Higher Learning

By Lucie Dickenson ~
I did it. Who would have thought. Let us travel back in time to good old 1986. I was the kid with no real direction or drive. I may have been nice and kind, but I did not have a clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. I only knew I loved to write.
 
I applied to colleges because I saw my friends filling out applications. I applied to two, one because it looked really nice and the other because my best friend said I should. When I got to Newton Massachusetts, I was pleasantly overtaken with college life. The freedom, the friendships and the newfound ability to tap into my higher mind. I was blessed to go to a small women’s college, that had amazing professors that allowed me to stretch and grow from who I was to who I was meant to be.
 
There was one particular professor that allowed me to create my own independent study class. I wrote the class description, the syllabus and the grading system. I was overjoyed when I got approval and could not even begin to understand that this was not just a class, but a gateway into my future. She did not judge my words, but guided me in my pursuit to become an author. It was a hard year, that first year of school, as I lost my sister and my childhood home. This kept me fully immersed in my writing. My therapy. This teacher was an incredible gift from God that allowed me the latitude to write, to cry, to grieve and to resolve my pain on paper. I loved her for that. When we parted ways, she hugged me and told me to never stop writing, that creating was part of who I was and more a friend to me than I could ever imagine. I promised her I would continue. The energy around this promise made it more like a pact. She wisely knew I needed to write as an outlet. She was an angel to my healing.
 
The second mentor was actually a Harvard professor, who taught one single class at our college. Philosophy. I had no idea what an impact his words would have on me for years to come. If you could imagine a small conference room, with 8 open-minded young women around a table, glued to the presence of a man sitting center front to us all. He automatically commanded attention, not with force, but with his intelligence. He was possibility early 50’s with a large unkempt beard that he would stroke often when presented with a query. He smoked a pipe that seemed to feel natural and almost necessary to the environment. This man spoke of Nietzsche, Kieirkegaard, Camus and other existential thinkers. I had never been so interested and enthusiastic about anything in my life. I was able to speak my mind, to have odd opinions and argue point for point about my views, in a safe, nurturing space. The side notes and highlights in my book were bountiful. On more than one occasion I wrote in the margin “Holy shit, this is it,” not understanding that I was searching for the meaning, not just of life, but in life. My past affinity of importance measured by designer clothing and the latest fads faded and were replaced with drowning myself in thinking, challenging and questioning. 
 
College was transformational for me. Okay, but what does my experience back in the 1980s have to do with today? 
 
I wanted so badly to make sure that my children were given a foundation to think, to be themselves, to find meaning. It was all that I learned in college that created this need in me to allow truth to unfold. I brought them up in a very equalizing environment, where their voice, their thoughts and their very being was always (well as best I could) honored. My husband and I tried our best to be the parents that worked with our children to find solutions, but yet set firm rules to create a safe environment. As a person that was beginning her journey into understanding the mind, body, soul connection, I knew how important food for the body and thoughts for the mind were.  We went gluten and dairy free in 2004, when there were no gf items but for an hour trip to a market. We would make our pilgrimages to Princeton and stock up fully on meals and snacks for weeks.  But I also knew, from their actions that extremism in any form needed to be ruled out. So as much as they ate what today would be called The Whole 30, they also ate cupcakes and ice cream to understand moderation.
Not only diet was news in our home, so too was faith. We shopped religions by going to different churches and places of worship to see what they (and I) were drawn to. Rock bands, silent prayer and traditional ceremonies were part of our weekends and we finally found a fit that worked for each of us. It was an interesting adventure and we were all beautifully entangled, grappling with the understanding of true faith. It is not my concern what labeled religion is tied to them, in as much as how kind they are to themselves and others and their ability to choose love.
 
Respect for their body and all the amazing abilities it holds was also part of our parenting. I taught them accupressure and natural healing techniques. When they were young, they embraced these methods, but today they may roll their eyes at the thought of me telling their friends how they would tap to overcome fear and anger. They used many alternative tools to heal instead of medicine whenever possible. If they needed medicine, of course I would give it to them, but this was few and far between. To this day my children would not even think to take anything for a headache and instead have a glass of water and to breathe.  
 
So why am I writing this? To gloat about my kids?  Nope. To get a parenting award? Far from it. The reason I am writing this is because it is true that we need to be open to learning at all times, from all people. I would never have thought that two college professors would have been the catalyst to my parenting.  They taught me that life need not be a repeat of childhood. But that life is the questioning, the learning, the listening and the loving of one another. I hope my kids do not raise their children exactly as I did them. I wish for them evolution and change. I wish for them choice. And I wish for them to apply what they have learned along the way, not just from me but from all the beautiful mentors that have crossed their path.
 
I did it. I raised my children the best I could, so far, with conscious creation as my beacon. I cannot wait to see them travel down unknown roads, meeting all those they are supposed to. These guides teaching them and filling them with ideas and thoughts that they can embrace or discard depending upon how it resonates with them. Establishing a stand and moving with it and building upon it as they learn more; forging through life. Beautiful. 
 
I still am not sure what I fully wish to do with my life, Do we ever? (are we even meant to?) Maybe we are just supposed to listen, love, learn and create, and all else is fluff?
 
What do you love to do? Continue that, but also  remember to learn every day, moist likely from the least expected places. I write every day and just when I think I understand it all, I learn even more from the people around me. How about you? 
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2018-08-25T09:08:42-05:00
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