“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun” Don Miguel Ruiz
As we get older we start to think more about the meaning of life and why we are here; we try to find a reason for our existence, maybe because we reach a point where we realise that we are not going to go on forever. When you are a child your happiness is more or less effortless; you might cry when you scrape your knee or when you want a sweetie but Mum says no but that’s pretty much the sum total of your stress and worries otherwise you go through life in joyous abandon. Do you remember that? The energy and excitement you felt running towards the swings with your friends and then the freedom you felt when you were swinging as high as you possibly could? There was a little bit of fear because it felt like you could be flung off into the sky at any moment but there was also the excitement of feeling like you could fly! As adults, especially as we get on in years, we forget that that kind of exuberance is possible and we weigh ourselves down with more fears and more worries but why?
Fundamentally our existence is based on what we have experienced in the past and, from this, we then imagine what we may experience in the future. If we perceive our experiences as negative then our imagination of all future experiences will be tainted by that negativity. For instance, if you try a new sport and sustain some sort of injury, you will have a small association with that sport and pain but, if you think more and more of the pain and remember the sport whilst you are thinking about the pain then chances are that’s the end of that sport for you! However, if you remember the fun you were having before you got hurt, you’ll likely brush off the pain and have another go. You then might find that you love the sport and it will become a great part of your life and bring you real happiness; the situation hasn’t changed – you played sport and got hurt – but your perception of it has.
Our mental attitudes shape our lives and some people manage to retain the absolute freedom and happiness that we all had as children because they don’t analyse every situation they find themselves in and they don’t analyse the people that they spend time with. How much time do you spend thinking about what you do before you do it? Do you try to imagine other people’s reactions to what you want to do? All this time that is spent considering possible outcomes could be spent just actually enjoying yourself – in effect you will create time for the things that you enjoy if you stop thinking and just do.
This video sums up absolutely beautifully why it’s so important for us to remember what life was like when we were children.
We had dreams, wonderful dreams, yet over time, we lose them or we push them to the back of our minds because we are persuaded or we choose to believe that they are not possible. Anything is possible!
If you are in your 50’s or 60’s then all of the people shown here are older than you and they all have a few things in common – they don’t think that they have to stop doing what they love just because they’re getting older, they don’t worry about what other people think about them and they haven’t forgotten what it’s like to feel like a child and just take pleasure from what life offers us.
Quite simply, life is short and we never know what tomorrow will bring or even if we will have a tomorrow so why not make the absolute best of what you have today?
Ps. Yes that is me in the picture and yes I was the only adult riding the merry go round – it was great fun :O)