When you think of your childhood is it filled with good memories or ones of heartache and struggle? For me, I often err on the struggle side and fail to remember all of the fun that took place. I am prone to share about growing up in an unfinished house, sleeping on a couch in the middle of our basement, and living with an alcoholic parent. And while these struggles shaped me in many ways, so have all of the happy memories.
During my recent Wildhearted Retreat in Mexico, we did a meditation that brought us back to our childhood. We closed our eyes and remembered a time when we were free to roam, play and get dirty -- without any judgement or concern. I thought back to being a little girl running through the field behind our house, picking blackberries from our many bushes, getting dirty while playing in the creek and catching crawdads...(now when I think about catching crawdads or any type of bug, I cringe!). And I remembered the best part about our unfinished/remodeled house situation...our dirt mountains! When I was about 7 or 8 years old, our house was jacked up and moved to make room for a basement. All of the dirt that was dug up for the basement, created large dirt piles that sat in our yard. My siblings and I would build tunnels through the dirt piles, sled down them as if they were snow-covered mountains (they were really tall!), and play capture the flag. We had so much fun playing on them.
I also remembered how fearless I was as a child. I would climb out on the roof of our large two-story home and hang my feet off the side with no care or concern about the possibility of falling to my death. I'm sure my mom lived in constant worry from how my siblings and I played. I had so much fun. I didn't care what I looked like or what others thought. I was fearless, free, and self-expressed.
This meditation reminded me that not all was dark during my childhood; on the contrary, it was filled with great joy and fun. And it showed me how I can embrace being fearless, free, and self-expressed as an adult. I may not have dirt piles to climb or roofs to hang off of, but I have travel and so many fun experiences. Travel brings out the inner child in me. It causes me to be more daring, courageous, and lighthearted. I take more risks and chances and feel alive.
How about you? What brings out your inner child? Can you think back to a time in your life when you were free to roam and play and not worry about what others thought? Take yourself back to a being a child. What did you enjoy doing? How self-expressed and free did you feel when playing? And now, think about where you are now. When is the last time you did something silly or daring?
Find your inner child. He/She is dying to be unleashed.