Can you remember what it was like to experience the world when you were a child? Maybe you have a young person in your life now or have had the experience of spending time with a child recently. In either case, thinking back and reflecting on how a child experiences the world can be a useful avenue to connect with a greater sense of awe and gratitude.
At a certain age, many adults stop playing and become more attuned to responsibilities. The focus shifts to what needs to get accomplished and our attention can become scattered as we manage the demands of everyday life. We tend to become more analytical and less vulnerable or risk averse. We may sometimes struggle more with relationships and personal insecurities. Although there are clearly benefits to being responsible and conscientious, it can be argued that something important is at risk of being lost.
If you have the chance, take a moment to watch or spent time with a child. Notice the authenticity, laughter, joy, and vulnerability. Notice how children get excited to the point of shaking with enthusiasm at what might seem like a small thing. Notice how children connect to an innate and pervasive sense of creativity and play with little or no concern for appearance or concern about what others think. Notice how children remain open to the impact of the world on their soft hearts and minds.
Children are often endlessly fascinated and bring an innocent and loving sensibility that can be helpful to revisit. Do you recall what it was like to get your first bike or go swimming in the deep end of the pool? Do you recall catching bugs or your first fish? Did you have a favorite toy? Do you recall how you may have longed to someday drive a car or cook your own dinner? Did you measure each inch of your growth? Do you remember the excitement you felt when traveling to a new place or returning to school?
Practice seeing through the eyes of a child:
- Approach everything as new or experienced for the first time.
- View everything, particularly challenges, as learning experiences.
- View everyone you meet as a potential new friend.
- Pick up a rock or an acorn and take a closer look.
- Listen to music, play instruments and dance.
- Let go of thoughts and worries related to how others might view you.
- Pay close attention to little details, wild animals, and helicopters.
- Engage your imagination and creativity through stories and art projects.
- Look at the stars and wonder about space.
- Connect with a sense that everything and anything is possible in your life.
Take a few moments to practice some of these suggestions and see through the eyes of a child. Notice the fascination, joy, creativity and presence. Connect with the sense of amazement that children experience and allow yourself to feel intrigued and grateful about life. Everything is new, everything is possible, everything is a learning experience, everyone is a potential new friend, and the world is full of possibilities.
Dr. Thomas Lindquist, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Visit us at lindquistpsych.com
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