A FAMILY of YOUNG SOULS, alternatives to drugs
The Soul's Mentor
understanding the spiritual cause and cure of ADHD
The United States uses 90% of the world's supply of Ritalin, a stimulant that affects the central nervous system the way amphetamines do.
Use and production of ritalin is up by 700% since 1991.
Seventy five percent of the drug goes to children.
Nearly 5 million children and adults are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
Some experts say 10% of our kids have it. If all took Ritalin, 1 in 6 boys ages 5-12 would use the drug.
(USA Today, Fall 1998, Lawrence H. Diller, author of Running on Ritalin)
Recently I was eating lunch with a student here at the College of Metaphysics while my son Hezekiah and his friend Briana were playing five feet away. Hezekiah, who is almost four years old, was moving his super balls from a basket into a box in order to transport them upstairs. Every once in a while he would call Briana's name, compelling her to look and eventually inviting her participation.
After watching him for some time Bill said, "He never stops."
"Rarely," I replied, "he's quite something. So quick, so bright, so vital and vibrant."
I went on to tell Bill that if I was twenty years younger, without my metaphysical background, Hezekiah would probably join the increasing legions of bright but unruly kids being drugged by well-intentioned parents, teachers, and physicians within the next two years.
I would be like a growing number of mothers. I would have a profession that demanded my attention and that a good part of my identity depended upon. I would have stopped breast feeding by the second month, if tried it at all, partly so I could return to my job. My son would have been cared for, and in large part raised by someone else, whether a relative, friend, or employee paid out of the money I made while working elsewhere.
I would have believed I was doing the right thing. Providing the best for my child.
I would not know what to do to calm him. I would often find myself too tired to respond well to cries for attention, misinterpreting the plea for love and discipline as something else and thus failing to fulfill my child's needs. And my own.
At some point, as early as three, the caregiver might show concern for my son's disruptiveness, disobedience, or mere absent-mindedness. If I delayed I might find my child refused care or even schooling. I would seek a doctor's advice.
Americans believe drug abuse -
more than crime or the breakdown of home life -
is the biggest danger facing children,
according to a survey of 1,501 adults conducted by Harvard's School of Public Health and the University of Maryland Survey Research Center.
(USA Today, Summer 1998)
Being a good physician, he would tell me that once we start there is no stopping and two to three doses everyday are required. The drug does not heal. Ritalin is thought to increase chemicals in the brain and to simulate the inhibitory receptors producing the result of a stimulant drug's acting to increase inhibition. Nobody knows the long term affects but while drugged my child would be able to focus on what is at hand and learn.
Eventually I'd give in. Believing I was doing, if not the best for my child, at least what I had to do. His constant energy supply would be chemically altered through daily doses of socially acceptable and even fashionable drugs.
I would lose my son.
More importantly, he would lose himself.
Yes, he wouldn't be such a problem for others anymore. Not so demanding. Nor so bright and inventive.
This is not just a hypothetical projection of what could have been in my life, it is the story of increasing numbers of parents I am meeting and counseling. Too often we, as a society, look for an easy way out. Pills are seen as an easy way out, just look at the shelves of every pharmacy section in your local market. It is a symptom of denial, stemming from a lack of self discipline. On the whole, Americans don't know how to discipline themselves toward positive, productive thinking that leads to health so they don't teach this wisdom to their children.
The greater problem we will face ten, twenty, forty years from now. Only then will we realize, individually and collectively, what we have caused by putting millions of human beings at age 4 or 6 or 8 on a type of "speed". The mental, emotional, and physical effects upon that child as he or she enters puberty or when he is 16 or 29 or 42 or 60 will be known only as time progresses.
This is just the physical perspective. The real problem is once we get there it will be too late to change several generations of drug abuse, intentional drug addiction. We may never know the losses to individuals or society. We must change.
Attitudinal changes are the hardest. Yet when children are involved mothers and fathers can and have often moved mountains.
When I identify the significant changes in my thinking that have produced the conditions in my life that have led me to be a parent, a role by the way that I did not visualize for myself from the time of puberty until I was 41 years old, I hope there is insight that can help others.
First realizing I am more than a body. Coming to terms with the difference between and separation of mind and body freed me to put the physical world in a more proper perspective. In time what had been important in my mind - steady relationships, financial security, being needed and valued - was replaced by a more deep-thinking, spiritually-centered, service-motivated consciousness. This led to the current conditions in my life, including a wonderful husband who is my life partner and our visionary lifestyle that enables my husband, son and I to live and work together. It also brings some wonderful people into our son's life. Many teachers, each with different areas of expertise to offer.
Second, taking my next step in understanding myself as a soul. The idea of a soul is something I was taught as a child, but it was lost in a turbulent adolescent because it was belief based rather than knowing based. Maturing my idea of soul, bringing it to the here and now rather than leaving it before and after birth, caused major shifts in how I see myself and others. This became very meaningful when I was pregnant. My husband and I communicated with the soul who became our son Hezekiah before he entered this life. By learning his soul needs we could prepare ourselves to respond to them.
Now, as he is growing, we can encourage his talents and teach the skills that will prepare him to meet his destiny. It frees me to learn and teach in ways foreign to how I was taught as a child. I can respond to Hezekiah's intense Michelangelo-scale illustrations of Moses and the Burning Bush which persisted every morning for three months then give way to a month of scientific invention including waterfalls made from suspending a ladle on a facet spout and tongs used as arm extenders to put superballs in places otherwise beyond his reach.
Third, learning that thought is cause and developing the will power to apply the knowledge. Concentration exercises were essential in this process, and are an important part of what my husband and I are teaching our son. The capacity to focus attention at will directed my creative energies and laid the foundation for reasoning skills to flourish. I have taught hundreds of adults the basics of how to use mind effectively - undivided attention, remembering, imagination, listening - and it is such a joy to be able to teach them to such a new soul. And quite a challenge for someone accustomed to the civilities of adulthood.
Advanced development in intuition is an enormous asset. Being able to connect with Hezekiah is essential in him knowing we love him and in teaching meaning behind actions. I have found my own creativity stretched and so in the midst of a "crying jag" I can connect with Hezekiah's soul, "crying" with him which quickly provokes giggles thus breaking the nonproductive train of thought so a more productive one can be introduced.
Fourth is acting upon a desire to aid others. Together my husband and I have almost fifty years of teaching experience. We teach metaphysics, understanding the universal laws and truths that govern creation and how to live in harmony with them. We both know it is the most fulfilling life anyone can hope to have.
I have met many people in my life who function under the mistaken belief that it is easier to teach children than adults. If that is so, we would not be drugging our brightest children in order to "control" them. We would be teaching them to become the geniuses they are meant to be.
Teaching requires a high level of giving. A sacrificing of self for the welfare of another. I think it is time to redefine what it means to bring a child into the world. It is time to consider that we are vessels for souls to enter, evolved souls who want to serve even before the body knows how to.
Hezekiah is such a soul. He is not attention deficit anymore than probably 99% of those diagnosed as such. There may be moments when his mom is attention deficit, from being tired or preoccupied thus her mind and body are not in the same place. Hezekiah knows it, every time. And he lets me know it too, which is becoming a great enrichment in my life for I am able to practice being here now in ways I totally missed before.
There's nothing wrong with Hezekiah's attention. Rather his attention is free, vital, lightning quick, and so very easy to arrest when the mind meeting his is focused and wizened. I am dedicated to being such a focused, wise mind, for to me I am much more than my child's parent, I am a soul's mentor. That is the greatest any of us can ever hope to be.
Soul's Mentor by Dr. Barbara Condron is reprinted with permission from Wholistic Health & Healing Guide, Vol. 6, No. 2, copyright 1998 School of Metaphysics
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