When your “to-do” list is so long that you are flummoxed by the very thought of deciding which of those thousand items has actual priority, it is nearly impossible to comprehend taking time to do essentially nothing, without feeling guilty.
Modern western society is built on the ideal of hard work, obedience, and uniformity - all tenets of the compulsory educational system that was founded over 100 years ago when factories needed a compliant, moderately educated, and diligent workforce.
Our culture, consequently, has been brainwashed into believing that relaxation is self-indulgent and slothful, therefore sinful. Scientists agree, however, that scheduling downtime is absolutely critical to productivity, and your sanity.
The circadian rhythm of wakefulness and sleep are the human equivalent of a default mode to insure our brains have time to reboot --- digest, interpret, and absorb the abundance of information processed by those amazingly adept neurons everyday. Overriding those manufacture recommendations is detrimental to efficiency, not to mention your mental health.
Beyond those inherent patterns, however, humans also need whole days of rest – to ponder and ruminate on our individual actions and place in the world. I have unapologetically built a day of reflection into my weekly schedule. This time is sacred, and as an introvert, positively essential for my ability to interact confidently with others on a daily basis. These days are, ideally, spent alone, staring off into space, writing, reading (for pure pleasure), napping, baking and cooking, and performing the bare minimum of household duties.
This natural ebb and flow is also apparent to those of us who work with youth who have spent years in a traditional school setting. These kids require a time (weeks, months, or years) for contemplation and shedding preconceived notions about themselves and their education before they can consciously embrace choice, discovery, and exploration in a self-directed learning setting. We call this period of self-discovery, “de-schooling”, and it looks, feels, and sounds like they are “doing nothing”. As hard as it is to watch, this gift of time is truly essential for their growth and eventual success.
Decompression is hard-wired into every mechanical and living system. Give yourself, and, others permission to sit (or lay) idly. Watch the clouds float past, the wind whisper through the leaves, the pollen laden bee drone by, or, even, imagine the footprints of others who have come before. Take as long as you need --- breath in the quiet and solitude. Rest.
We are very excited to announce a team of three facilitators: Chris Raymo is an accomplished musician and a DRC parent, who has years of experience teaching music as well as young children in a daycare setting. Michelle Manno is a homeschool mom who has recently and whole heartedly embraced the concept of un-schooling. She graduated from Notre Dame with a BA in Psychology and has experience as a teaching assistant in a classroom for children with diagnosed behavioral disorders. Desiree Roddy, a doula in training, who has two young children and has been trained and has practical knowledge in Montessori Methodology, is volunteering to train the DRC staff and will spend time at DRC each week.
This team will be meeting throughout the summer to plan monthly themes and activities and to design the designated space.
Applications for the Seedlings program are being accepted now and through the summer. Contact Maria to schedule an appointment to learn more.