Finding Your North Star

This is yet another installment of the much-requested children’s column. If your children have any questions, please e-mail them to me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). As always, I value your comments and suggestions.

Q: Earth and the planets aren’t always in the same direction and yet they help you to be in the right direction (from a 3-year-old).

A: I love that this enlightened three year old didn’t even need to ask a question. He was helping ME understand how things work. That’s as it should be. While I think it is good to ask questions (and to answer them), I also think it’s important just to be able to state what you think, or are thinking of, not necessarily asking for an answer. Sometimes it’s good just to be able to say what you’re thinking.

While we know that Earth and the planets and moon and Sun and stars don’t just stay in one place, it kind of feels like the Earth is stationary (to me, anyway). And that’s what people used to believe. In fact, they thought the earth was flat, and that the sun revolved around IT (instead of the other way around). It’s called perspective. If you’re sitting in a car, and you look out the window at another car, and it starts moving, you’re not quite sure if it’s you moving or them moving. So everything relies on everything else to give it information about where it is in time and space. I seem tall to someone shorter than me. If someone’s taller than me, I may seem short. Perspective.

That’s the first thing I would like to talk about. I think it’s important to go one level deeper with this whole illusion of solidity and permanence and get to the core understanding, which is the thought that everything in the Universe is just relative to something else. We give latitude and longitude of a location because we’ve established a grid with which to measure FROM. Otherwise none of it would make any sense.

But again it’s just something we’ve constructed to help us make sense of our world. Underneath it all? Just air. Just planets and stars and moons floating in space. And those planets and stars and moons? Mostly just air – almost-invisible little molecules vibrating at different speeds. So then WE give everything its meaning. WE get to decide what’s real, where it’s located, and what it means to us. ‘Things’ aren’t just givens. They’re relative to everything else, and for the most part, inevitably just air.

In regards to planets helping us be in the right direction, I think of learning about the North Star as a child. Dad would take me out into the backyard on a dark night and point out the different constellations. The North Star is found by following the right edge of the Big Dipper up a little in a straight line. The North Star never shifts position or changes, so if you can find it, you’ll always know where you are. It’s the one thing in our world that actually IS the closest to a constant that there is.

If we can take the time to find our own personal North Star (Martha Beck wrote a fabulous book on the subject titled “Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live”), that part of us that never changes, that is solid and permanent, we can always find our way home. Everything else around us changes and is fluid. Even the planet we’re living on is spinning through space at a very fast speed. Strange, isn’t it? It doesn’t feel like we’re moving at all. Another illusion.

How can you find your own personal North Star? Try closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths. Stop your body and your energies from spinning all over the place, and just return to yourself. That feeling is your North Star. That feeling of peace, and calm, and centeredness. It doesn’t require any action from you. It doesn’t require movement or energy. It is just YOU – constant, fixed, permanent, reliable and powerful. So in these fast-changing times, take the time to find your own North Star, and use that reading to help you make your decisions, plan your next move, plot your future. It will be far more effective than any other transitory, loose, or changeable landmarks. Kids instinctively know this. Adults? We usually have to re-learn it. You may want to ask a child. They can help you.

Children Should Be Seen AND Heard

Q: Why don’t adults listen to kids? They act like they know better, and they don’t say sorry when they’re wrong.

A: Well, I’m sorry that they don’t say sorry to you when they’re wrong – I think that’s important advice for everyone in the world, no matter their age. Admitting when you are wrong, or have hurt someone’s feelings and feel badly about it, make you a BETTER person, not worse. I would like to change the language of adult vs. child to just person vs. person, because people of all ages can treat others disrespectfully.

Children aren’t the only ones who aren’t heard. I have always told my 10 year old that “happy people are nice people.” I include myself in that quote, as well, and I believe it is 100% true. Nice people listen respectfully to others, they care about what others believe, and have to say. They don’t interrupt, they ask questions, they don’t try to force their opinions on anyone else. The trouble is that children can be easy targets. They may ask questions, so that adults may think the kids don’t know things. They’re smaller, and easier to boss around. But try this the next time a child asks you a question. Ask them what they think first. Chances are they already have some ideas, but are asking you your opinion to see what you think. They aren’t necessarily thinking you know better – they just want to hear your opinion (a sign of an enlightened being, in my book).

If someone is content with who they are, happy and self-empowered, they aren’t scared of other people’s opinions. They don’t need everyone to believe exactly as they do; in fact, they love it that everyone has a different opinion – it makes the world more interesting. Children for the most part are like this. They have a natural curiosity and respect for others. They don’t assume they have all the answers (until maybe they become teenagers!), and I know that for one, my 10 year old is one of the kindest, gentlest beings I have ever known. If he interrupts, he instantly apologizes and urges you to continue. If he is disrespectful, he apologizes and hugs you right away. But then, I think ALL my children are fabulous, no matter how young or old!

Adults, I challenge you next week to LISTEN to the children. Keep your mouth quiet with your advice and your wisdom and just listen to what they’re telling you. Don’t presume you know better. You may have wisdom that comes with experience, but don’t ever assume you have spiritual superiority over anyone. The most spiritual beings I’ve ever seen have been babies. Treat them with the same respect you would give the most revered person you can imagine. See them as your equals in every respect. Help them in the areas they need help, but not in all areas. Ask THEM questions about what they think, what they believe, what they know. BE INTERESTED; don’t just pretend. And always, ALWAYS, be a big enough person to apologize when you’ve done something hurtful. C’mon, I double dog dare you.

Report back to me about what you’ve discovered. I’ll do the same. I think you’ll be very surprised at the depths of fabulousness in your little ones.

Questions and comments: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted 4 years, 8 months ago by Susie Ekberg | Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | View Susie Ekberg's profile.

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