Riding The Waves
AN OCEANIC METAPHOR
FOR ENGAGING WITH CHILDREN
by Céline Levasseur Burlock
As a result of my fascination with the ocean – a fascination that has always been present and has grown stronger over the years - I spend many hours sitting in its embracing presence, observing its constant motion, mystery, enfoldment and unfoldment. As my life also enfolds and unfolds - much of it in mysterious ways – I find that metaphors are a wonderful way to assist me, not only in making sense of my unfolding world, but in bringing new and deeper meaning. This article is designed to create a spark that will cause you to reflect on the ‘ocean’ as a metaphor for engaging with children, whether in parenting or in educating.
In raising, parenting and educating, one of the prevailing notions of what is considered ‘success’ in our society is that of CONTROL. After all, the prevailing notion is that if you have control over children - in your home or in your classroom, you are it - you are the best! You are considered an efficient parent and educator. Ensuring that you apply tools and techniques to cause children to fit the mould that is pre-established for them, is considered the key to success in this endeavor.
Yet interesting as this may appear, ask any teacher, or any parent and they will attest to this – they often feel out of control and they notice that children feel the same! Ask yourself, when was the last time you felt totally in control of what was happening outside of you? When, as a parent did you feel resourceful – inside of you? Maybe, just maybe, we need to pay attention to something different than control.
One day as I was sharing some time with a colleague of mine, who is a great surfer, we engaged in a conversation about what pulls him to ride the waves. Sharing the same passion for the ocean we talked about how meaningful it was for us, and it was then that I realized how riding those waves was so comparable, and indeed a metaphor, for parenting and educating our children.
One thing that caught my attention was the term “tube” or “barrel” which is the downward, concave part of a massive wave. You might have noticed on pictures where you see the surfer at the bottom, on that concave part, riding the waves masterfully while the top of the wave can go up to 10 meters or more. What fascinated me was that if a surfer doesn’t catch the exact moment to go into the tube or barrel, making the fall of the wave, but instead goes to the top, he will be propelled and become thrashed by that same wave.
In comparison to certain sports like skiing, where eventually you get to know all the details of the trails, including where the next bump will be, and can thus adjust your turns to successfully go down the hills, riding waves takes place in territory that is always changing. As my colleague explained, “the medium moves all the time”. There is no way, or even thoughts that can control these waves. It is all about the individual, the wave and catching/claiming the right moment to ride that wave and become more…more resourceful in the process of surfing.
In our commitment to make a difference with kids, how many of us have discovered that no matter how many new strategies or techniques have been passed down to us, and regardless of how many new processes we have learned in order to manage or teach our children, something unexpected always happens and we end up feeling unresourceful. It’s as if the more we strive to learn about, and control our efforts to parent or educate, the more it escapes us – the more we hold on to an illusion. The medium keeps moving – whether it be the magnificent waves of unfolding within us, or the equally magnificent unfolding of waves within the children, all of us keep moving, changing, and evolving. As we claim the process of our own experience, the enfolding brings us to amass the momentum for our next unfolding - thus always promising greater brilliance and wisdom as a result.
The more we can stand up, and go deeper into the waves of constant movement inside of us, having the courage to claim what that calls up as our truth - the more resourceful we will feel and the more we shall be able to stand up on the surfing board of parenting and educating. Isn’t it what being consciously engaging with children is all about? Being awake, aware, paying attention and claiming to become more.
Isn’t that where it all begins? Deep inside where we feel the roaring of the ocean, where the invitation for exploration is always present. I invite you to consider this; do you still continue to choose from your past or do you consciously choose to express more evolved ways of becoming around children?
If we are to birth new thinking to better prepare us to parent and educate our children in differing ways - if we are to enter the unstill medium and ride the wave of conscious parenting and educating, then my belief is that a global shift in perspective is more than necessary – it is crucial. Not as a final answer, or ultimate goal, but rather to create a broader worldview - one that drops below the surface, where we can look, with new lenses, at the way we are doing what we are doing with our kids, the world we are creating for them, and, who we are becoming by means of this process.
The results we are currently getting from our parenting and educating efforts should be no surprise. I would say for some of us, who are already in the role of parenting and educating, it is quite alarming. For others – what can I say! They are still asleep and they have not seen anything yet! None the less, for those of us ready to engage differently, embarking on a surfing board is, or could be, a time to bring forth that magnificence that we already know we possess and put it to work for the sake of our children. The choice is NOW ours to make that difference. Clear intention, courage to claim what we own and have created, and a willingness to tap into the unknown is all that is required – the rest will follow.
Céline Levasseur Burlock, B.ED, Certified WEL-System Catalyst, WEL-Systems:NLP Master Practitioner, CODE Model Coach, Reiki Master Practitioner and EMF Balancing Technique Advanced Practitioner. Celine is the Founder of Life Unlimited
and Potential, a personal, professional and health development Center.
This article is reproduced with the permission of the author, Céline Levasseur - Original Copyright © 2005 Céline Levasseur. This article may be reproduced provided premission has been granted by Céline Levasseur and it is reproduced in its entirety with appropriate acknowledgement of the author, the source and a weblink