Friday, December 14, 2012

Release Your Inner-Child

Everyone Is a Kid at Christmas Time

Get Excited About Life!

Release your inner-child and get excited !
A lot of things have changed over the course of my life. I no longer live with my parents full time. I have been diagnosed with and hospitalized for a chronic and potentially fatal illness and subsequently have had to reevaluate my priorities. I have reconsidered my personal values. My family is closer than ever before. The connections I have with friends have weakened in some cases and strengthened in others. I no longer write Santa a Christmas list full of toys but instead ask my parents for things like a warm toggle coat and cat toys. I have grown up and with getting older things change, whether we want them to or not. But despite all these changes I have maintained my child-like enthusiasm for Christmas and life in general! My inner-child is strong and appears at times when she is not always welcome- in class, at doctor's appointments, while doing work- but Christmas is a time of year when it is finally appropriate to release my inner-child! Being giddy, cheerful, and carefree around holiday time is totally allowed; in fact I encourage it. Get excited about the holidays and life! Everyone is a kid at Christmas time, or at least they should be, so take advantage of it. Allow yourself to get excited about the upcoming holiday and all of its festivities. It's a special time of year- children's belief in magic is on display, families come together, holiday decorations shine and sparkle, work is put on hold- and it is worth getting excited about it. As adults we often feel that we need to be serious and in control at all times. I would like to argue that this notion is false. This idea, that growing up prohibits you from enjoying and getting excited about life, results in two things- miserable adults and adults who are scared to get older. I tend to fall into this second category. I have always feared growing older, taking on responsibility, and losing the ability to have fun. But, as the years go by, I find that my zest for life and desire for fun has not diminished. (If anything both have increased with time.) 
Everyone is a kid at Christmas Time !
And, although I am 23, the child in me has not gone away. My inner-child begs for attention, demands silliness, requires fun experiences, and longs to be released. Most of the time her presence is simply not appropriate. But, there are some occasion when she is not only, welcome but actually encouraged to appear. Summer, vacation, and birthdays are all times when I release my inner-child and let her play around a bit. However, Christmas is the ultimate celebration both for me as well as my inner-child. It is only natural that I release her during this time of year that reminds of my childhood experiences and allows me to engage in activities that I did when I was young- baking cookies and pies with my aunt, opening presents, purchasing small gifts for people, celebrating with my entire family. Just mentioning all of these things gets me excited. My inner-child is anxiously waiting to be released; but, I know I have to wait to let her free until after my last assignment is complete. Once winter break officially begins it will be play time for me and my inner-child.

"A child who does not play is not a child, but the man [or woman] who does not play has lost forever the child who lived in him."

- Pablo Neruda

Whether you are aware of it or not, a child exists within you who longs to come out and play- go sledding, eat raw cookie dough, look for Christmas presents that are hidden, make snow angels, sing Christmas carols as loudly as possible, eat candy and not care, and so much more! If you don't let him or her out and allow her to indulge in all these wonderful things you risk losing her forever. Don't let this happen! Don't risk losing your ability to feel giddy, be silly, and get excited about the little things. As the holiday approaches release your inner-child and let him or her frolic in the world. Allow yourself to see everything from the naivety of a child's eyes. Things that we, as adults, take for granted- the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, an over-sized candy cane, Christmas music, holiday lights- become magical and amazing. We are able see the world from a different and not jaded perspective. This perspective enables us to enjoy simple pleasures. Throwing away the rule book, letting go of responsibilities, forgetting stressful situations, allows us to get excited and have fun when we are ordinarily preoccupied by "grown up" things. Don't be afraid to release your inner-child and get excited. 
Take a trip to Neverland ! Peter Pan, (1953)
Maybe Christmas isn't your favorite time of year or a holiday that you anxiously anticipate. Regardless, there has to be something that you are looking forward to- your child's birthday, an upcoming party, the birth of a grandchild, seeing family or friends. Don't stop yourself from feeling excited about an upcoming event or life in general. We don't need to be serious all the time. Just because we are grown it does not mean that we have to hold our feelings of joy in. We are not required to appear as if we have all our shit together or that we are emotionless. Take a moment and think back to your childhood. Think about all the things that made you happy- summer vacation, new toys, swimming, Disney movies- and allow yourself to feel that way again. Maybe you don't get excited or happy about the same things as an adult, but. that doesn't mean that your child-like enthusiasm has disappeared. Your inner-child is still there if you just take the time to notice him or her.

"In my soul, I am still that small child who did not about anything else but the beautiful colors of a rainbow."

- Papipha Ghosh

Once you have found your inner-child feed her with the attention and love that she needs. She will grow strong if you allow her to and all of sudden you will feel the urge to set her free. Do it! Release your inner-child, allowing yourself see the world differently, enabling you to get excited about life! I tap into my inner-child for at least a moment every day. She becomes very restless because she is bursting with energy. I release her at a time when her presence is welcome or at least appropriate. She likes to bead, she loves stickers, she enjoys hugs from her mother, she is obsessed with Hello Kitty anything, she gets excited every time Milly snuggles with her. She is strong because I nurture her and I allow her to come out and play every once in a while. 
The ultimate combination for my inner-child !
Don't neglect your inner-child or pretend that he or she doesn't exist. You may not have noticed her in a while. You may have forgotten her. You have been ignoring her intentionally because you have too much serious things to do. But, what you may have not realized, is that by losing your inner-child you have lost a part of yourself. You have lost that part of you that can laugh at things that aren't very funny, sing without feel self-conscious, get excited about simple pleasures, feel love for the smallest things. Everyone is a kid a Christmas time so use this to your advantage by locating your inner-child and allowing him or her to come out and play. It is the best time of the year to rediscover the child-like energy and enthusiasm that still resides in you. Don't be afraid to search your soul and find this sense of pure joy. Both you as well as your inner-child will be happy that you did!

Release your inner-child and enjoy all the pleasures of the season,

When releasing your inner-child be sure that he or she knows how to play nice!

Everyone's a Kid at Christmas Time, Stevie Wonder

11 Days Til Christmas, 6th Night of Hannukah

My inner-child and I can't wait for Christmas morning !

Where Are You Christmas, Faith Hill, from the motion picture, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), based on the children's classic by Dr. Seuss-


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