Supporting Children In Following Their Dharma
Little did I know, I was capturing the most painful thing a tree can experience when I took that photo. After some research, I realized this sophisticated intricate wood maze is actually the work of a wood beetle. When a tree is under attack, it communicates to the other trees and they send out defense mechanisms to the rescue. Reconnecting to our nature is finding the beacon of wisdom in wilderness. It holds the keys of what we have forgotten.
We all have wood beetles of our own. The only way we’re not going to let them devour us from the inside out, is to branch out when we need support from our tree community.
Supporting each other in our healing is the least tree thing we can do! Trees are not silent beings, if you listen carefully, they speak to one another quite frankly. They communicate in ways we still have yet to discover. What we know so far though is that if a tree is in pain or ill, the forest is too. Have you ever seen massive areas of ill trees? It’s the same for us, a fellow human in pain is a sign the collective is in pain too.
Samskaras are “past impressions” withheld in our minds and subconscious that affect our perception and generate a “limiting self”. If they never come to our consciousness, they can hold us back from our true healthy nature, from being this magnificent tree we are all meant to be. They’re like those wood beetles, imprinting on the bark of our lives, carving patterns of behaviors. These tree’s scars are like the wounds and symptoms our bodies show whenever our samskaras are not being acknowledged. Past impressions can only be let go of and rooted out from our subconscious when we let ourselves be seen by the seer within.
This is when meditation comes to play its role, to develop the sacred eye/I from within to uncover what is yet to uncover. Then, we can transcend, which means growing out of our old root system and beyond to create a new healthy one, and blossom into the tree we were always meant to be.
Transcendance becomes a great ally when we start to care for a tiny human. Why is that? Well, transcending allows us to care and nurture ourselves, clear our mind, let go of our stress and neediness, so emotions can flow in and out of our bodies smoothly. It centers the trunk of our tree, we get big, lush and resilient to any weather forecast. Ready for anything life/a toddler has to throw at us!
And that undeniable care we provide for ourselves, then ultimately reflects back on the way we care for others. Not only our children, but also children of others, family members, friends… It won’t be long until the forest community starts photosynthesizing that inner light we are radiating from all of our leafy pores… That enlightened state becomes the inspiration for others. For our baby trees…
In early childhood education, we talk a lot about that concept, we think of this as “role modeling”. Although, in that context, role modeling always induces a state of doing. For example, if educators wash their hands, then children will follow them in doing the same… When of course, this is true, what happens though is when we’re too much in the state of doing and not ever in the state of being, we start to hold on, want to control, and frustration can arise quickly when a situation doesn’t go our way. We lead only with our mind and the joy and enthusiasm we once felt to show the way to our children becomes a burden, a heavy load of responsibilities. And we feel as if we’re making them do stuff… And they feel it too.
So what do we do? We go back to this state of being. And inwardly we go until we let go and surrender, and realise not everything has to go our way in order to “work out”, we don’t always have to impose a paved laid out path for our children to go on to. For mundane things such as washing our hands, brushing our teeth, then maybe we do lead with innocent playfulness (that component is not to miss to the equation). And we learn to loosen up the grip on other matters! We go beyond what we think is THE best way to do one thing and we let the child be creative and imaginative, show their own way, lead wholeheartedly with their own little personality.
To consciously care is to go within.
And going inward might mean a number of different things for different caregivers. As long as you take that quiet and peaceful moment for yourself that allows you to break free from the external world. And it could literally mean, taking a couple of deep belly breaths per day, or doing a 30 minutes meditation every day. Nothing is wrong here. Find the technique that suits your authentic being! The important thing here is to be honest on the length of the practice we’re able to commit daily and to be consistent to see long lasting effects. And then, watch yourself surrendering in the most peaceful way possible. This state of being will allow you to enhance your observation skills - and to become your child’s best ally in finding what they’re good at, what they’re enjoying doing, what type of tree they are and what purpose they have in the forest, valley, landscape, world, cosmos…
Transcendence via going inward is THE self care tool to find our own dharma and to help others and our children do so. Dharma is the purpose, the mission we are here for, the most evolutionary path for us. It is completely unique and depends on our nature, elemental blueprint and actions.
And for the sake of all children, may we not take Dharma so seriously… Because ultimately, the most evolutionary path for you and the tiny human you care for, is not supposed to be a bore or feel like a burden. Dharma doesn’t have to be related to our career either. It can be, although there are no rules. It is what makes you photosynthesize, what brings you happiness and sparks your spirit.
Supporting children in following their dharma lies in the power of observation. When your child plays, takes interest, is happy to do something, you can tell they have a knack for something. Encouraging them in what makes them joyful, and giving them possibilities without enforcing your vision or getting too attached to it either is a great way to let them experiment and find the leaf they want to grow.
It is important to remember, our dharma is ours, and our children’s dharma is theirs. It is essential to reflect on our wood beetles/samskaras here, to avoid forcing on our children what we secretly (or very openly) “expect” them to do. And that is why, it always comes back to going inward, to that quiet piece of Self that knows and trusts that everything will be alright.
A little reminder from the Bhagavad Gita:
Better is one’s own dharma
Even if imperfect
Than another’s dharma
One’s own nature,
One does not incur fault.
Aurèle Roy is an Ayurvedic Health Advisor specialised in women’s health & Early Childhood Educator. With the wisdom of Ayurveda, yoga and meditation, Aurèle has experienced tremendous healing on her digestion and hormones. She is passionate about helping woman managing their energy to release stress and anxiety and embody the sacred mother they were always meant to be. Witnessing the impact of digestive and hormonal imbalances on children she cared for and
their mothers health & wellbeing when working as an early childhood educator was the true catalyst to start her business: State of Dwanda for Mamas. Her 1:1 programs are dedicated to support mothers from conception to pregnancy, post partum and beyond. Aurèle has traveled and lived overseas for about 10 years, and is currently based in Rishikesh, India. She offers her services online to reach a broader community of mamas. She’s also a dancer, dedicated yogini, playful caregiver of children, and lover of nature, different cultures and sacred rituals.