Are you a “grown up” or are you still childlike?
This made me smile as I was once described by friends as a Peter Pan character –they meant not in stature, but were referring to my childlike outlook to life.
I remember wondering at the time why they found that so unusual and worthy of commenting on.
Of course, now I am more “grown-up” I realise that not everyone goes through life with a childlike and light hearted attitude.
What does being grown up really mean?
Does it mean you have to be serious all the time, at your best behaviour and go around with a stern face? Or does it mean you always act high and mighty?
If you ever see children play, they are completely carefree and happy. And if they ever have any grievances, they soon make up and all is well again.
Somewhere along the way, all this changes and suddenly in a twinkle of the eye, they become all serious and “grown-up”.
Here is a great quote from a related article at ZenHabits
“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” - Pablo Picasso
Look back to your own childhood and remember your earliest memories of playing with your friends.
Remember that time when you felt free and joyous – given the chance, you could have played like that all day and night.
Last month, I visited some friends and their 3 month baby girl was an absolute delight.
I haven’t smiled and laughed so much in years – even at that young age she has her own personality, but best of all was how she kept smiling for over two hours.
So we all had this ability to be childlike at one time – and we can still get it back.
Why would you ever want to lose this inner child and become a grown up?
Worry not – I have some ideas to get you back to being your true childlike state again. It’s easy really – do the things that you really enjoy doing or used to enjoy doing as a child.
Here are my 15 quick ideas to get you started being a kid again:-
1. Go for walks in nature – connect to that earth energy and remember how much you used to enjoy being in nature as a child.
2. Visit a kiddie’s playground and go on the slides and swings. I did this recently and a little boy said the swings were for small children, not big children!
3. Watch some old cartoons on television or on YouTube. Join in and make the funny sounds and remember to chuckle loudly when appropriate – or even when not appropriate.
4. Go and watch a Disney movie in a cinema on your own – and join in with all the laughter with the other children there. Remember to go easy on the candy – becoming sick is optional.
5. Draw or paint badly in some colouring books – the worse your efforts the better. Let go of the adult perfectionist in you!
6. Take a dog for a walk in the park – and be prepared to get your clothes messy as you play with him.
7. Sing badly – and louder the better. Maybe this one you should definitely do on your own, when no one else is around.
8. Read some children’s bedtime stories to yourself – or to another adult, even if it’s not even bedtime. Make sure you always finish the book in one sitting.
9. Dance like no one is watching – remember the time when as a kid you could just swing your body to any music.
10. Laugh, laugh and laugh loudly and fully for no reason. This is my favourite – try it right now.
11. Get some hula hoops and learn how to swing your body so they spin around your waist. Bonus – your body will also get a great workout.
12. Jump crazily up and down on a rebounder or a trampoline. And then half way through, you can pretend to fall down.
13. Go to a kiddie’s party as a guest just like the other children there. Even better – hold your own kiddies party. Just make sure no other naughty adults try and gate-crash your party.
14. Buy some traditional kiddies games, the type you might have played with in your childhood. Invite some other grown-up children to play with you if you like. Or better still, some eternally young children.
15. Play with some young kids and join in with their games. If you don’t have any children, then borrow or kidnap some – be sure to leave a ransom note for some of your favourite childhood cookies.
Finally a bonus idea – do something you haven’t done since you were a child – the “naughtier” the better.
What would that be for you?
As you begin your journey into rediscovering the joys of childhood and becoming childlike again, there are three important things you must remember:-
1. Enjoy and have fun.
2. Stop worrying about what others will say.
3. And do it all over again the next day, and the day after!
Welcome to the world of children and being childlike
Share below your own ideas for being childlike once again.
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Thank you for reading! – Arvind