I have always loved to dance and sing. If I could get over my shyness, I would dance and sing everywhere and anytime. Last week, on a quiet morning, while sitting in my office, I suddenly felt tired of sitting down at my desk and needed a break. As I walked down the hall toward the public washroom, I started to dance to a song that had started to play in my head. This is a normal occurrence for me, but usually happens when I'm at home, in my private space, and my husband is very used to this behaviour that many others might consider strange or even annoying. I walked into the women's washroom and spun on the tips of my toes, making a pirouette as I walked in through the door, just to turn around and find that another woman whom I had never seen before had walked in behind me. We both stopped and looked at each other, slightly embarrassed. In fact, she looked ready to turn around and leave the room, but all I could do was laugh!
A few years ago, I may have felt mortified to have had such an experience, as I often find myself in situations in which I am expected to act serious and professional. However, since then, I have discovered that my Inner Child longs to express herself through music, song, and dance, and have found that I have been guilty of not expressing myself in such a way as often as I would like to. As children – even shy children such as I was – we often don't have a notion of what it is like to be inhibited and embarrassed. We say what we wish to say and when we wish to say it, we sing at the top of our lungs in public places, and dance because we simply do not care who is watching. That is, until we catch scornful glances from 'grown-up' strangers who are annoyed by our behaviour, and our parents tell us that our acting is considered inappropriate. I find this revelation a little sad, because at that moment, the light of our genuine enthusiasm ceases to shine as brightly as it ought to. With time, most of us lose that enthusiasm and our ability to find beauty in this very moment. We start to ignore what the 'grown-up' world considers unimportant and often go through each day focusing only on what troubles us, forgetting to be grateful for the beauty in our lives.
For just a few minutes, stop and pretend you are five years old again and recall your happiest childhood memories. You may not remember yourself at that age, but if you ask your mind's eye to show you what it felt like, you may surprise yourself with the memories that may return to you. In your meditation, pay attention to how you see the world around you, your family, friends, other people, the nature and animals around you. What did you enjoy doing most? Perhaps you enjoyed drawing or colouring in your room, baking cookies with your mother or grandmother, or fishing with your father or grandfather. You may have enjoyed singing and pretending you are a pop star; you may have enjoyed spending time with your pets; or, you may simply have loved to play outside with your friends. What were your favourite games, as a child? Did you pretend to live in a different, magical world? What were your dreams and aspirations that seemed so very real and possible to you and may have been left behind since? What was your favourite dessert, for which you struggled to finish your dinner? Continue to recall these details. You may wish to write them down in a journal.
What do you miss from your childhood that you wish to engage in? Are you willing to take the risk and attempt to bring it back? I would be very grateful if you would like to share with me your own opinions on this topic and your own engagement with what you loved to do as a child. Please share these experiences with me by leaving a comment at the bottom of this post, or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org I look forward to hearing from you.