Loreena McKennitt’s lyrics in the song “Mummers’ Dance” – “And so they linked their hands and danced, round in circles and rows” – is intriguing indeed. While this song is about springtime and the owls appearing in the early evening, the words are of playing in the night without a care in the world.
Can you remember a time that you danced through the night without a care in the world? If you do remember, you were tapping into your inner child.
Someone once said, “Learn the art of growing without losing your inner child.” What does inner child mean? How do we grow into adulthood without losing our childlike qualities? Think Caregiver™ and our Simple ‘Self-Care’ Suggestions, explored through the month of July what “Inner Child” means and how to take time to see the world through a child’s eyes.
Some of the suggestions were about taking the time to reminisce, be mindful of what used to fill your summer as a child, laugh, do something childlike on purpose, and so on.
Being the observer of behavior that I am, I wanted to take the time this month to observe children and adults at play and at work. I had the fortune of seeing two of my grandchildren put on rain boots and jackets and go to the edge of their driveway and just splash and splash in the puddles. OMG – the fun and expressions on their faces were priceless.
Their defenses were lowered, and they didn’t give two hoots who was watching, nor did they have a care in the world. The giggles and laughter from them made me think, “Wow, why aren’t adults doing more of this? We definitely have had enough rain this summer to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Swinging, Playing, Enjoying
Swinging on the swing, playing in the sand or running through a sprinkler are great childlike activities, but while some of us may just reminisce, other adults engage. I recently watched my sister, swing on her wicker swing in her family room. The outcome of watching her activity led me to believe that engaging is far more beneficial reminiscing.
Confirming what I observed, research is pointing in the direction that playful behaviors can lead to more fun and creativity, which has the capacity to heal, by way of, and to reduce stress. We all know stress has an impact on the mind and body, so why not partake in that which can lower our defenses and open our souls to more happiness.
Our Inner Child
All in all, with my observations, I didn’t see more adults engaging in childlike activities or tapping into their inner child. The only conclusion that I surmise is that somewhere along our journey of adulthood, we become individuals that must behave responsibly and make good decisions. All good things, but where along this “adult” journey did we learn that swinging and splashing go against behaving responsibly?
Because of this “adulting” that happens to us, I think we forget to have fun. Some might argue that adults are childlike, engaging in acting selfishly and wanting their own way. However, connecting to our inner child is not about wanting things our own way, it is more about engaging in the simpler things in life so the result can be more joy and trust in our day. So, I encourage you to get out of the mindset of “adulting” once in a while and go swing on a swing, splash in a puddle or skip some stones across a pond or lake. The benefits far outweigh the awkwardness of engaging in childlike activities.