How to Let “This Little Light of Mine” Shine


From Creatures of Habit to People of Choice

When you shine the light of consciousness on the unconscious, the unconscious is unable to continue to have so much control. Why? Because that which was “unconscious” is now “conscious” and once we become conscious we have the opportunity for choice. The same goes for our children.

Since so much of our behavior is based upon habit and unconscious triggers and reactions, unless we can exercise mindfulness, we are pretty much at the mercy of the way things are or have been. Translation: the same old same old, both for us as parents and for our children. Bishop TD Jakes says it like this, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you always got”. If you don’t believe this, try moving your watch from one wrist to the other and see how long it takes you to adapt to this without looking at the old wrist. Or, change your silverware drawer and see how many times you open the old location.

What does this mean? The majority of our actions, behaviors and thoughts arise from an unconscious state, and the same for our children. When we are mindful, and act as mindful role models, we bring our awareness (the light of consciousness) to these activities. Dr. Daniel Siegel says, “whatever we look at disappears”, thus severing the link between triggers and reactions giving us and our children the freedom to “rewire” the neural patterns in our brains – simply said “to choose differently”. As we choose new responses to “old” triggers, we create and then reinforce new patterns. Dr. Daniel Siegel puts it this way, “what fires together wires together”. Yes, this is brain science but not difficult to understand and even easier to put into practice.

Let’s stop trying to change ourselves and our children, and everyone else. Let us instead merely and simply be mindful of our thoughts, words and deeds, and shine the light of consciousness on our children’s thoughts, words and deeds. We don’t even have to ask the “why” question. Just the “how” question. How does that serve us? How does that serve you? Does it move us closer to what we want? Or further from it? Is there a better way?

We can then, being keenly aware of our children’s thoughts, words and deeds can in the kindest most loving way ask them similar questions in ways that their emotional age can understand. Sure, we can always tell them what is right or wrong, but does that type of learning really serve them? Does it work? Are they “getting it”? Furthermore, do we really know what is best ourselves or are we just passing along what we have been told?

“He who asks the questions cannot avoid the answers” — Cameroon Proverb

Choose Love.
— B