Growing Kids Spiritually in a Fast Paced World

It seems today, that there is an ever-increasing challenge to maintain a connection between everyday life and spirituality.  As information becomes more and more readily available to us, it seems that our connection with a higher power, the essence of life, becomes diminished in the fast paced world of technology.  The naive days of knowing nothing no more than what we’re told in our enclosed communities of churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and tribes has quickly changed, and continues too at a faster rate.

On the same token, with technologies ability to share thoughts and ideas from every part of the world, we today are witnessing an incredible transformation.  Our world is transitioning into this beautiful mechanism of individuals who are finally beginning to know they are a part of something greater.  Now that’s a spiritual thought… just realizing we are not alone.

We are however, faced with an interesting challenge.  It is as Rumi once stated, as though “the elixir is in the poison.”  We can see technology as our problem or our potential for something greater.  We’ve been given the opportunity to stray from the herd and explore an infinite array of ideas across the world. Anything and everything is possible.  How magnificent!  Perhaps you’ll be in awe forever at just the thought of unending wisdom.

At the same time straying away from home can be dangerous.  You might feel ungrounded or afraid.  A delicate balance is needed between the known and the unknown, possibility and limit.  After all, the universe is based upon structure, as are our bodies.  Likewise, as we bring our children into this world it is helpful to hold both unending awe, which is fluid and non-conceptual, along with beliefs or truths, which though still malleable, have a certain solidity to them.  That solidity helps us feel safe and comfortable in the world.

Personally, and I know many would agree, I believe there’s a quality of living and being in the world that’s supported by practicing yoga and meditation.  A kind of simplicity unfolds inside a person.  You begin interacting with yourself and the world with less stress and more loving-kindness.  It has nothing to do with what you believe.  It’s simply about being human.  Suddenly, even the simplest experience becomes the subject of joy just for that moment.  Plainly said, the ordinary becomes the extraordinary.

Children live in this world whether we let them or not.  As do we, whether we let ourselves or not.  I learn more and more about the extraordinary as I spend time with kids.  A few months ago as I walked with several kids during a nature walk with Camp Gratitude (a great yoga camp for kids), I remember the excitement each child expressed when they came across a leaf or small pebble for our nature alter.  One little boy picked up the tiniest pebble and just screamed for joy yelling “A rock!  I’ve got a rock!”

“Wow,” I thought.  There’s nothing better.

Yoga offers great skills for the whole family to balance life and see excitement in the day-to-day world.  There’s a feeling of peace inside the present moment even if the world at large brings about existential questions.  It doesn’t have to be downward dog and forearm stands on the mat all day.  It can be taking a walk in the park, talking and listening to our friends and family, or even walking into the city and enjoying a piece of graffiti on the sidewalk.  Whatever it is, there’s no judgment.  The experience itself is simply joyful.