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chapter 6

AN INVITATION:

VALUING YOUR RELATIONSHIP “Prepare your mind to receive the best that life has to offer” ~ Ernest Holmes

SUNDAY 29TH NOV – SAT 12TH DEC 2009 In November 2009, a group will gather in Bali from different countries for a unique two week experience. The purpose is the transformation of values and relationships which while not exclusive to, will be of special interest to parents and their teenage children. Much more than a vacation, this is an opportunity to deepen the parent/child relationship through a powerful and creative new perspective. We will explore this magical island, meet the people, learn about the culture, and be part of a unique process with young Balinese students from the Karuna Bali Foundation to discover how they live and their hopes and aspirations for the future.

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In order to be in the presence of true love in relationship with myself and all others, including family and friends, the unresolved issues of human dysfunction need to be acknowledged and addressed. When I have healed myself there comes a flow of love and grace into every relationship and experience. Almost every parent has ‘Teenager’ stories, and almost all children have ‘Parent’ stories! I certainly did, and I am sure that you too will have discovered that in every parent, son and daughter relationship tension can begin from about 11 years onwards. The relationship that we have been used to and are mutually comfortable with changes, subtly at first and then if not addressed, with building tension, aggression, leading to emotional and sometimes eventual physical separation. If you have been, or currently are in this very natural cycle, life can become very unpleasant. Our dear friend and co-facilitator, Ellie shares... “In my own life, while I saw the writing on the wall, I had no real understanding of the dynamics at play. Had I known life could have been much more pleasant however eventually I caught on. As I dropped my ‘control’ mindset, that I knew better, that I made the decisions with little real respect for my son who had a mind of his own, and allowed the ‘shift’ in relationship and moved into the new role of ‘Friend’, Douglas shifted almost immediately into his new role from being a child to a confident – a knowing young man accepting responsibility for his achievements and his mistakes.” It truly doesn’t have to be this way. Raj had a different experience... “I was fortunate in that I did foresee the long term consequences of ignoring the growing desperation in our family and chose to relinquish my ‘Father’ role early on, forgoing the authority figure, along with the control which I had previously exerted. As I moved into the new role of ‘Friend’, my children both shifted from the dependent child role even in their own eyes, to accepting responsibility for themselves and in so doing became young adults, leading to early maturity.” 34

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It takes both parties to recognize that very natural shifts are pulling the child into early man or woman-hood. If ignored, these currents can put the core relationship in peril with potential consequences that may take years of healing. From my experiences... “I was raised in a protected environment and a close knit family and could not really understand the needs of my boys as they stretched themselves to become men. I thought my role was to make sure that they were accounted for all the time, with emphasis on their education and a caring family environment. Those things are well and good, but I didn’t see the impact of my need to keep them safe and it was many years later, when they had stretched every boundary that I believed in, and I was forced to come to new understanding of life and myself, that we finally came together in a meaningful way as friends. Not a way that I would recommend.” “In my own case I was so longing to be understood and accepted that I buried my growing pains and waited until I was 47 to rock the boat with my parents. I was in my early fifties before I really began to understand my father and communicate with him as a friend.” It truly doesn’t have to be this way. It takes both parties (child and parent) to recognize that very natural shifts are pulling the child into the early stages of man or woman-hood. It is imperative for the parent to understand that these shifts if ignored will put the core relationship in peril, or impede the natural growth cycle of the child, with potential consequences that may take years of healing. When we take the time and effort to discuss and recognize the issues unfolding, or what has transpired that we may be still holding onto, we bring open the potential for our relationship to transform from guardian/juvenile to one of friendship – sometimes in a matter of days. Certainly we open dialogue and awareness to a new way of seeing each other. In a survey conducted in a school among 13 year old girls when asked what their greatest desire was relative to their parent relationship, the answer was a resounding “Respect”. To know one’s worth and honour the worth of others is the true way to earn respect. Like all values it be earned or even grown into – it must be awakened and it is always the result of how we choose to see the other. To start to get respect, we first have to give it. Way of the Heart

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Magic happens when we see our next generation as remarkable, talented and resourceful – truly listening to how they feel, empowering them to lead and make a difference.

Magic happens when we see our next generation as remarkable, talented and resourceful – truly listening to how they feel, empowering them to lead and make a difference. Isn’t that what lay in our own hearts, often unheard or misunderstood in our teenage years and often resulting in our simply ‘giving up’. To make a shift like this at home, in familiar surroundings, others who have known and identified us with our old roles for a long time can be quite a challenge. There are just too many distractions and opportunities to escape from the underlying emotions. Like the caterpillar, a cocoon is required – a place of space and safety, where the new can be birthed. It is this cocoon we are extending to you. *** No matter, your age, we are inviting you to join us – Ellie, Suzanne and Raj. Come on a transformational journey to tropical Bali, bring ‘your child’ along or have ‘your child’ bring you, together with your perceived responsibilities, hurts and misunderstandings, and let us help you transform those old outgrown concepts into a beautiful and flowering friendship. A truly worthwhile investment in all our futures. For the first week we stay at a five star beachfront resort. In these relaxed and tranquil settings we come together daily as one group and undertake a unique process of becoming equal. The objective will be to establish a new benchmark for

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our relationships with one another and in particular, address unresolved parent/ child issues. But much more than that, we will create a safe space for young adults to truly express their dreams for the World they want to create and truly hear and support them to express aspects of their inner nature that may simply wither for want of the space to be spoken and truly heard with respect and acknowledgement – opening a window for the very best in everyone to be embraced. In the second week we move to the hillside cultural centre of Ubud, the site of the Karuna Bali Foundation and Campuhan College. This unique week will enable ‘western’ kids – some teenagers, some of us just ‘kids at heart’ – to connect with their Balinese hosts. To explore education, attitudes, dreams, ways of living, expectations of life, visions for the future and to experience the work our Karuna students are doing in the rural villages. The week will offer the opportunity to explore interesting, often undiscovered aspects of Balinese life – food, dance, ceremony, spiritual values and ancestor reverence. It will also provide our young guests with a unique opportunity to express themselves, their talents and develop their potential as contributors to a new society. We have already witnessed how the enthusiasm of the Karuna Bali Balinese students inspires young visitors and we all will have the opportunity to establish mutual friendship and respect for people with essentially a very different life and yet perhaps, not so different dreams and aspirations.

There is no more perfect location in the world to enter for rebirth and in particular, for ‘relationshifts’.

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Known as the home of the Goddess, BALI is one of the most beautiful islands in the world – a land of devotion and harmony, of lushness and warmth, gentle welcoming people – the embodiment of Love and Peace. It is the cradle of and for, Transformation. There is no more perfect location in the world to enter for rebirth and in particular, for ‘relation-shifts’. *** Accompanying and facilitating this event are Suzanne Stallard and Raj Miles, publishers of Way of the Heart Journal, facilitators of many international events for the past 12 years, and co-creators of Karuna Bali Foundation and; Ellie Gilder from the UK, a dynamic international business woman who brings many remarkable talents and a special quality to the event. b

For full details visit: www.wayoftheheart.net or for a peek preview: a free CD of this Bali event is available from office@elohim.com

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Valuing Your Relationship 14.1