In the run-up to the summer of 2021, I started to panic a little. My daughter was turning 6, and she was about to start Primary the following school year. Both my kids were attending kindergarten in a “well-regarded” local public school. Their teachers and the headmaster were all lovely. Both siblings were “getting on really well”. Plus, the school was so close to our home. Objectively, I had no reason to make a problem out of this convenient situation.
Yet, something was just not sitting well with me. There was something about the fact that my creative, resourceful, active girl would be starting the standard school path that was provoking some kind of aversion in me. It just felt wrong, and this time, I wanted my intuition honoured.
So I started reading up about kids’ brains and learning trajectories. The works of Peter Gray, John Holt, Gabor Maté all made it to my reading list. 2021 was definitely a year where children’s’ behaviour, creativity and parenting were recurring themes. The more I dove into these writings, the more convinced I was that we needed an alternative to what was being offered, and we needed it fast. Our children needed a different environment to thrive and be themselves.
What does Ayurveda have to do with it?
When I started studying Ayurveda in 2018, I quickly learnt that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach in Nature. We are all beautifully unique, made up of different proportions of the five basic elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. We therefore have different needs that need to be met to maintain health and wellbeing. Wouldn’t the same logic apply to our children and learning experiences?
Out of all the alternatives that we had the time to explore, we found a democratic school that turned out to be a good fit. In democratic schools, children are the leaders of their own learning. This requires that they first establish a connection with themselves. On a daily basis, they need to ask themselves questions such as “what is it that I find interesting right now? What skill would I like to learn? How do I learn best?”
Knowing that my kids will have the time and space to make this connection with themselves multiple times as they go through their day, makes me feel at peace. It feels aligned and it feels right. It is a knowing that has its roots deep within.
The purpose of this article is not to debate the rights and wrongs of different education systems. Rather, I just want to share how holistic the Ayurvedic principles are, stretching way beyond smooth digestion and better sleep, if we allow them to. Applying Ayurvedic wisdom allows a much deeper connection to our essence, which then, if honoured, leads us to living in alignment. And I cannot think of a better gift than that of living an aligned life – a life that simply FEELS GOOD.
What are the areas of your life that feel aligned for you right now? What feels right? And what feels a little “off”? Can you hear your intuition whisper?