Remember when you used to play all day and not come inside until it was bedtime? Happy and exhausted, you would fall into bed, sleep a deep, sound sleep and wake up with that excited feeling of doing it all over again.
Every day was an adventure. New games to be found born out of your imagination or old games to be played again challenging your brother or your friend.
Even work was play. In order to endure it, you had to come up with a story and live in it until the task was done.
Cleaning the bathroom was my weekly chore. My mom still teases me about how long it would take as I would be in there pretending I was the star of a tv commercial. Of course, there would be several “takes” as that is the beauty of television. On the positive side, the bathroom was certainly sparkling clean when I was done. Although, my mom may have had a different perspective.
Growing nearer to our teens, something changes. Imagination is exchanged for popularity and our games begin to be less pleasant – competitive.
We eventually become adults who have learned what is “proper” – or should I say “acceptable” – and what is not.
Our hearts at this point have often all but died. We put away childish things in order to become upstanding, often stodgy, mature adults. And we forget how to laugh and to play. What will the neighbors think?
Finding your freedom from a broken heart, a broken life, lies in finding your heart again. Sadness brings with it a dark sky filled with rain clouds. You feel serious, fearful, worried….. heavy. Life does this and just as a child may move more quickly away from joy and trust when abandoned or injured, so has the child in you.
It’s always about your heart. Go back there. Pack up your brains and your experience. Put them into the elevator in your mind and push the down button. Let them drop low, low, low into your pelvis region for just a while.
Then descend that winding staircase out of your head, round and round, into your heart. Beautiful heart. Glowing heart. Locked up heart – rusty and afraid to feel what’s really there. Take out that huge metal key from your pocket and open the lock on the big gate that surrounds it. Inside the big room you find, draw back the curtains letting in the light.
THIS is where the real you lives. THIS is the place of joy and singing and being who you truly are.
I was so tired of the pretending. Learning to relax into who I really was became freedom for me. I want that for you, too.
Here are your instructions. For a simple 15 minutes to a half hour, try this. STOP, LOOK, LISTEN:
1. STOP. Turn away from your sadness and worry. Just turn away. You haven’t forgotten it. You aren’t ignoring it. You are just setting it aside for a moment.
2. LOOK. Look for joy somewhere around you. Do you have children? Sit and watch them for a moment as they play. Or take them somewhere that makes them jump up and down and clap with glee when you tell them you are going there. T hen watch them as they wade into it, become completely immersed in what they are doing. How easily they giggle! How quickly they can go from joy to frustration back to joy again.
If you don’t have a child to watch, go observe a swimming pool or a skating rink or a playground and see how easily those who are doing what they love laugh, try new things, how what they are doing is an adventure to them. Their hearts are open.
3. LISTEN. To your heart. To the noise around you and the voices of those singing or giggling or playing. Let it sink in….absorb the sound. Imagine how it would feel to be that unaware of others watching you. Feel how much you want to live fully and let your pain be something that did not defeat you but, instead, added to your wisdom.
Now, go try something. Do it! Go skating. Dash into the lake with your kids and do some splashing!
Start to find what your heart loves to do and do it!
I wanted to learn to dance – so I signed up for country dance lessons. All by myself. I was single. Yes, I was terrified. Awkward moments? Yes – but you know what? I didn’t die! I learned to dance. And I learned to laugh as I twirled in sync with someone I didn’t even know on the dance floor. It was freeing!
And I danced alone in my living room, to my favorite music – any which way I wanted to. I felt exhilerated. And my heart felt as if it had come home.
I even danced barefoot in the snow on a cold wintry night with the man my open heart led me to love. And we laughed and laughed and laughed until we fell on the floor.
Just 2 weeks ago, I went on a ferris wheel. I was nervous and experienced some shaky moments but I did it! And I had fun!
Be free, my friend – become a child all over again. One foot in front of the other. You can do this.