Life Lessons From My Toddler
Today, while I busied myself with emails, errands, business development, laundry and shopping, Indie was content to explore her world, in the present moment.
As I rushed my way through my to-do list, I realised that most of the items on the list involved thinking about and/or planning for the future. I sent emails to set up appointments that will happen in the future. I worked on my business plan that will help expand Soul Sister Circle in the future, which will ultimately earn me the money I require to pay for things in the future.
Indie on the other hand, spent her entire day living in the here and now. She delighted in exploring in the garden, waving palm fronds around and walking with fresh blades of green grass passing between her toes. She was ecstatic when Sundae, our dog came bounding toward her for a taste of her milk arrowroot biscuit. And right now she is completely consumed by feeling of peas being squished between her finger tips.
I call her name and she looks over with a grin that can only mean one thing – pure, absolute joy! The adorable laughter, the shrills of excitement and the clapping of hands simply provide more evidence that this child, my daughter, loves life and all the wonderful experiences that come with it.
Watching Indie today got me thinking…
What if I infinitely focused all my attention on the present moment? This precise moment… Right NOW! How would this change the way I experienced my day? What could I learn about myself and about the world? What would I feel? What would I be telling myself?
Then I wondered, what if instead of planning for things to do or try in the future, I chose to experience them right now? And what if I chose what I would do based on what would bring me the most joy? Like when Indie drops her favourite book to rush over and smell a flower in the garden.
What if in enjoying all these new and wonderful experiences, success and failure didn’t exist and all outcomes were just a matter of experience.
What if all of this were true and became my reality the way it is Indie’s reality?
The more I reflect on this, the more I realise that my toddler, in her inherent wisdom, holds the key to true success and happiness. I sense that what is required is an unlearning of sorts, a rejection of the limiting conditions that were learned as we grew from babes into children, teens and then adults. Our job is not to learn how to be happy, rather to remember how to do it.
I am setting myself the challenge to embrace the child within, and approach life with a wondrous curiosity and insatiable appetite for adventure. And as I type this declaration I cannot help but feel a stirring in my belly, an excited anticipation bubbling up from within… What will I achieve? What will happen to the quality of my relationships? My health? My happiness?
I get the overwhelming feeling that I’m embarking on one big, beautiful adventure. Care to join me?
Bec Van Leeuwen is a truth-seeker, devoted wife and mother, a globe-trotter, a nature lover and a human potential activist. Her mission is to support and inspire awakening women who are on a quest to create real and lasting change in their lives, their communities and the world.