A passageway is a transitional period that bridges one world to another. In shamanic cultures such phases of deep transition were always honored. Celebrations around a young woman’s first bleed, the arrival of a new tribe member, the crossover from boy to man and so on were pivotal points in time. The more they were honored the more those undergoing these transitions were able to pivot into the unknown and embrace the faced challenges with ease, grace and sovereignty. Knowing that the whole village had their back and best interests at heart.
In modern society, change has become almost a scary word. Our cyclical nature as women is suppressed. The transitions we make as young impressionable adults happen without guidance from elders. We no longer live in an intergenerational household, as the old are shoved away to an elderly home. A young mother tackles motherhood on her own in her four walls. And so forth. Life as it is currently lived, the modern family is in many ways unnatural in my opinion. Not that it is all wrong - absolutely not. But the disconnection we are experiencing from one another is a real thing and leaves us feeling very lonely and isolated at times.
I believe we are on the brink of reinterpreting ancient knowledge in modern times. We are waking up to an innate desire for real connection. That we need each other and long for community.
Where am I going with this? I mean this is supposed to be an article on ritual and now I am speaking about community. Well, it is because, I would love to see you gather with your own tribe. Invite them on this ride along as your young one is blossoming into a new being.
Having various influences, relationships and connections is what children also crave deep down. I have always observed it in my children how natural it is for them to have people around. Build, cultivate, nurture your tribe - kids included. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child and this is so true. We have become so separated that we leave the task almost solely to the mother.
The age of 7 is when children experience a developmental growth in their consciousness. They become more self-aware of their environment. During this time it is when boys especially experience a hormonal growth in testosterone. In ancient cultures, this marks the time when a boy became part of the men. No longer with the mother, he was now ready to explore the duties of the men in the tribe. The foundation of nurturance was set by the women of the tribe. Now it was time for the men to step in as the guides.
Until then children are meant to be "just" children. Their way to learn is through play. I always recommend not overburdening children with too many activities until they are 7 years old. The more space they have to explore, be, and play, the more they will use their fantasy and their creative gifts. Sometimes even being bored is a blessing in disguise for a child, because that is when they are forced to be creative in other ways and they will become naturally in tune with themselves.
As your child is transitioning to kindergarten use this time to bond with him or her. Go on nature hikes, play outside all day long, let them decide what they want to do for the day, if you have the space and capacity. This time will enable them to feel confident in their being before the big start into a new chapter. We often believe that too much closeness will scar them in some way. That they will become too dependent on us as their providers. There is a difference between emotional closeness and babying them. Our babies, they will remain forever in some way. However, it is part of our path as their guides to show them how to become more self-reliant. Giving them the tools they need to learn really practical things about everyday life will translate into invaluable knowledge for the future. Even if it is as much as how to dress themselves and tie their own shoes. This is where it starts.
nurture your inner world as a parent
As your child is transitioning, also take care of your inner world. Make sure that you have a channel for the emotions you might be going through. I remember how emotional it was for me personally when my first born started his kindergarten journey. It was also for me a transition - the one of letting go. Probably the first of many times in a mother's life.
Here are some of my personal favorites to finding an outlet for my emotions, concerns or projections:
Journal. Explore your inner worlds of emotions and thoughts on paper.
Have conversations with trusted friends and family members. What is on your heart? Be vulnerable and let yourself be heard and held.
Be creative. Write, paint, knit, whatever is tingling and waiting to be expressed by your creativity. This is a wonderful outlet to explore.
Go for a walk in nature. This will probably be on every list you ever read, cause it really works and helps relieve your stress levels in such an almost immediate way. As you walk imagine how nature is absorbing any worry, negativity, fear etc from your body. It is being transformed by the nature surrounding you.
Dance it out with music that makes me want to move my body intuitively. Concentrate on your breath and what viscerally comes up for you while you dance.
Sing, drum, rattle. Simple shamanic tools for you to activate your throat chakra and are known to relieve stress. I often end up crying when I do so. It touches my Soul and maybe something I can not express otherwise. This practice is not meant for you to sound pitch perfect. If you feel most comfortable, be alone while you sing you