Monday, March 26, 2012

Connecting With the Inner-Child

by N. Jane Allio

The first day of sun in a week was a welcome surprise. I woke up Friday morning to find, not snow, but gorgeous rays of sunlight dancing through my mesh curtains kissing my face. What a glorious day, I thought to myself, and determined to not let it go by without fully basking in its majesty.

 So, I called up a couple of friends, one of which has an extremely energetic two-year-old that loves to play, and ventured outside. On our walk we absolutely had to stop by the neighborhood park for rounds of climbing big winding structures, teeter-tottering, sliding, and of course taking a spill or two in the bark.

Photo contribution by Crystal Wong
Running, climbing, feeling my muscles burn hanging up-side-down, blood rushing to my face, the sheer thrill of hanging there without a care in the world, flying freely as I flew down the slide and straight off the tail into the dirt. Listening to shrieking laughter fill the atmosphere accompanied by a multitude of smiles. This is how memories are made during sunny days of childhood play. 

All to often our daily life fills with stress, work, worries, bills, errands, chores, and other "gown-up" obligations that the kid within us begins to get lost under a pile of dishes, paperwork, and un-matched socks. Forgetting to take the time, like that dear little two-year-old, to pause, smell the daisies, and say, "Mmmmmmm." 

When we don't allow ourselves the time to stop and do something childish every now and again we begin to become callus to our surroundings, eventually we go through our days like a work horse, blinders on as not to get distracted from the road. 

Each moment is unique unto itself allowing ourselves to go through each day with child-like wide eyed wonderment does not negate the wisdom that has been gained, but rather allows it to be applied in new and different areas. Not to mention, humbling pride along the way.

At least this is what my experience has been.

After I embraced this childishness within myself, it manifested in a beautifully productive way, instead of coming out during a frustration ending in embarrassment. Ignoring the little voice with-in saying to take the long way home, or just take a break for a minute and go for a walk, suppresses needs that yearn to be filled. Taking the time to blow of a little steam by being aware, honoring, and embracing these necessities opens the hatch of the internal pressure cooker, allowing relaxation and happiness to fill the newly empty space. 

So if you feel stressed, bogged down by work, or just plain muggy, try skipping down a wooded path, sitting in a garden, climbing a tree, or whatever you feel compelled to do, I am almost certain your frown will turn up-side-down. 

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