When Did Growing Up Mean Stop Being a Kid??

Written by Sarah Hauch.

I just don't understand where the notion came to be that as you get older you have to stop doing the fun things you do as kids. I don't know about any of you, but when I acquire a new piece of fabulous jewelry I don't throw out an old piece. So, why then, as we age do we discard the things we've learned over the years. Why do we only enjoy certain things in our lives because, at that time, they are socially accepted?

kids jumping on bed

Let me explain. I'm in my late 20's so I've experienced the innocence and inquisitiveness of being a toddler, active play and imagination as a child, pushing boundaries and exploring new things as a teenager, and now developing and navigating a sense of self, self-acceptance and self-efficacy as I take what I have learned thus far and experiment creating a life in the real world.

When though, did society teach us that we must live in segmented stages of life? Society tells us that if you are now in your 'adult' stage of life you better stop acting like a child. I'm sorry, when did 'society' decide that eating food with my hands, finding shapes in the clouds and jumping on the bed is not acceptable behaviour for me? I don't know about you guys, but I don't feel any older than I did than when I was 20, 12 or 6 for that matter. I am AWARE that I have been on this planet longer, but I do not feel 'older'. Why then, should I stop doing the things I loved doing as a child (the things that brought me massive joy by the way) simply because I'm old enough to buy liquor and qualify for a mortgage.

It seems to me that it would make more sense, as we age, to retain all the amazing qualities we've developed, and discard the ones that aren't as amazing. For example, I used to stick my finger in the light socket... this is a quality that doesn't serve me very well, so I will discard it. But, eating cookie dough out of the bowl and dancing in the mall when a good song comes on (and NOT being self-conscious about it)... that serves me, that brings me joy... I'm keeping those ones.

Some may wonder why I am doing Joy Assignments everyday, and I'll tell you. It is to remind myself and anyone else what is feels like to do amazing 'childish' things; to remind myself what the heck it feels like to listen to my soul. My soul only likes joyful things. It likes when I'm laughing, joking around, being silly. It likes playing with monster trucks, and bike riding, and licking the frosting of cupcakes.

I am a child at heart, and so is everyone else. We have just forgotten what it feels like. Which is so bizarre to me. You know what happens when I jump on the bed? I feel great! My body loosens up, I laugh, I laugh out loud. It's fun! Adults do things that are fun too, but not in the same way children do. Adults 'plan' fun. Children have fun on impulse. If an idea comes to a kid, they do it. They don't think about who's watching, or if what they're doing is going to create a mess (because if it does, you can clean it up later anyways). They just live fun. They are Joy in action all the time.

It seems that we stop doing the fun things because someone in our lives told us that 'adults' don't do that. Our world, and thus our actions, is the way it is because of how we perceive it. Imagine this example if you will. Imagine there were 3 people in a room, 1 baby and 2 adults, and a chair started to levitate towards the ceiling. The adults would freak out because they were taught that chairs cannot levitate. The baby, however, sees nothing out of the ordinary, and will grow up knowing that chairs can indeed float to the roof. Interesting huh? The adults believed (because of the 'law of gravity') that chairs can't float, so when it did, they had a negative emotional response because something they believed to be true was disproven. This would certainly make them very uncomfortable. The parents had different 'grooves' in their brain than the child. Adults (who spend most of their time in beta brain waves) base things in logic. Children (who spend most of their time in Alpha brain waves) still authentically see the world in flexible terms, and believe in unlimited options. I think that we should strive to think more like children, with the knowledge we have acquired through experience.

This is why YOGA and meditation are so great. They help to reprogram our mind. We, based on external and internal stimuli, create our perception of the World. And it is our perception of reality, that creates our emotions, and thus how we see/feel/experience the World. Every experience (good and bad), every person you talk to, every advertisement you see, every parent, sibling, friend, teacher, co-worker, or partner who has ever dispensed on you their 'opinion' of you and who you are, has the potential to shape our grooves, and thus, how we experience ourselves in this world. Being UNAWARE that external stimuli affects our reality is the core reason we are unhappy.

By not taking responsibility for our own thoughts and actions (and other people thoughts and actions) we fall victim to our own lives. The next time someone tells you that you're are a bad listener, or that your dreams are unattainable, stop for a moment before you internalize these thoughts and act on them. Really? Am I really a bad listener, or is my friend just having a bad day? Really? Are my dreams really ridiculous, or is that person so unhappy in their own life path that they feel better trying to dissuade me from reaching for mine?

Grooves (or recurrent thought patterns) play over and over again in our minds because we don't truly know who we are. If we did, we would tell that friend, 'thank you for sharing, but I am going to try to reach my dreams whether you believe I can do it or not' and you would continue on your day still KNOWING that you are doing what your soul is telling you to do.

Don't think you can meditate? Close your eyes. Take 1 deep breath in, then out. Now imagine yourself jumping on the bounciest bed you have ever been on. Feel how alive you feel. Now remember a time in your childhood when you got the best hug you've ever had. Stay here for a moment. Let your heart melt a bit. Exhale. This is meditating. Good job.

Joy Assignments are a chance to act like a kid. 8 is the new 20! Why don't you laugh anymore? If you are not spending 90% of your time loving your life, change it! YOU AND ONLY YOU CREATE YOUR REALITY. And funny thing is, you don't even need to leave a situation you don't like, you just have to change the way you perceive it.

DO YOGA AND MEDITATE, dance in your underwear, run through sprinklers, listen to Boyz II Men, ask questions, believe in people, hope, have Faith, have faith in others, in God, and in yourself. Play on the yoga mat. Giggle when you fall out of a pose, smile during chair pose, spread your fingers during warrior 1, take your practice outdoors on nice summer days and smell the grass until your nose as you set up for upward dog. Stop feeling like you are the only one feeling the way you are, I guarantee 3 million people have, at some point, felt EXACTLY the way you have. Wear clothes that make you feel authentic, only be yourself. If you want to attract people around you who like who you are, guess what, you HAVE TO BE WHO YOU ARE AT ALL TIMES! Smile, all the time! Hug! Get hugs!

Be good, to yourself, to others, and to the planet. Give to receive.

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