When we were young children we had a playful attitude toward life. Do you remember? Then through the social conditioning of the ‘adults,’ we started suppressing this gift. We became concerned about fitting in and began muting our enthusiasm for what was creative and fun for us. We took the safe acceptable route determined by those who ‘knew’ what was best. It propelled us down the road of terminal adulthood. Many of us are still recovering. Is this you?
When focusing on cultural goals like competition, security and acceptability we disconnect from the wonder of what feels good for us and the joy it creates. Rather than focusing on doing what we love and loving what we do, we focus on how we’ll be received and what others will think of us and our creations. Little by little self acceptance and self expression get compromised. We wallow in the unwanted rather than the wanted looking for love, joy, peace and prosperity.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Have you put your creative imagination in an invisible prison so you won’t be considered lazy, an unreliable creative type, an unrealistic dreamer, a heretic? Have you hidden your light under a basket rather than letting it shine? Do you still think the goal of the good life is ‘out there’ somewhere rather than right here and now? Is the destination to ‘that place’ still alluding you? What if it’s an attitude; always here, always now?
I spent most of my life hiding and repressing the natural childlike spirit and imagination that was alive inside me. I knew I didn’t fit in so I kept learning what the culture had to teach me by becoming a perpetual student. I remained curious and took every opportunity that crossed my path to learn as much as possible about how life worked for me and those I encountered. Rarely did I meet anyone who ‘had it all together’ which made my quest curiouser and curiouser.
I wondered how so many people who claimed to be ‘successful’ became so driven, discontent and serious. I wondered why so many people seemed ‘duty bound,’ never changing their attitudes or lives to enjoy themselves. It struck me repeatedly that the journey of life was really the destination, not some goal out there in the illusory future. Taking on a ‘Beginners Mind’ helped me see that failure is simply the necessary contrast to success. Once we learn what we don’t want, we can start living into what we do want: acceptance, love, joy, and abundant life.
What’s the Art of Life but Enlightening Up; to see that by living from the inside out rather than the outside in we change our worlds. When we’re calm, centered, receptive, loving, accepting and non critical within ourselves, we’re that way with others. We are the creators of our realities. The more we enjoy life, the more joy we get to experience. In contrast, the more we judge, the more judgement we experience. When we enlighten up, the whole world lights up.
- Breathe deeply. Feel the joy that’s flowing in, around and through you. Let your heart smile.
- As you breathe, feel yourself getting lighter. Relax your shoulders. Reach toward the stars.
- Let your whole body smile and embrace the Who That’s Truly You. Breath in the Wonder. . .