When we are little, all we want is to grow up, be an adult and finally have our freedom to do whatever we want. Oh, glorious is the day when we walk out of high school, our diploma in our hands, ready to take on the world. But then … the world isn’t quite what we expected and we repeatedly fall hard on our noses. What’s even worse, in our zeal to be adults, we forget to reconnect and unleash our inner child.
Now that we have reached adulthood, we go to University, and then we start working. Some of us travel the world before committing to the hectic adult life. Others go straight to work. Whatever path is taken, the majority of us leave the child we once were behind.
Today during class I was talking to my students; they wanted to know about my life. So, I gave them the PG-13 version of how I ended up in Mexico 😉 and we also talked about the plans we have as children or teenagers and how those plans often turn out so differently. Then, there are other goals we have in mind, goals that are more aligned with who we are deep down, and somehow our paths still end up leading us there.
Those School Days …
I always wanted to be a veterinarian, but in school I wasn’t very good at biology (at least not the advanced stuff), I had trouble with chemistry, and I sucked at physics. My physics teacher spent his classes writing on the board and I knew the back of his head really well, but I don’t remember his face.
In physics classes, he might as well have spoken Chinese to me, it would not have made a difference, I just didn’t get it. Unfortunately, I needed those subjects if I wanted to study medicine, and I knew that would be a nightmare, so I studied what I was good at and also loved, languages and history.
Years later, my life still took me to my previous goal of wanting to be a vet. I started rescuing animals off the street, and during my 20 years as an animal rescue and foster volunteer I assisted many veterinarians, and I think that I learned nearly enough to be a vet assistant, often during emergencies and with no one nearby. Somehow I still ended up doing what I dreamed of as a child.
Even though, in a way, we can still be led to those dreams we had as a child and may have forgotten about, there’s one more important thing we tend to forget: the child in us. We neglect to listen to it. When was the last time you let your inner child out and shut up the ever so cautious what-will-the-others-think adult?
Why is it so important to acknowledge and even let our inner child out?
The Importance of Allowing Your Inner Child Outside to Play
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Seriously? What were you thinking?”
We often rend to reprimand ourselves when we think we did something silly, and while we certainly do things that we should not repeat, it is OK to be silly once in a while.
Dance the Dust off
When you’re doing your chores and this really great song comes up, and you just can’t stop moving your hips. Move it! Wipe that dust of your furniture with a groovy swing and some amazing dance steps. Why not? Housework is tedious enough (well, it is to me, haha), so combine it with a good playlist.
Twist and Shout in Your Car
You’re stuck in traffic among hundreds of sour faces, everyone is really annoyed because they want to be anywhere but there, and can you blame them? I hate traffic too. When I get to a street and I see the traffic pile up, my first words out are always “Oh no …”
If I’m stuck in a long line of slow moving cars, I have the choice of either sitting there in anger or singing out loud with my music. I mean, if we’re stuck and can’t go anywhere, feeling irate isn’t going to magically whisk us out of there. You might as well have a good time. So, play that music and sing out loud. You’ll feel less stressed about being stuck in traffic.
Being the only one singing and tapping your wheel like a drum among a sea of serious drivers may make you the odd one out, and it might invite some funny looks, but who cares?
Know Your Limits
This is letting your child out, when you lose the worry about what others might think of you being YOU. That doesn’t mean that you are now going to do in public whatever crazy thing comes up in your mind. There are of course limits to everything. Just like we teach our children what we can and cannot do, you as the adult should also bear in mind how much your inner child is allowed when you let it out to play.
More Tips to Let Your Inner Child Out
Try out new things. Trying out something new just because you want to leads you to think in different ways.
Start a Creative Hobby
New hobbies make you feel curious and carefree, something that our jobs and house work obliterate from our minds. Gabrielle Bernstein, an author and public speaker whose work I have shared in previous posts, says that “Creativity offers us freedom to be ourselves and let loose!”
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Spend Time With Kids
I love spending time with kids! I just love to play with them and get all caught up in their games. It is fun! As adults our busy lives often make us forget to have such fun.
Dance, Sing, Just do
Do things just because you want to, because it feels good. Have new experiences, like a kid who is exploring.
Be in the Moment
Kids are in the moment. We, adults are constantly either worrying about the future or hurting ourselves with mistakes from the past. Experience life in the present moment. Pay attention to your breathing. Feel your body, your arms, hands, legs, feet when you meditate or when you walk.
Be there, feel, just be in the present. Be in wonder at what surrounds you, like kids do. Hear the birds sing, stand still and listen. Be in awe at the hummingbird feeding of a flower, at nature’s perfection, like a child.
Daily life takes up much – nearly all – of our time, and we are always too busy for this or that. Don’t forget to live, enjoy, be there. Don’t forget to take a break and breathe.
Julio Iglesias released a song ages ago, called “Me Olvidè de Vivir” – I forgot to live. This video has no subtitles, but the translation is in the video description.
Do you remember to slow down sometimes and listen to your inner child? If you haven’t connected with your inner child in a long time, perhaps now is the moment to unlock that door and let it out, live in the moment.