It is not uncommon for those new to Wholeistic Education (WED) to feel utterly overwhelmed, lost, and confused. For most, discovering WED ushers in a whole new perspective on relationships, parenting, and interactions.
Thus, it can be disorienting at times. When this feeling comes up, I highly recommend pulling out a copy of the Behavioral Guidelines and reading through them. Reviewing the Guidelines is such an important practice that many years ago Joe created laminated, pocket-sized copies of them hand out to clients and other interested folks.
Below, I’ve listed several reasons for the importance of reviewing the Guidelines, using some of the concepts and terminology we use in WED. (If you are just beginning in WED, and haven't heard these concepts before, you may find this post a good place to start.)
First, when we feel lost or overwhelmed, we can quickly become filled with negative emotions. This can lead to poor choices (do I even need to say that?!). By pulling out a physical copy of the guidelines and actually reading them, we are engaging different areas of our brain (what some would call our “rational mind”). This can prevent us from becoming flooded or staying flooded with those unhelpful emotions.
Second, it is an opportunity to review in a simple, straightforward way what we are aiming to practice in our lives. By reviewing our explicated group norms, we can use them to Provide Clear Reflection to ourselves. We can see where we can do better and need to concentrate our efforts. The path often becomes visible when we look for it.
Third, it gives us a chance to meditate upon the Guidelines. By just spending time with them and by giving them our full attention, things may become clearer. We may have thoughts, realizations, or inspiration that we otherwise may not have had.
Fourth, it is a way of Reminding ourselves of those habits that we need to change. Even those of us who have been around for a while still need consistent Reminders to stay on a healthy path. Reading the Guidelines Encourages True Focus in our day-to-day lives, keeping us on our course to change the things we want to change.
Finally, our second Educator Objective, “Model Healthy Relationships,” reminds us that we must lead by example. The vast majority of human learning is done indirectly. If, when we feel overwhelmed or lost, we pull out our pocket-sized Guidelines card rather than immediately reverting to unhealthy habits, we can model for others in our group the value of pausing, taking a breath, and thinking things through when are overwhelmed.
Which brings me to a word of caution:
It can be highly tempting to jump right to encouraging other group members to regularly review the Guidelines without doing so ourselves. Continued commitment and dedication to practice of the Guidelines is a responsibility we all share. In order for a group to become stronger and healthier, some individuals within the group may need to step up and lead the way for others. In WED, anyone can be a leader in the group – including you.
If you’d like your own laminated copy of the Guidelines, send us an email and we can send you out a few copies for the entire family.
Now go on, keep up the good work, and get practicing!