As children we are encouraged to have an imagination. To create, to make up stories of fantasy lands and make believe friends. We want children to play, laugh, run around and make noise allowing their free spirits to develop and shine through.
There is nothing sweeter than the sound of uncontrollable laughter and giggles from an infant or young children doing what they do best - no cares, worries or insecurities. They just want to have fun, get dirty, play and be happy. Their eyes light up when they hear a story of adventures of faraway places, of pirates & treasures, of fairies and magical spells. This in turn allows them to start their own series of dreams of all they things they will do and be when they are big enough to make their dreams come true. Astronauts, Rocket scientists, ballerinas, super stars - nothing is impossible in your mind when you are 6. It is through their exploration of games and playing pretend that they truly discover the wonderful joy of being a child.
Fast forward 20 or 30 years and what have become of these beautiful lively spirits with vivid imaginations and dreams of magic and happily ever after?
We grow up! Boo!! :(
Sadly it seems that to grow up we often let go of the wonderful light and lovely characteristics of being a child. In fact it is regarded an insult if somebody calls you childish or immature. Yes because to grow up would seem for many of us that we grow old and boring. Having fun is no longer acceptable. Or even worse people can be so tightly wound up that as adults they need stimulants to have fun and let go and somehow that’s okay? If you are intoxicated and behave stupidly it is condoned or excused but if you are too playful and silly sober, then somehow you are weird. WTH? When we were little all you needed was maybe a lollipop and your best friend and you'd be the happiest kid alive.
It is true that as adults we need to work, pay bills or raise a family but that shouldn’t mean that we are not allowed to hang on to those wonderful elements of being a child. Maybe if were a little more childlike life as an adult could be more in the moment – enjoying what is in our present rather than worrying about before or after.
I’ll be first to admit I am at times a boring adult but I am trying to mend my ways. I'm not sure when it happened but once upon a time I use to play with imaginary friends in magical places. I wrote stories and drew pictures. I needed nobody other than my dolls and stuffed animals to feed me hours of captivating conversation. When I rode my bike I crossed continents, when I sat in my bed it was a boat in high seas being circled by sharks and when I went swimming I was a mermaid in a hidden underwater city. I believed that when I grew up I would be famous and in turn be and do the most amazing things. I never ever doubted myself or questioned what if.
30 odd years later and although I know that little girl is still inside me it seems I have not only grown up – I have grown old. Actually, I can be a pretty damn boring old person! If the child I was when I was 7 met me as the adult I am now, she would not be impressed. She would think I was very dull and unexciting. No fun at all. And that’s not good!
Since my realization that I had turned into a grumpy old woman it has been my aim to recapture some of the childlike qualities that would serve me well.
Create more and give myself permission to dream.
Sometimes though when behaviors are set in years of previous habits it can be difficult to know where to start when wanting to make changes – even the subtle ones. So I would suggest keep it very simple and ask yourself a few questions to firstly figure out what your dreams are.
1. What do you want.... Today...this week...this year?
2. What are the things, people or activities that give you joy and happiness?
Taking your responses and then compare them to what you are actually doing and living on a daily basis. The closer your reality and your dreams match up then the happier and more fulfilled you and your life will be.
There are however a few other important inclusions to note...
- Nothing happens overnight or without some work. However if you are committed to living a fulfilled & connected life you will do what is needed to make your dreams become reality and then the rewards will pay off in the end.
- They have to be your dreams. Not those imposed on you by society or other people. What do YOU want?
- It takes courage and consistency to abandon current patterns and habits and it is not always easy. The more support and help you get from people who love you the healthier your transition will be. Surround yourself with people that raise you up.
- Start small. I'm not suggesting we all resign from our jobs and go to Hawaii to surf from sunrise to sunset (although that would be lovely!)Think of the little things you can do daily. For example maybe if laughing gives you joy then you may commit to seeing a comedy show once a month with your loved one or even rent a funny movie. Choose a joke of the day! It’s the little things done repeatedly that have the potential of forming new and wonderful habits.
- It shouldn’t be at the expense of hurtful to others. This is fundamental to not only applying yourself to fulfilling your potential but also being considerate, compassionate and thoughtful towards others around you. Achieving your life’s purpose should never involve stomping and stepping on people as you climb your way to the top of your nirvana. Otherwise when you get there you could possibly have nobody left to celebrate it with you.
Life is precious, short and apparently we only have one (in this body at least) so honestly why should we waste a single moment or breathe doing things that do not give us joy, passion excitement if it is in our power to create it? It seems crazy that we are often so busy working and buying “stuff” that we have forgotten the essence of being truly happy.
We can find a happy balance if we know what we want and seek it out. Having the courage to be accountable to ourselves and never being satisfied with just rolling through each day in blah-mode. Our dreams and yearnings are our souls telling us what we have the potential of being and creating. This is why they are as different and unique in what they are, as we are as individuals. Nobody else needs to share your vision because it is YOUR passion and YOUR dream - and you are the only person to truly know what is right for you.
So dear friends my advice is for you as it is for myself:
Trust your inner guides and believe that you can be and achieve anything that you apply yourself to with a loving and generous spirit. But first you need to sit yourself down and have a good chat with yourself and figure out what it is that really lights you up. Find your inner child and ask them what your dreams are and together fulfill your destiny!
And if anybody says you acting like a child say –
Thank you!! :)
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