Today is Children’s Day! This is a day not just to celebrate the brilliantly happy kids running around, but also to celebrate all of us. Yes, although you may appear to be a fully formed adult, your child self is still inside of you.
Spending time with kids is an amazing way of reconnecting with our own inner children. Although I’m not a parent myself, I have been very lucky to build a friendship with a girl named Phoenix. At the age of six, she unconditionally welcomes my inner child and reminds me about the importance of being silly and just having fun for fun’s sake. Last weekend we spent the morning scooting and skipping around singing songs at the top of our lungs.
Here are a few takeaways that I’ve learned from her and a few of my other young friends.
1 - DANCE LIKE NOBODY IS WATCHING
When was the last time you did something totally out of the ordinary like dance in public to express exactly how you feel (without any regard for looking a certain way)? When I think back to high school and college dances I cringe at what lessons the social norms taught me about what it meant to ‘dance’, and how alcohol was used as a social anxiety remedy.
Where did the fun in dancing, exploring, adventuring just as we are go?
When Phoenix dances, she puts her whole heart into it and moves with the music regardless of what anyone else sees or says. She air guitars and twirls up a storm because it brings her immense joy. That spirit lives in all of us – we just need to wake him or her up every once in a while!
If the thought of getting your groove on feels intimidating, start with an activity like Dancing in the Dark. This practice is where a group puts blindfolds on, plays music and dances like nobody is watching (literally nobody is…). Zumba classes are also a great way of getting used to moving your body in public just as you are. For me, dancing always ends up doubling as a workout for my core as I laugh so much along the way. Instead of feeling embarrassed for a lack of coordination, I have fun with my inner child.
2 - DON'T EAT WHEN YOU'RE NOT HUNGRY
The way that kids approach food can truly be a learning lesson. As grown ups, we often use logic (or what feels like logic) to justify eating or not eating when our body may or may not need nourishment. Think about the last meal you ate. Did you do so because you actually needed it or because it was 12pm (and that means lunch time… so better hurry up and chow down) or because you were bored or tired?
Many Lizzy’s cleansers are amazed to realize that we eat way more and more often than our bodies actually need. Many kids like Phoenix are naturally in tune with their systems and know when their bodies should fuel up regardless of the standard Breakfast-lunch-dinner routine we are trained to do.
Spend today day being mindful of what your body is telling you. Are you eating to solve a physical hunger or emotional hunger? Are you eating out of need or out of habit? Take 3 deep breaths and drink a glass of water before mealtime. You may find that the ‘hunger’ was actually dehydration, fatigue, or something emotional.
3 - DO WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE
In several zenergy workshops, I’ve asked, “What activities did you used to do as a kid that you loved?” Students respond with answers like: “making fairy houses in the woods”, “rollerblading”, “playing dress up”, “taking dance class”, “playing outside”, “arts and crafts”. I hear about a great number of creative pursuits and a lot of playing that gets lost as we ‘grow up’ and ‘get serious’. I recently spent a morning with Phoenix creating adventure storybooks on colorful construction paper – I recorded her story and she did the drawing. It was amazing to witness how creative she was with the story line. It reminded me that I used to LOVE writing fiction short-stories and it re-inspired me to spend time later that day writing a poem.
Think about what used to make you really happy, and try for an afternoon to do just that！
4 - BE UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOURSELF
Research tells us that most of our personality is formed before we reach the age of five. The main difference between how kids act and how adults act is that kids are totally honest with who they are. Sometimes this honesty means that kids act in certain ways or ask questions that society deems to be unacceptable. Kids are just not yet programmed to hide emotions or to play politics - and what a breath of fresh air that can be!
In what areas of your life or in which relationships are you not being totally honest? To approach life in the way your inner child supports might look like spending time with people you actually love and care about, or speaking up when you feel uncomfortable. When you’re feeling blocked to share what’s on your mind or heart, call in the support of your inner child.
Trust that no one’s judgment or reaction is ever more powerful than your truth.
embrace your inner child
What activities did you used to do as a kid that you loved?