Have you ever watched children play and envied the focus they give to everything they do? Children live entirely in the moment, without the burdens of the past or worrying about the future. In early childhood, we are naturally assertive in standing up for ourselves and speaking the truth and there is a joy and vitality that we observe in children that we seem to lose as we get older.
The wounds that form from the variations of dysfunction present in so many families today create a shift from that original, natural, and wonderfully pure spirit that came into the world to a repressed and defended person who has adapted only to survive his or her life. environment. We lose our ability to connect with our bodies, our feelings, our needs and desires. We learn to renounce who we are.
Some time ago I was working with a professional who asked me to visualize myself as a small child when I was happy, joyful and free, before learning to protect myself, defend myself and modify myself to adapt and survive in the world. At first it was very painful because I could barely remember a moment when I hadn’t felt the pain of being lost, but the moment I became emotionally connected with myself as a child, something magical happened: I remembered who I was.
Memories came of dancing in the front yard in costumes, walking the fence railing, playing in the snow, and riding a bike downhill, over the crack in the sidewalk, with no hands. Once again she was cheerful and uninhibited, happy and brave. There was nothing I couldn’t do, nothing that could stop the free flow of creativity, fun and Life that was me. I felt that part of me in a visceral, physical way that reminded me that THIS was the truth of who I am, not all the behaviors that I put on over the years.
Having this experience of remembering Who I am, I made the determination never to forget again. I started looking for ways that I could integrate my Self into my being. I began to notice that the moments when I most connected with what I came to call my “bold inner child” were moments when I descended from the intellect and actually inhabited my body. I began to examine what led me to do that, and began to notice that the things that were most effective in helping me access my adorable inner child were all related to inspiration.
The Latin root of the word inspiration is “spirare”, which means breathe. Now he was really on to something. The first thing we have to do when we come into the world is to start breathing. Doctors even beat us on the butt to get us to do it. It is also true that when we breathe deeply, we breathe deeply our attention enters our body and we calm down as it happens in meditation.
What does it mean to be “in the body”? When we focus on the past or future, when we fantasize, when we are distracted from feeling our feelings (compulsive / addictive behaviors), when we doze off through television or other media, we are not “in the body.” Mentally, we are focused elsewhere. The intellect is like a computer whose job it is to solve problems and interpret the world around us. Many of us focus the mental energy of our intellect on reflecting on the past and how we wish it had been different or on worrying about the future, fearing that it will not turn out as we wish. I’ve been up many nights trying to figure something out or rehearsing conversations with people I was in conflict with. None of these efforts have had an effect or have changed what I have in front of me, nor was I really feeling my body while concentrating on them. Learning to focus on the moment we are really living brings us to the body and allows us to harness the power and presence that is within us. Certainly, there is no better way to do it than to breathe. So if we were to combine breathing with things that inspire us, we would have a winning formula.
Some of the things that inspire me are music, dancing, singing, inspiring stories, inspiring movies, beautiful scenery, sharing with like-minded people, skiing, rafting, and roller coasters. Laughter. Making a difference in the lives of others.
Connecting with our childlike spirit is a process that happens over time and that can bring many changes and benefits to our lives. I have noticed the following:
o A greater sense of inner power and purpose.
o Greater ability to make conscious decisions that are in my highest good rather than on autopilot.
o A clearer sense of purpose and direction and increased energy to act.
o A better connection with my inner guidance system.
o Increased awareness and presence in my life moment by moment.
o Know what I want and feel my feelings.
o More assertiveness to express myself and express my needs.
Have you ever taken a moment to notice those things that energize and inspire you? When do you really feel alive and connected to the life around you? Could it be that the energy, passion, and courage you’ve been craving for are already within you? How would your life be different if you connected with the spirit of the child that resides within you and remembered who you are? already are?