Heather Keith Freeman (jnanacandra) wrote,
Heather Keith Freeman

What are you doing?

A train of thought that derailed, half-formed and metaphor-mixed, in my neighborhood:

Parents so often use the phrase "what are you doing?" as a prelude to censure, such that I have to suspect the two become linked in most children's minds.

"What are you doing?"

And even if it's nothing particularly bad, the child doesn't know, but fears the censure, so replies "Um.... nothing...."

Does this, then, progress to the state where we as young adults have trouble introspecting honestly, and feel that if we look within ourselves all we will find are flaws? Yoga, so foreign and difficult to the western mindset, has so much to do with looking inward, observing, and accepting what is there without censure or criticism. Are these things linked, again?

As Aiden grows, I have a mind to start a game where one of us will call to the other at any given moment and ask "what are you doing?"; the other will then stop, honestly observe him or herself, and reply. "I'm standing on one leg!" "I'm playing with a ball!" I'm trying to catch the kitty!" That would lead to discussions of why we're doing that, how we feel about it, and what the consequences are, good or bad. And ideally this will teach him, and remind me, of self-awareness, introspection without censure, and the infinite joys of just Being.
Tags: parenting, psychology, sociology

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