If you have children or have spent time around babies and children, you’ve probably noticed and commented on their genuine joy and happiness and abundance of energy.
“He/she is so happy and smiley all of the time.”
“Where does he/she get all of that energy from?”
Our daughter is 11 months old now and we make those comments all the time.
And why is that?
Your initial response might be something like, “Because they are young and carefree.”
Yes, that’s true – but I believe it’s more than that.
Babies and children are truly present and in tune with their body, wants and needs.
They notice, investigate and enjoy every little detail in their environment.
They eat when they are hungry.
They sleep when they are tired.
They ask for something when they want it.
They don’t stifle their emotions.
And what are we taught and institutionalised into doing as we grow up?
Eat at meal times, even if you aren’t hungry and finish all of your food.
Sleep at bed time and only after all of the “jobs” are done.
You can’t always have what you want, so stop asking.
And don’t “act out” in public.
Don’t be present. Delay your wants and needs. Stifle your emotions.
And fighting and squashing our natural behaviours in that way ultimately leads to heightened stress, anxiety, overwhelm, sickness and unhappiness.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you should nap in the middle of today’s staff meeting or start stomping your feet next time you don’t get your way.
But what small steps can you start taking today to be more present and honour your wants, needs and emotions?
Can you eat at your desk when you feel hungry?
Can you take a 5 minute break to sit outside in the sunshine?
Do you need to set a boundary with a partner, friend or colleague?
And what help or support do you need in order to do that thing?
– Coach Han