When was the last time you did something bran new that you’d never tried before? Or picked up a really old hobby that you hadn’t touched in many years? Like riding a bike or roller blading? You must have done it as a kid, but now you were an adult and other, more important things occupied your time and your life.
But what if, you, and all of us, were to go back to finding our inner child. And exploring the part of us where creativity lives, new ideas are born and thoughts are questioned. I recently read a book where an entry talked about going back to our inner child. You could go back to being your 5 year old self right now. Don’t believe me? Pick up a pencil and paper and write something, anything with your left hand. Try to write it just as you would with your right, or dominant hand. How’d you do? Is it written just as eloquently or with as much ease as your dominant hand? Or does it look like the scribbe of a young kid learning how to write? I tried this exercise and my writing look like my 5 year old nephew was learning how to put words on paper for the first time. All scribbly, broken, and childish. And with just that one activity, I was transformed into being a kid again. Trying something old and one I’ve done forever, but in a new way, using a different part of my brain and learning a different set of skills.
Similarly, we can apply our same inner child to so many different things. It take a child a lot of learning, a lot of trying, a lot of falling and getting back up again before they get better at it. As we grow up, we kind of stop trying as much, becoming more afraid of falling, more risk averse than being risk takers. That’s normal of course. But every now and then, when we do something new, or go back to doing something we did as little kids, like playing scrabble or doing a puzzle or learning a new card trick, or playing baseball or chasing a soccer ball, or drawing, painting, or reading a comic book, to volunteering, looking up new places and people to see and explore, we activate a part of ourselves that sits dormant, waiting for us to try those things (anew) or again.
Bring out your inner child every now and then. The 5, 10, 15 year old that is hidden inside the grownup self, and let them out to play, explore, and live life with fresh eyes. You’ll be thrilled. As for me personally, once this Pandemic is over and everything goes back to being open, I am going to try rock climbing again (for the first time, in a long time), and let my young self back out to play.