April 30, 2023
This week’s article was written by our friend, Judith Frizlen, veteran early childhood educator and author of several books. Judith is also the facilitator for our on-demand online course, Creating Home Away from Home. You can read more from Judith at her website here.
When I started teaching over three and a half decades ago, I was looking for a model of human development to ground my approach and inform decision-making. I had an intuitive sense of what I was looking for.
The first school I taught at nurtured early thinkers. They are the children who are wired to ask deep questions and to search for answers from an early age. It can be problematic because developmentally, they are just moving into their physical bodies which is the foundation for intellectual learning. These children are prone to strong emotional responses while they grapple with the demands of physical development coinciding with deep thinking.
Fortunately, the school not only emphasized cognitive learning, but also outdoor play and warm teacher/student relationships supported by small class sizes. When I walked past the school on my way to college classes in education, I saw children playing outside the building which was a repurposed old home. I knew I wanted to teach there but I didn’t know why, except that outdoor play aligned with my values.
When the school could no longer sustain its programs with a balanced budget, it closed. I moved on to a public school still searching for the model for human development that would support the healthy program I envisioned.
The homelike environment in the first school was replaced by an institutional one and outdoor play was replaced by children putting their heads down on their desks for a rest.
I was out of alignment in that environment and could not work there without sacrificing my destiny, the invisible path before me that I was searching for. But it gave me information about what mattered in education and motivated me to study the model for human development and education developed by Rudolf Steiner, Austrian philosopher/scientist.
From that study, came a connection with a group that intended to open a Waldorf School in Buffalo, NY. We worked together to learn the model, find a building, students, and finances to make it work. Our understanding of the model developed as we went.
We created some close connections and memories but could not sustain the business aspect of running a program. When that project closed its doors, we sent our children to the local Waldorf School where they had a wonderful educational experience.
I continued to learn about the model and to wear as many hats as I did in the previous school initiative where I had worked. As both a parent and teacher, I was engaged in not only teaching, but also outreach and group decision-making based on the shared model of human development.
While teaching in early childhood, I finished the LifeWays training, a training that changed my life. It not only gave me a human development-based program to serve young children, but it became a way of living for me. It was clear that my inner voice was calling me to weave together my work-life and homelife.
I actually, believe it or not, fell in love with homemaking as I grew to understand of its impact on the environment and those who dwell in it. My thesis paper was about how to support the fourfold human being in the home.
The home and the work environments have physical, energetic, emotional and higher-level cognitive aspects. We must tend to all of them for a healthy reciprocal relationship to develop.
I found that the more I tended to my own well-being, the more I could listen and follow the small voice within that guided me. Being in alignment with that voice allowed me to make deposits in a karmic account that I could withdraw from later.
When I met negative karma coming to me, I took responsibility for it, instead of wasting time blaming and complaining, I forgave and affirmed that all would be well. I trusted Life to lead me where I needed to go.
I was led to open the Rose Garden Early Childhood Center using the model I had learned. Everything from finding a building, teachers, and students fell in place. Although it took consistent effort and commitment to care for all four aspects of both me and the system, I was able to build a healthy system that served many families.
The system was simple enough to be sustainable. There was a clarity of vision that came from having worked in several systems that failed by not tending all the aspects of a business, including the financial one.
I felt surrounded by forces that were supporting me as I went forward. That’s how it feels when we follow our destiny path. Since I sold the business to the employees, it is incarnating as a worker-cooperative.
These are my wishes for that system and all those aligned with the four-fold human being:
- A shared vision and follow-through on agreements that tend the higher cognitive body of the system.
- Song, laughter, and creativity to nourish the astral body of the system with a flow of playful energy.
- Habits in the form of healthy rhythms and repetition of affirming mantras to support learning and sustaining of the energetic body of the system.
- Strong, well-cared for physical bodies, and environment grounding and holding energy in a form that can incarnate the vision.
I send these loving wishes on the wings of angels to not only lift up but to also ground the system while it is manifesting its destiny. Meanwhile, I am moving forward on my path.
Meeting karma. Staying in alignment with my inner voice. These things lead me onto my destiny path which is where I know what I have to do and feel supported by universal forces in doing it.
That’s where unexpected synchronicities happen. I call them miracles. And in that space, I am sitting at my desk, writing about Life, sending love to all the readers who find my work, publishing my fourth book and knowing it is just where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing.
Karma brought me the experiences I have had, and the many lessons that came with them. Those lessons were necessary to prepare me for the next step. Finding the nugget of wisdom in experiences allows them to be seen as useful, not mistakes, vanishing regrets.
Alignment with my inner voice has guided me to my destiny path. Walking that path has allowed me to do what I am here to do, to fulfill my purpose.
There is no greater joy than that!