It is possible to live happily in the here and now. So many conditions of happiness are available—more than enough for you to be happy right now. You don’t have to run into the future in order to get more.
- Thích Nhat Hạnh
We all come into this existence as beautiful pure souls, with the knowledge of our interconnectedness to all beings in the universe and all beings on this planet. Babies see and feel this. Observe the next time you smile at a baby…there is a look of recognition in their eyes, because they know and they’re aware.
By the time, we learn our first words, we start to learn how to individuate and separate ourselves from others. At the same time, we slowly forget our interconnectedness and loosen our link into the universal consciousness. We learn our parents’ beliefs, lessons from the playground and we grow through individual experience. When we reach adulthood, our thoughts, beliefs and attitudes become rigid and we close ourselves to all that the universe has to offer. We’ve lost the feeling of connection with everything.
Or think we do, but we don’t. We don’t lose that feeling of connection, we just cover it up with stuff we think is more important – we deny the connection, through work, chores, etc. For example, “I don’t have time to feel sad, I have to earn a living” or “I don’t have time to joke around, I have to pay the bills.” We become so caught up in the material existence on this planet, we forget to acknowledge our true being. Forget it too long, the living will begin lose meaning and the absence of meaning will become a hole you’ll try to fill with endless material possessions. Not a good road you want to be on.
So how do you reconnect back to your true being? Be like a child.
1. Trust in the universe
Children wholeheartedly trust their environment and the people around them. Toddlers walk up to grown-ups all the time, raising their arms wanting to be carried and they are lifted up. Young children easily run up to join a new group of kids to play. They have an innate acceptance of themselves and of the world as perfect. They trust that the world supports them and nurtures them.
2. Live in the moment
Children are always living in the moment. They focus their feelings on the now. They may be upset and angry one second, then laughing the next, their anger forgotten. They forgive easily, any upset relegated to unimportance. They don’t hold on to emotions. They don’t know the meaning of tomorrow. They live totally in the now.
3. Be open and aware of other’s emotions
Children feel other’s emotions as if it is their own. If their mother is upset, they are also upset and start bawling. Ditto if they see other children crying. They sense emotions from others easily. They’re jolly little things if they feel their surroundings are happy. When they see a flower, they think they are also the flower. They’re still tapped into the unity of the universe and feel they are one with everything.
4. Say what’s on your mind
Children say what’s on their mind. They don’t filter their words. They also usually do what they say. They are beings in a state of total balance. What they think, say and do are in harmony with each other.
5. See the wonder in everything
Children are endlessly fascinated with their surroundings. Everything is a new experience waiting to be tasted, felt, heard and held in their little hands. There is much excitement to draw just from playing with a pet dog, listening to chimes in the wind, jumping in a puddle of water, walking in the bush or rock-hopping on the beach.
6. Practise laughter
Children laugh a lot. They giggle over silly things, like dogs farting, making funny faces, tripping and falling on their bottom or nonsense jokes. Laughing releases a lot of good endorphins into our system, improving our sense of well-being. It boosts the immune system, by decreasing stress hormones and relaxes your body.
Being like a child opens your heart to feel, allowing space and time to feel your emotions, accepting and witnessing these emotions and letting them go when their time is up.
When you rediscover how to feel excitement over the feel of the wind in your face while riding your bike or the joy of hearing bellbirds calling in the bush, you’ll start to reconnect back to your true nature. Because our true nature is one of infinite joy. When you realise your true nature, you’ll begin to notice everyone as beautiful beings themselves. Life becomes full and has meaning again.