Do You Abuse Your Inner Child?

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Know what I'd like written as my obit? This: ‘She never grew up.' Yup, being a child is getting your grammar all wrong yet communicating all right, of tripping and stumbling around with wonder in the eyes; of being able to take a swooping lick of an ice-cream scoop and sharing it with a puppy; of jumping and dancing around because your joy is too fulsome to be contained... I'll let you into a secret: I've got a friend called Muku - we're both five-year-olds when we are together, no holds barred.

Do You Live Our Child-Moments?
Being a child is the easiest thing in the world. It is about being decent, honest, soft, simple, non-competitive, brimming over with mischief and fun and never ever thinking ‘badly' of your friend or anybody. The child-moments are when our adult minds are suspended and everything but everything in life touches a breathtaking chord deep within. The child-moments are when we drop our acquired masks and mannerisms and revert to being so natural, so unpretentious, so undemanding, so unabashedly happy that everybody falls in love with us. If you've been reading the above paragraphs with growing delight, you've passed the test, you're okay, your inner child is gurglingly there. But, if there's a disdainful twitch to your lips, be careful, you could be crushing the sweet, innocent, guileless child in you with the adult looming large like an uptight martinet. Yup, that's what most adults become - uptight.

How playful Are You?
Experts say there's a reason for it. Up to age five, we frisk about a lot and are cute and playful - in this, we use the right half of the brain which holds our artistic, creative tendencies. Then, as we grow older, we use the left half of the brain more and more to study and gradually tamp down our playfulness by ignoring our right brain's callings.

I even know of grim households where the women (in particular the daughters-in-law) are banned from singing or laughing aloud. Oh, c'mon! But, it's not just the ‘households', the women themselves throttle their inner child. How many of you can pause and watch fascinated as a feather floats in, turning and twisting to land softly on the carpet without rushing to capture it and throw it in the dustbin to keep the carpet clean? Women make themselves into tense tornadoes with their ‘I musts'. Sure, be dutiful, but don't be duty-bound. It's because you unnecessarily burden yourself with continuously being at the beck and call of your ‘duties' that you feel you need a vacation. You can go to Mahabaleshwar or Mauritius or Minnesota, but even there... can you watch fascinated the feather float in? You can't if you take your duty-bound mind with you.

Is Your Mind In Harmony?

Some day soon, I hope we can read the thoughts of a child and emulate them. I've learned that when I give up the compulsive need to mould my surroundings, circumstances, people to suit my demands, I become less adult-like and more childlike.
When we let go of our compulsions, we are no longer tense, we are happy to co-exist in this varied, colourful world and learning stuff from it. When we do not expect and demand change, when we learn to have a child's wonderful mind that effortlessly, unquestioningly, restfully understands, not demands, we experience the splendour of a mind in complete harmony. To know what it feels to have a mind in harmony, make a few kids your role-models, emulate them, learn from them.

Make Joyousness a Habit:
The ability to be joyous takes the edge off sadness, soreness, despair. A happy attitude begets a generous persona and beautiful memories that warm the coldest heart. Don't hold your spontaneous joy back with "What if..." or "I'm too old to..."Piffle! Be ecstatically joyous and the world will catch joy from you.
Do everything for nothing: Watch as a child puts one block behind the other ceaselessly. She has nothing to gain, she just enjoys being absorbed in the process, this is her meditation, this is her prayer, this is her way. Do everything for nothing and feel the child in you awaken with an indrawn breath of delight.

Make friends with all:
Share your smile generously. A smile says "We are together." A smile says "I forgive." To smile from a pure, childlike heart at one and all is a blessing from you as is fragrance from a flower opening its petals.

Do more, eat less:
A child left to herself is never an over-eater. She plays endlessly, moves around continually, explores tirelessly. She eats only when she is truly, ravenously hungry, not because there are temptations hanging around. And because she is always active, her body absorbs the food well . And because her little body is finally tried, it relaxes quickly and she falls asleep instantly. Explode with action and live your every day and every night naturally and relaxed.

And remember this, a child relates to everything - the tree, a sunbeam, the wind, animals, birds, stones, weeds... To her li'l mind, the butterfly is an entertainer long before she discovers Shah Rukh Khan, the cloud a passer-by, the blade of grass a living, swaying being ... Before the worldly experiences set in, she seems still connected to the unworldly, the spiritual, the divine. So, do not abuse your inner child, nourish her, cherish her, give in to her impulses, let her innocence make this world a little sweeter, a little purer.

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