My husband and I have a small raised bed in our local community garden. Today was a major gardening day - pulling the winter crop out, replanting and preparing the soil for the summer garden. We both had our hands in the dirt, we were out in the sun, moved our bodies and felt great. We were both saying out loud: ”This feels so good! Gardening is the best therapy. We did our exercise for today. Nature is the best treatment for the body and soul.”
We came home and I dealt with a mountain of different kinds of greens and herbs, cleaning, washing and packing. While doing that, looking at all the dirt in the sink, my mind took me out on a journey through some memories and thoughts I wanted to share here.
As much as it is fun and satisfying to work our plot of dirt and have our own grown “treats” I couldn’t be more grateful that I can go to a store and buy the food I need. I had family and friends who had to work the garden in order to have food to eat, and let me tell you, it is not easy at all. It is hard work and a constant fight with nature.
Why I am saying all this?
Because of the relationship between a civilized human and nature. The nature around us and in us. It feels great to be out in nature for awhile and then come back into the luxurious lap of civilization. Living in nature is not comfortable for everyone.
These thoughts took me further into the world of parenting. As an Infant Massage Instructor I was trained that the parent is the expert and that my role is to provide support and hold the space for the baby (the teacher) and the parent. I love this idea. I fully respect and abide by this principle. I do believe that most of the parents do have the ability to connect with what nature gave us all - instincts. I have faith in the strength and power of a parent. I would never want to take that away from them; if anything, I always try to remind them of how miraculously strong they are.
On the other hand I have seen how lost and scared they can be. I believe them when they say: ”Most of the time, I don’t know what I am doing”
I am happy that as a Musical Baby Bonding instructor I am trained to provide some guidance and advice. In the beginning, I saw this as a problem, wearing two hats, teaching two programs with the same goal but slightly different approach. Now, I love it! It’s a constant reminder to me to be present, observe, assess, understand and listen to what the parents are saying and not react but rather act accordingly. What I alway try to provide to parents, on one hand, are options and information, and on the other - support and understanding for their choices and decisions.
The natural parenting movements are so strong today, insisting that their ways are the good ways. I think that insisting that every mother knows what to do, that every mother should be in touch with herself and in tune with the baby is not always justified and sometimes it can even be wrong. Not every parent feels in harmony with the baby and in touch with one’s self. Some parents don’t feel the love and connection and there can be many things standing in their way. This is when I have to be very careful. I can’t always keep saying - “you know what to do, you know best, just keep on doing what you are doing, you are doing great...”. Sometimes a little guidance can go a long way. Sometimes, providing a different experience can mean a world of change.
I understand that nature is for some, a way of living, for others an escapade, and for others still, a complete unknown. During my classes, I try to follow whatever presents itself in front of me. Sometimes I will accomplish what I believe is a positive change and be so happy and proud. Other times I have to be OK with accepting and trusting. It is hard, but is it part of life and my life’s work.
Being in touch with our own nature is not easy for everyone. Also, one’s nature is not always what we think it should be. However, the universal principle still applies, as much to me as a teacher as to anyone being a parent - slow down, listen, observe and act instead of reacting. This way, if needed, you will get in touch with (your own) nature.