My 5-year-old started kindergarten this year, and of course the dreaded cycle of homework begins. I thought maybe it would be a novelty for her and that she might be enthusiastic about the whole idea, at least in the beginning. Well, maybe not so much. The other day she proceeds to throw a fit as we sat together working on her assignment. She has struggled a bit with her fine motor skills, so writing her letters can prove to be a task. As the flow of whine, (not wine, although the thought could have occurred) continued, all of a sudden she belts out, “No More Homework!!” Ah, those vibrations of frustration were running rampant in the room. Of course the old learned habits of talking about “grades” and “homework is just a part of life and we gotta do it,” came out …and I quickly thought to myself….red light! The ole scientist came out and started observing the situation and the response I was giving. Grades??? Just gotta do it???? Talk about lack of motivation, but seriously, that’s kinda what our education system is built upon. (The education system here in the U.S., that is for another post, as I have plenty to say about that, but I digress). Anyways, so I take a step back and let her take a break, we drink some water together and then we sit back down. I proceeded to tell her the story of her first step, and was very detailed about that moment and included the emotion of the moment in my story. How she had a look of “I’m gonna do this” but also a look of “I’m not so sure about this.” Just picture dad recreating the moment and truly including the emotion, with the jumping up and down and cheering and of course the encouragement after a fall, the whole thing. Also describing the look on her face upon completion and the flow of giggles that followed that first step! I really tried to re-create that moment. It was very cute, she definitely got a kick out of it. Okay, so the point. After telling the story, we talked about homework a bit. I told her that first step did not happen right as she came out of mommy’s belly. I went over the different stages that she went through to get to that point, with much animation of course. Then I asked her if she knew why it was that she made that effort to learn to walk, even though at first it was hard and frustrating to her? No answer…. ” To make it easier for you to get around”, I told her, making reference for her to imagine having to crawl around school all day. So I drew the correlation to homework. I said, “We do homework to make things easier for us as we go through life.” We went on a little further, and eventually got through the homework without the whine (or the wine).
Did my explanation of homework to my 5-year-old sink in? I would like to think so, but the point of this story is this. If there is something in your life you dread doing, and I would tend to believe that there is not one person on this earth that does not get this feeling at one point or another in their life, let your scientist come out and take an objective look at that task you dread. Objectively come up with the true purpose for that task. Let’s say for example taxes. My mind says I pay taxes because i have to, to keep from getting in trouble. Truthfully, why do I pay taxes? To support the infrastructure of this great country, to make life a little easier in some weird, twisted way. There is always some negative noise that surrounds things that we dread (and taxes are certainly a big one), hence why we dread them. Dread only comes when we give energy to that negativity.
(Alright, I’m gonna get a little deep here, but bear with me.) Picture the flow of thoughts going through your head like a big river of energy and the thoughts as little balls of energy. So we have this magic fishing pole that will catch the little balls of energy (the thoughts) for which we give attention, regardless of their nature (positive or negative). Remember, we choose which thoughts we reel in with our pole. As you well know, each illicit a different feeling. Yet the nice thing about it is that we have the power to throw the little ball back into the flow of energy, you know, let it go. The irony is that it is often harder for us to let go of that little ball of negative. Why? Because it is out of some sort of fear that we catch it in the first place, and fear, as we all know, illicit all sort of reactions, and we give exponential attention to it, heck we mount it over the fireplace, trying to protect ourselves from it. Of course, the longer we hold onto it, well the more it attracts more little balls just like it, and it truly becomes a struggle to manage it. Eventually, well, you know.
So positive thoughts that we reel in, what’s the difference? The difference is that these are easier to (in essence) let go, for there is nothing to protect yourself from, nothing to fear….(well except the desire to have the feeling these little balls illicit, or lack thereof…but that’s for another day). Positive thoughts, finding the positive in our day-to-day experience gives us the ability to enjoy and take part in the true nature of the experience because we are not bound by the insecurity (or limitation as I like to call it) of fear. Do yourself a favor, do your homework, make life a little easier, limit your limitations, make best use of your magic fishing pole and most of all, be happy all the way through!