My Weekly column in Magazine NARA, September 2012 Hope you will enjoy reading. Can children teach us more?
BE THANKFUL FOR ALL NEW INSTINCTS;
Children and dogs are often very lovely together, and they have a lot to teach we adults. They demonstrate how to be in the moment, have compassion and enthusiasm, ingenuity, fantasy and ideas.
Children’s natural way of being and their balance with former street dogs is a beautiful play. The kids are thinking a lot and share their wonderful questions, which in turn allow me to look in my mind for the answers. And if I do not find the answer I seek it further later on.
On weekends, there are many children with their parents visiting us at the Hospice. I love watching kids fall down on their knees to get to the same height as the dogs, or small children standing on their tiptoes to give the bigger dogs a kiss on their head.
I love children’s compassion towards the elderly clients. Meanwhile, I notice how much that has been forgotten within me. Together with my own two children we are now practicing how to be more in the present and work more on our intuition and our thoughts.
When we eat dinner, we frequently thank for our food, to be grateful and at the same time give thanks to the long path before the food ends up on the plates in front of us. I ask Olivia and Max who we should thank: the earth, the rain, the sun, farmers, transportation, stores, dad’s job, mom’s wallet and the cook.
Besides that we have a lot of fun, it’s also stimulating for me. I noticed with myself how hard I have to get started with my imagination.
A few times a week in the evenings, we experiment with silence. We put ourselves down on the floor for about fifteen minutes and then we say nothing. (Here it is hard for me not to fall asleep!)
Then we talk about what thoughts, smells or any concerns that come up. This is also a good start to learn how to meditate, become aware of our thoughts and to learn to “control” them. But it is also a chance for everyone to think through what is moving around inside us.
Sometimes in life we push away thoughts, forget them or we do not want to remember. And over time, it might be difficult to talk about the suppressed thoughts.
Many years ago I met a happy little guy who understood that I could communicate with animals. He knew that it was through the thoughts that communication took place.
We were with my dog Tjojs when the little guy told me he had bought a gift for Tjojs, but he would whisper it to me what it was, or Tjojs could hear it. “You are not allowed to think about it, because then Tjojs will ‘hear’ it!” the little guy said. But he was disappointed. He had thought about the gift to Tjojs, and expected that she would jump excitedly, but she never jumped.
Talking with children is amazing. We hear many deep thoughts and we should be able to learn something from their natural approach to life’s mysteries.