(Estimated reading time 1 1/2 minutes)
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I was asked that question recently and really couldn’t remember wanting to be anything. What I could remember is that my pre-school self was utterly absorbed by being in the moment. I remember filling giant holes with water and submerging myself in the mud. I remember bossing my brothers around as we drove our toy cars on the driveway. I recall exploring the magical place under the willow tree, running riot with my cousins on the farm, eating fairy-tale castle cakes and listening to my mom read stories that filled my imagination. If I think about that 5-year-old self, what she had was an ability to be entirely in the present moment. Perhaps my parents will correct me, but I remember enjoying myself. A lot. I was happy.
Strangely, this is what came to mind as I considered the question. I didn’t want to be anything other than who I was. The very next thoughts were of how far away I have managed to travel, as an adult, from that place of acceptance, presence and enjoyment. Over the years, I became caught up criticizing, re-hashing and rehearsing. I forgot about joy. I lost acceptance. I overlooked the magic of the moment.
The most significant personal growth work I’ve done recently has been learning to be present and reminding myself to find the joy in what I am doing right now. I have just realized that it’s not about learning these things for the first time but returning to who I was naturally as a preschooler. It’s a new perspective. I’m not struggling to teach the old dog new tricks but rather nudging myself towards what I already knew at a young age, towards what once came naturally. It’s a letting go of striving, of expectations, of what should be, could be and realizing that we are made for joy and joy is found right now at this moment.
My 5-year-old self is nudging me to reclaim playful, joyful, creative, present, accepting, open and imaginative.
What parts of your childhood self do you want to reclaim?
A short clip from last week’s interview
Here’s a one minute eighteen second segment of my interview with Joie Garrity where I describe why I became a courage coach. Spoiler alert – it has nothing to do with being good at courage!
I’d love to hear how you are practicing courage and what you have learned in the process. Let’s be brave together!
Sue Das, Courage Coach, CPCC, ACC, B SocSc (SW)
If you want to learn more about coaching with me, you can connect with me here