Intuition – One of life’s greatest skills that doesn’t get taught at school

What exactly is intuition?

Is it a sixth sense, a gut feeling, a deeper knowing? There’s plenty of opinions about whether such a thing exists and if so, its accuracy in helping to make choices.

And, actually it’s a personal thing. People either subscribe to it, or not. They either feel it and live by it, or ignore any strange sensations that don’t come directly from the mind or emotions.

For me, it’s been one of the greatest tools in life. I have used intuition as the guiding decision tool in business, relationships and all aspects of life… and for me its been successful. In fact, I can clearly look back and see that where I haven’t made good choices, is where I haven’t listened to my intuition.

It took me years to learn to trust it, and years before that to even recognise it. No-one told me about it as a kid, and yet, many of the people I looked up to were using it as a daily tool for guidance in life.

As such an integral part of life, I can’t believe that its not a compulsory subject in every school, a core unit in university, a pre-requisite in job interviews and a vital part of management and business training.

It certainly doesn’t get taught at my kids’ school….

How do we nurture and grow these skills in our kids? Skills such as recognising intuition, how to use it & when to use it?

Here’s some practical steps that we have tried & tested & work a treat:

  1. Instinctive Navigation

Jump in the car, or on bikes & ask your child which way to go. Every time you get to a cross road or intersection, ask them this question: “What ‘feels’ right – left, right or straight ahead?” Just get them to check in with their ‘gut feeling’. You can help by putting your hand on your that spot between belly button & solar plexus & getting them to check in on any sensations. Keep practicing for at least 15 minutes. Practice just letting them lead you wherever they ‘feel’ is right. It works best in areas which are new…! If you have more than 1 child with you, swap after 15 minutes or so.

  1. Guessing Games

Make these simple, otherwise it can be counterproductive if it’s too complex or difficult. Take 2 pieces of paper with strong contrasting colours e.g a red piece with a light blue piece. Hold them behind your back, put one in your right hand & ask your child to concentrate & ‘feel’ what colour you have. Remind them not to think with their head but to drop into their body sensations.

  1. Yes or No Questions

This is one of the greatest tools to teach children to use for childhood right through to old age. It can be as simple as ‘Shall I have the green cup?’ or ‘Shall I put on yellow socks today?’. At the beginning, it’s really important that they are not ‘loaded’ questions i.e. questions where you have an agenda or they feel compelled to answer in a certain way emotionally. They shouldn’t be attached to an outcome. The key here is to slowly attune your kids to understand the sensation of a ‘no’ & the sensation of a ‘yes’. When they become proficient at this, they tend to make great choices. Although sometimes they purposefully don’t ask the question if its something like ‘Should I eat this ice cream…!’.  This tool goes well beyond simply listening to intuition; it is a choice-making tool for later life. ‘Do I hop into that car?’ ‘Do I have that drink or substance?’ ‘Should I be in this relationship?’ ‘Should I go for that job?’ etc

In my experience, my life is much changed for the better as a result of honing intuition skills, and the results in my children are incredible. I’m excited to see what choices they make in life as a result of learning how, why and when to listen to their own intuition.

We’d be interested to learn of any positive experiences you may have had on nurturing your children’s intuitive skills either here on the blog or on our Facebook page.

 

Kali

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Removing Television from Our Lives…by Kali

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About 4 years ago, I made a decision to try not having a TV in our house anymore. It was devastating!

My kids told me how unfair it was, that they were missing their fave shows, that ALL their friends were allowed to watch as much TV as they wanted…. Etc, etc.

I was the meanest parent EVER, out to ruin my kids lives…! Grudgingly, they allowed themselves to be dragged to the beach, or pull out a board game, or go for a walk, ride, run.  The impetus was two-fold. I noticed that when my kids spent any length of time in front of the TV, they were drained, less energized, even exhausted if it was too long. Conversely, if we went to the beach after dinner and ran around, swimming, throwing a frisbee and doing cartwheels and handstands, they came home with more light in their eyes, laughter and fire in their belly, and more energy the next day.  I also started to notice that what my kids were really yearning for was connection. Removing TV gave us time as a family to connect, really connect, through activities that made us look at each other, see each others smiles, even learn how to deal with each other when things go awry.

After about 6 months, something interesting happened. The TV addiction wore off! They stopped complaining, and looked forward to our family time. We started new hobbies, built things, got fit, filled our home with laughter, learnt about growing veggies, keeping bees.  We haven’t watched TV for 4 years now and don’t miss it a bit. We cant actually understand where we would find the time for it if we did have it in our lives, and how people can waste so much time staring at coloured images on a screen, when there’s a whole life to live every single day!

Have you tried limiting TV in your household?  If so, we’d love to hear your experiences..

Permission granted..by Danielle Edman

After 2 years of (almost) full time parenting solo, a friend of mine (who just happens to be one of most dedicated and thoughtful fathers I know) recently found himself in the position of having created 3 weeks holiday for himself … child-free.  Amazing right? There was definitely excitement and eagerness, but he couldn’t shake off the feelings of naughtiness and guilt that kept tapping him on the shoulder.  Why do we feel as though, as parents, we need permission to enjoy our lives?

Why is it that we’ll create, imagine, do and enable the most amazing things for our kids, but that we’ll be less inclined to enjoy creating, imagining, doing and enabling the most amazing things for ourselves?

Following the birth of my first child, I made a conviction to commit to church. My decision was motivated by a desire to create an opportunity for this new life to experience God and community in a way that others had for centuries. But I recently wondered why I waited until then? Did I not want that opportunity for myself, years earlier?

I deeply know that my children learn not through what I say, and not even through what I do, but from what they intuitively feel. I deeply know that my children will not learn the value of familial love when I declare I’m excited to be heading to that family picnic but inside I’m dreading every minute. I deeply know that my child will learn to speak untruths about her reality when I tell her I’m fine but I’m hurting inside. I deeply know that my child won’t learn to expect respect or receive love if I don’t expect and receive those for myself.  On the flip side, I deeply know that my children won’t hesitate to soak in the awe, wonder and adventure of the world if I feel, taste and touch the awe, wonder and adventure myself.

A precious life education gift we can give our kids is to give ourselves full permission to create a life that we love. To go where the freedom is and dive in deep to your own adventure, delight and joy. Heaven forbid, sometimes even, at their expense.

I hereby give you permission to sing, love, dance and play, not for anyone else, but simply for yourself. That is something that your children will learn deeply, and want to replicate.

Enjoy your 3 week holiday with reckless abandon my friend … for yourself and thereby, for your kids.

 

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Join our community on Facebook

Our Creating Life Education Facebook page has already got over 100 followers! We’d like to make this a fun, lively space where parents share their experiences and also links from interesting articles, videos or blog posts around the world.

Why not tell us about your latest Life Education adventure? We’ll also be posting blog posts on Facebook when we write a new one.

Click here for the Creating Life Education Facebook page. Let’s co-create!

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A toolkit for life

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Here’s a list of my life learnings. Things I’ve learnt through a life of trial and error, the bits that help make up my ‘toolkit’ for making decisions and moving through life. They include

  • Intuition – listening to and acting on what I intuitively know;
  • Facing fears – the ability to face and overcome fears, whatever they may be;
  • Being wrong – allowing myself to make mistakes and also to admit it and to say sorry;
  • Talking to strangers – one of the greatest tools in life! (and one that we are actively discouraged from);
  • Recognising and letting go of my ego.

I also looked at the things that add great meaning and joy to my life. Here are some of them:

  • Looking after my body – being fit, eating healthy;
  • Cooking! –what’s life without knowing how to bake at least one great cake smeared with homemade dark chocolate, or how to make a mouth watering baked veggie salad from the garden?
  • Gardening – simple preparation, planting, watering, watching seeds grow into seedlings, then plants then flowers and fruit and EATING!
  • Dancing – learning how to dance like no-one’s watching and not give a stuff has been a metaphor for living my life. It’s a good one for facing and overcoming fears and looking after your body!
  • Music – making it, listening to it, being inspired by it;
  • Sunrises and sunsets – A sunrise swim in the ocean is one of my greatest joys and always resets and reframes even the hardest times;
  • The ability to sit quietly – this has been a particularly hard one to learn, and a hard one to teach (“Dad, I’m bored” – “Yep”). Sitting quietly helps with so many of the other life skills, particularly the ability to listen to intuition;
  • Stories – making them up, reading them, listening to them being read to;
  • Making stuff – tinkering, building, creating – this is one of my great joys and is shared by every child I have ever known. Getting confidence with tools and gear early on is a wonderful gift.

There are many other things that make up a great and meaningful life and this blog is not about listing them all. You are you, and your children are themselves and have their own journeys to tread. What are the things that help you navigate life in a meaningful and passionate way? How did you learn them?

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What’s school really for?

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When I started to question what school was really all about and why we send our kids there, I came up with three things that stood out as the most important things school could give my kids by the time they left:

  1. Creativity and imagination;
  2. The confidence to give anything a go and take risks;
  3. A love of learning.

For me, these three things are what school can, and should, give our kids.

When I looked at my daughter’s experience, I saw that school diminished, rather than enhanced, these three things.

My daughter’s story

When Kiana finished high school, I felt that I, and the system, had let her down. As a young girl, she was so full of creativity, optimism and confidence, and through the process of high school, these things gradually grew less.

She started comparing herself to others and started to believe what the teachers were telling her – that if she didn’t achieve the right marks and get a good score at the end of school, she wouldn’t be able to get into university, which meant failure. They said that she wouldn’t have choices – failure. And that she wouldn’t get a good start with a career – failure.

Now, this isn’t every child’s experience and I’m not saying we should turn the whole school system upside down (well maybe a little…)

For my daughter, having her entire upper schooling focused on a single mark in the final year had a negative impact on her creativity, confidence and imagination. From the first year of high school, the ‘single mark’ loomed. It was present in every test, essay and project and created a very negative internal view of who she was, her ability to succeed in life, her talents and her inherent value. She was compared by the system with others. That made her compare herself, and she thought that she was lacking.

Planning a new approach

Luckily there are 9 years between Kiana and her brother. This gave me some time to reflect on what I felt was important, and how I might be able to better support and supplement my next child’s experience through school.

I started to ponder how I could really ramp up their creativity, confidence and a love of learning. I also started to make a list of the things that I felt were important life learnings – things I’ve learnt through a life of trial and error, the bits that help make up my ‘toolkit’ for making decisions and moving through life.

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Welcome to Life Education!

About this blog

This blog came about after friends, family and other parents asked me to share some of the ways I’m educating my kids, and some of the ways I’ve found out other people are educating their kids – outside, or alongside, the standard education pathways.

About me

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My name’s Kali. I’ve got three kids and two step kids – very lucky as I just love being a dad! My oldest is 23 and the youngest is turning eight.

I haven’t followed a standard pathway in my own life at all – something my parents and grandparents were terrified about, but which worked out quite well for me. This has given me a bit of a different perspective on the pathways that are laid out for us, and has allowed me some questioning on the things we take for granted.

For the last two years, I’ve been consciously creating lived experiences for my children that would give them the opportunity to learn major life skills, and begin to shape a more open attitude to life.

It’s also been one of the most incredible experiences for me personally, and has taken my life on a completely different path yet again.  Recently I have had the absolute pleasure of two more children in my life through my partner, and so the tribe grows and we will be able to share more experiences with each other and with you.

It all began with a question. What’s school really for?

Over to you!

We invite you to share with other readers what works for you, how you have created positive life experiences that may impact a more whole and meaningful life for your children.

Schooling has a place (we are aiming towards 3 terms per year in school and 1 term out of school) but this blog is a place to share tips and thoughts on how to really amp up life education. It’s not a spot to talk negatively about schooling, or dump on what doesn’t work.

The blog is really just about sharing positive tools, tips and other ways to think about how we as parents can support our children to learn the bits that schools don’t teach them, or that they may find is impacted through the school system.

Start your engines, and let’s get into a great journey of exploration and sharing the wonder of life with our kids!

You can get in touch with us on creatinglifeeducation@gmail.com

Enjoy, fellow parents!

Kali

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