I was one of those children who had their natural expression shut down at an early age as a result of our current education system and it is only later in life that I have reawakened my relationship with my natural expressionin a true way. What I experienced in my early school years was that teachers would never encourage the enthusiastic play-full-ness and freelance writing attempts of their young students.
Learning then became a rigid rote-type discipline, offering no allowance for a child to develop at his or her own pace. This meant I learned very little grammar or spelling because, after a lot of perseverance in doing what seemed correct to me, I was awarded marks that, at best, were usually still three out of the ten allocated to the task. As for any homework, the results would always be the same - red lines and low grades.
I discovered that shutting down my natural expression was an approach that worked. It became the way I coped and managed to play the classroom game.
Social interactions within the classroom put anyone who was part of it at odds with the teacher. I became the class distractor who interacted with his classmates, turning around and talking or listening to them. For me it was mainly listening, as I did not talk much because of my lisp that resulted from having my two top front teeth knocked out at the age of four.
At that point in time, discipline in First and Second Grade was the edge of a fifteen-inch ruler being applied to the back of our fingers and hands that resulted in blood blisters on several occasions.
I found it was easier to simply put English into the too hard basket, because learning English always felt too difficult because of the lack of any true encouragement. All this added up to my getting grades that placed me as a student in the lower ten percent of the class, scoring well less than thirty percent in exams.
Then out of the blue came a teacher in Third Grade who responded to what her students were offering. She was able to connect with me and the other students in a way that the other teachers had failed to do. The whole class percentages shot up and I started to be in the top twenty percent of the class – or higher.
For that one year my grades skyrocketed and this was simply because my Grade Three teacher recognised some form of creativity in each and every one of her students, which probably related to the whole class having a co-creative relationship – a feeling of connectedness as they learned together.
After that particular year, my grades improved from where they had been in those earlier years at school, however, I never experienced such understanding from a teacher as I had enjoyed during my Grade Three year. For the rest of my days at school my focus continued to be about having fun and not so much about learning.
By Grade Six, I was regularly getting caned – sometimes three times a day. It even reached the point where getting caned on a regular basis became a game between the teacher and me – a time where learning to relax through my breath so the cane flicked painlessly on my hand became a normal occurrence. I found that I could stop reacting by responding to the situation by focusing on my breath, which eliminated the tension in my hand and therefore the painful aspect of each blow.
I had to wait until I was fourteen before my front teeth re-grew. This was also when my voice started to break. I was one of the first boys in the class whose voice broke and I was laughed at yet again.
I became even more silent and further shut down my natural expression.
Some fifty-five or so years later, as a student once again, this time with The School of the Livingness, I now have a deep understanding of the following:
- The way we express has a lot to do with our connection to our essence or innermost,
- That this is a co-creative relationship,
- It could be said that the way we express is paramount to everything else in our life,
- This is a procedure that starts with us first being, at least, gentle.
Finding a True teacher who will allow us to express and learn from what we are offering will always bring out our essence in the most lovingly supportive ways.
Finding a teacher who brings True expression and wisdom has inspired me to have a relationship with the same True energy and with that I have developed an understanding of the differences between ‘True’ expression (expressing from the Soul or essence) and ‘ill’ expression (expressing from the spirit).
Each is shown for what it is offering and the subtle difference in what it feels like. Learning from our own misadventures into the ill expression is available to everyone and it supports us to understand and develop a relationship with what true values and decency in True expression are all about.
With experience and an understanding of what each energy feels like in my body, I realised each and every one of us has the choice to be in relationship with our True essence of Love (our Soul) or to continue living in love-less ways.
I have learned that even our thoughts have the power to be co-creative; that when they come from our essence, they convey Love, otherwise they are destructive in what they are conveying.
Understanding the difference between divine connection, which comes by way of our Soul, compared with what our conniving spirit feels like, is a learning curve we will all eventually face. Starting the journey to learn to express from the Soul as a way of living comes via the process of understanding just how manipulative the spirit is in its wanting to control this life.
My words, thoughts, expression and being Loving in their delivery has changed the way I live as a student of life as imparted by The Way of The Livingness, which presents these and other practical sciences in a simple language that is easily understood.
In my elder years, my Livingness and hence my relationship with True expression in all its forms is ever-deepening … and not a red line or low grade in sight.
Greg B., Australia
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