“Ah, to be a kid again…”
How many times have you heard that in your life? What exactly is it about being a kid that we want to go back to, though? The social anxiety of junior high, the numbing hours of homework? No, probably not… but there is something about being a kid that we never really appreciated until we hadn’t been one in a while.
I think it’s that carefree attitude, that feeling of bright-eyed, future-is-wide-open possibility that we sometimes miss about being a kid, and that’s a great feeling to have… no wonder why we miss it! But what’s stopping us from having that attitude right now? After all, no matter where we are in life, we can always switch our mindset, really quite effortlessly, any time we actually remember to do so.
Here are just a couple of things I do to put myself in that frame of mind:
For one, I walk around barefoot- a lot. This is a fantastic way to connect with the world around you; your senses will be more acute, and you’ll be much more in the present moment. Plus, it’s really tough to stomp around angrily when you’re barefoot. It encourages you to take in the world as it is, and loosen your grip on trying to control every single little outcome in your life. If you haven’t tried walking around barefoot, give it a shot- you’ll see what I mean.
For another, if I see a playground, I swing on the monkey bars. Of course, I make sure that real, actual kids are not playing on the playground at the same time, because I’m a grown man. I’m certainly not a threat to them, but it’s way outside their baseline of what’s normal, which could make them (or their parents) uncomfortable. The last thing I want to do is ruin a real child’s carefree experience in order to enjoy the same feeling myself. (If I’m with my own child on the playground however, I get a free pass!) I hope I’m swinging on monkey bars when I’m eighty.
So remember, you can switch on that child-like sense of playfulness any time you want. I hesitate to use the word “empowering” because frankly, I don’t want to sound like a woman, but I’m sure you get the point. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to run barefoot to the nearest playground to swing on some monkey bars.