To be … A Child Again

What does it mean to be a child again?

What does it mean to be free?

What does it mean to be fearless?

What does it mean to be willing to accept all possibilities?

What does it mean to be a creator of thrilling adventures?

As these questions float across my consciousness like slow moving clouds on a breezy summer day, I’m reminded by a friend that becoming like a child again is an invitation worth accepting.

The spirit of a child acknowledges no boundaries. They run, scoot, dance, celebrate and embrace the waking of the morning until the sun sets and even then they are creating new adventures in their hearts and minds ready with giddy excitement, to be experienced the next day.

“What possibilities can we create tomorrow” they may ask themselves? “What adventures can we go on and how can we make it the most fun possible? Who do we want to take with us and where would be the most exciting place to go?” The magic of a child is their world and possibilities are created in their hearts for they know no limitations. Everything is possible in their world whether is appears real or imaginary and if they run into challenges or obstacles, their creative little minds find a way around the obstacle or they create a new adventure. They’re fearless and they don’t back down, they just keep imagining, creating and moving.

As adults we say, “Oh, to be a child again …”

As this new age and era unfolds and we are squeezed from all sides to reevaluate what’s important and what is worth living for, we cannot ignore the spirit, creativity, fearlessness and curiosity of the child. If everything that is familiar, comfortable and safe is slowly being stripped away, is it unreasonable to go back to the beginning where the wonder, magic and possibilities like that of a child’s creative world, began? Anything and everything was possible and magic was real.

Somewhere along the way from the fearlessness, creativity, wonder and magic of being a child changed and we accepted the lie that we had to grow up and be responsible, dignified, conforming and trapped within the confines of a system. It was a slow process and it happened so gradually that we didn’t even recognize it happening until now in 2014, we are all starting to wake up and ask, “What the Hell is going on?!”

Nothing is working anymore. Companies are folding under the pressure of old systems that no longer support the vision. People are beginning to ask if they are truly living their purpose and what really matters enough to pursue and what can we let go of? Are the material things that used to give us satisfaction and represented years and years of hard work, really a good enough reward for the brutal sacrifices made to achieve? Do things really matter? What people really matter? Do I really matter?

Perhaps it is time to give ourselves permission to invite the spirit of our inner child, to return. Perhaps it’s time for all of us to go back to the beginning and start over where the wonder of possibilities and adventures await for us to set out on a new course … a new adventure. Perhaps it’s time to sit quietly with that inner child and ask, “What adventures do you want to take, where do you want to go and what is the most fun thing you would like to do?

Where did you go as a child to create? Did you sit on the swing set as you swung back and forth creating adventures on the fly? Did you walk down to the stream with your fishing pole and talk to God as you tempted the fish with your worm, or skipped rocks across the water? Did you build forts in your room with secret chambers and hiding places? Or did you sit with your dolls and trucks creating adventures on the fly … never really knowing how it was all going to end, you just created as you went along? Dress-up was so much fun because we got to imitate our hero within. Who do we want to be today?!

We don’t have to be adult about this, you know. We can still go sit on the swing, dream and create. We can still walk down to the river, put our line in the water and dream up our next adventure. We can still build forts across the kitchen table with different chambers and rooms, sit in it with our flashlight and dream. Perhaps even taking a big bowl of popcorn, a candy bar, a soda and pretend that we are camping.

This may sound childish but, these activities have power to heal and create. There’s a reason that as adults, we look forward to the grandchildren. It’s because they give us permission to remember and relive those memories and moments that we slowly let go of while growing up to be adults. Halloween is just not for kids. Even as adults, we look forward to the one time of the year that we have permission to dress up as our alter ego. And think about this for a minute … if we can acknowledge that Valentine’s Day and Christmas should be celebrated every day of the year, why can’t Halloween? Even if you don’t have the costume, you could still pretend.

I suspect you may not but … if you dared to, what energy would that create in your life? Sit with that for a moment. Play it out in your heart and imagination and feel it … all the way through before you start to rationalize it, then stop! Now … wasn’t that fun?!

Change is gradual … very gradual, so go easy on yourself. We did not arrive at our current location over night, but we can start today to invite our inner child to make an entrance back into our world. Invite that child freedom to create and give them permission to be silly, crazy, unpredictable, adventurous and spontaneous. If you want ice cream before dinner, go ahead!  If you really want to wear stripes with paisley and rain boots, go ahead! If you really want to wear goggles instead of sunglasses and pretend that you are a pilot flying your plane to work, go ahead! Let the spontaneous impulses invite the child within room to play.

Allow the silliness back into your life. Allow the child within, room to be bold and create. Step out of your comfort zone, your daily routine and put raspberry jelly on your corndog. One step at a time, one little gesture at a time, and one silly crazy thought at a time. Smile as you acknowledge your inner child and just know that your world may be changing and unrecognizable but … you are going to make it an adventure where … “No man has gone before!”

Hello child within … let’s go play, create and have fun! This is going to be a blast!!!

Breaking Free …

Perhaps the age of conforming has worn out its welcome. For an extended period of time, we’ve chosen a path that encourages and fosters self-control, discipline, developed skills and acceptable behavior. Where has that really gotten us … really?! Perhaps for a time, it served us well after the free-spirited 70’s but I wonder how well it’s serving us now.

Pinocchio comes to mind as I ponder the changes that are beckoning us all to release the strings that keep us tied to old ways. Pinocchio may best be remembered as the puppet with the nose that grew when he was caught lying, but there’s another dimension to the story of Pinocchio.

Geppetto was the artist who envisioned, carved and chiseled his puppet, Pinocchio. Since Geppetto had no children of his own, he thought he would craft and design one for himself. Everything that he was as an artist went into Pinocchio. He created him to be exactly what he thought he wanted but …

Pinocchio showed him otherwise. Pinocchio was not going to be tied down to strings and suggestions. Pinocchio was not going to conform to someone else’s idea. He wanted to be a free spirit; he wanted to be a “Real boy”.

Does this sound like anyone you know? Do you know anyone who is at a place in their life where they have been groomed, fashioned and conditioned to believe, behave or act a certain way to fit into someone else’s vision? How is that serving them or … you?

Is it really ok to think differently? Is it really ok to honor and recognize your misery about where you are in life? Is it really ok to be aware that what used to bring you happiness and fulfillment is not really working anymore?

Change is inevitable and we know this. The tighter we try to hold on to something that we are completely aware has passed in hopes that our grips will bring it back are quite frankly, leaving us weak, deflated, frustrated, depressed and exhausted. At the end of the day we have to ask, “Is this really all there is?”

You already know that we cannot go back, so how do we move forward? The things that used to be of significant importance are no longer carrying that hypnotic flame that keeps us content. If where we are is no longer serving us, then where do we go from here? If our identity has been wrapped up in our lives as spouses, parents, caregivers, our career or our activities and they are fraying at the seams, then where do we go from here?

What does your heart say? It has been speaking to you this entire time and it has something delightful, inspiring and comforting to share with you. If you have not heard its quiet whispers, then perhaps it’s time to sit and listen.

If our hearts are the direct link to the Divine Spirit and we trust that Divine Spirit to lead and guide us in this life, then our hearts are where we have the power to listen.  It truly is the one activity that we possess that no one can jeopardize, take away, steel in our sleep or abolish and destroy.

Sit, listen, acknowledge the subtle messages and trust what you are hearing and feeling. Be patient with yourself as you settle in to this space. Trust that the messages and the answers are really there and trust, trust yourself as you listen and interpret. It’s rarely a scream from the heart. It’s more like the gentle blow of a summer breeze or the kiss of cool water from the mountain creek. Be prepared to listen because your heart is going to reveal something that will set you apart as a creative and inspiring spirit. If you need help with some questions, here are a few that have supported me in fostering peace, awakenings and confirmation;

  1. What are my gifts? What have I been blessed with that is a loving, full expression of me?
  2. What do I enjoy doing so much so, that time passes by and I’m not aware of it?
  3. If money were never a concern, what would I do for free?
  4. What brings me joy … GREAT joy?
  5. Who do I enjoy spending the most time with?

Now, before you decide that these things don’t matter because you cannot make a living doing them, let me interject another thought.

I don’t know if you know this but, Corporate America is crumbling. Companies that used to have a solid foundation with good, moral principles, devoted employees and happy customers, are dissolving. These are careers that were the crowning glory of a college education with a line of degree’s to show for it. What used to be a desired and acceptable career path is changing and a new way of thinking and believing is emerging. We used to think that a college education that segued into a career was the noble and honorable thing to do.

Technology, innovation and creativity are emerging. People are making money now doing the very thing that brings them joy. We can do that now because old ways are dissolving and new ways have captured our interest. People are now making money by simply selling ideas …. Seriously! With the internet and social media, information travels from one side of the globe to the other in a single breath!

So when you discover what you truly love, when you discover what your heart wants to share with you about what brings you joy, I promise you, there is a way to share that with the world and … make money.

So, allow yourself to slowly detach your puppet strings so you can move, dance and celebrate your life. Give the puppeteer permission to go about their business controlling their puppets while you start charting the course to that thing that moves your soul. It’s time and I can say that because you have read all the way through this article, you’ve felt the pains of life and you know that something bigger and better is beckoning you to reach, grab and GO!

You are no longer a puppet. You’re a “Real boy”, and it’s time for you to experience a new life.