What if We Simply Forgot?
As young children, we lived in the present moment because we had yet to be taught to feel beyond what our attention was put on. We could play and play for hours until we were told it was dinner time or bedtime. We didn’t worry about our plans or fear much until the first point of trauma we experienced. No one needed to guide us on being present.
As young children, many of us were connected to our physical environment and mostly lived in the present. We were simply happy, not knowing stress, allowing life to be as it is, rather than how it should be. We had no need to control and label or judge everything or anything, including ourselves.
One of the necessities of basic human survival was learning about rational fear like not touching a hot stove, walking into oncoming traffic on a busy street, and avoiding a black bear in the yard. But at the same time, projecting ourselves into the future and feeling irrational fears like I am not good or smart enough were systematically planted inside of us as we “grew up” and were taught the “facts of life.”
As children, we didn’t dwell on our mistakes or failures until we learned that fear and suffering were part of life. Shame is a learned behavior. At what point did we forget how to play and be fully present?
Being Present is Rooted in Natural Flow
Many of us have become disconnected from the natural cycles of the seasons. There are four seasons—winter, spring, summer, and fall—and within these cycles, there are also moon cycles, sunrises, and sunsets. These are natural rhythms in the world we live in and are universal, no matter where we live.
There are no calendars or clocks in nature—just light and darkness—and yet every living being manages to follow its own cycle and thrive in harmony without timetables or agendas.
Once we’ve been taught what and who to fear it gets ingrained in our day-to-day life. When we hear that the weather will be awful, we might dig up our old trusted coat, which may no longer fit us, but has protected us in past storms. And even though the sun is shining and we don’t see any rain clouds in the sky, we bring the coat with us just in case the weather changes. Who hasn’t learned the importance of always being prepared for the worst thing to happen?
This obsession with being safe has become a trap that prevents our lives from having any kind of flexibility. In fact, it causes more anxiety and stress by adding pressure to make sure we adhere to it.
Most of our devices are equipped with bells and notifications to keep us on schedule as we cut our days up into slices and segments. There is a certain amount of time to eat, a time to retreat on vacation, and then it’s back to school or work. This is how the programming starts: at an early age in school. Children learn about the societal standards for productivity and don’t get to experience or learn the benefits of rest and downtime—yet they deeply yearn to play and explore their imagination and curiosity. We all do.
Can you take a look at the attachments that you may have developed over your life to an old coat or a story or a belief that doesn’t need to come with you as you trek into the unknown? Can you really know what will happen in 2022 and beyond, apart from trusting your heart and doing your very best?
We have an opportunity to make our own observations and choices. These are times that call for us to dig deep and find the stillness and the strength to follow our intuition and heart. It is up to each of us to turn the alarms and the notifications on or off, as only we know when we’re ready to pause, breathe, find our center, and ground ourselves. And when we do, we can become aware of our unique gifts and talents, as well as our ability to be present with them.
I’ve been shown that the more we fight the system, the more fighting we will have to do in every area that constrains us. And that there’s another way where we don’t need to fight anymore when we learn to tap into our natural resiliency.
What kind of life do you want to usher in 2022? What choices will you be presented with? Are there any coats whose time has come to decommission?