Watching a child play, learn, and just be free is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. And not just for the entertainment value but for the lessons you can glean from his/her unhindered actions. I know as a mom it’s sometimes difficult to find time to be still and soak up these profound events, but when I do, it’s SO worth it! I’ve compiled some thoughts about how watching them play and understanding their hearts can move us into higher levels of our own creativity.
“Great is the man (or woman) who has not lost his childlike heart.” -Mencius
- It’s OK to color outside the lines – This one is HUGE for those who are perfectionists and put unrealistic demands on yourselves. Try it just once! Physically get a coloring book and purposely color the sky or grass a “strange” color, allowing creative freedom and even “oopsies” outside the lines. It’s therapeutic! Now, think about how this concept might be applied to life…
- Set creativity as a priority – Play and creativity, to a child, is life. It’s a priority because they don’t know how to do any of that serious, “more important” stuff yet. Well, that “more important” stuff is what gets us adults into trouble. Stress, illness, poor relationships, weight gain, can all stem from pushing the limits with work and responsibilities. An unbalanced life is not a happy one. Set aside creative time just as though it was an important appointment you can’t miss. Just write it in your calendar this week. See if you can stick to it by planning something you really enjoy.
- Role playing is good for the soul – Cops and robbers, mommy and baby, teacher and student, doctor and patient…remember role playing one of these couplings as a child? Remember how fun it was to be someone else, to create new, interesting personalities, to make believe you were having an adventure? Again, this type of play is not only fun but therapeutic. To bring this adventurous play into an adult setting, you could have an improv night with some friends or help your child write and direct a skit for a special occasion. There are no rules here; do what feels right. Your primary relationship might benefit from a little role playing in the bedroom…
- Absorb what you see, hear, and experience – Children are observers of life. They see everything, and even though they may not completely understand what they see, kids are the best impressionists on the planet. This is usually a good thing, occasionally it’s not when he or she copies a bad word or angry outburst learned from a parent or sibling. The point is to be observant of people and your surroundings. Take time to look at that painting in the gallery window or smell the lilac bush outside your backdoor. Make memories that will follow you a lifetime.
- Go ahead and cry – Crying is one of the healthiest way to release pent up emotion. If it weren’t, young children wouldn’t do it so much. I’m not saying you should open the tear ducts at the drop of a hat, but do feel into your emotions and body by paying attention to extreme feelings of sadness, anger, or even joy. Get alone so you can naturally express those emotions. If you don’t feel better, it might be a sign that the issue has not been resolved. This is a good time to open up your journal…you do have a journal, don’t you? Get creative in that wonderful book by being honest and not holding back.
What creative ideas and lessons have you learned from your kids?
Be beautiful-be creative-be happy!