Have you ever sat in a meeting of professional colleagues--people in leadership positions in your work world--confronted with what appear to be a roomful of misbehaving toddlers?
Maybe this occurrence is less regular in the corporate world but, in the nonprofit and government worlds in which I work, this image captures a frequent occurrence. I often see supposed adults act like children. In fact, I recently witnessed some of the best evidence I've ever seen that, just because the human body "grows up," doesn't mean the emotional or psychological bodies keep pace.
How do we behave when the 7 Childhood Treasures have not all been mined, polished and gathered in the treasure chest of our adult relationship assets? Here are a few samples I observed in some recent meetings:
I will give these colleagues some credit for the fact that the persons they were reacting to were, in all cases, on the phone rather than in the room, so that person, at least, could not see all these reactions. Yet, the rest of us could. And I've seen subtler displays of these same reactions to a speaker who was present in the room. I always have to wonder...if you'll do that to this person, will you do it to me? Have you done it to me in the past?
In my heart of hearts, I know the answer must be yes. If this is the standard way your internal emotions pass into the external world...well, first, let's play poker! Seriously, if this is your standard MO, then I can rest assured that I am not exempt from it! If you witness someone regularly engaged in this kind of childish acting-out toward others, you can bet that you're not exempt from it when you're the one who's on the phone.
The regular experience of observing toddlers and preschoolers run amok in adult bodies affirms a core belief of my work. If we weren't, back then, handed the tools we needed to move through it, any of us could have gotten "stuck" at a stage of early childhood development. Stuck in the past, we bring into our adult relationships and interactions the emotional capacity and typical behavior of that age, without much awareness that anything is wrong.
There are so many of us out here in the adult world, walking around in grown-up bodies, yet with few grown-up capacities and skills for navigating the complexities of adult life. Once we're all out here stumbling around in these adult bodies with our toddler-ish emotions at the steering wheel, who provides the role model for another way, a different way, a way that works better for everyone?
My solution is that childhood is the role model. For me, the predictable developmental patterns and processes of early childhood have been the best teachers for a "re-do" on growing up whole. I bring my personal work to you, offering it as a universal solution called the 7 Childhood Treasures, because it has worked. It has worked for me and for many others.
Not long ago, I received a testimonial from a woman who engaged fully with my Spring 2016 series on the Treasures at the Center for Spiritual Living-St. Louis. After attending all five workshops, she wrote: "With each Treasure I mine, I become more aware of myself and the many ways I had yet to unfold. [In the 7 Childhood Treasures workshops] we were guided with such grace and ease into opening these doors for ourselves. Carol's approach is soft, warm, authentic, and comfortable. Knowing that she, too, is and has been doing the work, I felt understood at a level that allowed me to be vulnerable enough to grow."
Can you allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to grow? Do you yearn to see the ways in which you can yet unfold? The work I offer from the 7 Childhood Treasures framework allows you to do a sort of "re-parenting" process. You get to be both your "stuck-as-a-child" parts, and the adult who learns what those child-parts need. And then you provide those supports you need, to yourself, gently and with love, as you become a perpetual-motion growing machine. Tools of self-reflection and gentle, general assessment give you the eyes to see the stuck children within you. Exercises and activities loosen up the stuck places and invite your exploration and invention of new pathways through the developmental processes and opportunities that you missed at one, two, three, ... and on up to seven years of age.
So, now look back at the title of this blog entry and read it again, please, but not with a disdainful, punitive tone of voice in your head. Let go of the tone you may have heard adults use when speaking this phrase to a child who is already showing signs of having missed a Treasure or two (probably the same ones the adult is missing!).
Hear in these words, instead of a verbal slap, a jubilant invitation to grow! To be vulnerable enough to see the ways in which you can yet unfold...and then, courageously, to do so; to unfold. Oh! Grow! Grow up like an oak tree sprout, pushing out of an acorn. Grow up strong and true, open to the Light, as you were intended to.
Grow up to be the best you can be! Remove the stumbling blocks to the whole, complete, and perfect manifestation of the Divine that you truly are. If the 7 Childhood Treasures are a part of that journey for you, I am humbly grateful!
The book will be out in 2017. That's my commitment. If you think you would be willing to commit to a weekend intensive (in St. Louis) early in the coming year, I'd welcome your comment below.
Dr. Scott's website is in revision and sadly out of date. Watch this blog for information on: 1) the expected November release of her CD, Divine Downloads; 2) her early-2017 weekend intensive, Live a Sovereign Life through the 7 Childhood Treasures; and 3) the 2017 publication of her book on the 7 Childhood Treasures.