First Lessons

The past two months have been a series of daily reminders that it is truly a miracle that human beings have evolved to be a dominant species on this planet.

From the moment we are born, we literally get in our own way.

When human beings are born, we cannot see very far or distinguish the senses very well. We cannot hold up our heads and have no control over our hands and legs. Babies have crazy arms. One of the most common daily phrases around here for the past two months is, “Get your hands out of the way!” In the first month, she would be surprised and start crying when she hit herself in the face. Even now, at two months,Β her little hands get in her face when she is trying to eat. They flail around when we are trying to dress her and get tangled up when we’re trying to get her out of the car seat. Her hands keep her from getting things she seems to want.Β (again, how did we make it through evolution? I mean, horses can walk right after being born…)

When she gets in her own way, however, she is learning. The times she seemed to inadvertently knock her pacifier out of her mouth (and start to cry until we gave it back) led up to that day when she grasped it, held it on her own and then put it back in her mouth.

Not only do we put up our own obstacles as infants, we also begin to exercise the amazing capacity to learn from them.

We tend to resist rest when we need it the most.Β 

Another common saying in our home these days is, “You would feel so much better if you just went to sleep! You’re acting crazy because you are tired!” We all do this, don’t we? We avoid taking child’s pose when we lose our breath in class. We stay up late, cram our lunch breaks (or baby nap breaks) with things that we can later list as being productive.

These observations are simple. More and more, I’m finding the simple things are the hardest things.

So let’s all continue the humbling practice of noticing where we get in our own way. Let’s continue the practice of learning from the obstacles of our own making. Let’s support one another in our personal practice.

Most of all – for goodness sake, let’s encourage and support one another to rest! (Like now – why are you on the internet? You could be napping or taking a walk!)

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