I worked with children for years. Now that I have two of my own, I can say with even more conviction the following thing: we come into the world fully open, ready to expand and grow.
I have memories of being that way myself.
Sometimes I look at my baby girl and marvel at the fact that her body is so limber and relaxed. She does not fear being around others or in new environments. At 10 months, she does not think about the future and she doesn’t yet have a past – or the awareness of it – to be afraid of.
My son was a bit different when he was a baby: he was more afraid of people and new environments. But not with his mother. When he was with me, he was exactly like his sister: relaxed, curious, unafraid.
I noticed the same things about the much older children I worked with in a school environment: the ones in the 3 to 6 category had, in large numbers, the same traits. The older ones… they were a bit of a mixed crowd.
You could see that, as they grew older, two things happened: 1) their awareness of the world became keener – and, many times, that increased their level of fear; 2) for some, negative experiences began to take their toll on their young minds and bodies.
When the world intruded, these superbe creatures began closing down: their bodies became more and more rigid – and their minds too.
The ones who were badly hurt even stopped growing.
They closed down like the mimosas – those plans which are also called “touch-me-not”.
Those of us who are more sensitive can get badly hurt.
When that happens at a very young age, we do not have the skills to process the pain and return to balance, to growing and expanding again. Most adults do not know how to do that for themselves – let alone for kids. So we stay “small”, closed, rigid… and we carry those things with us into a future that also becomes small, closed and rigid.
The strange thing is that sometimes life, in its infinite power and wisdom, can somehow insulate these islands of pain and grow around them. But, if that happens, the result is never as big, as harmonious and as joyful as without them.
If this happened to you, take heart. There are ways to release the pain and start expanding and growing again, to bring harmony to your inner self (and selves) and to live in joy, the way most babies do.
For now, I will leave you with an exercise:
Take a look at the picture above, of these beautiful flowers. Focus on these qualities: “colorful”, “vibrant”, “open”. Try to feel them, not just think about them. For example, you can feel when your whole body is tense or relaxed, vibrant or fading, open or closed. You can literally feel colors too: blue has one effect on you, pink another and so on.
Bask in this bonanza of good feelings for as long as you can, focusing on the health and vibrancy of these beautiful flowers.
One step further: if you feel ready, try to feel the same qualities of color, vibrancy and openness about yourself and your life. However, that many feel unsafe for now. If that is the case, don’t force it. Stop, give yourself a break and just contemplate the flowers. The balm of the good feelings will make its way into your system and that is enough for now.
Wishing you a luminous weekend,