The Kid I Never Knew

IMG_2548I truly love the synchronicities of the Universe. I believe they happen all the time but most of us are only occasionally aware of them.

For example, last weekend we hosted a private retreat in our home for two of our friends who are seeking to take their practices deeper and open up to the loving heart that is at their core.

During one of our discussions on the Sunday of the retreat, I shared with them the story of my Mom telling me at 8 years old to stop being the parent. I said back to her, “Well one of us has to be!” *

My mom and her lovely friends got such a kick out it. I remember getting mad – I was an 8 year old who thought that I was so mature and willing to take the reins of control in an adult world.

This story fit in to their personal retreat as we discussed why we humans have control issues and why we try hard to keep uncertainty and vulnerability at bay. Something I had obviously been doing since at least 8 years old.

This morning, by opening one particular email, I experienced a synchronicity that took my own story to a new level.  I subscribe to the newsletters of a fitness, nutrition and juicing expert named Drew Canole. The title of his Monday, 10/5/2015 Newsletter was: Stop Being An Adult and Let Your Inner Child Free.

The “Stop Being An Adult” from Drew and “Stop Being the Parent” from my own story with my mom, was close enough to make it feel like a personal message from the Universe. Coincidence—-hmmmmm.  Synchronicity——-Yes!

Drew’s message is about looking back at the carefree times of childhood when we saw everything with new eyes and wonder – A time when most children are not self-conscious about running to the ice cream truck or playing games with their friends.

I think this is a great reminder for those of you who have memories of times of being carefree and not being self-conscious. But what about the rest of us? I have a feeling that I am not the only one who doesn’t remember a time like that.

It seemed “being a kid” did not come natural to me.  In my childhood, my mom loved to play board games and she would beg me to play with her but, they seemed silly to me. I can’t remember a time when I was not conscious of my actions and how they might be perceived by others.  Kids my age weren’t my favorite group to be around.  I preferred the company of adults. Strangely enough I felt like those who had 20, 30, 40 years on me were my peers.

We all have our story. And our story is ours to have and to hold or to let go and move on.  Interestingly, I have been feeling the “absence of a full fledge childhood,” and I have been wondering how I can reclaim one now as an adult.

As Drew says in his video, “Kids teach us something magical. They can teach us through ‘play’ how to live, laugh and love and to truly enjoy our time here in this life.”  Right on Drew!

In the realm of Yoga as a spiritual way of life rather than just poses, we cultivate practices and a way of living that help us to re-open and rediscover our hearts. It is in our hearts, our pure hearts that we come to know a life of love, compassion and joy.  And like a child, we share it outwardly with others to make the circle complete.

My brother and sister in law, Mark and Eileen have two beautiful grandkids ages three and one who adore them. They love hanging out with Yaya and Papa because these two ‘adults in chronological years’, build tents in the living room,  play dress up, paint rocks, go to the zoo, the park……

They encourage Brooke and Bryce to be kids full on without holding back.

I know we all have responsibilities and need to make a living but can we open ourselves up to doing it with joy and maybe even a little wonder and excitement?

One of our retreat participants, who is a Ph.D. and has a well-established career, told me that she wondered if she had not yet learned to be a responsible adult. She explained that she has so many interests, so much passion for exploring and being playful that are all related to children.

Hold on to it Rita!  Most of us are hoping to rediscover those qualities or for some of us to cultivate them for the first time.

What do you want from your one precious life? If joy, happiness and an open heart are on your list, take some time to be with and observe a child or two or maybe a whole playground.

I think it’s time for me to make the 5 and younger set my peers. I recently started taking five minutes each day to bang on my bongo set. I am buying a canvas and some paints to start my painting career. I am going to squeeze in some daydream time to my week as well.

I invite you to join me. Rekindle a relationship with the kid you were long ago or come to know the Kid you never knew. How exciting to start on a new relationship with yourself.

Come on, I’ll race you to the big tree and back. And let’s celebrate whoever wins and then just keeping playing.

Choose to enjoy your life. Bet you can!


Rob Dorgan

*The full story is in our October 2015 Themes for Life.

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