Ask any pregnant woman, what is your greatest fear? and she will say, that my child will be born unsound. She fears for her child, and she fears for herself, that she might create imperfection in the one whom she loves above all.
Mothers and fathers want their children to be strong, to have a fighting chance in a harsh world, to be spared any suffering they themselves have known. My own children were born physically healthy and whole, yet I observed a profound sensitivity in them, and I prayed that somehow the power of my love would be enough to protect them from harm. They are grown now, and while I still believe that Love is the most powerful force we know, I have also learned that every incarnating soul walks his or her own journey of awakening, which must take them into and through dark valleys of transformation. Our role as parents is to support the alignment of our children with this process of excavating the true Self, even when, especially when, our children don’t fit the mold. Nourishing the emergence of their own radical inner freedom is true Mother Love.
I was, I must admit, a hippy mom. Rudolf Steiner, John Holt and Joseph Chilton Pearce were my bedtime reading. Home birthing, home-schooling and attachment parenting were the Way. I had to search to find comrades in my thinking back in those days, but my own gut instinct was my driving force. One thing I knew for sure was that the sensibilities of my highly sensitive kids were not valued or understood by the mainstream medical and educational communities, nor even by their own friends and extended family. Conformity, external achievement and obedience were still the highest values my children encountered when they ventured outside the walls of our home.
There is a new wave of souls arriving upon our planet in recent years, and a very high percentage of these young ones are being labelled as damaged or broken. Autism, Aspergers and ADD are just a few of the labels being used to lump these high vibrational beings into categories to fit the limited awareness of a material/scientific world view. There are environmental influences such as vaccines under suspicion, as they should be. But what if we step back? What if we look at a further, larger view of the role of these souls here on our Earth, and instead of viewing them simply as lacking, recognize them as beings of expansive, highly attuned energies who have chosen to embody to uproot popular notions of the norm. What if we were to enter their worlds with respect, humility, creativity and love, rather than attempting to break their spirits to force them to fit an antiquated paradigm? What if we let them teach us what is right for them, by trusting their Divine purpose upon the planet at this time? What if we parents and teachers took less credit and less blame, and instead saw ourselves as facilitators of a process which is not ours to own?
But between parent and child
there is nothing greater to be found
than a vision of all that is true
all that is flawed and therefore perfect
in the parent
as their child walks
rich with beauty
If we plant
a bamboo seed
and one day
a forest of bamboo has grown before us
then how can we marvel
at the hardness of the stem
the narrow strength beneath such graceful leaves
when all this is merely a reflection
of the power
of the seed?
The Ted talk below is by 13 year old Jacob (Jake) Barnett, a young man diagnosed as autistic at age two. Doctors told his parents he would never speak or even tie his shoes, and he was enrolled in a special needs program that made things even worse. Today his IQ is considered to be higher than Einstein’s, and he began auditing university courses at age eight. What happened? His parents refused to accept a prognosis of limitation and instead listened to their own instincts about Jake and who he really was as a creative, inspired being. They looked for ways to allow him to focus upon what he loved instead of skills that were challenging for him at the time. Every child is unique, and there is a wide range in the way autism presents, but this family reveals much about the power of trusting the authentic nature within each one of us. This talk is entitled The Wisdom of Not Knowing, as he focuses on the benefits of letting go of the need to learn from others, in favour of time spent thinking and being with the Self.
This next Ted Talk is by the amazing Arab-American comedienne, Maysoon Zayid who shares her experience of life with cerebral palsy. “I am not drunk, but the doctor who delivered me was. He cut my mom six different times in six different directions, suffocating poor little me in the process. As a result, I have cerebral palsy which means I shake all the time. It’s exhausting. I’m like Shakira Shakira meets Muhammad Ali.” Her intelligence, fierce courage and determination to be seen for her gifts rather than her physical condition tell yet another story of a powerful soul purpose unfolding in unexpected ways.
Finally, here is a beautiful short video of the Mayan elder, AumRak, “a medicine woman and ceremonialist known for her deep understanding of the Maya Sacred Fire Ceremony.” ~ Sacred Science
“Many of us have many problems in our relations because we have expectations of other people. We think everybody should be reacting the way we think is the best way. And many of us don’t give ourselves any chance of trial and error. We expect everybody to be perfect, even ourselves. It is possible to transform these energies into harmony, into healing. And this has been the job of the shamans throughout time, to be able to heal at this level of energy, to be able to be the breach between Heaven and Earth…”
Jake, Maysoon and Aumrak are all teachers in my eyes. While I did not specifically exhibit symptoms of Autism as a child, I was profoundly, uncomfortably sensitive, and experienced overwhelming oppression in a school system that did not support my nature in any way. I was given an IQ test in grade two which revealed my differences; my parents were called into the principal’s office and told that I was exceptional but the school did not know what to do with me apart from advancing me a grade. My gifts were creative and energetic by nature, and no formal structure existed in the culture of suburban Toronto in the sixties where I could blossom, apart from a band program where I learned to play the clarinet. My parents, bless their hearts, signed me up for ballet, violin and gymnastics: every extra-curricular class they could find. But still, the shaman in me lay dormant until adulthood, and in a way I have spent a lifetime learning how to transmute the energy of “expectation” as Aumrak names it, and in the process discovered that my answer lies in the tolerance, the empowerment and the vibration of Unconditional Love.
May we learn to look beyond what we fear is missing, and instead celebrate the primal spark of life from which we are birthed, and which blesses us all.
much love, Adi
P.S. A transmission on the spiritual nature of special kids can be found here.