Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I’ve always been a little anti “made up” holidays, but I sort of like this one. On Mother’s Day 17 years ago I met my husband for the first time. AND, because 17 years later I have 7 children, Mother’s Day is a good day.
So yesterday, as it was Mother’s Day, I had my meals prepared for me (they were delicious!), I didn’t have to clean up after them (I loved that part), I didn’t change 1 diaper (which I didn’t even realize until today), I went on a 90 minute walk by myself (the sun was shining, the wind was lightly blowing and the birds were singing!), I enjoyed my kids trying to be extra loving and kind (they gave me many great hugs and helped a lot), they prepared a “surprise” gift for me that the 4 year old accidentally told me about only JUST before I was going to get it, so that was good. All in all it was a lovely day. I felt loved and appreciated and blessed.Kids are amazing. They’re so full of life. They are EXCITED and HAPPY so much of the time. There are LOTS of smiles and laughing with kids around. Their anticipation for simple little things can be off the charts and so huge and it’s fun to watch. They want to learn, experience, test things, see things, touch things, do things, and they are amazed continually. I love it when “magic” happens … those moments that are different, special, magical … their eyes light up and they are truly on fire. It’s EXPANSION and it’s a joyful thing to experience it with them.
I think as adults we forget how to be like that. We forget to look at the magic and we focus so much on daily tasks and “what ifs” and past regrets and future worries that we fail to experience life as it was meant to be experienced.
I wonder WHY we do that. I wonder what point in life we let go of childlike wonder and awe and take on adult “practicality” and “just being real.”
I think there is something truly important about joy and excited anticipation and love for life and a desire to expand and learn and grow and the willingness to try new things and fall, over and over and over again with the intention to keep getting up no matter what. I think looking at the world through “childlike” eyes is essential … looking for the NEXT thing that will bring that awe and wonder … anticipating it arriving at ANY moment, just knowing there’s magic around the corner and waiting patiently for it to come, being brave enough to let go of any worry and fear and just being open to ANYTHING, any new experience that might expand our horizon and our knowledge.
Do you know what happens when you live more this way? You become PLIABLE. You are TEACHABLE and OPEN.
Pliable = supple enough to bend freely or repeatedly without breaking : adjustable to varying conditions : flexible : adaptable : fluid
Why is this important?
Well, if we are here to learn and grow, how can we do that if we are NOT open, teachable and pliable?
The opposite of pliable is inflexible, stiff, rigid, breakable, brittle, unyielding. These are things that SO many of us adults are, and yet we don’t see that it’s not a teachable “grow-able” way to live … but how can you grow if you’re not teachable and open to change? What kind of growth comes through inflexibility and being unyielding? What progression can there be from fearing the possible negative things that could go wrong and so “protecting” yourself from the inevitable terribleness by not doing new things, not being open to change, not being brave and fearless in the face of whatever comes?
None. Those are CONTRACTING qualities, not EXPANDING.
Contracting = limit, restrict : to reduce to a smaller size : to draw together so as to become diminished in size : to become less in compass, duration, or length
When you live in a state of “contraction” – that place of unyielding, restricting, not teachable, not open, inflexibility, stiff, rigid, breakable, brittle, not adaptable, fearful anticipation of terrible – you are not able to grow, you are not able to progress, you are not open to receiving MORE. You are not open to new thoughts, new ideas, new ways of being …
… NEW – and different and expanded ideas and ways of being – always accompanies progression and growth. You cannot grow or progress if you stay the same, the very definition of the word means you must change.
So the goal then, is to be more like our children; to be open, teachable, excited for NEW things, willing to change, willing to try and try and try again and maybe fall down a bunch of times but brave enough to keep getting back up and trying again.
Courage then, is important, and a willingness to keep moving forward no matter what. Eyes that see the wonder and magic of life continually is essential. The desire to learn above all else. The ability to see that we couldn’t possibly know all things and so we don’t worry about that, we just focus on loving life, being joyful, expanding ourselves when the opportunity arises, and having FAITH that good things will come and we will grow because of them.
When my kids were little and they were just learning to walk, how many times did they get up and fall down? It was probably hundreds. Over and over they would stand up and fall on their thankfully padded backsides. And then eventually they would stand and wobble there for a minute. And then fall again, over and over. And then eventually they would stand and be pretty sturdy on their feet … and they would try to take a step, and fall. Over and over they would fall. Until the moment came that they took that first step, and they FELT that NEW spot and their eyes lit up and they KNEW that good that comes from trying and trying and learning and growing. And we celebrated that moment. And they smiled and we cheered and they felt joy. And then they fell again, but that moment of growth, that NEW spot of being able to take a step propelled them to keep trying, again and again and again.
THIS. ^^^ This is how we live life to the fullest. This is how we grow. We pattern our being after our children who are untainted from the adult way of seeing the world. We look at the possibility for joyful expansion, knowing that it’s not just a possibility, it’s THE way. And we try, over and over and over again at whatever comes our way UNTIL we know expansion. And then we smile and feel the joy of that NEW spot and we keep moving forward KNOWING that another NEW spot like that is JUST around the corner and we only have to joyfully anticipate its arrival.
It’s openness. It’s meekness. It’s excited anticipation. It’s faithfulness … believing that all things work FOR your benefit and then trusting that whatever comes is there to teach you something and looking for the teacher, the guru, in ALL that you experience. It’s letting go of trying to control all things and allowing things to just be as they are. It’s about detaching ourselves from how we think it’s “supposed” to go or to look and being open to ANY possibility, knowing that we DON’T KNOW! We don’t know what is around that corner – IT’S A CORNER! We just know that it’ll be good, because it will cause expansion and that is ALWAYS good.
When I am flowing with life, allowing it to just be what it is, looking at all things that come my way with eyes wide open to the possibility of growth, knowing that in ALL things there is that divine potential and then waiting for the “teacher”, the guru, in any given experience, I have peace. I experience more joy. I look to each day with joyful anticipation KNOWING that there is something good to come and patiently living in the moment, experiencing life as I wait for that spot of NEW growth.
It always comes. I always see it as I’m open to NEW. And living through “childlike eyes” is just happier, more exciting, more joyful … it’s MORE. I’m grateful for more. More brings a NEW spot. A new spot is GROWTH. Growth is PROGRESSION. Progression is why we’re here.
Be open to whatever comes your way and “look for the guru” in all of life’s experiences. You will find it, you will experience EXPANSION and that will bring peace and joy. And the joy is the good part after all.