Remain Childlike as Long as You Can
I read somewhere that retaining your childlike sense of awe helps one to stay happy. Ever since then, I have made a point of taking everything in as if it were the first time. I find joy in everything! From watching the moon to gazing at the sunset. Riding a bicycle, a rollercoaster, even as a passenger in a car I rarely look down at my phone because I’m too busy taking in whatever is around me. I used to live in a city in California just miles from the ocean. I lived there for more than 40 years of my life and I never stopped being amazed at the beauty of it from the top of a hill. And almost every time, I knew how blessed I was to have grown up there.
When we decided to leave that town and take our life on the road, I carried that with me. And it turned out to be contagious. Erik and I both turned into teenagers, and sometimes approached our adventure as kids living out their childhood fantasies.
Take Nothing for Granted
For example, as we made our way to the East, there were so many tall green trees! That is something you don’t see in most of Southern California. To us, it was so incredibly beautiful and when we were at campgrounds in the woods, it was like having a treehouse! Something we had always dreamt of building one day. Thing is, now we don’t have to because we know how to capture that feeling any time we want.
And on a chilly night in the California desert, we bundled up and laid out on our zero gravity chairs in the middle of the night so we could gaze at the stars. Again, that is something we couldn’t do in the suburbs because it never got dark enough.
I even began reading about Totem Animals and the significance of seeing different animals on your journey. Each one has symbolism and meaning surrounding it. So each time we would see something, we would look it up and imagine what it could mean to us specifically since we were on a journey toward something new. Being that present in your day-to-day life in and of itself is magical.
We are Creators
Imagination is so important in personal growth and that is what enables us to create our lives. If we lose the childlike ability to imagine and pretend, I believe we die inside. If there isn’t something to look forward to, than what’s the point?
Think about when you were young. If you were anything like me, you read books and imagined yourself in the pages. You pretended to be someone else to see how it felt. You wished for things that you wanted: a horse to ride, a car to drive, an outfit you loved, a significant other that you imagined yourself with. If you never imagined it, how would it happen?
I know that for me, staying in that presence of wonder is what keeps me happy. Each day, I wake up and look outside (or go outside, weather permitting) and admire the tall trees we now have in our backyard, the sound of the birds singing and on windy days, the leaves blowing in the wind.
Of course, I know I’m an adult and I wear that hat when it’s appropriate. I tend to my adult responsibilities as best I can. But now that my kids are grown, I get to be that kid again more often. And now that I’m a Grandma, it’s actually an adult responsibility to show them how to be a kid! See how that works?
So do your mind, body and spirit a favor and reconnect to your inner child. I promise you won’t regret it. Get out and see your yard, your community, your state, your country! Observe your life from a new, fresh perspective.