Here’s episode 55 of Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by thirdspace coaching in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living.
This week we take up parenting as a question, inspired by a poem from William Martin. Our definition of parenting is broad here as we ask each other what it takes to guide anyone into the world – our children, other people’s children, our families, colleagues, friends and even our own parents. In the midst of our conversation we consider what it is to actively choose what it is of ourselves we want to transmit to one another – rather than asking what behaviour we want to get from others. And we wonder together about how to drop the ‘image management’ it’s so easy to get into when our super-egos (or ‘inner critics’) run the show.
Seeing to the Heart
Some behaviour in your children will seem “good” to you.
Other behaviour will seem unequivocally “bad”.
Notice both in your children
without being overly impressed by one
nor overly dismayed by the other.
In doing so you will be imitating the Tao
which sees our behaviour as a mask
and sees immediately beneath it
to the good within our heart.
Above all, do not attack your child’s behaviour
and attempt to change it
by endless talking and scolding.
Stay at your centre and look beneath the behaviour
to the heart of the child.
There you will find only good.
When you see the heart
you will know what to do.
by William Martin (from the The Parent’s Tao Te Ching)