Keeping the Wonder Alive


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Photo Courtesy of Freeimages.com

By Maggie Reigh

 “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder … he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” ~Rachel Carson

Will you be that adult for the children in your life? How long has it been since you connected with YOUR inborn sense of wonder?  Understandably, when buried knee deep in laundry, children’s toys, and to-do lists it can be very difficult to keep alive one’s sense of wonder, joy, and excitement about the mystery of the world we live.  Still, isn’t it that excitement, joy, and wonder that makes this parenting journey worthwhile? That excitement joy and wonder is actually what gives us fuel to blast through the trying times.  So HOW do we tap into that again, or rev it up, whatever the case may be?

How about connecting with the child inside of you? To begin with, and to borrow George Benson’s words from his song, The Greatest Love of All, “let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.” Who better to help you connect with the child in you than the children who are closest to you?

If you are fortunate enough to have young children as your teachers, take a moment to truly let them teach you how to play again. That means letting them lead you in their play, it doesn’t mean you organizing an adult version of play for them!  Just get down on the ground and play with them. Actually, just get down on the ground and you won’t have to worry about not knowing what to do next – as soon as a young child spots you they’ll be crawling all over you.  Roll with it – literally and figuratively!

You’ll be amazed at how much easier your days will become when you start really having fun, connecting with, and learning from your child. You’ll find them far more cooperative, eager to be with you, and they will naturally give you more authority because they will want to listen.  (Let’s face it, ultimately the only authority you have with your children is that which they give you.  Even if they comply because they have to, what happens when your back is turned?)

Regardless of how old your children are, remember that fun, connecting times relieve stress, revive both of you, and create the bond that will encourage your child to seek out your opinion rather than turn away or hold his hands over his ears when you give it. Teens enjoy having fun too…find a way to join them or have so much fun yourself they cannot resist the invitation to join you.

Einstein said, “There are only two ways to look at life – one is as if nothing is a miracle, and the other is as if everything is a miracle!” Open your eyes to the miracles around you.  What can you find right in this moment to appreciate about yourself, your children, and your world? Go on a nature walk at a young child’s pace and see the world through a child’s eyes.  Really look, hear, smell, feel, and sense the world around you as if you are encountering it for the first time. (It helps, of course, to take a young child along if you can!)

Kids see everything as an adventure… putting on a sock is an adventure! When we remember that shopping, for example, can be an adventure then we align ourselves not only with the wonder of life, but with our children’s natural state of curiosity and they then become comrades in our adventure, not adversaries to be kept in place.  On your next shopping trip, clearly set the intention that it will be a grand adventure, keep your attention focused on looking for evidence of the grand adventure taking place, and let go of the tension in your own body.  Intention – attention – no tension… a recipe someone shared with me recently for creating what I want.

Notice how young children are SO in the moment? For them, nothing else exists.  Bringing our attention into present time is another way to celebrate the child within. In The Power of Now, Eckhardt Tolle describes how most of us live our lives in the “anxiety gap” – that is, the gap between where we are in present time and where our thoughts have gone to the past, guilt-tripping and “shoulding” upon ourselves for past mistakes, or to the future, worrying about what will happen next.

Next time you find yourself going into the anxiety gap simply stop, congratulate yourself for noticing, and take a moment to ask yourself if there really is a problem right here in this moment. (Rarely is there a problem in the moment – mostly it’s in our heads.) Shift your attention to your breath, breathing deeply as you do so and appreciate the flow of energy within your body. If there is a problem, you’ll then be centered in the present moment and much more able to focus on the solution rather than running another thousand versions of the problem around in your head.

Another way to keep the child-like wonder and joy alive is to ask yourself, “What is it that I truly love to do?  What nourishes my Spirit?” Then make time for it in your busy schedule!  At first your children and/or partner may balk because they’re used to your doing so much for them. Who knows, they may even find that much of what you were doing they can actually do for themselves! Ultimately, of course this is freeing for everyone. They become more independent. And honoring YOU and what you love to do will make you happier… and that will just ripple out.  What’s the saying?  “Ain’t nobody happy if mamma ain’t happy!”

I chuckle now as I think about my son saying grace one evening after a particularly hectic day. I’d been so cranky that day I just had to slip out for a walk before dinner. On my return the kids actually had dinner on the table. As we sat down to eat Tyler said grace, “And thank you, God, for the hills because Mom always returns in a better mood… and that’s good for all of us!”

When you honor your Spirit, you will keep the wonder alive in your life… and what better message to live and pass on to your children than that?

Maggie Reigh is an international speaker and master storyteller. She has delivered over 600 seminars and presentations. Drawing from a diverse educational background, including 2 degrees in education, Reigh weaves stories, anecdotes, and humor into time-proven principles and techniques in her numeroua programs for educators, child-care givers, and parents.

 

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Categories: Children, Christian Life, Daily Life, Family and Parenting, Featured, Maggie Reigh, People, Prayer, Spiritual Growth, spirituality

Author:Wood Lake Publishing

At Wood Lake Publishing we are passionate about supporting and encouraging an emerging form of Christianity, which is rooted in ancient wisdom and attentive to the movement of spirit in our day. Visit us online at woodlakebooks.com

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