Natural Giving

Years ago I described two feelings or perceptions of self or me-ness. The first is a physical proprioceptive-self. That is, the feeling of this body separate from and moving in the larger environment. And, there is an autobiographical-self, the accumulation of associative past experiences, pleasers and pain, fears and joys, the latent memory of which stimulate or trigger, the re-membered past in the present. And, of course, the abstract intellect then creating personal images of self, that is me, from these collected ghost images. Though discrete these two ebb and flow moment by moment, forming what we call our social ego.

Themes: 
self image
nurturing

More on Story, Imagination and Exploding Neurons

When I first met Joseph Chilton Pearce we discussed how bonding creates an intimate channel of communication through which shared meaning flows. Oh, if we were only mindful of the deeper meaning of the meaning we share.

The mother's name for the object, and her emotional state are built into the structure of knowledge of the object the child creates. All without any evaluation on the part of the child.

This obvious, but not so obvious, observation opens to a much larger developmental force - state specific learning and performance. The emotional state of an experience is woven into the body and the intellectual memory of each experience. Each of the primary brain centers - thought, feeling and action - resonate an internal image or state of each experience. We call the composite image or state memory. In truth there is a separate memory unique to each major brain center. Stimulate the physical brain and the associated emotional and symbolic images-states are reincarnated, or, as we say, re-membered as a latent experience of the original event. What we abstract as thought is just that, an abstraction. What is primary is the state. Some states cripple; feeling observed, compared, judged. Some provide the optimum context for learning and performance; what we call original or authentic play in which psychological failure is not part of the experience.

Themes: 
imagination and play
language development
model imperative

Story, Imagination and Exploding Neurons

Like Alice in Wonderland, Carly Elizabeth changes so much each day it’s hard to know just who she is. Blink and she changes again. Astonishing! There is no other word to describe it, watching, day-by-day, as Carly’s capacity to imagine explodes. Equally astonishing is the way most of us miss what is taking place, right before our eyes.

Themes: 
imagination
language development
model imperative

Why the Pain?

The higher you fly the more encompassing the view. Patterns emerge. Individual trees become forests. Hills become mountains. Lakes become oceans. Each of the observations that follow are profound. Together they create a constellation of insights that reflect universal forces that shape each of our lives, for better or worse. We call these forces nurturing, attachment, bonding, authentic or original play, feeling connected to the social web. The impact of these forces on a child’s development are immutable, absolute. When experienced, development moves in positive, life affirming directions. When not, the impact is crippling, aggressive, violent - even suicidal.

The journey this post invites is rich and diverse. Best to print. Hold these insights in your hand. Go slowly and savor. Here’s the PDF Ask Why The Pain.

Michael Mendizza

Don’t ask why the addiction. Ask; Why the pain?

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
Gabor Maté, MD.

I speak to thousands of people every month and the most difficult audiences are the medical ones who deal with the manifestations of early childhood loss but they don’t know that that’s what they’re dealing with. They think they’re looking at diseases, symptoms, mental illness, dysfunctions, psychosis, behaviors that are categorized under one diagnosis or another. They don’t realize that the commonality is the early childhood loss in trauma. Present them with that information and you present it to them in detail with all the research perimeters being covered so that it’s not just impressionistic or antidotal but actually research based and they sit there stunned. They don’t know what to do with it. If that was only my own failure to communicate I could say okay well if somebody else presented it then maybe they would listen. But no.

Themes: 
attachment
bonding
Original Play

Promise First Do No Harm

We forget. Nonviolence begins in the arms of nurturing mothers and fathers.

We feel numbed-shock, sadness and rallying pockets of rage as another wave of violence ripples through our collective psyche. Personally, I celebrate our nation’s youth, like the boy in the Emperor’s New Clothes, exposing the hypocrisy of the gun-lobby and implicitly the greed of the military industrial complex, hiding behind flag-waving (pseudo) patriotism that worships killing.

Themes: 
nurturing
touch
parenting
violence
culture

Story and Leading into Play

Until age five or six early child’s play is 90% self-play. The child may be with other children or an adult who are doing similar activities, but the focus of the child’s play is still personal. Group play requires a number of children act out the same story together, that they pretend to be the King or Queen, or the Frog Prince. This is very complex, abstract. The early child is concrete in their play. Nearly all play during the early years involves story, sensory experience, touch and movement.

Themes: 
storytelling
imagination and play
parenting

I Wish...

Parents and the people who care about children understood how different the child’s reality is from our, more or less, adulterated version. What does adulterated mean? Tainted, mixed, polluted, contaminated. What we call reality is filtered by experience, our ideas, beliefs and fantasies, and yet, filtered is what we see. It is our reality. Adulterated is normal and we rarely pause to consider that what is normal for us is not normal for our children. Not seeing this difference we impose our interpretation of reality on our children, often with painful consequences.

Themes: 
brain development
attunement
parenting

Takes One To Know One

Pausing on this eve, the last starry full moon night of 2017, it is the spontaneous laughter, innocence and playful affection, with its deep and shared trust of a child, that lights the heart and lifts the mind out of its often dark and dreary habits. Observing the way thousands of adults relate to children, I often wonder if they see and experience this light that lifts and transforms? Sometimes, surely, when trust and laughter fills the air.

Themes: 
empathy
parenting

Winter Sosltice 2017

Quietly I return
each winter when the moon is full
and the stars sparkle bright in the black sky.

I return to this silent place that has been
in my heart and soul of humanity – forever
as the heavens pause
in this stillness we all feel.

The ever-present cycle of birth, growth and blossoming,
the wisdom of autumn and death of each heartbeat,
breath filing each cell, organ, limb, body, tree,
mountain, planet and galaxy dancing the dance
of transformation and renewal,
we are reminded of in this quiet place.

Themes: 
solstice

Sexual Predators, God in the Sky and the Rape of Mother Nature

Imagine growing from conception and throughout childhood without being blamed or shamed, punished or rewarded. No corporal punishments, i.e., spanking. No bribes, do this and you will get that. No time outs. No condemning words or threatening looks. Not even comparison. That means winning or losing, grades and hierarchy are off limits too. Oh, you can see which stack of blocks reach taller before falling down, but it is the blocks that have all the attention, not the one stacking. In place of these you experienced open and honest empathy and respect for feelings and needs, your feelings and needs and equally respect and appreciation for the feelings and needs of others, including plants, animals, water and the earth, along with, of course, natural consequences. Fire is, indeed, hot. The way the early brain, body and developing psyche experiences this trust, empathy and respect is through touch, affection and pleasurable sensations, mother nature, not symbols and not with concepts, God in the sky. What would you be like if that was the environment you were planted in? How would the society and our world be different?

Themes: 
sexual violence
culture

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