CHANNELING AND GROUNDING ADOLESCENT ENERGY
Is ‘limitation’ and ‘focus’ necessary for the growing up process? I see this issue as the interaction between human energy and the multiplicity of points of interest available to the human being. Babies are bundles of energy facing endless choices of interest, and showing extremely short attention spans as they try to become aware of the numerous things streaming across their eyes. Toddlers add another kind of energy – the enquiring type (who, what, why, whose). This is all unchanneled energy, searching for ready answers and trying to experience all the possible interest opportunities. I call this ‘unruly’ energy. Some call this ‘unruly’ state ADHD, and treat it as if it were some kind of mental issue. To me it is just unchanneled, ‘unruly’ energy.
At some point in our adolescent years, for the most of us, our ‘unruly’ energy gets channeled into a limited number of interests, and we develop our personalities around accomplishment in those interests. This channeling is critically important. It appears that ‘living’ and personality development depends on accomplishment, because accomplishment defines the person. Channeling and focus leads to accomplishment; indeed little would be accomplished if our choices were not limited. The top class athlete narrows his events to one or two so that he may focus on them for maximum accomplishment. Well, what about you? Has there been anything in your life that you have accomplished, and done it without limitation and focus?
In ‘Wheels of Life’, Anodea Judith writes: “Limitation is a necessity for manifestation. It is a constant exercise of choice, a constant creative process, and a constant use of will. Grounding is a harmonious acceptance of natural limitation. ….crucial to the development of consciousness.” And the author quotes the “I Ching” (Hexagram 60: Wilhelm Baynes version): “Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man; if they existed, his life would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong, a man’s life needs the limitations ordained by duty and voluntarily accepted.”
Chapter 2 of the GBSS Hostel book begins: “The first lesson of the Hostel was that its occupants operated within boundaries. These set “frames within which the boys were free to conduct themselves.” The GBSS Hostel channeled our adolescent energy into study, sports, and community living. And this kept us in the “here and now”. And accomplishments, perhaps more importantly, the process of choice, focus, etc. involved, not only unfurled our personalities, but also prepared us for life after the Hostel.
I posit channeling of adolescent energy as a principle applicable to every child. I recognize, of course, that a few will chase multiple interests, In this case, I agree with the recommendation of matching the ‘right [structured] “environment” to “flexibility of interest” – fit the institution to the children rather than vice-versa.
So do you think that is limitation and focus are important in life? The Hostel set boundaries for Hostel Boys – is home a good or as good and environment for boundary setting? Are some youngsters simply averse to boundaries, or is it that they will accept boundaries of their choice?
Someone joked: “try to multitask when cooking”!!