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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Through the eyes of a child

Warmer temperatures and sunny days means more time spent outside for this little lady.  This is mostly because my son is absolutely addicted to the outdoors, which, by my own standards is a good thing... no, a great thing.  If you ever wanted to reconnect with nature and re-discover all that it has to offer, just go outside with a child for a few hours.  Following my son Chephren around the property over the past few weeks has been such an interesting experience.  He is absolutely delighted by every little thing: the puddles, the birds (he says 'CAW' at the top of his voice every time), the squirrels, the trees and of course, our 2 big dogs who he loves to pieces.  Usually, I don't really like this time of year because of the yuck and the muck everywhere, but Chephren has inspired me to find the good in even the muddiest of puddles. 

Yesterday, as we were out in the yard, something occurred to me.  Chephren's ability to find pure joy in the most ordinary of things is actually teaching ME something about simplicity.  After all, isn't that what simplicity is really about?  Being present, living in the moment, connecting with your surroundings and marvelling at the world around you?  This realization has caused me to wonder, what other lessons has Chephren been trying to teach me that I may have been missing out on.  Here is what I have come up with so far:

1. LOOK: I know, it sounds obvious, but when was the last time that you actually 'looked' at your surroundings?  I know that I tend to do a lot of things on 'autopilot' and Chephren's squeals of delight often cause me to look at things that I might have been missing, even though they are right under my nose.
2. MOVE: No, I am not describing the kind of movements that you do everyday (walk to and from your car to your office and then to and from your car to your house).  I am talking about moving your body with reckless abandon!  Do you remember what it felt like to move like a child?  Run like a child?  Dance like a child?  Start with the running.  You might look silly but I guarantee it will feel AMAZING!  Also, try to dance for about 5 minutes every day - just crank up the tunes and give 'er!  Chephren and I try to have a 'dance party' at least once a day.
3. NOTICE OTHERS:  Have you ever been greeted at the door by a child?  Doesn't it feel amazing?  Chephren gives the best greetings, starting with peeking out the window, running to the door, calling out your name and giving you a big hug.  It is pretty amazing.  Greet someone like this when they come home tonight and see what happens.  Seriously, just drop what you are doing (it isn't really THAT important is it?) and run over and greet them with your whole heart!
4. IF YOU FALL, GET BACK UP!: Life is hard, you are going to have tough times.  Don't dwell on them, get back up, dust yourself off, accept a cuddle if it will help you feel better, and then MOVE ON!  No one does this better than a child.
5. FORGIVE & FORGET: Don't hold grudges.  They don't serve a purpose, other than to drag you down with negative thoughts and energy.  Get mad if you need to and speak your mind, but then get over it.  Life is too short!

I know that I am just barely scratching the surface here as far as 'what our children can teach us', but the first step is to pay attention to the message!  If you don't than these life lessons will pass you by.

“Try to look at everything through the eyes of a child.”  - Ruth Draper

Marebare :)
(Photo: Taken by Maren Hasse, Maui, November 2009)


  1. I love this post, Maren! Even though I don't have children myself, I will definitely make a conscious effort to incorporate these points into my everyday life! I'm thinking it's not going to be that difficult, since I mostly feel like a big kid anyhow... Yeah!

  2. Glad you liked it! And yes, you are a big kid but I believe that the rest of us should be aspiring to be more like you, so keep it up! You back on Freezing Canadian Soil yet?

  3. I absolutely love this post! Every once in a while, usually when I'm doing yoga, I look at my living room upside down. It always amazes me... I project a completely different set of emotions onto my surroundings when I look upside down.

    Here's to living in the moment!