Mum’s staying at the moment so-lucky you-that means less posts from me:-) She’s come a long way to see us here in central Florida, all the way from Dorset, England.
She’s a doer, my mum, despite pushing seventy. I admire her unrelenting thirst for exploration, travel and her open-mindedness to ingratiate herself into foreign experiences, oftentimes leaving her comfort zone miles behind in the rear view mirror.
As far as I can tell, mum is happy. That is, she wrings as much joy from each day as she knows how to. She has always been my inspiration.
Yesterday mum encouraged me to play tennis. I haven’t swung a racket in five years or so, yet once upon a time it had been my childhood passion (along with writing). Mum’s a great player and still plays multiple times a week back home.
Bolting around after her drop-shots and cross- court whacks I became ten years old again. For that set, time lifted its veil and there we were, as if it were 1990. Nothing had changed since then on that court. Mum was playing annoyingly consistently as always, offering me a seemingly false sense of security by allowing slip a game or two. And, bless her, she was being a very diligent score keeper, just as she always had been. Somehow I get so lost in the point that at the end of the rally you’ll invariably always hear a dazed bellow, “What’s the score now, mum?” Typically I was either serving aces or double faults. My tennis playing is an analogy of how I live my life; unexpectedly, sporadically, extreme at times.
What struck me the most about this game of ours was how much unchecked fun I had, doing something I had loved doing as a child. It reminded me of the importance of listening to the inner child residing in each and every one of us. As children we let ourselves love and indulge in what we want to. As adults we oftentimes prohibit playtime in favor of productivity.
When were you happier? What did you love to do as a child? Is it something you may reignite now as an adult? The sheer enjoyment value alone will be worth the experiment. Yet harping back to your childhood may hold even richer rewards; you may come face to face with that thing that you wanted to be or do when you grew up. Have you done it?! Don’t feel like you’ve failed yourself if no, most of us have pretty lofty ambitions as children. As positive as I might be, I don’t think I’ll make it to Wimbledon. Bit old now! But as Rhonda Byrne* in her book ‘Hero’ says:-
“…you have received the call (your calling) several times in your life already. You might have received it as a child when you knew absolutely what you wanted to be when you grew up. But then society or well-meaning parents and teachers influence us with the limited options of what we can or can’t do, and we shut down our calling and our dreams.” (page 22)
Before we discard these fanciful childhood dreams, look inside them. Look underneath the blinkered and perhaps juvemile ultimate pinnacle goal and into what it is you told yourself then you wanted to be, do or have. Did you want to be a rock star? Could you then take up the guitar again? Did you want to be a vet? Thought about volunteering at your local animal shelter? Did you want to be a writer? Considered writing a blog? This way you are still honoring the essence of these dreams, and who can tell where these initial bounds in the right direction may take you?
I for one will keep at my tennis and will enroll my children in lessons too. Mum’s made me remember my joy.
Once upon a time-no matter how long ago- you were talented in these areas, whether through a natural gift or practice. And in my experience reawakening these perhaps dormant joys that the big adult responsible world may have shunned is your fare to a large, healthy dose of happiness.
Bring back the childhood magic, the devotion to the present moment, the unbridled glee that captivated you entirely.
That little girl or boy is still right there inside, you know? They haven’t changed. Question is, are you ready to play?
*Rhonda Byrne is one of my own greatest life teachers. She is the creator of ‘The Secret’ movie, which has been viewed by millions all over the world. The bestselling book version of ‘The Secret’ has been translated into 50 languages and has sold over 25 million copies. http://thesecret.tv/index.html
I have watched ‘The Secret’ over and over because I wanted the message of it to stamped into my mind and heart. It rang with such a deep sense of truth, like I was indeed remembering something I once knew.
For me, thereafter, her books only got better, her second ‘The Power’ was another huge success, as are her later books ‘The Magic’ and the one quoted here, ‘Hero’.
If you are looking to activate a dormant childhood dream that lies within you, Rhonda Byrne’s ‘Hero’ could be yours too.
Above photo is my son, taken by my sister-in-law Amanda Williams.