I love my birthday but it hasn’t always been that way. Throwing a party for myself is something I’ve avoided. I don’t want it, don’t want the attention, it’s silly, useless and indulgent. I’m perfectly capable of planning a party to celebrate the birthday of my son, but when it comes to celebrating the birth of me…forget it!
I mean, imagine, throwing a birthday party for yourself and inviting all your friends and just celebrating YOU! You could have invitations, balloons, cake, dancing, singing and have everyone bring you presents. I’m going to take a guess that some people LOVE this thought, and not in a self-indulgent way, but in a healthy…“of course, why wouldn’t I celebrate myself”, kind of way. I’m not one of those people, or at least I haven’t been for most of my life.
And when I say “those people” I mean the ones that have a healthy connection to the logic of having a relationship with yourself the people who understand there actually is a “self” that is worthy of celebration, not just a “self” that is put aside to get shit done or that can be ignored and mistaken as a pillar of silent “strength”. No! A self that is the same self that existed when you were born, when you turned 3, 7, 10, 15, 21…the same self that you see in children, that’s the self worth celebrating. That’s the self that at some point in my life, I stopped celebrating. Thank god for women and children!
But I decided some years ago that I didn’t want that anymore. The birth of my son cut right through my hard, calculating, action driven shell and remembered to me the beauty and innocence of my own humanity, my own softness and at once it was crystal clear that not only did I want something different for my son, but I understood that that meant wanting something different for myself. What was it that I wanted? Simply put, a world of peace. I remembered it was more important than any work, any job, any fun, any friends any thing…I remembered from all the events of my life, that a world of peace was what I wanted for most for my new boy.
Well it means wishing and hoping and wanting isn’t enough, unfortunately. It means if I truly want a peaceful world for my son I must be willing to look at where peace comes from.
Where does peace come from?
If I know where it comes from then, like a seed or the potential of a seed, I can prepare the ground, perhaps nurture the seed, tend the seedling and do what is necessary to grow it. If I know where it comes from…If I don’t know where it comes from, it will be impossible for me to grow peace.
So back to my BIRTHDAY!
After all what really is a birthday celebration but a celebration of your unique, personal, precious self. And what does it mean if I don’t celebrate this precious self? What if I don’t even recognize I have a precious self? Ooooh, I don’t think that’s good. I don’t think that’s good for a peaceful world for my son. And so I’m learning to recognize this part of me. Not in an indulgent, me, me, me, type of way (although sometimes it may feel like that), but in the same way that I would recognize my son, or a child, as precious. Celebrating begins to become more natural once recognition starts to happen.
And every birthday since I began this journey almost 8 years ago, I get to see how much has changed from the previous year, I get to experience a part of me that has long been neglected and forgotten, I get to celebrate that part of me, nurture it and continue on until the next birthday marks another measuring point.
I’m starting to understand where peace comes from. Happy Birthday to me!
We provide a space where children of the earth, of the universe, can explore and walk barefoot in body, mind and spirit to experience their sacred home. We believe through that sacred relationship a child will naturally work and become reliable to himself or herself because that is the nature of the earth and of life. We believe that this work is a foundation for a more joyful experience of life and humanity and that there is no greater priority than this. We believe that there is an optimal and necessary set of circumstances that must be in place in order to promote this sacred relationship and our goal as a school is to provide the opportunity for the child to access this sacred space and do this work.
We, as the responsible guides and caregivers, commit to being open to the process of providing this opportunity. Specifically, we acknowledge that fear, objectification and violence are aspects we all share as part of our human experience and that we must face and overcome these aspects so as not to prevent or misdirect children from being able to access the sacred space.
At the Foundations School we treat the children and ourselves as causing agents in the world and respect the cause and effect relationship as one of life’s most effective teachers. We think our greatest responsibility as parents and guides is to provide a model of compassion, love and courage in finding and facing life’s lessons. We recognize that failure is a wonderful teacher and we seek ways to encourage failure through compassionate challenge, reaching children at their very personal and preciously unique levels so they can experience and build resourcefulness and self-esteem.
We require a commitment from you, the parent. We ask you to look at your children as a reflection of yourself and be open to the wonder, potency and necessity of using this reflection to create and nurture the sacred space. We do not seek to interview or select children, there is no need to *adapt to them and in fact it is vital that they are given the opportunity to adapt to whatever they are immersed in. Instead we seek parents who are committed to learning through and with their child, parents who seek the rewards of challenging their own foundations, you must be willing to challenge your own foundations. This is the commitment we ask of all who come to the Foundations School.
We recognize that our current cultural and societal priorities are not overtly friendly and sometimes are unfriendly to nurturing this sacred space. We recognize there may be conflicts with the comfort of traditional economic, social, religious, and philosophical mores and beliefs. And we believe that many of our current social and cultural constructs are having a negative impact on our children and ourselves. We seek to build community around these recognitions and beliefs by identifying and supporting all people who share these values with us. We do not think it is an easy road but that does not deter us in the least, in fact we think this conflict is necessary to create a more solid foundation for our children and ourselves. It’s time to break through old models and find new roads and we will do this with courage, strength, compassion and kindness, we hope that you join us.
*because of this we are open to any child, from any background, no matter what. This does not mean that we will be able to accept this child, but it means we will evaluate how we can best encourage the individual childs’ sacred space so they can experience their own foundation of resourcefulness, self-esteem and joy. We will not know what this will mean from a resource perspective until we do interact with the child and the parents and we reserve the right to accept or deny any family for any reason we deem fit. Because of our unique approach we believe we are well equipped to take on children that may have been labeled or experience limitations that have, until this point, been considered negative.