Re-teaching Instinct

 In Circle the Child, Weekly Forum Discussion

Written by: Joy Seunarine; Circle the Child

Babies are born fully sensate, able to receive and respond instinctively.  Our systems are so open  that we are able to pick up multiple cues from our environment. Our actions, for example crying when we are hungry is a primitive reflex embedded in all of us.  Our environment and the way our world is structured make it difficult to navigate our worlds with this openness; we close down at some level. The challenge for parents in raising our children is to do so in such a way that we teach them how to be socially appropriate while minimizing the shutting down of their instincts. Unfortunately, it is much more common to stifle our children’s innate instinctive impulses.

All animals including human beings, know how to sense danger.  We know what brings joy and gladness into our worlds. Somehow we as a society have lost our way. Too many people live lives of overwhelm at a frenetic, frenzied pace.  All of us have the wild eyed wonder of a child within us yet many of rarely experience that state.

In my work as a Massage therapist/Energy worker/ Bodymind coach, I work with many people who have forgotten how to listen to their intuitive urgings which, are very healthy.  I would like to share an example of how valuable our inner guidance can be.  Many years ago while travelling in Greece,  a fisherman invited a group of 4 of us young women to his home for a homemade, traditional fish dinner. I went out on my own that day and returned earlier than the other three. I washed and dressed eagerly anticipating the upcoming meal. As I walked out to meet him at the chosen area, I had an uneasy feeling which only grew stronger as I approached.  Nearing his home, I saw no bustle of cooking; just an empty, small hut. Because of the earlier hunches, I turned and ran. As I ran I found the other’s approaching and just shook my head.  If I had not had the uneasy feeling, I may have second guessed myself. I may have believed his story that it was still to come. I felt very grateful that I had an intuitive knowing which prompted quick action.

Remembering this incident I wanted to teach my children how important it is to listen to this body wisdom.  I taught my children, from very young, to honor their gut. I explained to them that sometimes your gut instinct will tell you something that your brain has not figured out yet. Sometimes this guidance doesn’t make logical sense either but it is very important to trust it.

What are some suggestions in raising children to help them stay connected to their inner voices? Encourage your children to speak up about something they are feeling even if it doesn’t make sense. Encourage your children’s natural inclinations.   If they like to be alone daydreaming, or drawing  while you are a social butterfly, make room in their lives for their natural rhythms.  If they are drawn to working with their hands and you are more intellectually bent, honor the differences.

Do you know how to listen to your body?

Our bodies have its own way of giving us information What it shares is always true; it is a plumb line of truth.  Does your stomach clench in certain situations? Do you know when something feels ‘not right’? This could be a situation, a person or a place to name a few.  Learn how to get the messages that your body is sending you and then teach your children how to do the same. This is one of the most valuable skills to give to our children.

Joy Seunarine is a Registered Massage Therapist doing Craniosacral therapy and Bodymind coaching. Her belief is that everyone has the capacity create freedom for themselves in their physical and emotional health. As a coach, she encourages people to listen to their body’s signals as a source of vital information, supporting your balanced health and allowing you to move forward.



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