Live Freely: Embrace Your Inner Child

inner child
inner child

While staying upstate at the Brampton (read it here), I had quite the epiphany. It hit me while we were hanging out by the Hudson River and our group had the idea of crossing through the streams to stand on the big rocks. It sounded fun to me, but I didn't feel like taking my socks and shoes off and potentially getting wet. Andrew said,

Jules, live in the moment.

I laughed, rolled my eyes and began to undress my feet. Slowly and carefully, I dipped my toes in and started walking one foot in front of the other, catching my toes on each slippery moss-coated stone. About two feet in, I paused and said aloud that I wanted to turn back. My yoga pants were getting soaked at the ankles and I felt like my feet would slip out from under me at any given moment. I just didn't feel like getting my clothes wet... Once again, Andrew said,

Jules, come on. Live in the moment.

He was really beginning to bother me. I'm usually the one preaching to live in the moment, and I do wholeheartedly feel this is my prerogative most of the time. I wanted to tell Andrew to stop telling me to live in the moment. I wanted to say, "I do live in the moment. I just don't want to do this."

But, then it hit me.

Why do I care if my pants get wet? Why do I care if I slip and fall on my butt? It wasn't dangerous. The guy before me just fell down, and it was hilarious. The water was only shin deep, and I had no obligations, except to enjoy being out in nature for the weekend. Why was I being so uptight?

I used to love running barefoot out in nature. I wasn't afraid of splashing around a stream in my clothes. I loved coming home with muddy feet and a few grass stains on my knees. So, what changed? Since living in the city, I'm not as exposed to raw nature as I was back home in Kentucky. I'm still a free spirit at heart, but I'm not often in situations where I can roll up my pants and walk through water. I should have jumped at the opportunity... but I didn't. Andrew's comments were driving me nuts, so I kept chugging my way through the water just to prove him wrong.

"See? I'm doing it." When I finally made it to the large rock, I stood upon it feeling sturdy, mighty and strong. My inner child felt like it had just rejoined with my spirit, and I remembered the feeling of carefree, childlike wonder before the job, before the bills, and before I had obligations.

hudson river
hudson river

Andrew reminded me it's okay to let go of being an adult for a while. It's okay to enjoy the moment, to live freely and to lovelifefully. Who cares if you scuff up your clothes? Who cares if you get a little (or a lot) wet? Clothes do not matter. Experiences matter.Quality time matters. Moments like these are absolutely invaluable.

As we grow, our personalities will evolve. Just hold onto your humor, your laughter and your ability to live in the moment. I can be neurotic at times - I'm afraid of getting injured, dirty subways poles, Lyme Disease, poison ivy, bugs, sharks ... (need I continue?).  I need to be less cautious and take more risks. I need to embrace my inner child. And I will.

So, thank you for the reminder. x