"I am convinced that most people do not grow up...We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias.” - Maya Angelou - Letter to My Daughter
"As willing adults, we are able to trust, be curious, be enthused, be pleased with ourselves, and be fully generous once again. We are able to know and feel and experience the peace, joy, and love creatively produced by Mother Nature as we live in harmony with her." - Gregge Tiffen – Mother Nature
I’m coming to believe that maturity or growing up is about reclaiming the qualities that were natural to me as a child. I trusted. I was curious and enthusiastic (at least at a very young age). I participated in each day allowing one thing to lead to the next, and the next. And, I gave freely without any expectation of return, whether it was my love or my toys.
Then I began to learn from parents, from teachers, seemingly from life itself that to trust, to be curious, generous and enthusiastic was not safe. These were sure pathways to being hurt. I learned too that the road to being ignored, lonely and considered by others as egotistical was paved with self-satisfaction. I learned that there are so-called requirements and responsibilities in life (there are, but they aren’t what I learned back then). What I was supposed to do and who I was supposed to be in the eyes of others took over.
I was on a path, as the quote from Maya Angelou suggests, to growing old. It wasn’t pretty. Yes, there were some very good times, personally and professionally. But, despite the façade of smiles and positive words, deep inside I knew I wasn’t the happy camper I was designed to be.
Today, as I live more quietly, slowly, in touch with nature and, therefore, myself, I feel those childhood qualities growing in me and with me again.
I’m curious – not about anything and everything, but about nature and the laws of the Universe. I’m enthusiastic about experimenting to discover what works (and what doesn’t). I trust that things turn out how they turn out and that is perfectly perfect (even when I don’t like it). I trust myself and I absolutely know that I know how to survive AND how to thrive. I’m pleased with myself and how I’m living my life (and, if that’s egotistical, so be it). And, I’m discovering that to the extent that I can be generous with me, I can be generous with others.
In learning to live in harmony with myself, I am growing in my capacity to “know and feel and experience the peace, joy, and love” available equally to us all. Imagine living life with the qualities these children in Turkey demonstrate in what may be the best commercial I've ever seen: http://www.chonday.com/Videos/turkarilne2
Reflection For The Week: In what areas of life do you experience the childlike qualities of trust, curiosity, enthusiasm, satisfaction and generosity? What would it look like to deepen and expand that experience?