OK In Health - Parenting Tips

Lessons from the Sandbox - September 2017

By Maggie Reigh, Kelowna, BC

Kids playing in the sandAre you so caught up in building for the future that the life you live right now is exhausting you? Right now is all there is… let your children remind you that this is your moment of creation!

Living and working with children is indeed a journey to self mastery and self discovery! For years I dedicated my life energy to excavating the caverns of my soul in a never-ending search to know more, know why, reveal my flaws and lay them wide open so that I might fix them and understand how I could have developed the habits that didn’t serve me well.

It seemed only natural then, that if I wanted to help my children be all that they could be that I should help them to fix and manage their flaws... digging ever deeper to know those flaws more intimately, believing that somehow at the bottom of it all lay the key to changing them so that they could live a happy, successful life.

I suspected that this was perhaps not working as well as I intended from the resistance it created in my children! Their resistance sent me searching for parenting methodologies and philosophies that taught me to shift my approach to finding their assets, their gifts, and appreciating them. That helped a lot but my focus was still on searching and discovering who I was, who they were.

Then I read a statement in Neale Donald Walsch’s book Communion with God that made me catch my breath and sent my senses reeling as the depth and simplicity resounded throughout my entire Being.

“Life is not a process of discovery; it is a process of creation.”

We are not here to find ourselves; we are here to create ourselves! That thought felt incredibly liberating and as I was lying on the beach one day I had a vision of walking along a sandy beach filled with people bustling about.... busy, busy, busy, digging and digging. Some had dug HUGE underground caverns and elaborate tunnels and still they were straining to dig more, dig faster.

I wanted to know what was going on and so stopped someone to talk. She was obviously quite irritated by my interruption but dutifully waited to hear my question. “What’s going on?” I began. “What’s everyone doing here?”
“Don’t you know?” she replied incredulously... “This is life’s most important excavation here... I’m surprised you’re not here yourself. Anyone with any depth of thinking is here.”
“But what are you DOING here?” I persisted.
“Why we are looking for the meaning of life... we are searching to find ourselves!”
“But why?” I queried.

Exasperation flickered across the face of the woman in front of me, but held captive by an inner obligation to “be polite,” she answered slowly and evenly – as if speaking to a very young child, a very old person, or to someone who didn’t understand English. “Why we all need to find ourselves dear! How else can we discover who we are? How else can we find our faults and fix them?”
I looked around at the giant mounds of sand, at the extravagant tools & machinery the people had developed to help them dig, at their grim faces and rigid bodies. I thought about their resolute determination to “get to the bottom of it all and discover themselves,” and suddenly I saw the folly of my own desperate search to find myself and to discover who I am... and I began to laugh.

The lady with whom I spoke was quite taken aback. Her eyes flashed with defiance and her voice crackled with annoyance, “What are you laughing about?” she snapped.
“I’m sorry,” I replied, “I am not laughing at you, but at myself, for I see my own life reflected in all of your hard work. I see how much energy I have expended, digging deeper and deeper into myself, trying to fix my flaws; grimly trying to create structures that would, I thought, eventually make me happy… yet I have missed the joy of actually digging and playing in the sand! I haven’t stopped to enjoy the process of creating… and life is really ALL about what we create! I mean, look at what you have created here!”

When we are children we revel in wonder at the sand that is so pliable and fun to play with; we squeal with delight as our bucket of water soaks into the fine sand and forms lovely moats around our castles; we soak up the warmth of the sun on our skin and marvel at the creations that we have made... knowing that in time they too shall dissolve once again into the sandy beach from whence they came... to provide yet another opportunity for us to build again. And suddenly I am filled with the glorious realization that the beach is here, not for us to dig endlessly into the depths of the sand searching for the key to a happy life; the beach is here to provide a playground within which we can create whatever we want, however we want.
And of course, the greatest teacher when it comes to building sand castles is the child within each and every one of us.

What do the sandcastles and tunnels you’ve built in your family look like? Are you happy with them? Do you enjoy the very act of creating them... or have you worked grimly to create structures you hope will one day make you happy?

Have your tunnels and passages been built through your determination to lay open and fix your faults... and your children’s as well? If so, do not beat yourself up about it... that’s just another tunnel! The time to start creating what you want in your life is right now. Truly, there is no other time than right now. Focus on creating what you want and enjoy the act of creation itself. Let your children, the masters of sand castle enjoyment, be your teachers! You’ll be surprised how quickly what you don’t want falls away in your life.

Maggie ReighMaggie's Bio: Maggie Reigh is an international speaker, playshop facilitator, and storyteller, as well as a certified hypnotherapist. She is the author of the book and program series '9 Ways to Bring Out the Best in You & Your Child', and of the family activity package, 'Taking the Terror Out of Temper Tantrums'. Maggie specializes in helping people to release deeply embedded thought and behavior patterns that no longer work so that they can create joyful, positive, and meaningful relationships with self and others. Contact Maggie through her website. Lake Country BC - Maggie Reigh Website - Email

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