I would like to invite you on a journey back in time…
Go back to the time when you were young, try to remember your earliest happy memory as a kid.
A time when nothing really mattered,
When everything seemed to be exciting and unfamiliar,
When simple things in life used to make you happy,
When you were curious to learn about everything and anything,
When you didn’t know enough about the laundry list of fears that you have accumulated today,
When you mostly knew about receiving love and giving it right back to those loved ones,
When you didn’t know about the improbable — until someone pointed what it is,
When your creative mind was able to take you through various adventures and enabled you to live the experience and believe it.
Now connect with this kid and make this vision highly vivid in your mind, feel the happiness of that kid and place yourself in his mind’s eye. What playful moments do you see? How does it feel?
I was able to go through this journey and I finally found the inner kid in me, I reconnected with his playfulness, joy, innocence and fearlessness. I needed to create him as an anchor in my life, and for this to happen, I needed to personify him in my present self. So I kept going back numerous times to those memories, making it as vivid as it could possibly get. I have this kid today in the back of my mind and I get to revisit this anchor throughout my journey in life.
So how did this anchor serve me?
Connecting to my creative mind
Similar to what I experienced back in my childhood, when I used to create visions about journeys and epic adventures to use for a role-playing game, thinking like that kid has enabled me to develop new visions and dreams about where I want to be heading in my life, to what is next for me and who will be there with me on that journey. There was a time when I felt that life was becoming dry and dull, due to my surroundings and environment that I was living in, I felt like I was getting sucked into the routine lifespan — I became dreamless. Today it is no longer the case, I am able to construct again a new epic journey and adventure that I have actually embarked on and others that I am yet to conquer. My creative mind has been resuscitated by constantly calling on the kid in me who actually dares to go beyond a dull reality that I could be living in.
Rewire the truth — creating a new perspective
Ever thought about how would the kid in you look at your current reality? Problems, emotional attachments to objects, subjects and ideologies? We have all started life as children with a blank page to write all of our fears, obstacles, and reasons to be happy or upset. So what if we get to pause our life track and bring into presence the kid in us and get him to offer his perspective on the source of stress that we are dealing with? What if that kid has actually no emotional attachments to that issue at hand? I got to invite the kid in me to offer different perspectives to some of my reality in life. For example, my professional nomadic lifestyle has created a fear of homelessness by not belonging to any country or nation — today through that kid I got to reconsider this perspective with a different one that made me honor and accept that I am now walking the journey of a thousand miles and to maximize the wisdom and learning, I should be more present to where I am now and what am I doing.
More time to play
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw
This is very true with my work for example, I realized that I needed to incorporate more play time and fun as this makes the day go lighter, besides managing my relation with my peers and subordinates became effortless. The best time I believe to introduce playfulness into your day to day activities is during times where seriousness is required — even if not through a gesture — I always allow the kid to offer a thought or an image that relieves any pressure of my mind.
Dance through life, without having a target to arrive anywhere
I love this quote by Alan Watts “In music one doesn’t make the end of the composition the point of the composition… Same way in dancing, you don’t aim at one particular spot in the room… The whole point of dancing is the dance.”
What I am grateful for today is that I am not having as much mental pressure of arriving somewhere in my life. I was indeed running a rat race once upon a time; trying to compete to get someplace that was not even clear to me. Today I follow my curiosity and sense of adventure, I actually dance my way through life and just like a kid, I get to explore thrilling roller coaster rides which at most times gets me into troubles, nevertheless there will always be stories to tell. Then life since adopting this attitude was never too dull.
I like to use the metaphor of a vine leaf floating on a river following the current all the time, be it turbulent or calm, this leaf gets to experience diverse parts of this river and its banks. The river will never break the leaf — it will just transport it along its journey taking it to an unknown destination. The point is that the leaf does not focus on the end point it will just dance its way along the logs, the rocks and any obstacles that it may come across; never sinking but always floating above water.
How many times in your life have you experienced circumstances where you had many reasons to be stressed or anxious about your homework, chores, emails, deadlines, etc… This is in fact my daily struggles and what helped alleviate the pressure off the chores; in my case, was bringing that playful kid to presence. For example, in the past when I received an unfriendly email at work I felt a negative emotional attachment that impacted me deeply within. Since I started having this kid in me as an anchor I have managed to immune myself from getting attached to that negative emotional cord. Imagine telling a kid that they have received an unfriendly email at some point — the care factor for them will most likely be Zero. This persona helped me to be more present and focused on what is important: that is how to effectively react to this situation.
Another way this Kid was able to keep me mindful — was during my leisure time, be it a holiday, weekend or vacation — to my experience during this time my monkey mind have a million reasons to be engaged in planning and stressing about the future: what emails I have to send? What bills I have to pay? Meetings I have to attend and so on. But the reality is that stressing about future circumstances will not influence the outcome. The kid in me helped me indeed maximize this free time by adopting a careless attitude towards longer future plans and more so enjoy the current free time that I have at hand.
To conclude, this may not be for everyone, but it certainly worked for me. Whatever is going to be your vehicle — my wish for you is to find a way or an anchor to evade from the toll of a dull routine lifespan, be mindful and connect to your creative mind.
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