Charlotte Mason said that, “Perhaps the first thing for us to do is to get a just perception of what I may call the relativity of knowledge and the mind. The mind receives knowledge, not in order that it may know, but in order that it may grow, in breadth and depth, in sound judgment and magnanimity; but in order to grow, it must know.
The fact is that we [teachers/mothers] are handicapped… We as teachers depreciate ourselves and our office; we do not realise that in the nature of things the teacher has a prophetic power of appeal and inspiration, that his part is not the weariful task of spoon-feeding with pap-meat, but the delightful commerce of equal minds where his is the part of guide, philosopher and friend. Vol. 6 pg 237 (emphasis mine)
One of my resolutions this year is to use regularly scheduled times to feed my own soul. Most of these are very small chunks of time. Not too long ago, self-care was at the bottom of my list. I truly thought I was a better person, maybe even more holy, if I could go on and on without stopping to feed myself mentally and emotionally. It is interesting to think that I wouldn’t starve my body, but somehow doing that to my mind was a healthy dose of self-denial. But what I’ve found is that I really only get tired. The thing is that the mind must be fed in order to grow, and grow we must for the opposite is true loss. We know this to be true for our children and their education, but do we really stop to consider that this feeding of the mind in the school years is meant to be the beginning of a lifelong habit? And if this is true for our children have we stopped to consider this implication for mothers as well? After all mothers are also persons.
In feeding ourselves, we become better mothers (fathers) and teachers: kinder, more patient, more inspiring, less weighed down by difficulties. Our children are more delightful instead of another task on the “To Do” list. We are better able to seen them as persons with minds equal to our own. When I am not allowing my own mind to starve I am better able to come alongside my children as a guide and friend.
What are you doing to feed your own mind in 2017? Do you have a booklist as Sarah suggested recently? Do you have times (even if they are few and short) where you can get away to just think and plan? Do you have a friend or two that you are growing with, sharing with? I’d love to hear what ideas you have to meet this need in your own life.