Remember that rosy picture when you hear this: “childhood.” Let’s close our eyes for a minute to relive and smile a little wide. The days full of excitement, curiosity, joy, randomness, and a sense of trust as a child. Those were the good old days. What happened when we grew up? What did we lose? What changed?
A child is a young human being. As we grow up, we are still young but become less of a human being. Rigidness takes over. We start to think about people. In Hindi language, there is a phrase, Duniya ka sabse bada rog, kya kahenge log. It means the world’s most fatal disease, what will people say.
In that context, you start to act in this framework of people-pleasing. You think that if you do a particular thing, people will call you a child meaning immature and irresponsible. You put a serious look on your face, and now hide behind a mask. You do not want people to see you as a child meaning inexperienced.
Everything appears to be a child’s play except you have lost the game. You stop yourself from doing even the right thing. Your mind is corrupt, and you are bearing the consequence.
What did you lose?
Time is your witness- all your excitement, curiosity, joy, randomness, and a sense of trust has transmuted into fear, stress, frustration, and discomfort. You are missing out on living little moments of life. You are missing out the innocence. You are missing out the child in you.
How to bring back that child?
Think for a moment. What is that one trait of a child which makes them the happiest? They are neither occupied with ego, mistrust, and jealousy. They are satisfied with what they have. They are content.
Secondly, a child lives in the present moment instead of grieving about the past or worrying about the future. Ask yourself, when was the last time you were living in the moment? Don’t you think it’s weird that all of your life you are working to be happy, when it is present right at the moment?
I am not saying that you should stop visiting your past or planning your future. I am saying that you should do this but with acceptance. Grieving or worrying won’t make it easy. Just like we collect every penny in our piggy banks, we want deposits of joy to fill our piggy bank of life.
Coming back to being content, here is a simple equation for you to remember:
Happiness + Satisfaction = Joy
Joy + Peace + Gratitude = Content
How to rediscover yourself?
1.Start with favorites: As a child, you had things that you loved. These things have the power to grab your attention. There is something that you are still attracted to it. You are conscious now, time to do that thing again. Let’s revisit it.
2. A day with your childhood: Dancing on a song or singing it loud, walking to the nearby park, playing a sport, revisiting a place, eating grandma’s homemade food or listening to your favorite story, sharing school memories with your friends or a gossip with an old friend. Everything counts.
Find one day out of your week or a month to do it. You will realize what were you missing.
3. Finding little joys: Little moments occupy your heart’s space. There is always a soft corner in your heart for certain things- a warm sunshine, a sky filled with light, a baby’s smile, a smell of mud on a rainy night. All these things are your thought booster. You experience peace in these moments.
4. Acceptance: One of the hard things to do is to reconcile with the past, make peace with your present, and embrace continuous change to the future. All you need is acceptance. Draw a circle around you, that’s the area of your control.
5. Mindfulness: A meditative exercise of minding yourself, physically and mentally. The goal is simple- being aware of everything without any judgment. For which again, you need acceptance.
6. Gratitude: Nothing can touch your soul like kind words. It not only makes you humble but also responsible. Above all, it benefits everyone. How does it help you to be a child at heart? A child’s heart is pure and free from deception. Gratitude cleanses you and makes you free from negativity, and falsehood. Thus, it is something that you can practice.
7. Practicing being content: A person is content when they value peace of mind. Furthermore, they realize that having more does not ensure happiness. It is a state of mind that needs to develop. It is a holistic approach taking everything into account.