We all have patterns and pictures in our mind of how things work. And some of those patterns have been generations in the making. We use them to more easily flow through our day. Think what a challenge it would be to relearn brushing our teeth every morning. The challenge is that the more we go on auto-pilot with past patterns, the more we disallow the possibility of seeing differently and more expansively.
And right now, between Covid-19 and social unrest, many of our patterns are being stressed and cracked. “Normal” life has changed – and it is in this new space that we have the opportunity to create new vistas, visions and ways of being.
And that is what Six Minutes Daily is all about. It’s about helping us remember to pause and deepen in to the values of who we want to be and how we want to show up –not just unknowingly be bound by well worn patterns.
A Turn of the Kaleidoscope
I have an adopted daughter from Russia. Her entry into the world was challenging with in utero and infant abuse and neglect. As she grew, her behavior was often been outside the norm – kicking and biting teachers, bouts of extreme, impulsive anger, bad decision making, violating rules – and throughout all of it, there has been an educational, legal, policing and family services system that set boundaries and worked hard to support her self worth, wholeness and potential while creating repercussions for inappropriate behaviors. And that support has helped raise a thriving young adult woman. Over and over, the system gave her the benefit of the doubt. I’ve had biological sons do many of the stupid things teenagers do, and again, our structural systems gave them the benefit of the doubt – saw their potential, gave them the chance to grow and learn – without major hurdles or hiccups. For all of this, I am extremely grateful.
And I’ve witnessed the same structural systems act differently to members of our family who are Latino and Black. Instead of teenage behaviors being seen as immature decisions, these behaviors seemed to be taken as evidence of the content of their character.
One of my adopted sons was put in solitary confinement for several weeks after he naively was rather misled by police and accused of behaviors that wouldn’t have risen to the level of a crime for other teenagers. Eventually, his case was dismissed. Another one of my adopted sons was pulled over for going 5 miles over the speed limit and held for more than 2 hours. Eventually, the ticket was thrown out by a judge. And these cases had the help and resources of a confident, experienced family and village of supporters. What happens to those young men who don’t have such advocates?
Put these examples across many generations. Generational patterns of abuse, neglect and little societal support in building self worth, are very deep wounds to heal.
Beyond the Kaleidoscope
But the healing can begin and old patterns can shift when each of us takes time every day to pause, to see in new ways, to raise our awareness of how we show up, how we treat each other and who we are showing up for. We can be the change we want to see in the world. Each moment, each pause, each intention, each reflection, not reaction, begins the shift in strengthening our human wholeness, our health and our world.