#57 - Lucy Aitkenread | Being a parent is a gateway to Self-Discovery: A Journey Towards Community, Connection, and Healing

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🗓️ Recorded January 22nd, 2024. 📍Playa Dorada, Lengüeta Arenosa, Baja California, Mexico

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About this Episode 

When Lucy AitkenRead swapped the serenity of her yurt for the lively hum of town life, it wasn't just a change of scenery—it was a pivotal shift in her family's journey. Our conversation with Lucy delves into how this move, prompted by a craving for community and connection, wasn't solely for her children's benefit. It also marked a turning point in her own healing process, intertwining the principles of unschooling with the intricate dance of parental self-discovery. Throughout this episode, we peel back the layers of how our own growth as parents deeply influences the unschooled environment, fostering a space where learning and growth can flourish organically for our entire families.

This episode takes you through the ebbs and flows of self-development, where the practicalities of daily life meet the profound. We explore the 'rhythm method' of healing and the wisdom in embracing the cycles of personal growth, finding spirituality in the simplicity of peanut butter sandwiches, and the mindfulness of our everyday tasks. It's about discovering the extraordinary within the ordinary and understanding that our spiritual journey can be rooted in the very essence of our day-to-day existence. Together with Lucy, we discuss how these subtle shifts in perception can transform not just our approach to unschooling but the way we navigate all facets of our lives.

Embracing life's seasons and the transformations that come with them, this episode is a heart-to-heart on the different 'faces' we encounter. We share personal narratives of self-improvement, from conquering annoyance to making life-altering decisions like quitting drinking, and consider how these choices reflect in our relationships and well-being. 

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Jesper Conrad 

AUTOGENERATED TRANSCRIPT

00:00 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Welcome to Self-Directed. We are your hosts, cecilia and Jesper Conrad, and now it's time to welcome this week's guest. Yeah, we are running. So today we are together with Lucy Aitkenried one more time. Last time you were in a yard and now you move places. Let's start there, but keep it short. What happened?

00:23 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Or keep it long. Keep it long. Yeah, keep it long. See you again, yeah.

00:29 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
Well, it's not a really long story. It's just us being responsive to our family's needs. We were starting to feel a little bit isolated in the yards. You know, it's one thing living rurally and going to the local village school, but living rurally and unschooling was just quite an isolating combination and we were so dedicated to our kids' social needs that we were just doing loads of driving and planning and organising and we just wondered what it would be like to take a break in a little town. And I think that actually came first. We decided to take a little break in a little town, just for something different, and just immediately loved it and we were immediately, like made it revealed how isolated we had been feeling, living so rurally without a ton of people around us. So, yeah, then we began wondering about how we could be a bit more connected to town life and then we got locked down in the town, and that just gave us more chance to love it.

01:49
So yeah, now we don't really know what we're doing, though I'm sure you can time it a bit, we can release. Yeah, we still have the land. It's had renters in it and it's been very mutual. Like our friends have been renting it and getting to experience yurt life while we've lived in town. They've come out now and it's summer and we've just been playing in the yurts, planting potatoes and still also being in town and we don't know what the future is. But we're okay with that. We'll figure it out.

02:24 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah, yeah, and there's a time and place for everything. We can also feel ourselves. Our traveling life is slowing down as the kids grow older because they get more social needs outside the circle of the family.

02:39 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
Yeah.

02:41 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
And it leads me to a subject I would like to go into depth with these two wonderful women around me right now, which is sometimes when we have talked on our podcast with people about unschooling. We have talked about that it heals past traumas to go through this process of de-schooling as a parent and I'm pondering about what. Is it in the process of de-schooling or being an unschooling parent that might do that? And then, on the other hand, I'm also wondering if it's just being a parent that it does in, and that the last thing I will throw up in the air before hearing you two is healing more sometimes feels like there should be something wrong with me. What if I just wanted to become better without feeling that I was necessarily broken? I am probably broken on some levels. I'm not saying I'm not, but this is the subject that I was considering. Hmm.

03:52 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
Great questions.

03:54 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah, I don't know where to start though.

03:59 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
What are you Kim?

04:03 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I think I also have a problem with this idea that the unschooling process and de-schooling process is a healing process, because I would have to identify with having wounds. And it leads me back to one of my first problems I had with being an unschooler, which was the whole de-schooling thing that everyone was talking about. That it was all about me unschooling and I've come around a little bit. I can see how it's a very important process that I get uninstalled a lot of very firmly installed things in my worldview and psyche and understanding. But if it is becoming a healing process as well, I think it's very parent-centered point of view and of course, there could be healing elements that you get to work with, maybe elements or little things that broke. But for me, being an unschooling mom is about my children and their life and their future and the life I want to live right here and now as a mom. So we didn't coordinate this.

05:22 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
No.

05:24 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
I love it. It's nice and raw. I mean, it's already extremely controversial. I'm into it.

05:32 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
It's not that we disagree as such, it's just that I sort of have a problem with it because it becomes. We can have a conversation about what it could heal and how it can be a healing process, of course, but I think it could be a very parent-centered point of view.

05:54 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
So interesting to me because as you speak I realize that I really think differently to you. And I do think it is mostly a parent thing, because I think the kids are absolutely fine. The kids don't need very much. They just need to be able to get along with their lovely lives and be who they are and everything will actually work out really well in their favor. But in order to give the infrastructure for them to bloom, the parents need to be okay, and I tend to think if the parents are just pretty fulfilled people and at peace with themselves, the environment is just right on for the kids and it's just like a beautiful alchemy, and that most of the struggle with unschooling actually is that the parents do feel a lot of self-doubt, very not in peace with themselves.

07:06
I'm definitely not saying you feel this. It sounds like maybe this is why you think differently, because maybe you actually are quite at peace and always have been at peace with yourself. But definitely the majority of parents that I work with have got so many questions about their self-worth and they're very dysregulated and very unhappy. They don't give themselves a lot of permission to experience joy and bliss and pleasure and fulfilling hobbies, and their kids sort of become the focus of a lot of internal turmoil. You know like, is my kid getting enough? What does my kid need? And actually, if they could soothe themselves, they create a really beautiful nurturing environment for their child.

08:06 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
And I don't disagree with that at all.

08:09
I think maybe just that I don't know how to exactly describe it, but I think the topic of unschooling as a healing process for the parents could potentially become.

08:33
It could look like that would be the point of it, and it is an element of it, obviously that I get to live the life that I want to live, because I do, as a mom, want to be around my children. I think they need it and I need it. I put them in this world and I have needs that need to be fulfilled as a mother, and it's okay, and one of the things I need is to not send them off to strangers and hope for the best. So it is about me and it's about them, and sometimes I just find and maybe I'm just a little bit allergic to some discourses, but I find that if we talk about motherhood as a healing process, it becomes too much about me, because it is about both, and maybe you're also right that we are many years into the process and it's not really a thing anymore to worry too much or panic or not take the time for myself. So maybe I'm just a little bit too far, far out.

09:42 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
Everything's fine, let's just stop talking about healing, come on, it's so boring.

09:48 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
No, it's not boring.

09:51 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
But for me, what is difficult to divert and say is it from this, is it from this? Is where I am in my life today. I'm 49 and my youngest is 12, my oldest is 24. I feel damn fine. I mean, I feel good, I can be shaken by stuff in life, but I'm like finally thinking that, okay, all this shit, all this insecurity I had, yada, yada, all those things I can see they are disappearing now.

10:33
And being stay at home dad with my kids for the last five years, I've had more time and a less stressed life. Of course, which might be what I've given the time to lose the shoulders in different spots, but I can be in doubt of it is just being a parent or the whole question, everything that I on some ways always have had. But at the same time, the unschooling philosophy has brought even closer to me and the reason, and kids are mirrors. But sometimes when I look at my children, I'm like ooh, I'm jealous. I would have liked to be so in sync with myself in that age. I don't know if you know that feeling Totally, so maybe the course isn't the direct answer, it's being at that for many, many years, or it's being an unschooled dad because They've been exposed.

11:39 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
And also maybe it's just the passage of time too, Like I.

11:42
Just when you said you know you're 49 and you feel pretty good, I was just like right on and I'm the same and I feel like it's just a huge shout out for getting older.

11:54
I am so happy in myself and I haven't been able to say that for huge amounts of my life and I honestly think it's. It is about showing up to the task, that hand that we've been asked to show up to with the unschooling and a de-schooling and healing, and also it is time and it's getting older. We're meant to do that. We're meant to move into a place where we're feeling quite calm and like with this understanding that really, ultimately, everything is going to be okay. And you know that's really the role of elders in our community is to be the kind of rock, and so I feel like the fact that we're all feeling that in ourselves is a sign that we are in a bit of a newer era for ourselves of being able to provide some eldership to our communities, whether that's unschooling communities, you know, just holding out the flag and being like hang in there.

12:58 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Everything will be all right.

13:00 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
You're going to be okay. I know it feels really hectic right now, but you know you're definitely moving in the right direction and it's all going to be okay.

13:10 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yes, yeah, I recently. Well, I call the work that I do with other people mentoring and lack of a better word, I don't like the word coaching. I'm a psychologist and I don't want to call it therapy. So, even though it's working with people and their processes, it's, at the end of the day, a mix of all of the above and more. Instead of calling it mentoring and now I feel like calling it just being an abuela, a grandmother, can I just, you know, just be the rock, just be that elderly, that person with the graying hair who knows, seen things, done it before. You know, I could see it.

13:57
If there's a red flag to talk about, but for the rest of it, it's all right, it's going to be fine. Yeah, it's a nice place to arrive at, a nice point to arrive at in life. I'm starting to write books and I'm starting to feel wise in a way I have never had the confidence to feel before. I can be kicked over by life still, yeah, I think we all can, but in a way, my principles hold, my strategy hold through, whatever. So, yeah, maybe it's just about how old we are.

14:30 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
Yeah, we're just ancient now we haven't healed, we're just ancient To the endlessness.

14:36 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Just wait 20 years and it will be fine.

14:40 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
Well, I do think in a. You know, we live in a society that really doesn't like aging and would love for women especially to stay forever young and really holds up. Youth and beauty is like the most important thing. I think it's really cool to feel so embracing of getting older and getting tiny little bit bits more wisdom and, yeah, in a contentment, and yeah, I personally feel really excited about the years to come and moving into the different phases that that holds for me.

15:20
One of the things I think about healing is I've tried to more think of it about remembering. So it's like less fixing with the implication that we're broken and more trying to just remember who we are and remember who we are before all the layers of power our keys came, and by power I key, I mean colonization and patriarchy and supremacy and capitalism, all of the systems and structures that have a hierarchy embedded in them and I would call school fixated society Also one of those layers, one of those intersecting power I key. And so, yeah, rather than thinking of it as healing, I'm more trying to just remember who I am underneath all of those layers of myths and standards and kind of norms and behaviors, and collectively remembering who we are prior to all of that as well.

16:41 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
It's very complicated though, mmm, a little bit. How do we work with that, do you think?

16:49 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
Well, I mean, I like to read about what life was like prior to all of that. This has been my guide for the last six months the Great Cosmic Mother by Monica Sue and Barbara Moore, and it's huge. It took me forever to read. It was like nine PhDs in one. It's extremely dense but it's, you know, just a lot of evidence about what life actually was like, you know, prior to the establishment of all of these systems and infrastructures. So you know that I definitely reach out for guides in that kind of way. And, yeah, when I'm feeling like a bit of a problem or a bit of a stuckness or some kind of discomfort or pain, I do put that lens on it, like what am I telling myself about this? What thoughts here come from a powerarchy? You know, what might I believe about this if it was pre-Patriarchal rule? What might I believe about this if I didn't go to school and sort of ask through those lenses as a kind of inquiry?

18:11 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
This is a perfect lead up for a future podcast we are recording inside the next two weeks that people should hear. It is with Darcy and Navess, and four arrows have written a book called the Kinship Worldview where they go in and talk with a lot of leading figures inside the different indigenous groups and I'm reading it right now. It's really fascinating and we have interviewed her last year about what she called the evolved nest Wonderful book. You should read it. I think you would enjoy it.

18:47 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
I'm actually writing it down right now.

18:50 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah, do that, the evolved nest and the kinship world view. But the thing you said about removing power hierarchies reminded me of a call I was on with a popular self-help author called Jack Canfield and he said a lot of stuff, but one sentence has stuck in my mind where he said self-development is about removing the layers of you that aren't you, and it's the same. But I hear you're just taking more layers, like which layer did the school instill in me? Which layer did it instill in me to go to work for 22 years?

19:38 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
And yeah, yeah, exactly, I love that. I just see it as peeling back the layers. I definitely have to admit, though, that I am a huge self-development junkie, and when I see criticism of people on the kind of healing treadmill, I'm like, oh, I do sort of take it a little bit personally, because I'm just a huge fan and I think there must be some of us and it's like almost a personality that we're just really dedicated to finding like the edge of ourselves and challenging ourselves and seeing what we can make happen and see like exactly how much of our beliefs we can completely blow up in the air. And you know, that's not to say I'm not quite kind of sensitive to when I'm getting a bit over the top.

20:41
I don't know if you've seen the meme. I'm going to try and describe it to you, but it's like a heat measure, and it goes from like green to orange to red, and there's like somebody pointing an arrow, and right at the red, which is like alarmingly too much, it says mental illness, and then at the orange it's like esoteric or like spiritual practice, and I do sort of feel like that I'm totally dedicated to my spiritual practice, but sometimes I'm aware that I can spend too much time in that esoteric and it feels like my feet are almost like leaving the planet and I just me and my friends, just sort of like, send that to each other every now and then, just being like you know, check, we're doing spirit and matter here and working with the intersection of those things Exactly.

21:40 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Exactly my criticism of unschooling as a healing process. It's sort of in the same. You could make the same meme. I think it's just you know, yes, it's a healing process, obviously it's a healing process. And why don't you put a motor on that and and get become the best person you can be, because you're doing something radically different?

22:02
But just remember, we're just living our lives here. Our kids are growing up, we're cooking potatoes that's very essential as well and we're going for walks and talking about whatever stars and geese. And it's not all healing process, and reading the signs and and and challenging all the structures that that might be unnatural or at least are very, very deeply Stalled in whatever culture we try to live in, we will have the history of the world hanging over us as a cloud and we need to try to find out who we are. Without that, I think maybe you're right with what you said in the beginning, like it's just because it's too obvious for me, and and and then because I think sometimes it's, you know, in the intersection between healing and and just being self absorbed and and yeah, I think life happens in the relations we have with other people. Yeah, so the relation with myself, but just not only that and my presentation yeah.

23:11 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
Yeah, I love that totally and it feels like for you, your spiritual practice is is in the doing and the relationships, and and that's how you see it and you know, that's the whole thing. Francis of Assisi I think that was his buzz. It was like you know, we don't need all these hours praying, we need to just do our menial tasks, you know, with our heart at the center you know, and it was extremely religious what he said, but it's the same energy.

23:45
Just live it, live your life and see it all as being absolutely important and critical type thing. And I also do think what you said. You know, I teach this concept called the rhythm method, which is this idea that all of life is cyclical and every season has its own invitations in it. And I feel like healing is deeply cyclical and some people are in a high summer of healing at different phases in their life and it's like everything is healing. Like you know, it's constantly like that's a sign.

24:29
And I'm working on this at the moment and I'm doing this modality and I'm doing breath work in the morning and you know, and and it is this really intense kind of accelerated process and and then other people might spend a lot of many win, many years in almost like a winter, which is quite like a hibernatory kind of season of healing where there's not really very much visible going on at all, but it's just as important as the summer and I just really love it because it gives a lot of grace to wherever you are at in the cycle and if it feels like somebody is just painfully healing themselves, that's because they're in a high summer of healing, and maybe they spend a lot of time in winter and spring where it's been very quiet, and then maybe, now that they're 33, they're undoing all of the myths that they've been raised in.

25:29
And you know, we we wish them well, and it's amazing. And and then when we're having an experience that feels like not much is moving at all, there's the invitation just to relax about that as well and just love living and you know, just the mundane life, without having to ask what the great spiritual truth at the heart of making peanut butter sandwiches is.

25:59 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
And.

25:59 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I think I'm just at a point where I know where, what the great spiritual truth about making a peanut butter sandwiches and and I'm I'm doing both. I think if we're talking about me now which we could, I'm doing that. You could call it never stop praying method or just doing everything with heart first. And I'm writing a book about spiritual life and how we can be in this world and what elements. But it's complicated. But you know, I'm deeply, I'm sitting down with it every day at the moment, working on how can I express what I know. So I'm attacking it from from the wise angle and from the everyday angle every day. So it's not like I'm not in a healing process or in a spiritual process.

27:01
As an unschooling parent, I was just I don't know. I must have been annoyed. I'll have to work on that when I can't. I can't figure it out right now while we're talking. I must have been annoyed by something or someone and I don't know what it is. To be honest, I feel it there was some annoyance and, as we not a coordinate, because of a car that got stuck and some time that went and some rain, and it's a long story. We didn't. I didn't know what we were talking about.

27:28 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
So I was like I think it's really great and amazing because it represents exactly what I'm saying, like the different seasons and what you're doing is actually deeply autumnal. You're like in harvest season of feeling, where you're like bringing, you're harvesting and bringing it together in order to share with other people. So, you're like writing about it and drawing out the themes, and then you're going to like literally share your harvest with your community. Is so I think it's really amazing that you're just shooting from the hip.

28:01 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
I like that picture of it. I'm in the pre harvest.

28:10 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Trying to put some sleeves down.

28:16 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Maybe not to see it, but I have this picture of sometimes saying, okay, but then you can take a step up to myself during the last half year, or more than half a year Now, I've changed some, taking some major changes in life and is quitting drinking alcohol at all, because I was like drinking wine one or two times a week. But I didn't like myself as much the day after and I was very happy that my wife is not not like stoned out drunk or anything, just half a bottle of wine being cozy with friends. But I was a little, a little my, my temper was a little more bad the day after. I was a little more annoyed with stuff and I was like very rare.

29:11 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
But looking at my sweet left, you know this dog. Talk to him today.

29:16 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah, no, no. But but looking myself in the mirror and seeing that it's like, oh man, okay, maybe I'm too old to be a prick once or twice a week. Maybe I should work with that. So I started working with that and the next part was, like I have been, you know, being overweight for the last more than 25 years, if maybe 30, and now it's just like, okay, then it's time. And then I'm also taking that and I like taking these steps and seeing what will bring me in my life and I have been so flawed that there are still some steps to take before I go into the total hardest mode.

29:54 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
That's what's wrong, yeah, I love it and I'm so like that. I think I do the cycle really quickly. I go through the cycle like several times a year. I'll find like a new modality and I'll be all about this thing for like three or four months and then from it I'll integrate. When in the winter I'll integrate like the one piece of it, that's really for me, and then I'll chill out and I'll be like whoa, I got pretty loads of mental illness, you know, and just relax. And then another thing will come along and it will just feel as though it's exactly meant for me and I'll work with it for a few months and then the same thing, I'll integrate one piece of it. And, yeah, I'm into it. Just the boring old life is not for me. I want to be on the edge, really seeing what I can completely transform with my own little brain and my magical practices and my energy work. I'm like beautiful, I'm the weirdo you read about. That annoys everyone.

31:07 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
No, it's not that kind of annoying, because that looks a little bit like me. We call it the faces. Oh, now there's a new face coming up. It makes total sense to me. I wouldn't say I'm exactly the same, but something is very parallel that you know, we set a scene and then we live it for a while and then we let go of it and then we move on to the next one. It's not like it's the same old, same old, and it's not about the traveling life actually, because it was exactly the same when we lived in a house that we would have like just these. We called it faces, or we have a word in Danish that I can't.

31:46 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
We are confronted more with how we change when we move. I think that really helps moving and as we call it a lot with other families. You also have mirrors around you and that is so powerful and I love it a lot. I actually love it more than I like a combo like hold it, breathe, take it in, think about it, grow, hold it. It's kind of a personal development.

32:19 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
This is a little. I have the same problem as my first hesitation. It's more to call my children mirrors.

32:28 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Okay, I will find another word.

32:30 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Maybe some elements, some of their reflections, things I mean, you can use the picture metaphor in some sort of way but I feel more like all the people that happen in my life and all, actually also all the places and situations and animals and waves of the Pacific. All of it is there for a reason and all of it has a precedent for me or some element of inspiration or message or some. They play some role that I'm supposed to learn something or absorb something or realize, and I do know that I am the same. The world doesn't evolve around me. I am sometimes the solution for someone else. Sometimes it's my turn to be the angel or the critic or the provocation or just whatever. The cook of the day.

33:38 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
It's not mirrors, but it's a little quicker to just see mirrors.

33:43 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
But then it would be about me. Like, I'm sending something back and therefore I learned. But I actually think that whatever enters the stage of my life has its own thing that it brings to me. I was grateful for that. It's a present, it's a new energy, a new idea, something I didn't have before, and I'm grateful that I now have the opportunity to see. Sometimes what they bring is a mirror and something yeah. That's different.

34:13 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
You came round just for the tiny bit of a different thing. You came round to the mirror thing, but just not.

34:19 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah, I just had to find out. But it is not that they are mirrors, and actually lots of times they are.

34:25 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
It's just a better version of his mirror.

34:27 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah, I like my version best. I'm right. You know the awesome face and you're not. So I'm right and you're wrong. That's fine. Just buy my book in a few months.

34:41 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
Buy the book and you'll actually get all the wisdom you can actually get to read it before.

34:45 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah, I'm so lucky.

34:47 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
If you put down the numbers. Yeah.

34:51 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
I think everything like and why maybe the word healing is sort of like a little trigger I still use it, but definitely have been working with different ideas of more like remembering, and it speaks to even learning from the gifts that are around you every day.

35:09
There's a really big difference between walking around the world like, oh, I'm broken and I need all these modalities to fix me and I'm just never going to really be fixed and I'm obsessed with this trauma and that trauma and I need a fix for this and a fix for that.

35:28
You know that kind of broken energy is what imperialist capitalism really thrives on and they'll, because it makes us really and amenable to buying things, consuming things to make us feel better, to make us feel worthy, complying with absurd things that corporations and governments want us to do. You know, when we feel really broken and shit, we become very small and, yeah, we become pawns in the powerful's agenda, whereas approaching, remembering or learning and experimenting with different modalities from an energy of just wanting to understand our own power and really be who we are in our fullness, to me it's a totally different energy. It's like extremely powerful, and I think the reason I can do brave things increasingly is because I'm experimenting with a lot of modalities that other people would say it's kind of healing work or fixing work. But it's not fixing to me, it's just allowing me to remember my own power and sovereignty.

36:54 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I totally agree with that one. That's my other thing. I don't know if I was clear about that in the beginning, but my hesitation with the healing focuses exactly that. Oh so we are broken, so there is something wrong with me? No, there is not something wrong with me. There might be a layer I don't need. I might have needed it before. There might be some structures I haven't seen through yet. There might be a learning journey in front of me, but identifying with I am the problem. There is something wrong with me and I have to fix it.

37:26
And if you put that on top of a new unschooling parent who just realized they want to unschool their children and they have the epiphany oh shoot, this is great. And now I have to heal and I have to speed heal because I'm broken and I might ruin everything by being so broken. That's just not a good energy. We are all right and fine and perfect and miracles. When we arrive and maybe we get some bruises and scratches and some, I don't know we turn off the light in certain areas that need to be turned on again at some point so that we can grow in a harmonious way. But we are not broken as such and I think you're completely right. If we understand ourselves as broken, we become very small and we lose our power, whereas if we understand ourselves as perfect, we just need to go through the what's that phase what's that in English, I don't know From the caterpillar to the caterpillar.

38:30 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah, and I. What you said made us see us as an armed rebellion, where we are armed with happiness, self-confidence and peace. I like that.

38:42 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
I love that. That's so awesome. Yeah, I think I do. I really agree, and I had quite a major revelation a couple of years ago when I realized that the first half of my parenting slash unschooling journey was very much fueled by this statement that I am trying to raise my kids so they don't have a childhood to heal from. And on one hand, that sounds really nice and pleasant and admirable and on the other hand, it's quite a big whip to be kind of flailing yourself with and potentially stopping you from doing the bit that you're really meant to do.

39:27
If you're trying to do everything and tick every box so they don't have any experiences that they ever need healing from. You know it's all. It's actually impossible for one, but also it's like a huge distraction from you simply being present to them and being the mum that you have been put in their life to be. And I then really moved much more into the energy of I'm not here to do a whole ancestral cycle disruption. I'm just here to do the bit that is mine to do.

40:10
You know I can't possibly heal everything for all future generations that has gone before me. You know my kids are my new and you know they're going to have to do that bit, and I can only do my bit, and then they'll be parents and they'll do their bit, and then their kids will do their bit and, over time, will be increasingly evolving or increasingly remembering who we are as kind of blissful present, peaceful beings. But yeah, it was a really huge moment in my life and I abandoned all plans to give my kids a childhood that they didn't have to heal from.

40:52 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
I think actually there is a great piece of wisdom and understanding that maybe if we try so hard to give our children the perfect childhood, it reminds me of the movie Finding Nemo in English, where the little bluefish, where the Nemo's dad says I don't want anything to happen to him. And what's her name? Dora? She says why wouldn't you want anything to happen to him? That would be a really boring life and I like that little conversation.

41:31
It reminds me of the fact that nothing happens while they are children and they are close to us and we can help them heal and we can help them go through phases of life that are not easy. Then they will have to experience that for the first time later on in life and it might be really rocking the boat, so much so it falls over and we can't control what happens in their life. We can't control what happens. I mean we all experienced the lockdown, for example. We had no control over that and the whole world went crazy. So what we could do was to help our children get through this somewhat traumatic experience. We couldn't prevent it from happening in their lives. And if we start to think that we fail as parents if our children don't have the perfect childhood and are happy every day and have all everything, then we will fail. Sure, it will fail and it will feel like shit.

42:34 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
Yeah, exactly yeah. It cracks me up when people say about respect to a parenting and unschooling something like you can't protect them from the real world. They need to experience the real world eventually, as if by unschooling them and giving them a lot of opportunity to have a really nice fucking life, we're somehow doing them a disservice and I'm just like. Life is kind of hard, guys. You don't have to make up hard things like school in order for your kids to experience really troubling, painful times. They just are going to have that.

43:19
My daughter, Amona, has broken every single limb in her body, two of them twice. She has spent over a year of her childhood in a car. It's painful for a kid to have to experience that, but nothing I could do could have stopped it. She had to deal with it. My youngest daughter cried for three months when her best friend, who was a world-schooling child, left New Zealand and she didn't make another friend for a year. There was nothing I could do to protect them from those experiences. That's just being a human. So we can do unschooling with this energy of just them having a great life, but we're not protecting them from anything. Life comes with its own hard troubles and they will get to experience it.

44:21 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Absolutely, lucy. It is about time to find a way to end this episode. I think we maybe should end with some book recommendations and then also mentioning where people can get hold of you if they want to work together with you. So let's take the last part first, because that is easy, and then maybe a recommendation for a book or two or a step to take along the way of growing as a person. I believe you have some suggestions. I hope.

45:02 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
Yeah, I can share with you definitely the modalities that I've been working with over the last year. I'll share my three, and they all have quite a similar sort of energy about them. So the first one is Carolyn Elliott's Existential Kink. I absolutely adored that book. I read it three times in 2023. I've become a super fan and there's a caveat with that. It's extremely triggering. The first time I tried to read it four years ago, I thought she was a horrendous person and I couldn't even read a couple of pages. I was like what is this shit? So a big caveat with that one.

45:45
But when it comes at the right time in your life, life changing. So that's what I'm recommending to everyone and it introduced me to a lot of practices that now massively inform everything I do. The other one is the one I've already mentioned the Great Cosmic Mother. That's for a lot of evidence about what life was like pre-patriarchal rule Very fantastic. And then the third one that I worked with last year is called the Energy Codes by Sue Morta Doctor Sue, and yeah, I don't know if you know that.

46:26
Yeah, I found her very compelling and a year later, I still do the energy practices that she recommended. So yeah, if you're a glutton for punishing self-development work, those three will provide some good stuff.

46:50 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Yeah, and then if people want to get in contact with you, where do they find you?

46:56 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
So the best way for sure is Instagram, because I'm there every day and I've got two accounts. The first one is Straight Up Unschooling and School Wounds and that is Lucy Underscore Disco. That's the name of my unschooling course and we're enrolling that in about a month's time. And then my other Instagram is specifically for home educators who want to create a life for themselves where they have a thriving business, and this has been a big pivot in my work from just straight up unschooling.

47:32
There's just so many people so many I mean it feels like thousands were saying I want to unschool, but I'm trapped in this horrible situation and my own experience with business has been basically beschooling was the thing that allowed me to build a business and make money, and I feel like a huge amount of school fixated society and all the other power arcies we've already mentioned on this call set us up to be trapped in a system, and so here I'm stepping in the gap to kind of help home educators, using de-schooling principles to create a thriving business for themselves. So that one is Lucy Underscore Rewild.

48:27 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Nice.

48:28 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
Yeah, we'll put the links in the show notes.

48:31 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Absolutely All take to the books.

48:34 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
And thank you for a very interesting conversation Again.

48:37 - Lucy AitkenRead (Guest)
So great to chat. I loved it, thanks a lot.

48:41 - Cecilie Conrad (Host)
It's always nice to talk to you.

48:42 - Jesper Conrad (Host)
Thank you for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's episode and if you liked it, then please share it with all your friends and family. We would also love it if you gave our podcast a review. Thanks, and if you want to support our podcast and work, then you can find us on patreoncom slash. The Conrad family. We will continue to travel full time and if you want to tag along, then please follow us on Facebook and Instagram at the Conrad family, and you can also read more than 100 blog posts on our website. The Conrad family. Until next time, make a wonderful day, thank you.


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