On being childlike

This post is inspired by two events last week.  The first involved a session with a new client; the second, a reminder from Panache Desai to play like a five-year old.

On Saturday, a new client came to see me for a number of reasons–some shared, some not.  He happens to be an older gentleman, who during the session fully admitted he didn’t want to grow up (although wanted some adult action!)  and, in fact, had a temper tantrum while on the table.

Also on Saturday, Panache put it out there play and enjoy the day. Responses to Panache’s Facebook call to play in a child-like way ranged from the creation of mud pies to brilliant artistry.  Funny reads, inspiring art, and a reminder to me.   Not so much to play in the sense of, well, playing like a child.  But more of what being child-like means (or can mean).  Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all about mashed potato mountains, Tonkas, Tinker Toys, Centipede, air guitar, Twister, and Barbie’s head on GI Joe’s bod (What? You never did that?).

I think we forget, though, that the most amazing bits of being a child are never lost or even grown out of (we just play differently as adults, don’t we?  Tequila and Twister, anyone? Trade in your Tonka for a Yota yet?).  We just forget how to see as a child sees. Seeing the wondrous nature of the world and people around us:

  • without judgement
  • with an openness not veiled by fear
  • knowing the care and responsibility we share for others
  • with awe
  • with curiosity
  • with gladness and grace
  • with a grin

Reliance on particular aspects of “child”, those that resemble deluded clutching in otherwise grown folks,  hold us back by keeping us afraid.  “I want, I Want, I WANT, I WAAAANT” is one in particular. Think the kid in the grocery store with the embarrassed parent.  We’ve all seen it.  Would you do that now?  Another is the, “No. No. NO. NOOOOOO!!! You can’t have it (or her or him!)!” Imagine me not giving my brother back his Tonka truck with the Barbie-headed GI Joe! We think they work for us.  We think that if we wear down another person or the Universe by saying “I want”, we’re getting our way.  We’re really getting in our way.  When we don’t want to share it/her/him as an adult, we shut ourselves off to everybody–including ourSelf and the thing/person we’re trying to cling onto.

So, yes, Breathe and Be child-like but in the way of seeing the wonder of the world with freshness, curiosity, grace and a big, fat, Cheshire-cat grin!

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