What would your 8-year-old self say to you today? Would you score a double high-five and a big ol’ smile? Would this young version of yourself be proud of the path you’re on, the decisions you’ve made, and the things you hold to be most important in life?
At some point in life we all grow up. It’s inevitable and we must embrace leaving Neverland and embark upon the adult “real” world. The moment this happens is like a gust of wind. Before we can figure out where it came from, it’s gone. Before you know it you wake up and say to yourself, “I wish I was a kid again, those were the good old days.”
Our inner child never leaves, it always exists inside of our hearts and minds. It may be difficult to reconnect with our inner child, but I promise it’s possible if you look deep enough within. Do some soul searching. Sometimes it’s hiding under the layers of responsibilities, obligations, time schedules, and life goals. We must take a few deep breaths, relax our rambunctious thoughts and remember how wonderful it was to be a kid.
Take a few moments and close your eyes. Think back to what it was like being a young child. You were fun, fearless, adventurous, spontaneous, silly, and enjoyed the simple things in life. You spent your time laying outside, laughing, and being creative. All these things came naturally and stress did not yet exist. Our biggest stress in life may have very well been being forced to eat vegetables and having a bedtime.
Open your eyes and take a sheet of paper and write down how you saw yourself. What did you love about yourself? What made you happy? What was most important to you as a child? After you pour your thoughts out onto the page, read it back to yourself. Imagine what it would be like if you could reinvent yourself and become more like your 8-year-old self. What if your life was filled with more love, more openness, more playtime, more laughter, and more happy moments?
Take initiative. Take a few more minutes to pick three adjectives that would describe you as a child. Make it a priority to become these words once again. To give you an idea, here are three words that describe me as a child: loving, open minded, wild. These are three things that I acknowledge exist within me. They’re qualities that were once fully embodied with little effort.
As adults we can adjust our perspectives and make responsible decisions without losing what made us happy little kids. We must never forget to love ourselves the way we are with no judgment on ourselves or others. We need to do the things in life that truly make us feel good from the inside out. We need to play outside, make new friends, and give more hugs…lots more hugs.
Photo by Ali Kaukas for Wanderlust Festival.
Zuzu Perkal is an independent artist, photographer, yoga instructor, and adventure enthusiast in Austin, Texas. Her days are filled with coffee, paint, and daydreams. She believes mistakes are simply a beautiful opportunity for growth and that our own life experiences serves as our most valuable teachers. Zuzu recently graduated from Wanderlust’s first Teacher Training Program and is on a mission to continually expand her consciousness while following her journey down the yogic path. She is currently experimenting with the concept of a floating yoga studio and mixed medium practice.