I onced lived in a world where my neighbors were cowboys and indians and I was a princess.
My castle was surrounded by a field of green monsters that were always waiting for me to jump down from the tippity top of my tower so they could capture me. My only hope was that a knight in shining armor would come rescue me on his white noble stead. Other days, I was a monkey jumping between tree branches and everything was magical and perfect. Until one day, when the world I once knew vanished and in its place quickly came responsibilities, bills, and worries. Also known as “Adulthood.”
If only there was a way to rediscover that world which vanished so long ago for all of us. Well guess what! There is a way and it’s not very far either! As a matter of fact, you’re already there. You just need to unlock the door. The key is simply your inner child.
Back when we were young and innocent, our imaginations ran wild without any limitations. As we got older, the burdens of everyday life suppressed our inner child limiting our imagination and creativity. We have been taught as adults to conform with day to day rules and regulations and be less childish and more mature. But there’s nothing childish about letting your inner child come out from time to time.
Letting your inner child out is not as hard as you may think it is.
First, you have to let loose and simply stop caring about what others are going to think of you. Perfect example of what I mean here would be from one of my favorite T.V. shows, “Friends” when Phoebe and Rachel go running together. If you’ve seen the show as religiously as I have, then you know exactly what I mean here. If not, here’s a little recap and video of the segment.
Rachel and Phoebe decide to go running in the park together as a roommate bonding exercise. This is when Phoebe starts running in an erratic and unconventional way whereas Rachel is seen running like the other people in the park with her arms close to her body and moving in a straight direction.
Later in the episode, Rachel attempts to avoid running with Phoebe again simply because she found it too embarrassing. She told Phoebe that people were looking at them as if they were crazy. This is when Phoebe gives her the best piece of advice anybody can hear. She says that she runs like she did when she was a kid because that is the only way it’s fun. After Rachel is caught running without Phoebe, she feels guilty and ends up letting loose by running wild and crazy then finally admits that she feels so free and graceful all because she stopped caring about what other people were thinking.
Time to Play
Once you’ve finally let loose like Rachel did, join some of your friends on a fun, silly and crazy activity. Take a break from the harsh stresses of your day to day life and just play. One of the things I have been dying to do with my husband is Painting with a Twist. Where I live, there are some places that offer a painting experience where you can bring your own booze and paint with a group of friends or as a couple. Imagine how much fun you can have creating art with loved ones and booze! Perfect opportunity to let your inner child come out and play.
The simple act of play is essential for mental, physical and creative health as Kerry Schafer said so perfectly in Why Creative Personalities Need Play. If you have kids, join them in their playtime. Have a tea party with your daughter or play superheroes with your son.
When you redirect your energy into a playful activity rather than the normal day to day stuff, you’ll be amazed at how enlightening it truly can be.
One of the ways I tapped into my inner child today was by creating a finger painting activity for me and the kids. No rules, no limits, just good ol’ messy fun. (I recommend using washable paint here!)
Make Time for Yourself
Sometimes we just need to get away from everything and everybody in order to melt the stress away that’s blocking the door to our inner child. This is the time where you can do some soul searching. Make a date with yourself and stick to it. So many people these days are afraid of doing anything alone that they miss the opportunity to rediscover themselves. When was the last time you saw somebody eating alone in a restaurant or watching a movie in the theatre by themself? There are still plenty of people that do this but not as many as there should be. Just because you are alone for this activity doesn’t mean you’ll be lonely. There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely.
One of the best times I’ve had in my life was when I took a day to myself and went on a photography adventure at a tropical garden where I used to live. That’s the day I found this peaceful spot where I sat and got lost in my own thoughts. I spent hours walking the park by myself taking photos of things I would have never noticed had I been there with other people. We tend to get distracted when we are experiencing things with others versus by ourselves.
Research shows that children rank at Genius Levels in Creativity vs Adults.
Professor George Land conducted a study in 1968 where 1,600 children between the ages of three-five were given a creativity test that was designed to be administered to individuals in the NASA program. Those same children were then re-tested at ages 10 then 15. The results of this study are a testament as to why it’s so important that we nurture the inner child in all of us.
An amazing 98% of the 3-5 year olds ranked at genius levels! At age 10, there was a dramatic decrease ranking in only 30%. 5 years later, it dropped just past half at 12%. To take his test to the next level, Professor Land then administered the same test to 280,000 adults at the average age of 31 of which only 2% ranked at genius levels!
Remember that your inner child is always with you.
No matter how much you’ve grown up and suppressed it and no matter how hard it may seem to find it, it’s not impossible. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a little bit more time than you expected. Remember to simply let loose, play, and really make time for yourself. I promise you that it’s well worth the time and effort.
I Challenge You
Take the next few moments to tap into your inner child and boost your creativity with this challenge I present to you now. Answer the following questions below.
1. If you could create any superhero, who would it be?
2. What would your superpowers be?
3. What would your costume look like?