In my experience, our best teachers in connecting are those little eyes that look up at us… our children.
I like to people watch. It can be incredibly fun and heartwarming. What do you see when a child tries to connect with someone else?
This is what I see: a face with a wide-toothed grin, big open curious eyes, excited behavior (jumping up and down, antsy shuffling), a tug on an adult’s hand, animated language (“Look! Watch me! Come play! I wanna try! Pleeeeease!), and a heartfelt desire to share with the person or people they care most about.
Children are so beautiful. They live in the present, they’re innocent and can see the beauty in the tiniest of things, and they love to share! They are sincere and mindful.
So what happens when we grow up… do we suddenly lose our ability to be mindful and stay in the present? I don’t think we lose it, I think we forget. A lot. So then tapping into our inner child can become similar to an unused muscle over time. It weakens.
Connecting to our inner child can be achieved in many ways, particularly through creative ventures, such as drawing, painting, music, dance, writing, and acting. The key is to forgo any self-judgment. Simple acts done slowly and with our full attention can also bring about childlike magic: the feel of a breeze on our face; the squishy sound of wet mud; how the sun’s beams elicit a warmth on our skin and makes our insides smile; the act of kissing slowly; watching clouds shift in shape; the taste of a warm chocolate chip cookie melting in our mouth.
The next time you want to connect to your inner child, you might consider sitting on the ground cross-legged and look up! Or down! What do you see? What do you hear? I invite you to stay curious, excited, and take your time. Children grow up so quickly.