Baby, Oh Baby. The convergence of current events, in juxtaposition with new personal frontiers, has got me reflecting on a question for our times. What do you choose to magnify? Right here, right now, on one hand, my Master Teacher, little Talia-Marie, rests in my arms, peacefully sleeping, all snuggled up in her fluffy, puffy receiving blanket. Born on New Year's Day (how auspicious is that?), she's the picture of rosy newborn-ness. Content with herself, she's content with the world. Without anyone forcing her to be who she's not, she's at peace, every muscle, at ease.
What Happened? Counterpoint to this, adult faces of strain and strife pepper the news. In sharp contrast to newborn resting, we find photos of the 'grown-ups,' tense with conflict, as though their lives depended on the verdict of 'who's right/who's wrong.' In one spread, Fox News President, Roger Ailes, for example defends Glenn Beck, in his recent conflict with Bill Mahler, and Arianna Huffington. Blessedly, on another front, we've got Joint Chief Chairman, Admiral Mike Mullen, with furrowed brow, acknowledging the importance of no one being "...placed in the position of needing to lie about who we are," including those serving in the military.
Newborns feel no need to lie, defend, or be other than who they are. They simply are, unlike we older ones, well-schooled into acting roles. Perhaps newborns are too busy with the work at hand: growing! Consider that life's first year brings its own form of Olympic Gold in the growth department. Around the world, newborns offer stunning examples of nature at work, when unobstructed. Rather than arguing for limitations, the tiniest amongst us exemplify the natural imperative: to grow, to live with abandon, to relish, to rest, to begin anew, to show appreciation. Most likely, in one short year, long after the Vancouver Winter Olympics have been storied and re-storied, new babies will have learned things in a mind-boggling, warp-speed rate. To name just a few, here's what our newborns, can teach the willing on growth:
1. Simple is good. Burping, when you need it, is a good thing. So is filling your
diapers. Likewise, there's nothing like "milk" when you're busy growing. As for resting in the arms of love ... well, there's nothing better.
2. Freedom. Moving freely in the world liberates, invites opportunity.
3. Discovery. Meaningful relationships are worthwhile, pleasure-producing, and begin in basic ways: warm eye contact, complete Presence, holding, affirming.
4. Nourishment. Taking in what nourishes amplifies growth. Only take in what you need. Taking in too much upsets the system.
5. Distinctions. It's best to distinguish boundaries. Our kiddoes will learn the distinction between whom they are and who they are not. It's important to know the difference. It's not about 'sides,' as in Congress and the Senate, but more about awareness of the individual.
6. Communications. Those who have no language have a harder time. Our babies will have established basic communication language and skills to deliver their message. Without a voice, needs go unmet. Use yours.
7. Exploration. We have a right to preferences, and we needn't be for everybody. Our little ones will explore who they prefer, and who they do not.
8. Rest and Renewal. Little ones are smart enough to rest as needed, unlike we 'big people' who justify why we can't, or wrestle with insomnia, while too
much is on our mind.
9. Launching. Despite the fact that they made no 2010 New Year's Resolutions, whatsoever, newborns are launching an amazing journey, will accomplish staggering feats, some of which involve dealing with things like gravity, baby-sitters, and family pets, daring new frontiers. They grow because it is the imperative of nature to evolve. Perhaps this is what pisses so many off about people like Glenn Beck. Rightly, or wrongly, he reflects back to us how unattractive we are when fixated on opinions rather than bridge-building.
In one year, more or less, 'our' babies will be more likely than not, walking, talking, exploring, playing, laughing, crying, experimenting, evolving. The question is: what about you and me? What if we played with the possibility of 2010 as though it were our 'first year' of truly authentic growth? What if we made this our 'game changing' year? What if we mustered sufficient curiosity to live out the next 11 months as enthusiastically, eagerly, peacefully, and joyfully as our little friends? What if we chose to magnify the beauty that is our best Self, underneath any pretense to be who we are not? What might we have learned from this resolve to full-out life? Here are guidelines from babies everywhere which might aid the willing, along our way:
1. Rest before you are fatigued. Commit to a daily rest period, even if you believe you can only 'spare five minutes.' Five minutes counts. What matters is that you develop a regular habit of honoring your best, growing Self.
2. Eat only what promotes well-being. No newborn I know is fed what impedes life, or clogs arteries. Find the best "milk" that supports your optimum well-being every day. Save the junk for when you're a 'teen': in this case, 16 years from now would be 2026. By then, pimples won't be our main concern, health insurance, probably, but not zits.
3. Choose exploring something 'just for fun.'
So, what have children taught you? Do comment below. You can receive notice of my blogs every Wednesday by checking Become a Fan at the top, and follow me on Twitter (DrCaraBarker), Dr.Carabarker@gmail.com By the way, labor and delivery on our 'creative newborn' are coming along nicely, the due date before Valentine's Day!