Da Ladies #5 | Challenging Societal Norms: Navigating the Transition to Unschooling

Da Ladies - Cover 5

🗓️ Recorded November 14th, 2023. 📍Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Mexic

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About this Episode

Have you ever considered that societal norms and structures may be limiting your autonomy? 

Join Cecilie, Carla, Luna, and Sarah, when they challenge these conventions and explore the empowering nature of leading a values-based life. We discuss how unschooling - a deviation from the norm, sparks enlightening conversations and insights. We thoroughly investigate how our values, culture, and upbringing guide our decision-making and how these elements influence our ability to make unconventional choices.

We venture into the concept of individual sovereignty, questioning how external influences shape our choices and how awareness of these influences can empower us to live authentically. We approach the topic of parenting from a different angle, exploring how we, as parents play a role in shaping our children's empowerment. We discuss the balance between guidance and freedom and how it impacts our children's development.

Transitioning from traditional schooling to unschooling can be a daunting process. We engage in a candid discussion about the courage and challenges inherent in this transition. We share insights on how to create an environment of freedom in making life decisions and how questioning the established rules can pave the way to personal freedom. Listen in as we explore these thought-provoking subjects and take responsibility for our own education and that of our children.

Luna Maj Vestergaard: 

Carla Martinez: 

Sara Beale: 

Cecilie Conrad: 

Watch the full interview on YouTube

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With love


Jesper Conrad 


[00:00:00] Cecilie Conrad: So today we're recording the ladies fixing the world episode five, we started this podcast because we think that very often we have conversations.

[00:00:10] Cecilie Conrad: About all the little things that unravel from the basic choice all four of us made about unschooling And and we do think that these insights are quite relevant and interesting Maybe for the beginner in the unschooling field, maybe for the curious one and um and also for ourselves how it all unfolds beautifully and how this Mindset of questioning the established way of doing things will make us question everything and, and find interesting connections and insights.

[00:00:48] Cecilie Conrad: So we decided to record our conversations. And in all honesty, I didn't sit down and look, let's say on the internet for the three most smart women on the planet, because I was handed them by life. These are my friends, and I'm very honored and happy to, to call these great women my friends. I have

[00:01:08] Cecilie Conrad: , Kala Martinez, who is from Tenerife, , currently in Tenerife, which is random. Kali has this. Soft and silent way, which is really deceiving because Kali is really smart and powerful. So it's very interesting to me how you can be so clear in such a sweet way., I, I am very inspired by all the things you do.

[00:01:34] Cecilie Conrad: It's amazing. So welcome Kali. I also have Luna, who is from Denmark and in Denmark, also randomly, because we are all nomads on top of things. And Luna was the first person I called when I decided to unschool my children. Because it's such a wild decision, and I was just so lucky that I already knew Luna, and she had her four amazing children.

[00:02:01] Cecilie Conrad: And she was already unschooling, and you were just a safe haven. We actually drove to your place, I think, on the same day, we just needed to peel, I don't know, normal for at least, it was, so I'll be forever grateful for that. And, and obviously Luna is, is very insightful and has spent a lot of years thinking about these things.

[00:02:22] Cecilie Conrad: And then you have such a clear way to talk about unschooling. And I just love that. Mostly in Danish. So people will have to do Google Translate if they want all the great insights, but it's worth it. You should do it she's very smart. And then we have, Sarah Beale. Sarah is from Australia, not in Australia.

[00:02:42] Luna Maj Vestergaard: She's in England

[00:02:43] Cecilie Conrad: at the moment. And the most outspoken and loud unschooling co mom that I've ever met. I am so amazed by how much you can say in such a short time. It's just, I mean, I spent hours and hours. If I try to put my ideas into words and then every day, if I open my social media, you have said like 100 things and I feel very.

[00:03:06] Cecilie Conrad: Very inferior. And I, I get to work with that, uh, while also reading, I think you have very radical ideas, but then at the same time, you're not like lifting off from the planet. They're always rooted in, in, in reality. And I find that, um, a powerful thing. It's very easy to run off with an idea and then forget about everything else and you don't do that.

[00:03:31] Cecilie Conrad: I'm, I think that's very great. So here you are, and I'm just happy that, uh, you will talk with me about everything. And yeah, then the plan is to hand off the ball to, uh, Sarah, who will introduce the topic of the day.

[00:03:49] Sarah Beale: Okay, thank you. Um, and did you introduce yourself, Cecilia? No.

[00:03:57] Cecilie Conrad: I'm already uncomfortable making an introduction, to be honest.

[00:04:01] Cecilie Conrad: I think it's great to make a podcast, but I feel really weird when I have this journalist kind of, uh, uh, role to play. So and I overdid it and I already feel, Oh, did I say something wrong? Um, and I'll just do my inner work with that. You can introduce me if you want to, but yeah, well, what I want to say when two out of three, no, three out of four, I'll shut up

[00:04:28] Sarah Beale: introducing you really well leads into our topic, because actually, always, it doesn't matter what we're talking about, or what we say our topic is, we always end up really talking about values and.

[00:04:41] Sarah Beale: the people that I tend to gravitate to, and you are absolutely at the top of this list, other people that live very, very strongly values based life, not a rules based life, but a values based life. And you and your fat, why are you looking at me like that?

[00:04:57] Cecilie Conrad: Am I?

[00:04:58] Sarah Beale: Yeah. So you and your family, to me, I like the, uh, a beacon or a paragon of.

[00:05:08] Sarah Beale: A family living strongly in their values. And I think that when we start talking about moving away from rules that other people have imposed, it is still really helpful to have these people that we can look to who are very, very clear about what they're doing and how they're living and how they've. How they've got there, because that's actually, I mean, that's what we're doing with this podcast.

[00:05:30] Sarah Beale: So to me, that's what you, that's what you are. And I love hanging out with and being near and talking with people who live on unashamedly in their values. not for other people, but for their own, for themselves and their family and what they're creating. So thank you, Cecilia. And of course you actually keep us on track and pull us together and get this happening and put this out there.

[00:05:56] Sarah Beale: And I know Jesper is a big part of that too, and we appreciate him also. Um, so Cecilia is from Denmark for anyone listening to this and her family are from Denmark and they are currently in Mexico, but they are full time. Nomadic traveling world, schooling family. Currently traveling with four children, but Cecilia isn't, uh three, sorry.

[00:06:17] Sarah Beale: But Cecilia is mother to four and they're two dogs. .

[00:06:20] Cecilie Conrad: Yeah. , yeah. Yeah. Currently both on heat. I'll just tell you heat, you go for a walk in Mexico with two female dogs, both in heat. You just hide in the apartment. It's impossible. We're carrying our dogs around the street. I can imagine by street dogs, like, but thank you, Sarah.

[00:06:45] Sarah Beale: So that leads us into our topic today. I don't know how I'm going to tie this in neatly actually, but really what we're talking about is the massive paradigm shift. That is.

[00:07:08] Sarah Beale: Um, when you look at the way our lives are right now, the four of us and our families, if you are comparing it to people who live within the school system, not that we're in the business of comparison, but just so you know what we're talking about, we are talking about a life where we can live to our natural cycles.

[00:07:27] Sarah Beale: For Um, and we're not just talking about like feminine cycles, we're talking about the cycles of living the cycles of life that are not imposed arbitrarily by external structures, but more biological, natural, organic. That we get to lean into as unschooling families and how that looks really different to a family who might be living in the school system, getting up really early, getting kids out the door, 8 o'clock for school, doing that for several years in a row, having to choose a career, leaving a school, going to university, getting a job, probably getting a mortgage, having kids, retiring, playing golf, dying.

[00:08:15] Sarah Beale: So not that any of those things are bad in themselves. But what we're talking about is something that actually looks very, very different to that. And it brings with it a lot of freedom and liberation, but also a lot of inner work and reflection as we too, the four of us, continue to really like unpack and unravel all of the things that come up for us as unschooling parents.

[00:08:42] Sarah Beale: That's what we're talking about today. That's what we're talking about, and then

[00:08:49] Cecilie Conrad: you get a little overwhelmed, so you feel like, oh, are we just talking about everything? But I think the base is how eras and cycles and phases and chapters of life look very different from our perspective than they did before we had this perspective. Maybe we could just compare ourselves to ourselves if we can remember how life and world looked before.

[00:09:20] Cecilie Conrad: And I think, as you said, there's nothing wrong with having a degree, or a mortgage, or retiring in and of itself. What's wrong in my mind is that you have this narrow path and it looks like everyone has to follow it. I was, I was actually googling circles of life, faces of life, uh, areas of life a few weeks ago for another project that I'm doing and, and it all had this.

[00:09:55] Cecilie Conrad: You know, you, you were born, then you get to be little for very short time. Some of them didn't have that phase and you go, you're born, then you go to school. There's nothing in between. And then you come out with a diploma and then you, then you put on the suit and go to work and, um, you have children of your own and then you retire.

[00:10:17] Cecilie Conrad: That's the walking stick part. And then you die. That's it. And, and I saw pictograms and lists and explanations. Of this system in the hundreds, I didn't see anything else. And what scares me and what has always scared me is, is this narrow, narrow array of options, as if this is the only thing you can do for those who love it.

[00:10:48] Cecilie Conrad: It's great, but what about the rest of us? Where do we go? That's really the problem. And, and, and, and then on top of that, after that, like a ripple effect comes. The fact that it becomes the norm. It becomes the only dream that, that people find themselves able to dream. Everything else is failure.

[00:11:18] Cecilie Conrad: Can I share the

[00:11:19] Luna Maj Vestergaard: screen? What? Can I share the screen? Is that allowed? Yeah, everything is allowed. No, I mean, there's like a box to tick for participants to share screen. Oh,

[00:11:31] Cecilie Conrad: that I don't know. I'd have to call. Yeah, you

[00:11:34] Luna Maj Vestergaard: kind of have to allow me to. How

[00:11:37] Cecilie Conrad: do I do that?

[00:11:39] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Uh. Oh,

[00:11:42] Sarah Beale: you might have to make her. So you want to show us something that you've got on your computer.

[00:11:46] Sarah Beale: Yeah, but

[00:11:47] Cecilie Conrad: there's this one participant you can share at a time. It says, is that enough? Or do I have to go into settings and allow you personally? Advanced sharing options. I've actually got the share screen. Now it says all participants should be okay now. Okay, let's try it out myself. Yeah. Can you do it?

[00:12:11] Cecilie Conrad: Yeah.

[00:12:12] Sarah Beale: Can you, can you see it? Okay,

[00:12:16] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I'm just gonna try that. Okay. Yeah. I was just thinking about this image because I always use that in a, well, a lot of times when I talk about unschooling and de schooling particularly, um, I actually use this image quite a lot because I just, I find it. So fascinating, so interesting, and so spot on.

[00:12:39] Luna Maj Vestergaard: So I just wanted to show it and let people look at it

[00:12:44] Cecilie Conrad: and let you look at it. So will you read out loud and describe for those who are listening only to the podcast? We have a lot of people just yeah, in audio. So it's an

[00:12:56] Luna Maj Vestergaard: image of a lot of like skeletons in suits and they're all just standing in line and a bunch and it says, get a job, go to work, get married, have children, follow fashion, act normal, walk on the pavement, watch TV, obey the law, save for your old age.

[00:13:16] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And then it says. Now repeat after me. I am free. That's the image. And I'm just gonna stop the share again because now we saw

[00:13:27] Cecilie Conrad: it.

[00:13:30] Luna Maj Vestergaard: It's just like, I think that's It's, it's, it's really provocative, but it's also very, very spot on, I think, for how a lot of people, the state that a lot of people are actually in, because a lot of people don't realize that there is another way, that they're, you know, that narrow way that they're all on.

[00:13:56] Luna Maj Vestergaard: They just don't realize it. They, it's just something they do and they aren't, it's like, well, I don't know. It's, it's like, and what do you think about this image? I mean, what does it, when you look at it, what does it make you

[00:14:15] Cecilie Conrad: think? So I'm currently in Mexico and My first thought was the Katrina, which is a completely different message, but it's also the, the skeleton wearing clothes and having, carrying a message.

[00:14:30] Cecilie Conrad: And, and, um, many gringos like myself originally, um, tie this to the idea of the tradition of the day of the dead, but this is completely unrelated. The Katrina, which you see everywhere all year round, uh, on murals, on t shirts, on coffee mugs, and postcards, um, and followed by the message, we are all Katrinas.

[00:14:59] Cecilie Conrad: It, it comes from a critique

[00:15:02] Carla Martinez: of the

[00:15:04] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Of the

[00:15:04] Cecilie Conrad: upper class Mexican society trying to pretend they were European originally the skeleton was a was a satirical drawing of the president's wife, who spent all the Mexicans money in Paris, buying dresses at the end of the 19th century. And, well, the point is. What I take away from it, I'm not going to do the whole Mexican history class here, is that in the end we're all going to die.

[00:15:34] Cecilie Conrad: We will all end up as skeletons. So why would we want to try to live a life of someone else? Why don't we just live the life that we are supposed to live with our values, with our emotions, on our path, making our own choices? And in the Mexican setting, it was about why are we trying to be Europeans? Why are we not just proud Mexicans?

[00:16:00] Cecilie Conrad: And especially our First Lady should be a proud Mexican. And the satirical guy who did the drawings, he couldn't draw the face. Of the president's wife because that would get him killed and therefore he drew a skeleton but it quickly changed to the idea that, you know, at the end of the line. I mean there is one part right about this path that you see in all the explanations about how life unfolds and that is in the end we are going to die.

[00:16:34] Cecilie Conrad: We have limited time. And at that point, maybe we should be able to look back at a life that we are happy we lived and where we made our own choices. But maybe my, what I think is quite random because they have this Katrina, it's right outside my windows and all the beautiful murals everywhere here.

[00:16:58] Cecilie Conrad: What I think

[00:17:01] Carla Martinez: with all, with the message, like get a job, blah, blah, blah. In the end for me is that because Before we even, uh, were born, uh, we already have a plan to follow. So it's like once you, you, you are in this life, it's like you don't have time for you to think what you really want. want to do, or just to explore, because you, depending on where you are born, you will go to the kindergarten, uh, with a couple of months, or maybe later, but then you will go there and you Like, so it's like surviving, oh, okay, I'm here, what I'm going to, what I have to do, who is these people?

[00:17:51] Carla Martinez: And you have to survive to there, you're already put there, you're not in the car with your mom in comfort. And you know, and you can, and when you are calm, in calm and secure, you can pay attention to the other things little by little in your rhythm. But with this image is like the whole your life. It's like you are running behind something you didn't plan yourself.

[00:18:21] Carla Martinez: It was, it was already the path you have to... And you are always like, and now what I have to do? And now what I have to do? But you don't have the time to have nothing to do. And they're like, Oh, what I'm going to do? You know, it's what I see always. Like when you, everything is planned, planned already. And you have to follow.

[00:18:43] Carla Martinez: You have many ways. It seems that you have a lot of options and you can choose and this is why I am free. I can choose between this and this but it's, it's, it's an angle, angle and I would, I don't know, it's not this angle, it's like this. Yeah, yeah, it's a narrow angle.

[00:19:03] Cecilie Conrad: Yeah. Narrow angle. It's also a fake choice.

[00:19:06] Cecilie Conrad: I mean, like, like. You can compare it to choosing your coffee in the supermarket. There are a lot of different varieties, but they're all industrial. They're all packed in plastic. They're all, most of them sprayed with something full of chemical. I mean, you think you have the freedom to choose, but, but it's more or less the same in different wrappings and you can choose the kindergarten or the school, which, which school, but, but the option of not

[00:19:37] Carla Martinez: school.

[00:19:38] Carla Martinez: Yeah, it's like not coffee. Why do you have to drink coffee? Yeah, well, that's,

[00:19:42] Cecilie Conrad: I don't have to drink coffee. We shouldn't go there. That's going too far now. We can be radical.

[00:19:52] Sarah Beale: Not that radical. That's a deal breaker for me. And we

[00:19:57] Cecilie Conrad: drink coffee.

[00:20:00] Cecilie Conrad: Also, I wash our hands with soap, most of us, as far as I know,

[00:20:08] Cecilie Conrad: so it was random. It's just sometimes, no, I can go there. It's just sometimes when, when I share how we live and it seems so strange and different. I also have to say, you know, we are, we do wash our clothes in the washing machine, eat our food from plates, brush our teeth twice a day, and we sleep in beds and sit in sofas.

[00:20:29] Cecilie Conrad: I mean, we're not that strange. And we drink coffee. So it was a comment on a thing that I usually always say, but it was hard to understand in the context of not actually saying it. I

[00:20:41] Luna Maj Vestergaard: don't sleep

[00:20:42] Cecilie Conrad: in a bed. Well, I

[00:20:44] Luna Maj Vestergaard: actually don't. I actually sleep on a lambskin that I roll out on the floor every night, and I sleep on that.

[00:20:53] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I actually don't

[00:20:54] Cecilie Conrad: sleep in a bed. I don't always sleep in a bed either. Well, it's just the argument. I'm just saying that we know, but

[00:21:01] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I think that's actually that's because that's an important cultural thing again, like people will assume it's because I've just moved in and I don't have a bed yet, but it's not.

[00:21:10] Luna Maj Vestergaard: It's because I, if, if, even if I got the best Heston's or whatever, 40 grand bed, I would not want it. It's not that I don't have a bed or I can't buy a bed and it's, I don't want it. I like sleeping on a lambskin that I roll out on the floor at night. And that's actually a really big, different, like culturally different thing to do.

[00:21:37] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Not if I was somewhere else. But it's, it's, it's very not normal for a European to sleep that way. So, I don't know, it's just interesting, because there are all these little, like, it's those skeletons again. It's like, yeah, we're free, we've got choices. And people do have choices, like on the surface, and we think, and people think they have choices, but they're not, and we're not, until we become aware of it, then we're not aware of how, how, how directed and how manipulated those choices are, how much all these cultural narrative Uh, narratives and ideas and, and whatever, like, it's how much they influence our choice in quotation marks.

[00:22:35] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Like the whole, Oh, I'll choose which kindergarten, but I'd never thought about, Oh, I could not do that at all. Like I see it all the time. And I'm sure you do too. Like whenever I talk to parents, it's a lot about, Oh, I didn't even know you could do that. And you're just like, what do you mean you can do that?

[00:22:56] Luna Maj Vestergaard: It's like the whole. Yes, you can you you can do anything but actually people aren't aware of that They aren't aware that they can actually do whatever that they could actually choose to sleep on a freaking lambskin on The floor instead of in a bed they can do something really Weird, culturally speaking, or something as weird as not putting their kids to school or not having a normal job, like a full time job on,

[00:23:29] Cecilie Conrad: I don't know,

[00:23:29] Luna Maj Vestergaard: whatever.

[00:23:30] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Not buying candy in the supermarket every Friday night, like the rest of the population. You need candy on a Tuesday? Can you buy candy on a Tuesday? I mean, I know that's like a big step, but yes, you can.

[00:23:46] Cecilie Conrad: I'm not sure I'm going there.

[00:23:50] Carla Martinez: But this is, this is something I think, uh, in one of the podcasts I stayed, but for me, first time, uh, Roberto was born already and we decided to go to the beach on a Wednesday afternoon. It was a re, re revel revelation for me. Yes. Like, wow, it's Wednesday, I'm in the beach and nothing

[00:24:15] Cecilie Conrad: happens. I mean, it's fine.

[00:24:18] Cecilie Conrad: Yeah.

[00:24:18] Carla Martinez: I, I mean, it was a, a very important.

[00:24:25] Carla Martinez: So you can buy candy on Tuesday and go to the beach on Wednesday. And yesterday it was Monday and we went to the aquatic park.

[00:24:37] Cecilie Conrad: And the great thing about that is it was not crowded, I suppose. Yeah, it was,

[00:24:42] Carla Martinez: no, it was not crowded because it's November. Oh, yeah, but here tourism is the whole year.

[00:24:52] Cecilie Conrad: I remember one of these can you do this situations I was in with my fourth child, um, we have in Denmark these mother's support group thing that you can join where local mothers who had babies within the same month as you they put you together in a group of five or six and then you you you hang out once a week and Just to have someone to talk to it can be great.

[00:25:20] Cecilie Conrad: It can be horrible. I actually never did it before. But this time I did it because I thought maybe I'd get to know some of the people living close to me. And that could, you know, maybe they had kids that my kids would play with. And we were really the odd ones out where we lived. So I was trying to network didn't work out very well for me.

[00:25:40] Cecilie Conrad: But that's another story in this mother support group thing. There were two doctors To family doctors. So two of the other mothers were family doctors. That was their job. And, uh, I was the last one to arrive because my baby arrived last. So I, I think I came to the second meeting. My child was much smaller than the other kids because he was younger and they were all, Oh, how big is he?

[00:26:07] Cecilie Conrad: Well, how much does he weigh? And I said, I don't know. And they were, how can you not know? And I said, well, I never weighed him, so I don't know what he weighs. He looks fine to me. And, and one of these medical doctors, she said, is that legal? And, and I was shocked to my bone that someone she's hired by the state to support.

[00:26:36] Cecilie Conrad: the health condition of the Danish people. And she does not know that I have the right to decide whether my child is weight, weighed when he's born or not. She thought I was doing something illegal. I mean, this is not just Away from normal, something abnormal, I was actually breaking the law by saying no to having, you know, my child put right on a scale at the moment he was born.

[00:27:07] Cecilie Conrad: And, and that was the final straw for me that made me start blogging. I was, I, I, I felt this mainstream idea about what parenting is and what it is to enter this world, be a child in our very on the surface nice society. It has, it needs. It's challenging, it needs other voices because this is insane. The other doctor didn't know it either.

[00:27:31] Cecilie Conrad: They were discussing with each other whether it was legal or not, that I didn't know the exact weight of my perfectly normal child. There's nothing wrong. I mean, I would have done it if he was premature and looked really skinny and blue and you know, but this was just a normal child born on the normal 40 weeks mark.

[00:27:49] Cecilie Conrad: No problem.

[00:27:54] Sarah Beale: So the interesting thing about the graphic that Luna showed and then your history lesson, Cecilia, which were actually like really related and relevant. Is to me, this is about like colonization of the mind, like, I mean, we all know what colonization means from a cultural invasion perspective. Right. But what we're really talking about is how our minds have been colonized, which is really about something that's not from, you know, something that's not from here going into that and then kind of spreading and almost like infecting.

[00:28:30] Sarah Beale: And that's what happens with our brains. So the whole thing about walk on the pavement, drive at this speed limit, take your babies to get checked, get them weighed, have health visits, all these little, and it starts when you're pregnant, right? You know, all these little incremental signs that our minds are being colonized by things that are not of us.

[00:28:52] Sarah Beale: They're not of us. They're not natural. And they're almost like, I mean, they're almost like little tests, you know, and if you fall in line, you put the suit on and you stand there and you're just following the, you know, School's just one of them, isn't it? Of course, but there's all these things that over time undermine our autonomy and our independence so that by the time you even get to the point of considering if you're going to put your child in school or not, you're not even considering it because your confidence as an individual and as a parent has been eroded from probably before birth.

[00:29:31] Sarah Beale: I would say the vast majority are having, you know, antenatal checks and, and so by the time they even get to the point where they may or may not want to weigh their baby, they already don't know that they don't have to do that because they've already been weighed and prodded and poked and tested before a mother's even had a baby.

[00:29:50] Sarah Beale: So they're already, they're already like just walking one foot in front of the other, following the rules.

[00:29:55] Cecilie Conrad: I

[00:30:04] Cecilie Conrad: think the problem is that the meta message is that you need our help to do this. When you get those flyers, little brochures, once you go to the doctor because you're pregnant and you're enrolling yourself in the whole system of giving birth, then you get all these Little pieces of information and the message is that, you know, we've got this, we know what you need to do now.

[00:30:38] Cecilie Conrad: And here's what you need to know, which also means the flip side of that is you don't know. And, um, I remember that it was a strong part of the whole message. Don't listen to your mother and grandmother. They don't have updated information. You have to not listen to your mother and grandmother. Their information is not valid.

[00:31:00] Cecilie Conrad: It said so in several of the brochures and it was said out of the mouth of my doctor and my midwife. It was a strong message that I received when I had my first child almost 25 years ago, and, and I don't know how it is now it's been a long time since I was in that system, but I suppose it's the same.

[00:31:20] Cecilie Conrad: So the whole system which is huge in our country because we have a huge welfare and healthcare system. It's invading, as you say, it's, it's, it's invading your mind, colonizing your mind, and even pushing out other colonizers, if you want, because I was thinking about, it's a great. Idea, the colonization of the mind, it's a good way to think about it, but there is no way around that we get influences in our lives that we pick up information from the culture we live in or move to, or visit from, from our family, from our friends, from the state.

[00:32:04] Cecilie Conrad: So just walking from saying something to asking something, where's the, where, what, where's the fine line between a normal development of picking up information and an invasion of, of our minds overtaking our personal freedom? So,

[00:32:31] Sarah Beale: you know, um, when you, you guys all went to school, so you would have done this experiment, right?

[00:32:38] Sarah Beale: The Petri dish, you stick a cotton bud up your nose, you know, you put it on the Petri dish. Um, and then you watch that any bacteria that's there get bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger, and it takes over. Right. Uh, and probably we've all got children. So from time to time, maybe our kids have, had like, you know, maybe they've got a little, um, We call it infection.

[00:33:01] Sarah Beale: I call that an overgrowth of bacteria, because what I noticed was you say, you get a little cut or something. I mean, and kids get it like on their knee or on their hand, they'll have like a little wound and then maybe they get a little bit of like a golden staff kind of, uh, overgrowth, right. Things that are actually in, on our bodies, in the, in the air and in There's not enough of the good stuff.

[00:33:29] Sarah Beale: So then the, the bad stuff, we perceive it as bad, like grows too much that it's like an overgrowth. So, you know, this is the, the influence stuff. If we've got in our minds, if we think about our minds as in that same way, like a biome, we want to make sure, like, we want to be aware of those things, right? We want to see the colonizer.

[00:33:50] Sarah Beale: We want to go, Oh yeah, I know what they're doing. And I'm going to feel my mind and my soul and my life. with like all the good stuff. So they're, they're there. I know what they're doing. They can give me their pamphlet. They can try to get me to have an appointment for my child. They can try to check. But I've got so much good stuff.

[00:34:10] Sarah Beale: I've got so many positive influences which help build up my biome with all of the good stuff. That the colonizers, they don't, they just like literally bounce off me, right? I don't listen to them. I don't take their brochure. I don't get my kids checked by someone else. I don't need to because I've got all of the other stuff going on that helps me keep the, that stuff in check.

[00:34:36] Sarah Beale: So it's, it's there, like we know it's there, we see it, but we're bolstered by all of the positive influences which help grow the stuff that we want around, the stuff that we want in our lives, that's empowering for us, that helps us make decisions of ownership and self direction. That's how I, that's the way I think of it.

[00:34:57] Sarah Beale: I think

[00:35:00] Sarah Beale: it's a very good

[00:35:01] Cecilie Conrad: way of thinking of it, but in, in my maybe narrow mind, or maybe not, going back to Luna's illustration. The problem is that it's a very powerful message and it's broadcasted with very big loudspeakers. Uh, all of the time to everyone. And, um,

[00:35:33] Cecilie Conrad: I'm not sure how to mute it.

[00:35:40] Cecilie Conrad: I'm not sure how to, I have, go on,

[00:35:45] Carla Martinez: uh, in, I have, in my own experience what I think as mothers or fathers we can do, because I think I even, uh, if I. Live like normal life. I went to school, kindergarten, everything, degree, whatever. I still, I was raised. In a way, at home, my, I think my parents have this, it's not that they were unschooled, but they have this way of, uh, not education, like in the system, but the way you, uh, raise your child, with the, the, showing the, all the options, the ones that they know, and the ones that they don't know, is like, you know, the way you, you are, With your child, how do you behave?

[00:36:40] Carla Martinez: How do you live your life? How do you see your parents make their choices? Uh, how do they act when in different situations? What you know, this is important. This is what you are. Um, recording in your brain, what, uh, when this happened that, uh, have, um, something that shocked you and then you remember this because it was something that impressed you, I don't know, an accident or something, a person you were scared and then how your father or your mother react, um, in this situation, um, or the places they, I don't know, in the, the normal life, I mean.

[00:37:24] Carla Martinez: Okay, what I want to say is that I was living in this like a channel that everybody's walking in, but when I see something I didn't know, for example, this, uh, we were talking about, I didn't know I can not go to the kid, uh,

[00:37:46] Carla Martinez: put with my kids in the kindergarten or wait them. I didn't know that. Every time I see something new, I don't think I didn't know I couldn't do that. I just think, oh, I didn't know that. And if I like it, I say, Oh, how can I do this? I mean, the, the, in, in my experience, the only things like, uh, I don't feel there are things I cannot do is things only that I don't know yet.

[00:38:18] Carla Martinez: And when I see something new. I don't have a barrier. Only if I get very, that is something that I really like, I will research or ask the person, I want to go

[00:38:29] Sarah Beale: there. What is this?

[00:38:31] Carla Martinez: And it's something really unknown. And I like it. I want to know more. So my point is, even being in the same road as the rest of the people, the way Uh, your parents, uh, show you the, the world and the life makes you be empowered enough and secure enough of yourself.

[00:39:00] Carla Martinez: And even if you were in the same way that the others, but still you, you, it's like you have no limits. At the same time, you are in the school and you can, like, you have to follow the rules and everything. But you, there is like, um. Another way of doing the things outside because all my life not it was not in the school.

[00:39:20] Carla Martinez: I was also outside of the school. So I don't know if You can understand me. No,

[00:39:29] Cecilie Conrad: no, I think I do. And I think we're touching on a really important point so that we're not just preaching for the choir that those who do not own school and who are think that this is impossible for them. To do for some practical reason or emotional reason or both or something else.

[00:39:54] Cecilie Conrad: I mean, I've talked to a lot of people who say, Oh, you can do that. That's good for you, but I can't. So I just have to give up sort of, we don't have to challenge that idea right now. But what you're saying is that we can, to some extent, save our children from this skeleton in a suit life, just following a path laid out by someone else.

[00:40:24] Cecilie Conrad: By being better parents because you had a lot of freedom when you came back from school and your parents influence Put you in a position where you could question everything and you would think about everything and you would make your own choice It's probably not only your parents Carla to be honest.

[00:40:42] Cecilie Conrad: There must be some Something else something. I

[00:40:47] Carla Martinez: don't know I the thing is I I don't feel like I have like freedom when I at home. It's not only freedom It's also what we talk a lot here. It's about conversations It's about going together places, going together, it's the same as I do with my kids not going to school, my parents did with me in the time I was not at school.

[00:41:10] Carla Martinez: And I think this is very important. Also for people who have their kids in school, they have many more hours on the weekends and the holidays. And the way you are as a parent, the whole day before going to bed and in the morning when you wake up. It's very important. You are the first model. And it's not you have to teach, you have to behave the way you think, you have to behave the way you want your kids to behave.

[00:41:42] Carla Martinez: I mean, and they will, maybe

[00:41:44] Cecilie Conrad: they will. No, but it's true, you can really break free from the standard lifestyle, even living with the school system, even though I would personally not recommend it. I would say, uh, if you are living with the school system and feeling that you have to some reason, step one is to make a plan of how to get out of it.

[00:42:06] Cecilie Conrad: Thank you. It can be done. But for as long as you feel or maybe do have to live with it, you don't have to live with all the downsides. One of my favorite stories is from, from Copenhagen, one of my beautiful friends there. She's not an unschooler. She felt that maybe she actually could not. Save her children from the school system for many reasons that I'm not going into.

[00:42:33] Cecilie Conrad: So her child was in a public school in, in our capital. And in our country, there's a platform online that you have to check into as a parent to obtain the daily information for parents. And, uh, also we have, uh, homework, so the kids come home from school and school is still deciding what they're doing in the afternoon because they have to do the homework.

[00:42:58] Cecilie Conrad: And also we have, uh, playgroups, which I call social fascism. So the school gets to decide who's spending time with who in the afternoons and what are they doing. Um, not all of the afternoons to be fair. It's not, it's not every waking moment, but it is very close to every waking moment. And if you add on top of that Snapchat, it is every waking moment that the school, the school system and the social systems within the group of children is affecting our children.

[00:43:28] Cecilie Conrad: This friend of mine, she showed up at the school at the first meeting for parents and she just said, I'm going to say it out loud now just so that we get clear, you can have my child from I give her to you in the morning until I pick her up in the afternoon. These are the rules. You get to take care of her.

[00:43:49] Cecilie Conrad: You get to decide what she's doing. And after that point, she's mine. I will never check into that website ever. If there's something I need to know, you let me know in a way, you know, just send me a text message, tell my child, give me a written note, whatever. I'm not ever going to check into that website.

[00:44:09] Cecilie Conrad: Where I have to check in to get the information. I'm not going to show up to any other meetings ever in the entire 10 years of my child's schooling. I'm not showing up again. My free time is my free time. I'm going to spend it. However the fuck I want, we're not participating in play groups and we're not doing homework.

[00:44:30] Cecilie Conrad: Those are my premises. You can do that. You can do that. This kid is now 16. She's done with schooling. She's beautiful, wonderful, free soul, growing up in the capital of Denmark. So, it's true. I mean, you can resist the system, even if you feel you have to be part of it. I think this, this, the meta message that my friend sent to her daughter, you know, we might have to do this, but we're not going to let it invade our lives.

[00:45:09] Cecilie Conrad: You have your personal freedom for as much of your time that I can provide it. And that is outside of school hours because I have to go to work. That was basically the idea.

[00:45:23] Luna Maj Vestergaard: That, that, that takes a strong person already though. It does. I was going to say, she, she was not a skeleton. Absolutely not. No, because, because to do that is actually pretty hard because you're gonna be met with all sorts of demands and criticism and oh, you can't do that or you have to do this.

[00:45:48] Luna Maj Vestergaard: So yeah, it's a way. I agree. You can do that, except not everybody can. I mean, it's not something that everybody can do. Um, I actually think there's quite a few people who can actually do that. It's, uh, to be able to pull that off is quite strong. And means that the mind is already decolonized or was never as much colonized already.

[00:46:20] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Because you have to be able to already think outside the box

[00:46:24] Cecilie Conrad: in a certain. But, but I agree and I'm sure my friend probably gave in and, and did do some homework and, and did show up to a few meetings and, you know, it's a long journey, but I think the message to send that message is powerful and, and you're right, most people could probably not do it, but maybe they could do some of it.

[00:46:47] Cecilie Conrad: In Germany where school is mandatory and you it's harder to get away with homeschooling can be done, but it's harder. I met a family where they looked into the laws. And the laws have, uh, an, an hourly at that point. So they had to show, the kids had to show up at school for a certain amount of minutes per day or hours.

[00:47:11] Cecilie Conrad: And they gave in to that even though they wanted to homeschool because it was too complicated for them to get around the laws. It is strictly illegal. And they said, okay. My kid has to be in school for four hours a day. So you start at 8, I pick him up at 12. And they're like, but we're done at 2. 30. Well, I don't care.

[00:47:32] Cecilie Conrad: I pick my child up at 12. And in the beginning he said, can you please walk him to the bus? stopped at 12 when he's done with the mandatory schooling. And they said, but, but the day stops at 2. 30. And he said, okay, you're not cooperating with me or the law. So I'm just picking him up. And he actually left his work and his lunch break every day to pick up his children from school and drive them home.

[00:47:57] Cecilie Conrad: Because, and that also took a lot of courage and a lot of resisting. But I think it's important that these stories and these ways to do it. At least they get out there that you don't have to take the radical choice of homeschooling in order to arrive at these benefits that we're trying to talk about today, how we can free our minds from the invasion and how we can allow our minds to, to just question things and, and, and look at other options and, and look at, at how do we personally want to live our lives, even if we have to X, Y, Z.

[00:48:43] Cecilie Conrad: Then maybe we have to XYZ for a while, but if we know that there are other people resisting, at least you can say out loud at the meeting for parents, I think it's ridiculous I have to visit a specific website on a daily basis. This cannot be right.

[00:49:04] Cecilie Conrad: The walking in between the lines is an interesting topic. Yeah, fall into the trap of talking about the benefits of unschooling all the time as if you know you have to unschool first and then you get all the benefits, but actually there are many ways of breaking free before you pull your kids out of school.

[00:49:26] Cecilie Conrad: Yeah.

[00:49:31] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Yeah. Yeah. And for sure, for sure. That's really important because there will be a lot of people who can't like you just said, just go from one to the other entirely who will have to like go through some sort of process. Um, even if that's just the practical, the very practical one of how am I going to earn an income if I want to pull my child from school.

[00:49:55] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I'm going to stay home. Oh, I'm not going to work at my job anymore. So how will I generate an income? That's a very practical obstacle to the whole, uh, school free life. And, and, and that can mean that you'll have to continue while you build that alternative income way or whatever. So you will have to stay in the system for a while and to an extent.

[00:50:18] Luna Maj Vestergaard: So for sure. Yeah. A lot of people will be in a process and on a, like on a road towards. Um, and yeah, yeah, it's, it's important to, uh, to have tools and like you say, stories of how to then be, you know, like in the Bible, be in the world, but not off the world. So be in the system, but not off the system, like be like, how can you, yeah.

[00:50:48] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And I think actually what we're seeing, uh, at least in Denmark, there's more and more parents, um, like. At least trying to or starting to sort of impose more of their own, like, oh, going on holiday outside of school holidays. For instance, when I was a kid, that was something you didn't do. A few people did it and they were frowned upon.

[00:51:13] Luna Maj Vestergaard: It was looked... Like that's, that's not good. You don't do that. And I, my feeling is that now people do it all the time and most people really don't care. Um, and the schools are also being forced to sort of open up and accept that more. And that's one way of saying, like taking back my time is my time. Um, and you know, yeah.

[00:51:37] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I step into the system in, in, to the degree that serves us and that we want to step into the system. That's one of the ways. Um, and that like there's several others. And I think that's, that's a good, I mean, that's, that's a good, um, development, I think. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yesterday,

[00:52:02] Carla Martinez: I told you we went to a water park, but we went to with some friends that the kids are in school.

[00:52:11] Carla Martinez: Yesterday they were not in school. They came to the water park. So I mean, this is fine. They have no problem too. And I like that because other times I said to another friend, but they say, Oh, you know, we have normal life. They have to go to school and say, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. But this one, they were like, we have plan already from before.

[00:52:32] Carla Martinez: I didn't know when I thought we were going in the weekend, but they say we can go any day. I say, okay. I like it.

[00:52:43] Luna Maj Vestergaard: It might also be that the system will just crumble. We were

[00:52:48] Carla Martinez: so tired from yesterday that today they wrote me like, I think today we're at home also because we are so destroyed.

[00:52:59] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Sounds like two bays.

[00:53:01] Luna Maj Vestergaard: In a row. Wow.

[00:53:04] Cecilie Conrad: It's almost a streak. School free streak.

[00:53:09] Sarah Beale: It's a bit of a, it's a slippery slope. Like introducing elements of this kind of like, uh, ownership of one's life. Even when you're still in the system. Because we were very similar to what Carla described when my kids were in school. Um, it really did not take much for me to say, Oh, okay, let's go do something else.

[00:53:28] Sarah Beale: More fun and all of our holidays that we had as a family were during school time because Dylan would was never was able to take holidays during school holidays. So, because other families didn't have the flexibility, so he would always take his holidays during school time. So we would just take the kids out of school for holidays.

[00:53:47] Sarah Beale: We didn't ask anyone's permission. We just said, this is what we're doing. And nobody ever said, you're not allowed to, which to be honest, I assumed was because of our posture as parents, like this is what we're doing. My kids aren't coming to school today. And I never told them a reason why. I never got questioned.

[00:54:05] Sarah Beale: My kids aren't going to do homework. Nobody ever argued with me. I just said, that's just what we're doing. And I was unapologetic about it. And that was really like a gateway over time that, that muscle, I guess, um, grew and, and then it got to the point where. Our life was so filled with freedom that there was literally no room for school.

[00:54:25] Sarah Beale: So who knows, Carla, like if you keep on offering these little opportunities to your friend, maybe eventually they'll see that they just don't have time. They don't have time for school because they're too busy doing, doing what they want. And maybe these are little small steps that, uh, we can, we can show people because sometimes if someone was looking at our lives.

[00:54:50] Sarah Beale: And they are in school and living in a very structured regimented way, they might look at our lives and just go, Oh, my God, we are so far away from that that we can't ever imagine it. Whereas everybody does kind of start somewhere, right? Like. Um, even if you made the choice to never, ever be in school as parents, because we were school, we still, we've all still made such massive shifts over, you know, the last decade or so we did not, none of us started where we are right now, you know, like there was, um, Whatever it was, things that we've questioned, let go of increased our bandwidth for over, over time.

[00:55:33] Sarah Beale: And, you know, I guess we want people to know, like, you don't have to just. Do everything today, like you don't have to like making like a paradigm shift normally happens over a period of time. It doesn't just happen like, oh, tomorrow we're going to stop going to school and now we're all just going to throw our beds out and sleep on the floor and stop drinking coffee and washing our hands.

[00:55:56] Sarah Beale: Don't

[00:55:58] Cecilie Conrad: go to the coffee.

[00:56:06] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I think a very good piece

[00:56:07] Cecilie Conrad: of advice is to, to do the meta analysis, to just think about where the thoughts We have come from where the, the truth that we believe to be true come from, uh, and, and maybe even, and I'm not being paranoid, I outsourced that to some family members, but I do think about agendas, um, what's the agenda behind this?

[00:56:36] Cecilie Conrad: So who would benefit from me believing in this? And, and I, I'm, I'm not being not cooperative and I'm not dreaming about living in not a society. I don't want to live alone on a rooftop, no, a mountaintop. Um, so I know I'm going to be surrounded by other people and therefore structures and norms. And I don't mind that, but I like thinking about how does this align with what I, what I find important.

[00:57:07] Cecilie Conrad: And do I want to comply? I actually don't mind rules as long as I get to decide whether I want to follow them or not. No, but really, I can leave the room. The problems arise when you feel you can't leave the room. I get that, you know, in this whatever amusement park, I can't bring my dogs. There's a rule. I may, might think it's a stupid rule, but it's a rule and, and I can go there without my dogs or I can not go there.

[00:57:41] Cecilie Conrad: I have a choice. So this is a rule and I get to decide whether I want to follow that rule or not. I can try to sneak in my dogs. I do that. Um, and then I know that I might get caught and someone might get pissed and I might have to leave. Um, The problem is when, when it's the, the colonization of the mind, when I impose that rule on myself because I believe it to be an universal truth and I'm not having that reflection, where does this idea really come from and who does it serve?

[00:58:22] Cecilie Conrad: And I think that's what's going on in our conversations in our family, a lot of the time. We don't go with impulses as such, not a hundred percent of the time, at least we, if there's something I want to do this, then we stop to say, why do I want to do that? Who, where did that idea come from? Why, why would that be important?

[00:58:48] Cecilie Conrad: And, and we talk about it for a while. And, and I think that whole criticism of the question, everything really is the, the. the path where you break free. You can walk alongside, like my friend with the school system. She, she was in, she was going to work and having a child in school. It looked normal to everyone, but she was walking alongside the beaten path, not on it, being in the world, not of it, if you like.

[00:59:19] Cecilie Conrad: Not on the pavement. Not on the pavement.

[00:59:24] Luna Maj Vestergaard: No. But actually before when you, um, When you were talking about that mother's group and the, that other person who said, is that legal? I actually noticed something down. I didn't say it, but now I'm going to say it because that, I think that's actually an interesting question that whole, like, is it legal?

[00:59:45] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Because I've personally come to a place in my. individual journey of understanding my individual sovereignty as a sovereign free being that I don't actually care whether something is legal or not. I'm sorry. I actually don't. I, it's not that I want to break the laws, but I'm not going to like, say, I want to keep my child with, with me.

[01:00:09] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I'm not gonna care whether I'm allowed to or not. Like Do you see what I mean? I'm not totally agree. By the

[01:00:17] Cecilie Conrad: way, I totally, that's why I call myself an anarchist. It's, it doesn't come from any philosophy I started. It's because I know deep down, I am not going to obey, but

[01:00:29] Luna Maj Vestergaard: it feels wrong. I'm not going to obey the law, but that's the thing.

[01:00:33] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And I, and I think when, you know, that's the colonization too, of the mind is that we have been so You Uh, accustomed now to having people govern over us and, and this a government, but first of all, I did not choose this. I don't vote. But if I did, I wouldn't vote for the ones currently in place anyway. But so I haven't, I haven't relegated my power to them.

[01:00:59] Luna Maj Vestergaard: So we have this representative democracy, but they're not representing me because I never told them to I never asked them to. And this whole idea of the legal frame of some very like a minority, putting up rules and laws and stuff for everyone. I can hear myself that is getting a bit complicated now, but I just think.

[01:01:23] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I just think. If you can move away from, so we're not talking about murder and robbery and stuff where you're infringing on someone's, you know, body and rights and possessions. But who cares if something is legal? It's like, once, so okay, so here's the story. Once in Copenhagen. I've done this my entire childhood.

[01:01:47] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I never knew you couldn't, but I was on my bicycle and I had my youngest son on the back of my bicycle on the sort of like, uh, I don't know what it's called in English, but he wasn't, he wasn't in a child's. Uh, bicycle seat. He was just on, on the bicycle and someone pulls up, uh, in a car next to us and goes, that's illegal.

[01:02:07] Luna Maj Vestergaard: You're not allowed to do that. You can't do that. I'm a police officer, something, something. And they were like in and not a police car, but he said he was a police officer. And I don't know whether he was or whatever. He scared the hell out of my son. He was like, I'm not going on the bike. And I was just like, what?

[01:02:25] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Come on. And I went home and, and my mind went. Yeah. What a jerk! No, and then I went on to Google and I went to do some research and holy moly crap, sure enough, there's a law in Denmark that says, it's in the, whatever it's called, the traffic law, circularization, whatever, that you can't actually carry someone on your bicycle like that, you have to, and I was just like, what the actual, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it.

[01:02:54] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And I thought, okay, that that's weird because why, why is that like to sell more bicycle seats for children? Because what's the difference? Oh, well, he'll be strapped in or whatever. I don't know. Whatever comes up then about why you should be putting, I don't know. It's just. Anyway, my point of that was that I don't really care.

[01:03:24] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I don't care that that's against the law. I'm not going to stop carrying my child or my friend or whoever I want to carry both of them at the same time if I wanted to on my bike. I don't really care that there's a stupid law saying I can't because that law does not make any sense, right? It doesn't make any because that's, that's me.

[01:03:46] Luna Maj Vestergaard: That's us. That has nothing to do with anyone else. So, and that's just one example of laws that are just infringing on your personal freedom and rights. And then people will make all sorts of like trying to rationalize and all sorts of explanations and well it's for safety and blah blah blah. And I'll say well why don't you travel a bit to Thailand and see how many people they can fit on a scooter and with their cages with the hens and stuff at the same time or you know in Africa or whatever.

[01:04:20] Luna Maj Vestergaard: It's like, it's not a universal truth that it's, it's just like, it's in a cultural frame again. And I don't even know where I was going with that, but probably something about stepping out of. Because it's the sort of external validation again, is that even legal? And you'd be like, why the hell would I care?

[01:04:42] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I look at my child, he's healthy. Why would I care whether it's illegal or not, not to weigh, like, do you see what I mean? Like, if you were told it actually was illegal, would you then start to weigh him?

[01:04:54] Cecilie Conrad: Probably not. So we have one thing we say in our family, it stems from our personalities, and also from the pirates of the Caribbean, where they have this.

[01:05:06] Cecilie Conrad: What is it they call it? They have a law for the pirates, like the code, the code.

[01:05:12] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And at some

[01:05:13] Cecilie Conrad: point he says, it's not like it's really rules. It's more like guidelines, a guide. And we love that. And we say that if we are faced with some rules or even laws, state laws that we don't like, we always say to each other, we see them more as guidelines.

[01:05:37] Cecilie Conrad: That I am very intrigued by rules, probably because I really dislike rule following, especially blind rule following, but I am very intrigued. I would be intrigued to know where did this rule come from? Who came up with that? Why, why did someone find it relevant? What's the idea? Sometimes there is a really interesting or solid idea behind a rule that I didn't get.

[01:06:05] Cecilie Conrad: And I learned something and I realized it might be smart to follow that one. So I find it interesting. I'm not like looking up all the laws of whatever, wherever I go, it's not like that, but if I meet something, I'm interested in it and signs put up, you know, you can't do this, you have to do that. I'm like, why?

[01:06:27] Cecilie Conrad: But I see it as guidelines. I wouldn't, we have the parking situation very often. That we think about that it's illegal to park here and there, and you can only stay for whatever hours, minutes, seconds, and, and we, we,

[01:06:41] Luna Maj Vestergaard: we all,

[01:06:42] Cecilie Conrad: and that's the other thing we say about rules and laws is you have to think about how will they stop you, what's the risk, what's the punishment, because if I park illegally in Copenhagen on a daily basis, I wouldn't be able to buy there.

[01:07:02] Cecilie Conrad: A place to sleep. I mean, I, I would go bankrupt very fast because it's so damn expensive to get a parking ticket in Copenhagen, but if I do it in Spain, come on, it's the price of an ice cream. I don't care. I mean, I do care. I'm not parking on the, on the, on, on the disabled people's spot or in front of someone's gate just to annoy, annoy them.

[01:07:26] Cecilie Conrad: But

[01:07:27] Sarah Beale: sometimes

[01:07:27] Cecilie Conrad: I just, Leave my car. Because that's it. I've been looking for legal parking. There's no legal parking. I park. I might be fined. I don't care. Now I'm going. But then I'm also willing to pay the ticket. I mean, it's, it's a, it's a risk and I knew it. So if I get the ticket, then I pay it.

[01:07:52] Luna Maj Vestergaard: That's the other side of it.

[01:07:56] Sarah Beale: So, you know, at the beginning of this conversation, we were framing this as... The shift required to go from a life where we are subject to and subjects of other people's arbitrary rules and systems in a life where we're not, which for many people may seem very, very far apart and. If you were to make a comparison or draw a distinction, people who choose a life without other people's arbitrarily imposed and enforced rules are in fact people who can take responsibility for not only assessing whether a rule makes sense.

[01:08:37] Sarah Beale: Whether that's for me or not for me, and then can actually sit in the very heavy sometimes weight of personal responsibility for that. Like, I'm not gonna, that rule is not for me. That rule's not for me, and I would take the weight that comes with that. And that is the, that's the distinction that we're making.

[01:09:00] Sarah Beale: You know, you were talking Cecilia about your friend who's, who navigated the school system and advocated for her child in the school system. Yeah. She, she made the decision. She was like, I'm saying what we're doing and I'm taking responsibility then for what the school come back with, because I'm taking on that responsibility.

[01:09:17] Sarah Beale: It's the same, it's the same, it's the same as what we're talking about. We, we are saying these rules are either for us or not for us. We will make the personal decision about whether that's or not. We understand the consequence and we take full weight of the consequence. And that's really different to a system where you're very, very safe.

[01:09:37] Sarah Beale: You are governed by somebody else's rules. You don't care if they make sense or not, because it's actually just about the rule and the enforcement of the rule. And you're not taking any personal responsibility because actually you're, you're great. You're subscribing to, to being governed.

[01:09:54] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And that's

[01:09:54] Cecilie Conrad: so easy.

[01:09:55] Cecilie Conrad: Do you sometimes dream about it? I mean, I have my dark moments. I sometimes like, oh, would someone please just, you know, hand me a list and I could tick all the boxes and I would know where to go, what to do.

[01:10:18] Cecilie Conrad: I don't feel that very often, but, but sometimes I do. I get how dead easy that is in many ways. I think it comes with a very heavy price tag. But I also see how tempting it can be, how if I ship my kids off to public education, if there are any problems, it's not my

[01:10:46] Luna Maj Vestergaard: fault.

[01:10:49] Cecilie Conrad: I can blame someone else. And when we, we

[01:10:56] Luna Maj Vestergaard: take on us the responsibility that was always and will always be ours

[01:11:01] Cecilie Conrad: of looking after our own, we're facing the fact that most of the shit.

[01:11:09] Cecilie Conrad: At the end of the day, I have to shovel it and I probably put it there.

[01:11:18] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Yeah, I think that's because when if that's if you haven't stepped out of the fear because Because it's precisely that about who's to blame like the other day I was talking to a mom who's got a child in school and she actually wants to withdraw her from school but she's not like I don't know why I haven't done it yet.

[01:11:41] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I don't really. I don't really like I'm not. And we talked and in the conversation at one point I said like what, why, why, actually why haven't you done it late like are you afraid of the system and she said yes. I am afraid of the system, like she's afraid of the officials, she's afraid of what they'll do, maybe remove the child, I don't know, something, you know, and that, that, that was, that was it.

[01:12:09] Luna Maj Vestergaard: It's like, there's a fear there. And as long as we have that fear or some sort of fear, then, then that's what makes it hard to take the responsibility and to be free because Because we, we aren't like, if we have fear, we can't carry our responsibility. Like it's harder to carry the responsibility if we are afraid.

[01:12:34] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Does that make sense? It makes total sense. We have to step out of the fear like we have to and and that's that's the thing that's hard you can't that you can't teach someone to do that you can't give them a pill or a tool or say do this and then you it has to come from inside so you can have some tools to like work on your mindset and and even work on your like your physical your body or that and you can and some of those tools are like listening to podcasts, reading articles, books, surrounding yourself with people who are a bit further ahead on the road, et cetera.

[01:13:15] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Um, but ultimately you have, it has to like, it's some sort of an enlightenment or something. Like, I really think it is because, because it's the, when the fear is gone, there's more light. Like the. When you live outside of fear that's like the darkness is gone and now it becomes very philosophical, but anyway, it's I can't explain it and off and often people will ask, and I'll just be like, I don't know I don't care because I'm not afraid of the system I'm really not afraid of them and they can, so they can tell me something, but But I'm not afraid.

[01:13:54] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And it's like Sarah said before, um, the, what were you, what did you call it on a, on a, can you say that word, please? Unapologetically. Thank you. I don't know if I pronounced that correctly. Unapologizing. Yes, it's like the vibe. It's, it's the, it's the whole, the whole, there's such a difference to, to saying this is how it is.

[01:14:19] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And this is how it's going to be. And here's the deal. And then going, Oh, what can I do? What should I do? How? Why? What? When? Etc. And the problem is that it within the system. When people reach out, for example, for help, they'll be in the position of what, when, why, how help me. And then the system and a system, any system is such that it'll always try to sustain itself.

[01:14:58] Luna Maj Vestergaard: So they're not going to want to empower people. Actually, that's just not in the nature of a system. Um, but you need to step out of that to, to be able to. Embrace like the school free life and a free life as a free human being you need to step out of the fear and you need to step out of the what, when, why and how into this is how it's going to be.

[01:15:21] Luna Maj Vestergaard: This is how I'm living. Here's the deal. This is what I do. This is what we do. And to be able to do that, you need to lose the fear of what's going to happen when we do this. Something bad might happen. I've had really bad stuff happen to me and my family in my lifetime. And that's just part of it. That it's, it's hard, it's tragic, even some things, but they happen and things just are, they are, and we need to be able to sit with something tragic, something really bad, like.

[01:15:57] Luna Maj Vestergaard: You've been through something really bad, Cecilia, and we need to learn to sit with that, and we need to learn to accept that that can also be an outcome, like, so that we, we dare to live our lives, we dare to take responsibility, not only if we can be assured of a good outcome, because we can't, even if there, something comes up that's bad, well, we still, we still need to take that responsibility.

[01:16:28] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Is, am I making sense now or not? Totally.

[01:16:32] Cecilie Conrad: I'm just thinking, I want to say

[01:16:34] Luna Maj Vestergaard: that it's one of the

[01:16:35] Cecilie Conrad: big illusions that I want to, to out here is that if you follow the beaten path and you walk on the pavement and pay your

[01:16:46] Luna Maj Vestergaard: mortgage and, and get your degree.

[01:16:51] Cecilie Conrad: Yeah. Shit happens anyway. There are no guarantees. You can eat organic food all your life and get cancer anyway.

[01:17:01] Cecilie Conrad: I mean, you, you can put your kids through school and high school and university and they might make a fail on the standards of the, the beaten path. There are no guarantees. I think the key probably is do we dare take the responsibility, as I said about shoveling the shit. It's my fault. Or feels like it's my fault if we end up and you called it an outcome that that's something horrible might be the outcome and if you feel responsible is my personal responsibility that this outcome, uh, is such a disaster.

[01:17:45] Cecilie Conrad: That's not a nice feeling to sit with, but I think I know you well enough that you don't really mean an outcome like an end point.

[01:17:54] Luna Maj Vestergaard: It's no, no, no, no. Yeah,

[01:17:58] Cecilie Conrad: but something might happen along the road and might be your fault. And you might have to learn to live with that. And that's no fun.

[01:18:09] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Well, I think there's also a big part is, is actually stepping out of the whole need to assign blame or fault.

[01:18:15] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And instead of like, whose fault is it? Is it mine or the system's or whatever, you know, it just is. It's no one's fault. It just is. And we've played a lot in it. The question is, is it

[01:18:27] Cecilie Conrad: relevant? I mean, does it help anyone that we're, we're signing fault to, to just assess the situation and see, we've got this, where do we want to go?

[01:18:38] Cecilie Conrad: Because that's actually the only interesting question to ask yourself if you're in a And if you're in a bad situation to know where you are and where you want to go, have a direction, move on.

[01:18:50] Luna Maj Vestergaard: But you can only do that outside of the school mindset and the school, like school minded society. You can only do that when you step out because otherwise there will always be this comparison and these goals to attain and these outcomes that are desired.

[01:19:08] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And if we want to try to, um, reach. So there'll always be these like, it's the whole loving what is and living in the moment and being with like Things just are, life is, it happens, things are the way they are, and everything is good, everything is fine, perfect, you know, happy dandy, pie in the sky, all that, everything is all right. Well, that's just that little phrase, it's just so important because it doesn't mean that right now, right this moment where this terrible thing happened to me, everything is perfect and I'm all happy dandy.

[01:19:47] Luna Maj Vestergaard: No, it means that in a broader picture, everything is fine because everything is the way it should be and, and it's just the way it is. Everything is the way it is. That, that's what it, when you can, when you can start to embrace that sort of angle on life, I find that a lot of things become really much easier.

[01:20:16] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And I really find that a huge key to de schooling and stepping into this. Life, like, why am I not worried at all about my kids, whatever they learn and their education and because of that, because things are the way they are. And when people ask me, you know, well, how do you make sure they learn what they should learn?

[01:20:37] Luna Maj Vestergaard: I'm like, because what they learn is what they should learn. What they know is what they should know. That there is no should. It's not like, it's just a whole, anyways, someone else say something. Okay.

[01:20:50] Cecilie Conrad: No, I want to ask the golden question here, or one of the golden questions. Um,

[01:21:01] Cecilie Conrad: what if they are not thriving?

[01:21:07] Sarah Beale: I think that's, that's almost so, so this idea of optimism, which I think is maybe what that word that Luna was just describing. If you were to, if you were to define that in English, optimism must be in there somewhere, which is this feeling of like, Everything's going to work out. Everything's going to work out.

[01:21:29] Sarah Beale: But obviously, within the context of unschooling, there's got to be some, I mean, I know it's not exactly that, Luna, but I'm just thinking, like, the people that would, the people that would live with, with that word, which I can't remember already, at the heart of, of, of

[01:21:43] Cecilie Conrad: living. That's three words for the record.

[01:21:45] Cecilie Conrad: Oh,

[01:21:46] Luna Maj Vestergaard: okay. So they would

[01:21:48] Sarah Beale: be people who are optimistic, who live in optimism, faith, faith, maybe it's faith. Um, but then bringing in colonization of our minds again, and my nice little metaphor of the Petri dish and bacteria, you, you, you've also got to put some good ingredients in because if you are,

[01:22:17] Sarah Beale: gosh, this gets really big. Is it possible? Is it possible to be living a life? That most of us would think is not thriving. Someone's living under a bridge. They've got no money. They don't, I don't know, they're dogs starving and they're relying on someone walking. I mean, are they thriving? Can they still be optimistic?

[01:22:38] Sarah Beale: They probably can still be optimistic. So even, even the idea of optimism and how we would imagine that to look is probably still filled with a lot of external, like a lot of judgments and a lot of assumptions about what you need to have a good life. So even that, even that you can kind of pull apart, can't you?

[01:22:57] Sarah Beale: And that's like, that's like big, that's really deep stuff. What I need to feel like I'm thriving is probably really different to what somebody else might need to feel like they're thriving. And I would never want to tell somebody else what they should have to feel like they're thriving within the context of an unschooling family, I guess, because we're relying so much on conversation and dialogue and honesty in our families.

[01:23:21] Sarah Beale: Then we all get to choose what we need to be thriving. But at the heart of it for me definitely is this sense of like on a bigger scale, everything's going to be okay. Everything's going to be okay. And everything is as it should be. But yeah, sometimes we might tweak something. Sometimes we shift something around cause actually someone's not thriving.

[01:23:47] Sarah Beale: So we, we've got to do something about that, which doesn't then does that doesn't interfere with the broader. An actual fact to me that that's that that feeds optimism, knowing that you can actually tweak something, you can tweak something and shift it because We're not living in like fear these like stories about something's happening now and that means that something down here is gonna happen in five years time.

[01:24:19] Sarah Beale: 'cause that kind of interrupts our ability to be optimistic when we are caught in that fear loop. So we've got this assumption almost like, oh, someone's not happy right now. All right, what are we gonna do? How are we gonna fix that? What are we, what do we shift up to me? And to me that is optimism because I know that we've got the power.

[01:24:38] Sarah Beale: We've actually got the power in our individual families to go. Other people. outside the government, whatever, they're not impacting on our ability to recognize in our family. Oh, actually someone needs something right now. We're going to shift something up and we've got the power to do that in our families and individually

[01:25:03] Sarah Beale: or

[01:25:03] Cecilie Conrad: something. But what I was trying to aim at is

[01:25:09] Cecilie Conrad: It's just an interesting line to draw somehow in the conversation of unschooling. Let's say freedom is our golden standard and that we believe in our own personal freedom and the freedom of our children and that, as you said, Luna, you don't care, you know, it's not relevant what they should learn or, you know, you don't have these standards.

[01:25:40] Cecilie Conrad: So they

[01:25:41] Luna Maj Vestergaard: can do

[01:25:41] Cecilie Conrad: what they want. And one question I, I find interesting is... So what if they're not thriving? And now we're not talking about your personal, actual children. But in theory, if you're unschooling, you're letting your children be, you're letting them do what they want. It could be, as you said, before we started recording, Sarah, it could be, uh, YouTube for six months.

[01:26:04] Cecilie Conrad: Um, What if we observe our children not thriving? I'll just put, I personally, I struggle with where, how do I navigate that in some respect, my children and they are not small anymore. They are still my responsibility to some extent. And if they are not thriving, I find it morally, ethically, my problem. To try to fix that, or at least be part of the solution, do what I can to nudge and help and, and whatever, change the scenery, change the, the, the strategies, um, so that this, no, I don't at the moment have non thriving children for the record, but I have had that, and I, I have been in this conversation of unschooling for a very long time, and personal freedom, just let them do what they want, and then I, Start to interfere because I believe that some of the things they're doing or not doing are not doing them any good and I see that they are not thriving.

[01:27:12] Cecilie Conrad: So how do we, can we talk? Is it even relevant? Can we talk a little bit about? I, I have something

[01:27:20] Carla Martinez: to say. Because, uh, yeah, I feel, yeah, like you, Cecile, a bit sometimes, what you describe like, yeah, they have freedom, but I, I feel that I have the responsibility to, I want to say something like, you know, like prepare for the, the world and the life or maybe the, um, The day they have to go out there, um, maybe, um, have, um, incomes or whatever.

[01:27:55] Carla Martinez: So how do we do that if they do whatever they want? So I, I don't know, but, um, because I can't impose things. I,

[01:28:09] Luna Maj Vestergaard: what I,

[01:28:11] Carla Martinez: I, I, I do is explain like how you know, because I offer things or maybe the things I should, I, I think they should learn. I offer these like, maybe we because for example, my son, Roberto, he is good at math, and he liked math, but he don't do nothing like academical, you know, sometimes they.

[01:28:38] Carla Martinez: What if we do some math? And I, and sometimes he said, well, maybe, uh, someday, um, these days I feel more like they should do more things. And, and I, maybe as I'm more like, I insist on something and he's like,

[01:28:59] Cecilie Conrad: but

[01:28:59] Carla Martinez: I don't want, because, uh, and then I start like with this speech, like, but. The speech is like just to put the responsibility on them a bit, like saying someday you will have to blah, blah, blah, blah.

[01:29:17] Carla Martinez: So you will have to prepare. Maybe you don't have to be now, but at some point, or maybe you don't need it. But I mean, so he's like, I will learn it when I need it. So they are so, um, secure, like about, I will do it. You don't like, don't worry.

[01:29:37] Luna Maj Vestergaard: But still I can't help.

[01:29:40] Carla Martinez: offering or exposing or and I don't feel bad about it because it's on me also I because I like math and I like knowledge and I like so if the day they they want I will go with them to or maybe teach or look someone to teach so I don't know if this It's on what you were asking, Cecile.

[01:30:05] Cecilie Conrad: It is. There are like two different things. I think there is the long term thriving. Are we preparing them for long term thriving? Are we helping them to end in long term thriving? And math is a very classical theme that comes up in this. For some weird reason, it's always math. Also in my family, my personal journey.

[01:30:29] Cecilie Conrad: Um, but what I was. And, and then there is the other element, which I find more hard to get around, which is the here now thriving. Let's say you have a child who is experiencing lower back pain and you believe strongly that let's say a change of the way they sleep would help, sleeping on the floor instead of in the bed.

[01:30:59] Cecilie Conrad: You believe that that would solve it and the child would be out of pain. Or you have a child with anxiety attacks and you know, this child sleeps only three hours a day and you want them to sleep eight. You believe that will solve it. I have to come up with imaginative things. Like you have a child always feeling nausea, eating six mangoes a day, and you think the mangoes are the problem.

[01:31:23] Cecilie Conrad: Can we. Pick the fight and say mangoes are going out of your diet and then you do the mango conversation every day or I mean there are for me if a child is having anxiety if a child is experiencing physical pain or showing physical expressions of misthriving like gaining or losing weight really quickly Uh, involving huge rashes, um, not being able to sleep, being constipated.

[01:32:03] Cecilie Conrad: I mean, we have not more acute non thriving that could happen where we as parents. believe we have some insight as to what is feeding this problem and how do we solve it? Where do we stand with the interference in, in their decision that? I think it's two things and both are relevant, Paula. So do we need to help them to prepare for the long term futures thriving?

[01:32:37] Cecilie Conrad: And how do we cope with more acute non thriving situations?

[01:32:48] Cecilie Conrad: Drop my pen. I think that

[01:32:52] Luna Maj Vestergaard: would actually be a really good topic for an entire episode of, because I can see that with the time that's already gone now, if diving into it now would either be like too quick or we'd be sitting here in an hour. I don't know. Cause, cause it is really, really interesting. And I think the whole, the thing that I said about everything is fine.

[01:33:21] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Obviously it's not if some like a license to do nothing and and and just not not observe not not be like not act or like it's that that was more, of course, like a, like a worldview type thing like a way of approaching life or something. But why don't why don't we take that as. As a starting point for next time and then do an entire episode on like, let's get practical about like with examples that we have had.

[01:33:55] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Because I've got some too about where I've been really like, um, having to challenge my own thoughts and ideas and my own de schooling and all that about how, how much to step in, when to step in, how to do it, uh, with the angle of freedom, personal responsibility and all that. And I think one of the things that's really, really interesting is precisely about how much responsibility.

[01:34:22] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Kids can and may and are allowed to take because we are also in a society where we are stripping the kids more and more and more of actual responsibility and actual like, uh, um, actually contributing. To the life and society in a, in a completely different way than that you will see in other societies where, where young kids are contributing in a very different way from a much younger age.

[01:34:52] Luna Maj Vestergaard: And, and that, and that plays into it too, I think, like our cultural narratives about when a child can do something old enough to do something, etc. So if we're

[01:35:08] Cecilie Conrad: hanging the responsibility. Thriving our own thriving and other people's thriving here.

[01:35:20] Cecilie Conrad: What on it? Well, I just sidetracked myself. So if we're taking this responsibility versus interference versus personal freedom, uh, problem and hanging that until the later episode, I think what you're saying now points back, if we were to tie it a little nice. bows on on the topic of today. We have the beaten path.

[01:35:48] Cecilie Conrad: Um, and then we have the eras of life. For the people who hold their freedom very dearly and have lived outside of those systems, should we see if we could, without spending too much more time, um, say something about how it looks out outside of the pavement. So what is the eras of love? How do they look and how do they, what are the faces?

[01:36:19] Cecilie Conrad: If we're not going to school, we're not getting a diploma. It's not one office job. We're not planning on retirement. And we are going to die. How does it look for us?

[01:36:35] Cecilie Conrad: How is it different? I mean, Luna,

[01:36:46] Cecilie Conrad: you have a whole thing you call unjobbing. Oh, yes.

[01:36:57] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Well, that's, that's like it. I was thinking about how to answer that question and I don't really think it can be done. In a, in a, in a quickly, like in a quick way,

[01:37:10] Luna Maj Vestergaard: and because I've read the chat, I'm not like jumping into a lot of, cause, cause that's gonna,

[01:37:19] Cecilie Conrad: I just saw the chat. I'm just going to be honest about it. I didn't see the chat. I'm pretending to be the host and I turned off the chat for this

[01:37:28] Sarah Beale: conversation. So what, what the chat, it typifies. Exactly what we're talking about in that. And that is that we do, we live, we need lives where we are able to be by design responsive to the shifting needs of our family.

[01:37:40] Cecilie Conrad: And right now we have to wrap things up. Let's do it. It's not going to be neatly wrapped up anyway. So we might as well just, uh,

[01:37:49] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Has it ever been? No.

[01:37:52] Cecilie Conrad: I want to say one final thing, though, because we have a great topic lined up, but we are probably not going to start with that next time, because next episode, episode six, will be released on Christmas Day.

[01:38:05] Cecilie Conrad: What is Christmas Day in Denmark? Uh, the 24th of December. And my idea was, I think we should talk about Christmas. Mm hmm. Unschooling Christmas. For these radical, weird, nomadic families, what it means to us, what it means, I think it's a great topic. It's, it's,

[01:38:24] Luna Maj Vestergaard: it's, it's been

[01:38:26] Cecilie Conrad: misused in many ways, and it's, uh, makes me want to vomit, but in a way, I think it will be fun to, to talk about that.

[01:38:35] Cecilie Conrad: So that will be where I want to start next time, and maybe we, we, we end up in the other one, I don't know, we'd never know where we end, but now we do end. Because, uh, we were a little late to start and, uh, and there is an entire life of families outside of this, uh, soon recording, uh, that needs our attention.

[01:38:56] Cecilie Conrad: So thank you very much for joining me today. Beautiful souls. Um, I look forward to the next conversation about my most hated holiday, the Christmas.

[01:39:07] Luna Maj Vestergaard: Thank you. Thank

[01:39:11] Cecilie Conrad: you. Bye bye bye.


#43 Pat Farenga | Shaping Lifelong Learning: The Power and Potential of Unschooling
#44 - Randall Hardy | Breaking Barriers: How to Have a Respectful Approach to Parenting


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