The Inner Child

Can you remember the last time you embraced your inner child? When I say inner child, I mean acting out with complete joy without a care of how you look in another person’s eye. I mean bringing out that inner youthful soul that hasn’t been ruined by societies standards of how we should act our age, whether you’re 20, 30, 40, or even older.

If you have a moment, I want you to think back to the time when you were young and playful. What was it in your childhood years that brought you complete joy? If you can, take some time to journal about it, and you might be surprised at what comes up.

For me, it was exploration and adventure. I remember exploring the back woods of my childhood home and crafting adventurous stories in my head of where I could be, if not 100 feet from my home. I remember digging for worms and salamanders in the summertime and kissing toads, hoping they’d become princes…little did I know. I remember ice skating in the winter on the frozen pond next to my house and then daring to sled down the small hill onto the pond later. I remember climbing trees in my great grandmother’s backyard and picking berries for an afternoon snack. I remember being a rebellious six year old with my best cousin and jumping out of a 2 story window in order to escape boring grown-up conversations and trick our parents. And I remember the moments before moving to Tahoe and taking a huge road trip across the country to see places I’d never imagined existed. Maybe that’s why I love road tripping so much! Some of my first memories in Tahoe were hiking with my parents and scrambling up “big” boulders to feel taller and see those beautiful views a little better.

But then all of that childhood wonder and exploration disappeared so quickly. I became a student of societal norms and getting good grades in school became my purpose in life.

Fast forward many, many years later…do you know what happened the day after I graduated college? I moved back home to Tahoe and let that inner child roam free. I explored the heck out of this place and planet earth and have said F**k it with societal norms.

So I challenge you to take some time to sit with your inner child. Try your best to recall those moments of joy you felt without all the stress and worry that growing up has brought. What gave you excitement as a kid? What was your version of play? Do you align with that version of yourself now? Do you have a different version of joy that you embrace in the day-to-day life? Often times we forget what it’s like to play. We push that version of ourself aside because it’s not as important as making money or having drinks with friends after work.

Why should we play? Play stimulates creativity. It helps us de-stress. Play gets you our of your mind and out of your ego. It heightens your curiosity. And ultimately it brings so much joy to life. Which essentially brings you ultimate happiness and that is something that is hard to find in the monotonous day-to-day lifestyle.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I encourage you to invite your inner child back into your life. Welcome them with open arms. Because they can teach you so much more than you ever thought, despite the years you have on them.

It’s time to play friends.

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