form our hard-wired opinions about everything under the sun. The things that we know well are as much a part of us, energetically, as our DNA is, physically. So much so, that it can become hard to separate what we know from who we are, especially if we have some sort of specialized education that regularly defines us, like teacher, doctor, lawyer, etc.
Our education system, which has been operating on shaky ‘common ground' for a long time, is taking a particularly hard hit right now as we assess the ‘damage’ fostered by the pandemic, subsequent school closings, and their impact on each child/family’s personal environment. Many parents, with an already-full-plate, are now being called upon to educate. The reactions to this reverberating situation are as varied as our imaginations can allow, but the simple facts at the root of the issue center around two things: (1) confidence in our own abilities, mixed with (2) the healthy and productive management of our very precious time.
I dare say most of us have glimpsed the outer limits of our boundaries as we attempt to put our energies into all of the places we’d like them to be. At some point, we either realize that we can’t accomplish everything, or we spend our days managing our tension as much as our available time. From there, it’s easy to find that our intentions have become tangled with fears/doubts/distractors, making us feel constricted. Those feelings can only gain momentum if we don’t develop some sort of conscious breathing effort that (very naturally) clears the energy and keeps it from hanging around in our bodies.
Science has taught us that our ability to retain and grow our knowledge resides within our brains and many systems have been developed to help maintain our mental acuity. Public schooling is the original, ‘common’ approach, but as we watch our vision of education rapidly transform (reluctantly or supportively), I have to wonder if nature is trying to offer an opportunity to rethink the ‘common’ curriculum. The business of keeping our mental edge razor sharp is flourishing in several markets, and opportunities to learn, in infinite directions, literally exist at our fingertips. From daily thought prompts to accredited coursework, there are avenues and resources connecting us to knowledge and opening up the spaces for us to grow and test what we know, specific to our own lives and circumstances, naturally pulling in the things that pique our interest and challenge our creativity. Simply stated, human beings value their ability to know things. The wisest among us hold valued awareness that we never stop learning, as they frequently explore their immediate environments for deeper meanings and opportunities to learn. Most of us exist between the awareness that we need to work to keep our minds active, and the notion that everything we really need to know we already learned in kindergarten…(thank you, Robert Fulghum, for putting it so succinctly.)
There is an ocean of space between simple basics and esoteric knowledge, and we each find our own groove somewhere in the middle, no matter how many doctorates we might have collected, or even what we consider to be ‘simple’. When we break things down to basics, we know more because we allow more. We are prepared to learn as well as teach (especially if we are called Teacher!). Difficulties can arise, because our ego energies are designed to learn all that we can, creating a natural byproduct whereby we (subconsciously or not) judge ourselves for the things that we don’t know. Meanwhile, our soul energies quietly enjoy a solid foothold on our ‘center’, reminding us that we are deeply connected from within. Intentional awareness of Soul/Ego Balance opens the bridge for communication between the two, and the magic that grows from that connection allows us to feel open to learning instead of feeling like our brains and/or bodies have failed us in some way.
I think we can all agree that life is different now than it used to be. It makes me wonder what the universe has in mind, beyond our control, that might be bigger and brighter than what we can imagine at this moment. Has our concept of ‘basic education’ broken the boundaries of the intentions that originally served as a solid structure? I have no idea. It’s ignorance week, and these are among the thoughts that run through my head as I try to imagine how we take the time-worn education practices that have come crashing down and apply our ability to reimagine what these really important support systems might look like for our future.
Absent our intended awareness, our soul energies and our ego energies remain engaged in a battle that is often felt, but rarely addressed. These feelings often manifest as physical discomfort of some kind, making us feel defensive without knowing it. Our bodies hold all of the tension that our brains don’t want to deal with, circumstantial or self-created, but only because we have become conditioned to only breathe involuntarily. Our ability to breathe with intention and focus is a game-changer and is available to us in every single moment of our lives as a powerful tool. Our own bodies become meditative instruments as we learn to ‘weather’ our environment with the power to direct its focus.
Breathing is literally nothing but a background baseline unless we put effort into it. Play around with it, and it becomes the tool that removes our tension and creates the space for identifying what we want. As a group, we are largely ignorant of what our breath can produce in terms of healing not just our mind/body connection, but the diseases that build in our bodies themselves.
I don’t claim to have the answers that solve the world’s education problems, but I spend a lot of time wondering what would happen if our ‘basics’ switched from math and reading, to breathing, movement, and creativity. What if our education system is breaking down because there is a form that would serve us better? What if we each spent some time thinking about what that might look like? Imagine what we could build for the children…and the children’s children. Try to turn the world on with a smile!