Stepping into Freedom & Responsibility – A Toddler’s Brazen Rite of Passage


For the past year or so, you’ve had great delight in really getting in touch with your soft spot. Having been shamed as a child for showing emotions, which were backfired by adults as being ‘weakness’ – you’ve had a tough time allowing yourself to just be. To be there for your baby, to take care of it’s every need. To not diminish your baby’s needs or paint them off as manipulation. To stretch out your comfort zones and breaking the limits of what you thought you were physically capable of. You got in touch with your gentle, nurturing side and bathe in its soothing embrace.

Then suddenly, your little one starts changing. You hear things like ‘NO!’. Where you were once able to place your baby wherever was convenient and they’d stayed in proximity, your little one’s mobility urges itself to go into all those precarious places, their sense of observation drives them to test the laws of gravity over and over again – throwing things around and off many times over. Food is just another creative art medium (and the whole house is a canvas, living things included) – your calls for law and order go unheeded or only put more fuel on the fire.

For the longest time you battled with the voices – both the voices from the past repeating in your head, how you were raised, the standards and values that were imposed to you – as well as the external voices of well-intentioned advice (but not quite what you’re looking at in raising your baby) and the many warnings with scorned looks as to how you treat your baby. You’re spoiling him, she’s going to know no boundaries, he’s going to rule the house, she’s going to manipulate you, he’s going to know no discipline. But despite the many voices prodding at the doubts you thought you stilled, you kept going back to your calm, your trust, your faithfulness to your own inner voice, that you will see this through, that you need to see this through if only to come to a sound conclusion for yourself.

It took great bravery to go against your conditioned impulses – but now all hell is loose.

What if they were right?

What if I totally @#!8%$-ed up my child?

When something happens that appears to be the realization of your fears, we tend to petrify immediately. Following your inner guidance was just too good to be true. You’re a @#!8%$–up after all. Nice try though. You can go back now to a desolate inner landscape that holds no future.

When we fear something so much, the moment we see something that resembles our fear in the slightest, we think ‘Oh my God, this is it’. We believe our reaction at face value without investigating what is really going on. A toddler’s brazen rite of passage into freedom and responsibility easily becomes one of such fixations.

When we remain fixed on our fixation and only look at what is happening on the surface (unruly behaviour, tantrums, defiance, opposition, etc), we forego the bigger picture and perspicacious insight.

So why did your cute mogwai baby turn into a downright gremlin?

One of our unique features of being human is that of Free Will.

Free Will poses some challenges, considering there over 7 billion of us, not even taking into account the other gazillion of life forms on the planet.

We have the power to do what we want, but none of our actions come without a subsequent reaction or consequence. While we are free to choose how to act and be, we don’t have the freedom in picking out and selecting our set of consequence for that very action. On a global level – this is exactly what we are facing and is becoming more prominent and pronounced in its manifestations day by day. War, conflict and poverty are the epitome of our conflictual relationship with free will in the quest of making our free will a reality while rivalling everyone else’s free will. We’re all so much focused on our individual, personal free will, our own desires, dreams and fears that everyone else comes second.

When your toddler (or even baby) shifts his or her behaviour and interaction with reality in the realization that there are no defined lines or boundaries as to what goes and what not – an exploration sets forth to thirst his or her curiosity into one’s own ability to create and shape your reality. Your child steps into its power with no direction other than to find out ‘what can be done’ with this power.

For us parents, the advent of the power phase can be quite startling and alarming. Over eons of time, we and our ancestors have subdued our own in free will and have settled for complacency. Surviving to a ‘good old age’, having had kids and having accumulated some wealth to call your own is all we aim for. We’re just trying to get through the day and having a good time here and there. We’ve long given up our hopes and dreams for ourselves and the world; which was painful at one time, only to later be conceited with our own sense of ‘realism’. We turn our losses into triumphs because the truth hurts too much. We’ve given up. We’re proper a-dull-ts now. A child or infant stepping into its power phase, reigning chaos and mayhem, we’re not interested as to why they are doing it. All we know, is that it is oh so terribly inconvenient for our lives which we’ve limited to a narrow range of conduct in order to survive. We’ve worked hard to fall in line and run with the cog out of fear of being spat out and rejected as being defective. Our children, being new to this world – have no idea about all the tacit and explicit agreements we’ve made collectively and are out to explore for themselves their creative abilities.

Our fearful response to a child’s wild nature then doesn’t stem from our desire to raise a well-developed and rounded individual, but from a desire to raise a person that fits the collective agreed upon framework of survival on this planet. Whether this framework is the most beneficial to both personal and global well-being and harmony is not part of our consideration. Just that they need to fit the framework. Or perhaps we do want to nurture and raise our child(ren) to their utmost potential, but still battle with our own fears and conditioning.

You find yourself in a situation with two opposing elements. You have the child who is still raw and boundless and the adult who is excessively defined. How to bring these two elements together in harmony? What seems like two opposing forces are in fact the keys to balance to one another. The young child needs direction – not through fear or morality but through understanding. The adult has too many directions, too many fears, beliefs and conditioning that need to be erased. As much as you will be working with guiding and navigating your child through this world and learning the responsibility that comes with freedom, you too, as an adult, will be guided (well, more like triggered and challenged…) to reconsider your own approach to life and drop belief systems which do not actually serve you and get in touch with your own inner child. You come together and you learn as one.

A Toddler’s Brazen Rite of Passage is not only a tumultuous time for him or her, you too go through you own tumultuous transformation and metamorphosis if you allow yourself to embrace what your child triggers and challenges in you and give yourself the opportunity to re-evaluate your points of view.

In terms of guiding your child, what I found most effective is to work with simple explanations of cause and effect and the implications of free will and ‘doing what I want’. I will show him that when he steps into a position of doing what he wants regardless of how it affects those around him, he implicitly gives license to everyone to do the same. I give him examples of how this would look like. If he decides he wants to throw the toy at me, I can decide to go away. I could also decide to throw it back at him. I can also decide to put the toy away, because of my physical size I am able to place it out of reach. How does he feel about someone abusing their power over another? If he had lesser abilities (like for instance a dog who can’t throw a toy back but can bite when it’s really fed up), how would he feel in their position? Would he like to be considered in that person or animals position and not be taken advantage of? What would happen if EVERYONE starts playing out this particular behaviour? Does that result in an outcome that’s pleasant? Mostly these situations end up in fight, conflict. He understands this. Sometimes he doesn’t understand (or he does but insists on playing it out for himself) and then natural consequence will show him what his behaviour creates. Other people don’t want to play with him, he’s not welcome somewhere or another child hits him back.

“Now I know” – is a phrase I hear very often, and a phrase others around me starting picking up from my son as well lol.

Sometimes the roles are reversed. My son really wants me to come play with him on a jungle gym and in the sand by a crowded restaurant. I’m resistant because I don’t want to make a fool of myself and get ‘dirty’. I’ll tell him ‘No, I can’t, I’m busy drinking right now’ as an excuse to get out of it. He’ll come grab me by the hand, tell me to put my glass down and just come play with him. That it will help me and make me feel better. In those moments he pushes me to drop the beliefs, the rules we impose on ourselves but don’t help us. Our social anxieties, our fears of being ridiculed, all the little rules where we hold ourselves back because ‘what if’. We remain stagnant because we don’t allow ourselves to embrace life and celebrate the many opportunities we have to shine in our self-expression.


With Freedom comes great Responsibility. We can do what we want, but only certain actions will provide the outflows that support all that are involved. Our current society is not one of Freedom and Responsibility. We abdicate the responsibility of how life on Earth should be managed to our politicians (and then we complain about what an awful job they’re doing) – believing we gain the freedom to ‘not worry about such things’, while our actual freedom gets removed as we allow random laws and regulations to be imposed on our lives. We abdicate the Right to Life to money, a manifestation that took on a life of its own, with many being at the mercy of volatile markets. But at least, we don’t have to think about who gets what, we have some extra time to watch a soccer game. Money can decide. The more we imprison ourselves, the more our children will rebel against our mental bars.

Our conceptualization of Freedom invites the most limitations. Equally so, we carry many ideas of responsibilities which are futile and only burden us. We need to learn to balance both Freedom and Responsibility to get the best out of both.

So people have made a schizophrenic way of life. They talk about truth, they talk about freedom, and they live in lies, they live in slaveries – slaveries of many kinds, because each s


Fear of Consequence | How Punishment breeds Irresponsibility (and what to do instead!)

I was watching a Black Mirror episode, namely episode 3 from season 4 where a woman’s past comes back to haunt her after an insurance investigator starts looking into an incident and has special technology that allows her to peak into people’s memories to get more ‘accurate’ witness reports. In the beginning of the episode the main character was complicit in covering up a hit-and-run. She goes on to live her life and become quite successful in a business until this event comes catching up with her. It soon becomes pretty obvious that she’s going to get caught for what happened many years ago and that her life as she knew it was going to be over.

I haven’t finished the episode yet, because I was experiencing myself as increasingly squeamish at the prospect that she was going to get caught, that moment where everything comes to light and she has to face the consequences of her actions. I looked into the point, and decided that before I can continue watching the episode (and the rest of the season lol) I should write a blog about it. Entertainment in the form of movies and series so easily provide us points to reflect and investigate ourselves, I didn’t just want to keep watching and let this opportunity pass by to share how we can introspect, investigate, evaluate and correct ourselves in something as mundane as watching an episode of a series.

If people are good only because theyFEAR

As I folded my laptop closed when I made the decision to stop watching the episode, I looked at my experience and what else it reminded me of. I saw that I had had this experience before when watching the series Dexter. Where you go into this conflictual experience of on the one hand liking Dexter, and on the other hand judge him because, well, he’s a serial killer – but then when it comes down to it and things get tense – don’t want him to get caught.

It also reminded me of a dream I had, of which the theme I believe repeated itself a few times in my life. I enter the dream and it’s already in full action, meaning, there’s no ‘story build up’ – like you start watching a movie halfway into the duration of it. In the dream I was busy looking for someone along with another group of people, when the knowledge hit that I had killed the person and that the authorities were also looking for the culprit. I remember not being phased at all by the piece of information that “I had done it”, the only thing I was wrought up about was that I may get caught and set course to run away and hide.

Another memory that came up was of me sitting in music class in my first year of high school, where for some reason we were discussing the topic of the sun when my teacher mentioned that the sun will burn out at some point and then that will be the end of Life on Earth, but that this would only happen a long time from now. I remember thinking ‘Well as long as I’m not there when it goes down, then I don’t care’ – with pictures from the Armageddon movie flashing by and being terrified at the prospect of having to face such a situation. I felt icky inside myself because I also knew that a lot of people now on Earth live a disastrous life that I am unwilling to live and I quickly buried up the thought and the feelings that came with it. But for some reason that one moments thinking has always stuck with me (what you resist will persist hey).

What this episode and the associations as the memories brought up for me is that I still have a very deep fear of consequence and wanting to avoid consequence. That I don’t give much consideration to what I do, but only the possible negative consequence which may or may not befall on me. This leads me to make decisions and work with consideration where I look at how things will make me feel, rather than understanding what I do and whether it is the best possible outcome. In simpler terms it leads to making compromising decisions which give me a sense of reward or forgoing doing what’s right to avoid experiencing someone’s backlash. It’s not about content but about how things make me feeling or how I anticipate they will make me feel.

This led me to look more at my experiences as a child, where faux pas were often met with aggressive, emotional punishment.

What I realised in looking at my childhood memories, is that I had stored punishment and consequence to be part of the same database. In that, as a child – I didn’t differentiate between natural consequence, initiated consequence and punishment.

First image

In the image above, you can see how all three were bundled up together in the same box, with the colours representing a fear energy within which the container as the words and their definitions were drenched in. (To be honest, the box really just held consequence and punishment, as I hadn’t even specified or verbalised for myself that there are distinction!)  I’ll explain later what each of them entails individually.

As a kid for instance, I loved exploring our computer, which was a family computer. There was only one PC which we shared amongst the five us. And well, during those explorations sometimes things would go wrong with the computer. My father, who was really into the computer to play games would always get angry whenever a dreaded error screen appeared or the computer wouldn’t start. I’d get shouted at for breaking the computer, until I felt broken inside myself and would go hide in my room trying to avoid my father for the next couple of days. Swearing to myself that I’d never touch the computer again because it was just not worth all of the shouting, yelling and feeling like a little shit. I had no idea how I ‘messed up’ the computer or why exactly my father was getting angry (other than the basic assumption that computers cost money). A few days would go by and would get back behind the computer, making sure I do it when my father is not yet home. Eventually the cycle would just repeat itself.

The natural consequence here, was that playing around with something you don’t fully understand (and don’t ask for help / guidance), you might make mistakes and possibly create damage.

Because my father’s response was one of diminishing me into submission through fear \ to have a fast, quick outcome/result in keeping me away from the computer (and so hopefully prevent the computer from going haywire) – all I learnt from that one event is to avoid my father whom I feared.

I didn’t learn a thing about pcs, and my father never did get to avoid the computer from messing up from time to time.

It’s a lose-lose situation. That’s punishment.

Punishment is about making another feel bad and diminishing them on a level of ‘who they are’ – with no consideration of ‘what they did’. It’s like saying ‘all of you is bad’, instead of addressing the one behaviour which was not constructive. It’s convenient, because it gives a quick result – and gives an opportunity for the punisher to let out pent up frustration and anger. But nothing about the actual situation is learnt. The one being punished then adopts secretive behaviour to continue, with no accountability or responsibility being developed.

Because there was both natural consequence and punishment in the same event, the two became fused for myself. That the one implies the other.

From there things started escalating. I’d be staying at a friend’s house and accidentally break something. The thought of telling someone wouldn’t even come up as option. My first instinct was how to hide it as best as possible and pretend nothing happened. I couldn’t have predicted how my friends or their parents would have responded. Maybe they would have been totally cool with it, maybe not. The one time an accident happened with eyes around when at a friend. The mother told me to be more careful with how I am playing as I was not paying attention to my environment, and started moving breakables out of my reach until she was sure I was paying more attention.

Even though the mother was totally calm, composed, explained to me my actions and what they were creating and took further measures to prevent it from happening – I felt punished. I felt punished that she moved all the breakables away, and accessed the same hurtful feelings as when my father would punish me. That I wasn’t to be trusted, that I was inadequate.

This example, is actually one of natural consequence and initiated consequence. The natural consequence was that ‘when I don’t pay attention to my surroundings when I play because I am so caught up in the energy of the game, I may possibly break things around me in my unawareness’. The initiated consequence was ‘breakables are being moved away until I’ve shown that I can play with more awareness and do not pose a threat to breakables in my direct surroundings’.

The lines between consequence and punishment were so blurred for me that I couldn’t distinguish the one from the other. My response was always the same. If I saw a parent initiating consequence with a child which was totally supportive, I’d still feel sad and project unto the child my own experience of how I felt when being punished, assuming the child was going through the same and condemning the parent for their ‘abusive behaviour’.

What supported me in my own process to detangle my past experiences and memories of punishment and consequence, was to clearly indicate to myself the different types of ‘consequence’/’punishment’ that exist. This assisted me to see where in the past a situation was directed less than optimally by others in my environment, as well as where I missed points of responsibility that could have changed the course of such situations and possible repetitions.

The latter being the toughest part. When you’ve gone through trauma, it’s easy to become accustomed to a sense of victimhood where everything was always the fault of another, and we were just innocent players. When someone treats you unacceptably and you scrunch into a corner and just take it – it’s hard to admit that there was a moment where you could have gathered yourself up again and say ‘Stop’. As a child, we’re not always aware of our alternatives when the alternatives have not been presented to us through the living example of others such as our parents. So when I place myself in those moments of childhood, I give myself a little grace – knowing that, at that point in time, I didn’t know much better. At the same time, I acknowledge I am older, have gone through more experiences and am able to set up a different response for myself. The grace that counted for myself as a child, no longer applies in my current situation. I’m in a more empowered space, and I am going to use that more empowered space to go back into my childhood and see how I could have done things differently. Not because we should have done it differently, or even had the potential to do it differently. But to go back to the source of our wound, the pain, the hurt – face that moment again and rise above it. Even if we can’t re-write the past, we blow a new perspective into it. So that instead of repeating the hurt and carrying the emotional wounds into our current life situation, what we carry through from the memory is what we have learnt, and the solutions we now know we can apply.

In the case of the memory with the repeated computer incidents for instance, I realised that I could have asked for help from others or even just gotten myself a book on how to work with computers. But because of how I experienced my father’s outrageous response, I felt compelled to blame the whole situation on him, that he was too irrational and punitive about it. The size of his emotional outburst took up so much space in the events, that I didn’t see anything other than *that* playing out. I didn’t see or look for any alternatives, and never took a moment to look at how I could do things differently. In the face of the vast punishment, the space and moment to reflect on myself and my responsibility in the given situation was completely minimized. Hence, I didn’t change my behaviour (only when I did it) and the pattern persisted.

So for myself, I clarified my relationship to natural consequence, initiated consequence and punishment through redefining the words – as well as removing any emotional connotations or loads connected to it, so that each word/point can stand on its own.

  • Natural consequence: the if this then that effect, the result/outflow of an action

For example, if I am late at the train station, I miss the train

  • Initiated consequence: a set of imposed conditions to prevent certain damages or harm from comping to pass

For example, my toddler is still specifying his motoric skills and broke a drinking glass, for the time being he will only be provided with plastic cups and plates and we will re-assess in time

  • Punishment: the intention and act of making another person feel bad about themselves to refrain them from repeating perceived undesirable behaviour and to elevate oneself into a position of being in control. On an elemental level, punishment is an act of retribution. You made me feel powerless, now it’s your turn.

For example, my child is running rampant and keeps waking up the baby, I feel at a loss and desperation rises. I take him aside and give him a good shouting after which he isolates himself in his room

The moment we redefine and so clarify a word/manifestation for ourselves, it’s also easier to establish our own directive response to such situations. When we’re confronted with someone who’s out to punish us, we can immediately move ourselves to share that we see our own responsibility in the situation (if any), saying we understand that they’re upset, where they are coming from and to immediately steer the conversation towards constructive solutions. If we however keep ourselves to the wound and not the lesson of a memory, we will let the other person exert their anger and frustration on us, while we feel smaller and more resentful towards the other. We keep ourselves small and disempowered and equally disempower the other party through simply letting their past hurts play out through letting them vent their anger and frustration out. When we move out of our disempowerment position into our directive power, we change the variables and relationship dynamics in any given situation. As we change who we are and how we respond, it forces the other party to reconsider their own position, because things are not playing out according to their expectations.

As a parent who’s been left with a bad taste surrounding ‘consequence’ and ‘punishment’ as a child, it can be tricky to assess as to when to not engage, where you leave a situation or behaviour to natural consequence; when to initiate consequence – and to when you do, to not trap yourself in punitive consequence. (Sometimes, we also need to employ measures that may look like punishing (like shouting) – and may feel bad or guilty afterwards for thinking that we’re damaging our child and that they will hate our guts forever more. While shouting and raising your voice is mostly abused in the sense that it’s an easy way to exert frustration, anger and irritation – the physical act of shouting, where there’s no emotional load or intention behind it can be very helpful and effective in certain circumstances. If your child is about to do something dangerous, using your voice as a sound wave to pop them out of a ‘trance’ where they don’t realize what they are about to do is dangerous, is effective to literally ‘shake’ them out of it for a moment, until you can get closer to direct the situation. Whenever I use my voice strongly, I make sure I can in the next moment be equally gentle and soft, moving from one expression to another with ease. If I get stuck in my voice being raised, I know I accessed some emotional energies and need to have a closer look at what is being undealt in my own interior life.)

In general, I work with a few guidelines to establish how to proceed:

  • Who is being affected by the behaviour?

If my son’s behaviour only affects his reality and he is not placing himself in any form of harm or danger, I leave it up to natural consequence.

If he’s going a bit cray cray and keeps breaking his lego construction because he’s not paying attention, then it’s for him to learn how his behaviour affects his reality and how he can change his behaviour. I might give a suggestion here and there, but I leave it up to him how he moves forward with it.

If he’s going cray cray and he somehow picked up an object he could harm himself with or plays in a way that could easily warrant a doctor’s visit if things go wrong, then I initiate consequence (eg insisting he calms down before he can continue playing and if not removing whatever may cause an issue).

If he however keeps breaking his toys and keeps coming to me to fix it, his behaviour is now affecting my reality and within that gives me space to initiate consequence or parameters if I find that it is really getting in the way. I can fix his toy once or twice, explain that he needs to be more aware and slow down, possibly show him how he can fix it himself if its within his skillset, and warn that I will not keep fixing it.

  • If I initiate consequence, is it relevant to the situation and have I done my best to transfer understanding through communication?

If my son is being loud and others can’t have an audible conversation amongst themselves, there’s no point to tell him he won’t get chocolates today. There’s no natural or causal relationship between being loud and the access to chocolates. Rather, I will ask him to be more quiet, explain to him why I ask it of him, and ask him to place himself in the other people’s shoes (“imagine you are trying to tell me something but someone keeps shouting and you can’t share with me what you want to say, is that something you’d like to experience / be in?”). I’ll also explain that there’s no issue with being loud and expressive in itself, but that we have to be aware of the context we find ourselves. If he really wants to sing loudly or play train, he can also do it in his room.

I do my best to keep the conversation around the behaviour and to not make it personal to him. To clearly state the consequence I will initiate and to not nag about (keep warning but not following through with it). I keep my voice tonality, my choice of words and body language in mind. When there’s space for it, I ask him how he proposes we direct the situation.

I have definitely not perfected this for myself, as my experience with watching the Black Mirror show nicely reminded me of. Old patterns from childhood are like rivers whom have embedded themselves into the earth into a set path. It’s difficult to redirect the flow of water when there’s already a certain direction it is used to following. Every time we practice our new direction and new response, it’s like we’re digging a bit, starting a new trench at the source for the river to take on a new course. The more we practice, the more it entrenches and embeds within our being. Until one day the river effortlessly flows in our new direction we diligently practiced and planted.


Fairness is the New Entitlement

I was playing around with the word Fair or Fairness the other day as it’s a point that very easily sneaks up its head. Especially if you’re someone who’s more rationally, logically inclined – it’s so easy to come up with arguments and point at all the x,y, z variables in your reality or environment that are ‘out of place’ as to why things are difficult for you and why you have the right to be frustrated and have somewhat of an inner tantrum.

If we have an honest look at the world around us, we quickly realise that there’s nothing fair about it. More than 3 billion people live in poverty. One in nine people are stuck in starvation. Animals are going through extinction, nature’s being raped faster than we can regenerate her. You could pretty much say that life on Earth is a bubble of unfairness. Nothing’s the way it should be. But we’re not spending all our time and energy moaning and complaining about that. No, we throw a tantrum when someone else got a job we wanted. THEN we get upset. When we feel like our partner is not carrying his or her weight in terms of responsibilities around the house. THEN we get pissed off.

While the truth is, that nothing is fair about the world we live in. Absolutely nothing. It’s a ginormous mess. Taking that into consideration, it’s really rather peculiar how selective we are about what we complain about and where we use ‘fairness’ as an excuse and justification to vent out our own personal frustrations. Now, I’m not saying we should start to complain about every single little thing that’s wrong in our world. Or to ‘equalize’ our complaining so we complain a bit about everything lol.

But insisting that things should be fair in our little world, when obviously our little problems are the result of much greater discrepancies in the world we live is like focusing on a light that’s not working in our car rather than looking deeper and having a look at what the actual problem is. Fixing the light so it’s permanently on doesn’t mean our car is fixed.

When we enter a state of fairness, I’ve found that we’re essentially fighting ourselves, our own personal nature and reality. The world we live in and the structures governing it today, are a reflection of our inner realities. As within so without. And you might say, well you know what, I had nothing to do with that. It’s the people who came before me, it’s things that happened before my time – I had no part in this!

But when we are completely honest with ourselves, we’ll find that much of what we condemn and judge in the world as bad and undesirable, we are living out ourselves in our everyday life. We may not be a big bank involves in massive fraud, or a corrupt government institution. But perhaps we are constantly looking out for bargains in shops. Really picky about spending our money. Buying things for less when we actually do have the money to pay a decent price for a product or service. Leading to people being paid lower and lower wages just to be able to remain active in the market. You may say, well, now you’re just blowing things out of proportion. These things are happening on two different scales! And yes, sure they are happening on different scales. But the underlying principles, the underlying pattern within both is the same: How can I have more money for myself regardless of what it does to anyone else? The desire and fear that fuels this patterns is the same for the person who’s doing it on a big scale as the person doing it in a micro scale. I bet each can justify their ends just as well as the other, regardless of the scale!

Perhaps the governmental agents feel entitled to power moves because they find the public to be too uneducated to take part in decision making, rather going behind its back. Because it’s ‘unfair that they would have to deal with such people who are inadequate to make thoughtful decisions’. Similarly, you might find it unfair that you have to spend your hard earned money, you are entitled to keep it and so will try to spend as little as possible – even though others worked just as hard to produce what you’re buying.

Fairness only breeds more fairness. Looking at it this way, we could actually say that we use what is supposed to be a noble cause, as fairness and equity, as a channel to pursue, validate and push forward our own private and self-interested sense of entitlement.

_Blame_ and _Deserve_

For instance, when my husband is around, I have the hidden expectation that he will help out more with say household points and spending time with our son. And when that expectation doesn’t get fulfilled, it’s all anger and fury inside myself, because it’s “so unfair”. The crux in this type of situation for myself, I found is not so much that I want him to help out, but that I believe I deserve more ‘off time’ and ‘me time’, where I believe and perceive myself to be missing out because theoretically, he could be providing me with that. And that I’m entitled to it. He still helps out here and there and on a practical level things are easier, yet on those days where’s he’s more around I find myself enjoying myself less and overall having a less pleasurable time because of the inner friction I find myself within. On days that he is not around and so know not to bring in my expectations, I may be busy all day without much time for myself but I am enjoying myself and satisfied because I know I am doing all I can. There’s no ‘what if’, there’s no choice to constantly reflect on, there’s no ‘greener grass’ to obsess about. It’s about what can I do. And how far can I push myself. My eyes are not locked and fixated on what others are doing and if they’re pushing themselves to their utmost. How am I supposed to ascertain that anyway? I only know myself, my reality, my capacity, my context. That’s why the principle of Self-Honesty is of utmost importance. To slack and do less than what you’re capable of simply because you perceive or believe others are not doing the same, and you don’t want to be seen as a loser. Is just plain self-sabotage. People come and go. The person you have to live with and stick with for the rest of your life, well is YOU. You need to be satisfied with yourself regardless of what anyone else is or isn’t doing.

By constantly focusing on our external reality and what COULD be, we miss out on who we could be and actively engaging our potential.

When I was playing around with the sound of the word Fairness, and Fair – I identified the sound ‘fare’. A fare, being typically a fee you pay for transport or the like as part of a journey you are on. When I take that concept back to myself, I see that I employ fairness much in the same way. Say, I will do the dishes, clean the room, tend to our son – not as a point of expression coming from me. Doing it, but doing it with much drag and resistance. These things then become ‘hard work’ and require ‘effort’. The ‘hard work’ and ‘effort’ then become the ‘fare’ I pay as the price of my journey to achieving the definition of a good mother and wife.

When we work hard for a job promotion or just looking for some acknowledgement but someone else gets it, we’re mad because – we paid our ‘fare’, we worked hard. And now this other person is getting away with it? But he/she didn’t pay his or her fare!!!

Fairness then becomes a means to want to equalize our suffering. Instead of supporting and empowering one another unconditionally, we only care to check that the chains holding everyone back are ‘just as tight’ and ‘just as long’.  Because we paid our fare, it’s only fair that we are entitled to x, y, z. We engage fairness as a fare we pay on our journey to achieve a certain self-definition or idea about ourselves. And if that idea or self-definition doesn’t manifest or gets proven wrong, everyone around you better hide.

By removing the concept of fairness, we’re placing ourselves in a position of absolute responsibility. It’s not about anyone else but ourselves. When we still employ fairness, we can forevermore point at our environment and the people within it as reasons why we’re unsatisfied and unhappy. Instead of seeing the things in our reality as challenges to better ourselves, we see them as obstacles there to make us miserable. When your boss yells at you and you feel awful for the next three days, it feels so justified and rational to say that you should set more boundaries. That he should not be acting that way. That you shouldn’t have to deal with people like that and shouldn’t experience yourself that way. But in a world permeated with unfairness, that doesn’t get you very far. You can keep on experiencing everything in your reality as a setback, or move yourself to make the best of any given situation despite what you’re being handed. We’ve screwed up this world beyond measure, and for each one of us it’s going to take more than our ‘fair share’ to set things right again. If we’re going to limit ourselves to what each person feels is right to them, or finds justifiable – we’re never going to create a better life on Earth for ourselves and the future generations to come. And while it feels like the most irrational thing to do, the most counter intuitive move to make – when we remove fairness from our lives and actually push ourselves to the potential we each have within us, you enter a state of liberation you would have never thought existing if you’d kept to fairness.

To place this all in a more practical, day to day context, an example:

A Day With Fairness

I wake up in the morning and want to get ready for making breakfast. My son wakes up and seems to be uncomfortable. I see the possibility for a quiet breakfast on my own disappear before my eyes and let out a deep sigh. This is so unfair. My whole body feels heavy and I grudgingly go to the bed to help him get started with his day. I’m still upset about not getting breakfast my way and this makes me short towards my son who grows increasingly frustrated at my unhelpfulness. In turn, I get irritated by my son, why can’t he just cooperate? I start with breakfast but my son is now whining about every little thing that is going wrong, and I start to now really lose my patience. In my head I am backchatting about all the things that are wrong in my life that I don’t notice that the eggs start to burn in the pan. Of course they’re burning. Everything just goes wrong for me. I dish up breakfast and my son complains he doesn’t want to eat the eggs cause they are burnt. I lash out and say FINE, THEN DON’T EAT ANYTHING!!! …

A day without Fairness

I wake up in the morning and get ready for making breakfast. My son wakes up and seems to be uncomfortable. I go check on him to see why he’s uncomfortable. He says he woke up cold. I give him a big warm hug and we lay together a bit in the bed until he feels better. I suggest that a nice breakfast will get our day nicely started. Since my son is quite settled he plays with his toys a bit on his own while I prepare breakfast. We’re both calm and I can pay attention to the eggs and make them just right. While we eat my son complains he doesn’t like the pepper on the egg. I tell him I didn’t know it would bother him and tell him that next time I will pay special attention to not put pepper on his eggs. He says ‘yes, now you know’. I scrape off the pepper from his egg as best as I can and he continues to eat. …

Our starting point determines everything. If we wake up and start our day with a mindset of everything that is wrong, lacking and unfair –  we weave these ingredients into all the aspects of our day. Our starting point then becomes equal to our end point. Unknowingly we sabotage ourselves and our day to confirm our original start point – that nothing is what it ‘should be’ and that ‘everything’s unfair’. However, when we are open and flexible and aim to make the best of each moment, we come up with responses and solutions that otherwise simply would not have to mind. We so insist that everything can only go wrong we don’t see how we can direct ourselves and our environment into a different direction.

So when you hit yourself into a bout of fairness, where you complain about all the injustices in your world – stop for a moment and take a break. Have a look at whether you’re really upset about the apparent unfairness of the situation, or whether there’s something behind it that you’re trying to achieve or fear losing. Use the moments of fairness to identify where you’re still using a sense of entitlement and you can instead approach the situation in humbleness. What can you take with you from this situation? Is there a point you need to learn here or change a habitual pattern? If you let go of the idea that things should be fair, how would you best direct the situation?

Here’s a video from Gian also on the subject of Fairness and how he realised that holding onto fairness only creates more suffering for all involved:

If you’re new to self-improvement and would like to learn more about how we tend to be our own worst enemies, rather than helpful guides – check out the free online DIP Lite Course

Parenting Beyond Polarity – Introduction


When I was young, one of the most dreadful experiences I had was being shouted and yelled at. My father could get really upset, scream, yell and pull the most frightening faces that I would sometimes pee my pants. I absolutely disliked any form of shouting, even a raised voice or loud sounds would send shocks of petrification through my body, even when the situation I found myself in wasn’t meant to be scary. I created an absolute aversion.

There were more traits I really disliked about my father, but for brevity’s sake I won’t mention them all. You could say that his general behaviour and demeanour was that of a dominant type personality.

When I got to the stage of being a ‘grown up’ myself, I would at all cost try to avoid being anything like my father.

Having attached a negative connotation to several of his traits, and judging them extensively had the unfortunate side-effect that I wouldn’t do or behave in a way that would even slightly remind me of him, even when I was in a situation that actually necessitated it. In my head, by mere associations, I would be ‘just as bad’ as him.

The first time my opinion around raising my voice and shouting was challenged was when I moved to the farm where I currently live. The farm I live on is set up for community living, and there’s always other people around and many animals. One day one of the dogs started chasing a chicken that got herself over the fence, when someone stepped out and in a booming voice shouted, “HEY!! STOP IT!!” whilst sternly and authoritatively walking towards the dog.

As usual, I experienced the ever so familiar shock of petrification run through my body. Simply by associating the sounds and body language back to my emotionally-laden memories. Although my rational self understood that the dog was about to at least harm the chicken, I couldn’t help but react and condemn the shouting and stance of the person. I felt bad for the dog, who’d stopped her actions and came running back with her ears slightly lowered, reminding me of my own experience of self-diminishment whenever I got shouted at.

Now that I look back at it, it’s quite astounding to see to what extent being around various different animals on a farm assisted and supported me in opening up my aversion towards what I perceived to be, dominance and other emotional issues I struggled with. How each and every single animal relationships was a stepping stone and learning experience that prepared the way for myself as a parent today. (But that will have to become a series on its own!)

One day the dogs had been restricted to the house because some people who were strangers to the dogs had to get some things done in the garden area. This was causing some frustration for the dogs as they are used to having their space to roam around and being apprehensive of “those people” outside which they didn’t know. The same day some people went to do shopping (who mainly took care of the dogs), which added some restlessness to the dogs’ behaviour. When they got back and reached the gate, the dogs got overrun with excitement. At that time, we had a few small dogs who had past leg issues, and were very protective about their ‘behind’. The bigger dogs were pushing into them to get to the door which they hoped would be opened for them so they could run off and greet their persons. The tension was rising and the smaller dogs started snarling at the bigger dogs, which was a recipe for disaster. There wasn’t much time before it was going to escalate and in one moment I stepped forward and with a loud, low (pitch wise), booming voice told them to stop it.

In a single moment, the tension was discharged between the dogs and created a gap in the tension that was building where I could get in between them to create more space among the dogs and keep them calm.

It was then that I realised that there’s more to ‘shouting’ and ‘yelling’ than I had previously thought. I realised that shouting/yelling, purely from a sound perspective – as with the dogs, sending a sort of ‘shockwave’ through them to snap them out of their particular state – was an effective tool.

There had been no meanness, no anger or desire to diminish them, only the directive to prevent a harmful situation.

Within my past experiences however, the yelling and shouting had always been fuelled strongly with anger, frustration and a certain desire for diminishment to ‘keep me in my place’.

Because of the emotional load that got transferred in each of those moments, I created the belief that any shouting/yelling/raising of one’s voice was irrevocably abusive and damaging. Just the sight and sound of it, I would already make up my mind. I only ever looked at the form/manifestation ( = shouting / yelling / raising voice) and wasn’t able to differentiate what was behind it as the expression/substance (whether emotional or directive). If I was in a state of self-victimization and diminishing myself, someone would raise their voice at me to ‘snap’ me out of my emotional state from a directive starting point, I would within myself still paint it off as being menacing.

More on this topic, in blogs to come

Co-Sleeping and (In)Dependence


This blog is a response that was written for someone asking for perspective on co-sleeping, more specifically whether or not co-sleeping leads to (in)dependence – translated from Dutch.

Personally I have found that it provides a good foundation from which my son can explore the world more independently. When children/babies are very small, they have so many needs – both psychologically and physiologically; where within meeting these needs you in essence create an environment of “you’re welcome here”, “you’re being supported”. Which rests the child assured and nurtures self-trust. Versus the scenario where you are very small and at your all-time most vulnerable phase, not having your needs met with a response – you’re creating an environment which begs the questions “why am I not being supported?”

Where we as parents, are essentially ‘Gods’ that have all the power to meet their needs or not; and when we don’t, the conclusion forming in the child easily becomes “it has to be me, there’s something wrong with me, I am at fault”.

This type of environment or atmosphere breeds distrust in the child. This can later on manifest itself in dependent, insecure behaviour but just as much in ‘confident behaviour’, but where this confidence is more a perversion of actual confidence. In the sense that the inner angst gets balanced out through a big ego, where one utilises superiority to hide/cover up the actual experience of inferiority. From the outside as an observer, the parents are rest assured because from the outside ‘it all looks okay’, but on the inside there’s all kind of things going on which will tend to come out / channelled through in more secretive behaviour.

I don’t see co-sleeping in itself as a guarantee, but more of a ‘symptom’ of a more conscious perspective coming from the parents towards the needs of their child(ren); where sleeping together is only a single aspect of daily life where this kind of conscious awareness is taking place, but where there are so many more moments/aspects in every day life which require conscious awareness in your presence and response as a parent – where if this is not in place in all the other aspects, you can still facilitate dependent behaviour.

On the other hand I have also found that children have a lot more needs than what I was personally aware of before I had my son. I was really baffled that this wasn’t part of my reality and that this was ‘known’. Within this context, it can be quite scary to see this sort of ‘dependent behaviour’, in the sense that it’s easy to think that “Shit, I must be doing something wrong, because this isn’t normal right?” Where it’s not that the child is being ‘extra dependent’, but that we, overtime, have forgotten what it entails to raise a small child and what it takes to really be involved and present in raising your child. Where the dependence is not the say, detrimental kind, but simply a fact of inter-dependence and inter-connectedness.

The child is not at fault here, but our conception of what is considered ‘normal’. What is normal, is to produce a good, obedient working force to keep the machine that is our society running, and in the light of this: personal involvement and presence of parents in tending to children’s needs, is well, inconvenient and cumbersome.

Going against the current of what is considered normal can arouse fears as the bulk of information that’s being produced is to maintain the status quo – not to change it. Our own conditioning, having internalised the outer precepts as our own, is very skilful at stirring doubt and leading ourselves to think that we’re being irrational. That if we persist with x, y, z (fill in whatever your parents, teachers, media etc have presented as the worst case scenario you’ll manifest should you continue with this other path, to strike fear into your heart in the hopes you’ll give up).

It’s not a simple matter, and there are many dimensions that come into play once you start opening it up!

Co-Sleeping en (On)Afhankelijkheid


(***English translation coming soon***)

Deze blog is een response naar iemands vraag toe over co-slapen, en meer specifiek of dit naar (on)afhankelijkheid leidt.

Persoonlijk heb ik ondervonden dat het een goede fundering in plaats zet waaruit mijn zoon meer zelfstandig zichzelf in de wereld kan verkennen. Wanneer kinderen/babies heel klein zijn, hebben ze zoveel behoeftes, physiologisch en psychologisch, dat het ontmoeten van deze behoeftes in essentie een sfeer creëert van “je bent hier welkom”, “je wordt hier ondersteund”; wat het kind gerust stelt en zelf vetrouwen ontwikkelt. Versus als je heel klein bent en het meest kwetsbaar en je behoeftes geen response krijgen, krijg je een sfeer van ‘waarom word ik niet ondersteund?’

Waar de ouders in essentie ‘God’ zijn in dat ze alle macht hebben om die behoeftes te ontmoeten of niet — en als ze dit niet doen, is de conclusie snel “het moet aan mij liggen, er is iets fout met mij, ik doe iets verkeerd”.

Dit soort milieu broedt angst en wantrouwen in het kind. Dit kan kan dan later manifesteren in afhankelijk, onzeker gedrag maar evenzeer in “zelf zeker gedrag”, maar waar het eerder een soort pervertie is van zelfzekerheid. De inner angst wordt uitgebalanceerd met een groot ego, waar men superioriteit gebruikt om een gevoel van inferioriteit te bedekken / verschuilen. Aan de buiten kant zijn ouders dan gerust gesteld want aan de buiten kant ‘ziet het er allemaal oké uit’ , maar binnenin is er heel wat mis en komt dit uit in meer geheimlijk gedrag.

Co-slapen is geen garantie in zichzelf, ik zie het meer als een symptoom van een meer bewust perspectief van de ouders af naar de behoeftes toe van het kind, waar samen slapen enkel 1 aspect is van het dagelijkse leven waar dit soort bewustzijn in gebruik is, maar er zijn zoveel meer moment / aspecten in het leven van een kind dat bewustzijn eisen, en als deze niet in plaats zijn kan je nog steeds afhankelijk gedrag bevorderen.

Aan de andere kant heb ik ook bevonden dat kinderen veel meer behoeftes hebben dan wat ik persoonlijk gewaar van was voordat ik mijn zoon had. En hier , het zien van dit soort ‘afhankelijk’ gedrag kan wat schrikjagend overkomen in de zin dat het makkelijk is om te denken dat ‘shit, ik doe iets mis, dit is niet normaal toch? ‘. Waar het niet echt is dat het kind extra afhankelijk is maar dat wij zelf overtijd hebben vergeten wat het inhoud om een klein kind te zijn en wat dit juist inhoud om als ouder echt betrokken te zijn in het opvoeden van een kind. Waar de afhankelijkheid niet echt een ‘slechte’ afhankelijkheid is maar een feit van inter-depentie en inter-connectedness.

Het kind is hier niet in fout, maar onze conceptie van wat ‘normaal is’. Wat normaal is, is om goede werkertjes te produceren om het machine dat onze maatschappij is continu te laten lopen, en hierin is betrokkenheid en aanwezigheid van ouders in de behoeftes van het kind, wel, ongelegen en lastig.

Tegen in gaan in wat algemeen aanvaard is als ‘nornaal’ kan makkelijk angsten opwekken want het bulk van informatie dat wordt geproduceerd is om de status quo te behouden, niet om het te veranderen. En onze eigen conditionering is hierin heel goed om twijfel in te brengen en te denken dat we niet rationaal zijn, dat x,y,z (vul hier in watook je ouders, onderwijzers, media hebben gezegt als worst case scenario dat je gaat creëeren moest je het in je hoofd krijgen dingen anders te doen om je schrik aan te brengen in de hoop dat je je idee opgeeft).

Het is geen simple matter en er komen heel veel dimensies mee te spelen.

A Parenting Perspective

I wrote the post below in response to a parents asking for perspective about his daughter’s behaviour, who started homeschooling for the past few months, wanting a lot of one-on-one attention, seemingly being okay as long as she has other kids to play with and spending a lot of time watching YouTube on her tablet and going into tantrum-like behaviour. The context of the question is not so much relevant (and personal information has been omitted), as I mostly suggested points to ponder on. Either way, I believe they may be of support to others, and so here is my share:


I don’t really have an answer for you – as with these type of situations there’s so many variables to consider, and since it’s impossible for me to establish exactly all the multi-dimensions of your reality and what may or may not be the cause / contributing factors to your daughter’s behaviour – I can only provide you with points to ponder, points to check from which you can draw your own conclusions. You and your partner know your daughter best, and it will be up to all three of you together to ‘put all the pieces together’ and find ways of directing the situation.

She may simply be transitioning from one phase into another. From going to school where everything you do is dictated from outside of yourself to being at home and being able to do ‘whatever you want’ type of thing, where there may be overindulgence in ‘doing all the things I wasn’t able to do before’ and yet having to find a balance.

It may also be that while she is with friends/other children – that she looks alright because in participation with others, there’s the possibility that she’s distracted from things going on inside herself / points she is processing. So just because things look ‘okay’ in that they don’t cause you to react into any particular point, doesn’t mean that everything is actually okay. Not saying that this is the case, but this can be a point to look at / take into consideration. Often when we become irritable or go into some kind of mood – whatever brought up that experience, was already running in the background before, and so her particular state at ‘home’/’away from kids’ doesn’t have to pertain to only that space where she displays that particular behaviour. Think of having a busy day where you don’t have time to think about anything because you are sooo busy – but then when you get home suddenly all these experiences come to the surface and you feel awful. This doesn’t mean that those experiences are ‘new’, but simply that in being busy and distracted, you didn’t notice they were actually already there.

In terms of her playing or doing things ‘since she was 5’ – if I look at myself, I played with Barbie dolls and other ‘childish things’ till I was like 12 or something and I probably would have done it longer if I didn’t fear other people’s judgments so much. So here, I wouldn’t necessarily look at ‘what’ she plays with and how that fits into say, the mainstream idea of what play is ‘age appropriate’ – but rather look at who she is within it. Is she nervous? Anxious? Does she seem directionless? Or is she simply having fun?

In terms of showing her books and other activities and her not being interested – here you also have to look at: who am I in showing her? In today’s world, we have placed so much emphasis on having to learn, having top grades, being ‘the best’ – in fear that we/our children won’t be able to compete ‘with the rest of the workforce’ for a good living. We fear that they’ll ‘fall behind’ and ‘miss out’ and have a horrible future. We then present our children with material such as reading or other activities, where the movement behind it is fear (but this fear can be dressed up / interpreted by yourself/the mind as ‘this is good for you!!!’ because we manipulate ourselves in believing that a negative fear experience is actually good and in our best interest). So here I would check my starting point. Am I showing her books/materials/activities because I judge what she does otherwise as ‘not good enough’ and ‘lacking educational content’, because I fear that she is going to ‘mess up’ in this world? When we approach our children in this way, they can feel and sense the fear, the judgment – and they are naturally inclined to resist and be repelled by this type of behaviour because they KNOW it’s not their fear, their judgment – it’s yours! But if we keep repeating this behaviour, then they will start to believe that the fear, the judgment is a reality. They will believe they are inadequate, not good enough, not smart enough and only do the proposed activities to alleviate themselves from these self-beliefs for a moment, which actually only integrated and penetrates them deeper. Looking from the outside, you’ll then be happy that she is ‘doing all the right things’ – but on the inside, she’ll be miserable and broken – which is bound to create dysfunction later in her life in one way or another.

Another aspect to look at can be – am I just giving her materials/books/activities because I want her to be more independent? Because I am so occupied with other things that I actually rather give her things that she can do ‘by herself’ – because then I can feel comforted in having my own time and space, and I can be comforted in knowing that ‘she can be independent, and being independent is a critical survival skill in this world! (= FEAR!!)’
I’ve been there, wanting my son to ‘just be on his own already’ so I can get on with things and be comforted in the knowledge that ‘he’s all normal!’. I’d spend time with him, but I wouldn’t be HERE with him, genuinely expressing me – genuinely being HERE – genuinely having FUN. Because sure, I am playing with him, I am spending time with him – I am giving him attention right? Nope. Because the whole time I’m just wondering ‘when is this going to be over already’, ‘when can I get to my own thing’ – and even if I spend hours with him, he’s still not satisfied because our time together is not SUBSTANTIAL, it’s not SUBSTANTIATED by my presence, in truly being here with him. While my body is with him, in my mind I’m with all the other things ‘I could be doing’. Quality vs Quantity.

So here you have to ask yourself, to what extend am I approaching/offering/suggesting materials/books/activities because I want to honestly/genuinely explore different things with her, which she may or may not take interest in – because she finds value in them, and because it assists and supports her in developing and growing her own expression?

Where you explore and discover together, for the sake of exploring and discovery. Not because “she needs to read more because she needs to get educated in this world” or “because she needs to be able to be alone and not bother us” or … the negatives can go on. Identifying these points can be tricky, because we’ve so conditioned ourselves in believing that these are the ‘right’ and ‘logical’ things to do – and because they ‘sound logical’ we won’t move ourselves to actually investigate the fears and judgments that boil underneath them.

So here you can also investigate and evaluate all the things you’ve labelled as ‘educational’ and all the things you’ve labelled as ‘entertainment’ – where they can only be one or the other. Have a look at all the things you’ve ever done ‘for fun’ and what you actually learned in the process of doing them, even when ‘learning’ in itself wasn’t the purpose or starting point. Learning happens everywhere, all the time. Just because they don’t contain books or exercise sheets – doesn’t mean that learning is not taking place or that it is not valuable.

Sometimes Cesar will want to binge watch things and I’ve found that when he is busy processing particular points or experiences, that he used watching movies or cartoons to go into a sort of ‘hibernation’ where he is more introverted and uses this as a ‘time off’ to process things.

I will also watch things with him on YouTube, from which we source to then play or make things with his toys. In that sense, YouTube, tablets, screen-time – they are not ‘bad things’ in and of themselves. They are merely tools – but how we use them/wield them will determine the effect they create.

If she likes dolls and dressing dolls – that’s great! Watch videos on YouTube on how to make dresses or clothes for the dolls. This takes creativity, math, planning, fine motor skills, perhaps allocate her some monies for buying fabric – now she needs to calculate how to spend her money – there’s learning happening right there! But you don’t want to make these things the focal point. They’re just a natural part of being and engaging in this reality. There’s so many ways you can make things interesting and fun – having all the ‘educational benefits’ without the seriousness of it.

Also realise that children don’t just learn what their interests are ‘all by themselves’. Or that they have to find out RIGHT NOW what they want to do with their life. Some children will know what they want to do, other children will be very versatile and will play and test out many things before they make up their mind, or perhaps will always remain doing multiple things. In terms of homeschooling (and unschooling), it’s up to us the parents to facilitate this discovery process in a unimposing manner, where we expose them to many different things to help them find their way without their being pressure to do so. I’ve found that the key here is to keep things light and joyful – then things such as ‘focus/concentration/passion’ naturally develop and follow. They are not goals on their own, but consequences/outflows of the natural process of exploring and discovering things.

Here you can then also have a look at to which extent you have been stressing/worrying/thinking about her education and future instead of LIVING and being an example of natural flow and discovery, trusting that she will find her way.

Often when Cesar is all over the place and without direction – it’s because I, myself, and/or Gian (my partner) are all over the place, stressed and anxious about things. Again, children can sense and feel this – and when the two people they depend on the most are ‘all over the place’ within themselves, then they will assume that things are ‘terribly wrong’ and get all nervous and twitchy for no reason other than that we are doing it! If we’re feeling like headless chickens, something ‘must be going on’/’going wrong’ because us adults, as examples, are supposed to ‘show them the way’. Then they go into that same energetic signature without really knowing why, only because we’re doing it so it seems ‘the thing to do’.

Have a look at her moods, the energy she is in. Do you recognize this energy within yourself? Within your partner? Your relationship(s)?

Maybe she needs more time with other children, maybe she doesn’t. Test it out. Perhaps she can join some type of extra-curricular activities that school going children would do – so she can be with other children during after school hours.

And lastly – talk to her. Have you asked her why she is in x, y, z mood? Why she watches things so much? Why she needs attention? What she would like to do, what she would like to explore? Children are a lot more aware and adept in seeing what is going on inside themselves than we give them credit for.

So, again – I don’t have any answers for you. There’s a bunch of things you can look at and play with, let us know how it goes!

If you haven’t already – check out these EQAFE interviews:

Children and Isolation – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 79
Parent and Child Communication – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 80
Emotional Addictions to Technology – Parenting – Perfecting the Human Race – Part 75
Gaming and Reality (Part 1) – Life Review (here you can look at gaming in terms of say ‘being on a tablet’)
Gaming and Reality (Part 2) – Life Review
Tracing the Source of Tantrums – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 72
Timeline of a Tantrum: Parents – Perfecting the Human Race – Parenting – Part 73
Stop Tantrums by Changing Yourself – Perfecting the Human Race – Part 61
Raising a Destonian Family – Desteni Farm Discussions
Raising a Destonian Family Part 2 – Desteni Farm Discussions

What is Love? (Baby don’t hurt me…no more…)

what is love

One of the pieces of advice I often received as a first time mother – was that if I just “love my child” = everything will be alright.

While the advice is well meant, it’s also extremely vague and abstract. Does Loving my child mean giving him lots of hugs and kisses? Does Loving my child mean that no matter what I do, it will all be okay in the end – because I ‘Love’ him and in the name of Love, all will be forgiven?

What is Love?

For some, Love means protecting those who they hold dear to the extent that they are controlling and limiting their child or life partner – out of fear that anything might happen to them that might ‘take them away’. Or perhaps we fear that they will make mistakes that they will regret and want to be involved in every single decision their life contains. While well meant, it has dark consequences.

For some, Love means making another the center of their universe, putting the loved one first, and self always second. While the loved one shines on an altar of worship, self diminishes and compromises every day – while the loved one feels smothered and in need of space.

For some, Love means beings hard on your child or partner – even if it takes aggressive physical measures – because the world is a hard and cruel place, and the sooner they know their place the better they will be off for it in the long run. The hurt now is justified by hurt prevented later. It’s only because ‘I love them’.

For some, Love means being super conscious of every single move one’s loved one makes. Keeping an eye out for competition, drowning in one’s own paranoia and suspicion, being strangled by jealousy when your loved one spends time with someone else.

For some, Love means leaving another alone, giving them freedom without boundaries – where even where the behaviour becomes obviously questionable or abusive, the loving one won’t step in out of fear of coming over ‘controlling’. Her mother used to love her through control you see.

For some, Love means investing a lot of money in another, getting the best and most expensive education – at the expense of their dreams. Because you know what the world values and while deep down you know ‘it’s not right’ – you’ve given up on your dreams a long time ago and submitted to the idea that the world is just the way it is and we better just deal with it.


Love – has many faces. And mostly our definitions of love are born from a reaction to the type of ‘Love’ we received as a child. If our parents were controlling, we will tend to give more freedom (and often don’t set boundaries where they are needed, in fear of being anything like are awful parents – God forbid! As much as we try to learn from the ways we’ve received Love, we tend to remain stuck by throwing ourselves into the extreme opposite polarity in the spectrum – where we still make mistakes and create consequences, but simply of a different kind.

In many if not most cases – Love remains but a feeling, a good intention – but the actions and consequences that follow pave the way to hell.

What does it mean to really live LOVE in action? What does it mean to TRULY LOVE your child?

  • For myself Love, means living by the principle of what is Best for All – guiding me in thought, word and deed. Where I not only look at myself, but consider everyone involved in my reality and how my actions may affect others presently or in the future. That whatever decision I make in the end result in the best possible outcome for all. So I can stand as an example for my child to treat others as I would like to be treated.
  • Love, means to unconditionally investigate myself as all the aspects that currently make-up ‘me’ so that I can take responsibility for any behaviour or perceptions that do not serve me nor my environment. So I may stand as an example of self-accountability to my son.
  • Love, means to unconditionally investigate all that is presented to me and to keep what’s good. I am open to perspectives and what others have to share and to test things out to come to my own conclusions. So I may stand as an example to my son for critical common sense reasoning and to not take anyone’s word on face value, not even my own.
  • Love, means to be present and aware in every single moment so that I may direct myself and my reality to the best of my ability. So I may stand as an example of self-love to my son and show in fact that he is to be taken seriously.
  • Love, means to admit my mistakes and to stand up from then rather than throwing my towel into the ring. To change myself to the best of my ability, so I may stand as an example of endurance, persistence and faith in self for my son.
  • Love, means to take care of my physical body, my temple to ensure that I may express myself as my body to the best of my ability. So I may stand as a nurturing example for my son.

This wasn’t always my definition of Love or go-to practical guide of action. I struggled with my own inner demons disguised as Love. Traveling and working through your inner landscape can be challenging and difficult. If you enjoy taking on these type of challenges, check out this free course:

What is your definition of Love?Which faces of Love have you battled and struggled with?