I’m currently about 32 weeks along in my second pregnancy and what I’ve discovered is that my path to choosing home-birthing and breastfeeding is completely in sync with my choice to unschool.
Here are the similarities I have discovered among these three movements :
- We don’t choose the alternative to the standard, industrialized, one-size-fits-all system for schooling, hospital birthing and formula feeding because we are hippies or rebels. Yes, there are rebels and hippies that media pay attention to as the anti-thesis of all things Industrial and “modern” but a majority of us are neither hippies, anarchists nor rebels.Instead we are compelled to NOT choose the industrial standard and by default we end up with things like alternative learning, alternative birthing and alternative infant feeding to the post-industrial standard.I didn’t choose to homebirth because it’s avant garde. Like my homeschooling choice it became my default because nothing else is offered that matches my needs. Having gone through something once and finding it extremely unpleasant and traumatic (yes, school was for me) I am just not brave enough to succumb to it twice and put someone else I love through it. I am a big risk-taker but I do not take risks when the odds have been proven will turn out to be against me.
I’m going to say that one person’s default is going to look a lot different from somebody else’s. – Today I read a personal facebook post of a gentle, water birth that was experienced in Pantai Hospital, KL (same place of birth for me decades ago) under the supervision of a particular doctor. That option is not going to be available for me without stretching my threshold for convenience because I’m from a different city.
Just like my homeschooling experience I am not going to encourage anyone to make the choices I have made because I am a different individual from them. This sucks when people come online to get information and gather feedback hoping to find their own sweet spot only to be met by someone who is telling them, “This is working out fabulously for me but I’m not going to teach you the ropes or how to do it. You still need to go back to Square 1 and figure it out yourself.“
Think of it like going to a get-rich seminar. Whatever they are teaching has definitely worked for the speaker / trainer on stage. But would that necessarily make you the next T. Harv Eker, Tony Robbins or Industry Rock Star of your niche? Not if you never discover your WHY and align yourself to your higher purpose for becoming a parent or becoming financially free or wealthy.
What makes homeschooling / home-birthing even more challenging to teach others than get-rich-programs is that we’re dealing with young children who have yet to be formatted. Wealth programs are based on a definite system of money and wealth creation. Learning is based on a vast unknown field of human potential. It’s still possible for wealth programs to work for some people some of the time because money systems are a lot more predictable than human potential.
- Choosing how to birth (whether hospital or alternative) is really pretty much the same as choosing how to homeschool or unschool. It depends on one factor and one factor ONLY : who are you and what’s the experience you want to create for yourself. (the parent / adult).In reading “The Birth That’s Right For You” I came across a page that explains how we usually deal with pain is how we’d deal with our labor. - Here’s how I deal with my migraines and other health conditions : I ask myself, what is the cause of this dysfunction and the purpose of my suffering? How do I test then eliminate each theory one by one? I would be happy to rapidly gather tons of information to sift through and test just to arrive at one solution. I would avoid pharmaceutical products unless I have an important appointment and I need a temporary band-aid solution. I would look at the emotions and lifestyle choices causing a disruption to my homeostasis. I treat HEALTH and WELL-BEING as the most natural state and dis-ease as the intruder.
When it comes to teaching language learning or homeschooling – how do we usually deal with the learning experience? I am the kind of learner that needs learning to be interactive, respectful yet not have a power structure to it. I need learning to be organic and to follow my natural learning curve which almost always means going WIDE and going DEEP rather than go linear just to be able to answer a question. I am a highly self-directed learner and I see LEARNING and RISK-TAKING as the most natural human state while FEAR and LAZINESS as the intruder. In fact, I see laziness as a positive thing – it is an indicator that I am either pursuing something that is not aligned to my higher purpose (just like dis-ease could indicate eating the wrong foods) or I am lacking a purpose or reason, a WHY (just like dis-ease could indicate a missing but essential nutrient.)
As a non-academic kind of person I would not likely bother with specific learning goals and benchmarks. I would be content with having a few general goals which would take a 5 – 7 year learning curve to arrive at, going back and forth and sometimes apparently nowhere. I would not bother with tests and schedules, structure and a reward system.
This kind of homeschooling style would not suit someone with a “B” frame – the typical engineers, academics, accountants. These people need a structure that’s a little bit rigid and mostly predictable.
What stumps a lot of people who want to venture into this “homeschooling” idea is they can’t get away from the idea that there has to be ONE WAY of doing it that’s better than another. They might just need a little bit of introduction into the Theory of MI and theories of SLA to deconstruct from the industrial schooling paradigm they’ve been formatted into. An analogy would be a person who’s been brought up to believe in having a job until retirement and then live off their pensions or savings. They’d have no idea how being entrepreneurial works. They’d have little idea how to create a full time income from investing. In fact, the idea of having a passive income replace and exceed their working income is just unfathomable. The idea of being able to make MORE money after one retires using the free time they now have doesn’t exist. In fact, for some people, retirement is seen as a black hole one crawls into and making the matchsticks and candles one has brought along to last and keep warm as long as possible rather than freedom to make more money than a pre-determined monthly wage in exchange for hours.
- Trusting Yourself And Your Innate Higher IntelligenceMany, many adults don’t trust themselves to be competent teachers and instructors, trainers, coaches or people with any kind of authority to lead others. They have put their ability to learn, to lead and to inspire in the hands of figures of authority who would baptist them into worthiness and competency.Many people don’t trust their intelligence to learn, their courage to lead, their ability to inspire, their soul’s ability to heal nor their bodies to birth. This deep distrust in oneself is so pandemic in today’s world. People don’t even trust their ability to start and run a successful business or get out of financial ruin or financial mediocrity. They don’t trust their body’s ability to heal and they don’t trust their gut instincts and their intuition.
Does this trust come instinctly or has this trust been destroyed by Industrial Schooling? And if it has been destroyed does it return to us over the passage of time or do we have to become conscious enough to decouple from the programming that has placed handcuffs on our Higher Intelligence?
The transition to learn to trust my body when it comes to birthing and human-milk feeding in spite of the traumatic incidences I had gone through with my first child was helped by drawing parallels to another area of my life where I had been successful at : self-directed learning and homeschooling. It was also aided by my observation of nature and learning from them – cats I’ve had and how they handled their birthing and greatly accelerated by my acquaintance with and mastery of EFT (or Tapping).
In learning about birthing and human-milk feeding the core idea seems to be a return to our higher or innate intelligence, a return to self-confidence, a return to our innocence.
What we can do for education, the best thing we can do for education, is not to come up with more methodologies and approaches and theories, tools or technology, bigger budgets or more “wholistic” curriculum but to simply remind people that they are and have always been Intelligent Beings.
We need to return to our own Innocence, our ability to trust and love ourselves and be self-directed. All the answers we have ever needed, all the comfort and peace and security for a better quality of life, all is already contained within us.
It is a challenge to return to safety when our Minds are operating in a paradigm that is outward focused and fear-based. It is a challenge to redirect the outward projections of our Mind to be inward-focused to a dimension that is based on love and wisdom, clarity and awareness.