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insist that he think like me or comply with my wishes for his life. I see myself as a guardian of

Ocean’s spirit, rather than someone that is here to tell him what to do. In educating him about how to become a capable and self-sufficient adult, my part was to discern how to awaken his inner fire, draw out his inner wisdom, pique his curiosity and expand his capacity to learn. My role as a par- ent, and now as a friend, is to help my son achieve and fulfill his destiny by honoring his vision for his life. In remaining attentive to his natural tal- ents and special gifts, we discern what he needs to continue growing into his personal power. Intergenerational collaboration

such as we have requires a bridge built of shared values, love, mutual respect, trust and support. I am in awe of Ocean, who doesn’t just stand on my shoulders; he flies from them as a courageous humanitarian responsive to the needs our times, as well as being a wonderful father himself.

How do your workshops help both elders and youths bridge the gap between the generations?

We use creative, thoughtful activities that build heart-filled community. Basi- cally, we create space for learning how each life stage brings its own gifts, chal- lenges and valuable perspectives. We learn to recognize that we need each other, across the age spectrum, to grow, heal, have fun and create thriving lives and communities. Our children and grandchildren come into the world carrying the seeds of the future. They come en- dowed with new possibilities, new understandings and new energies. If as elders we wisely support them with the respect and assistance younger people deserve, they can accomplish things we cannot. They may be able to correct the errors of past generations, including our own. Then our children will not only be free to be themselves, they will bring a new breath of life into the world.

Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings magazines.

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Office located on the Fairfield / Trumbull line

June 2012 23

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