It’s pretty simple really – you just need to remember some things and forget other ones. Why then do we forget to remember what we really need to, and fail to forget what we should just let go of?
So this school holidays the kids have been doing a little free-ranging.
Play, imagination, improvisation and just the right amount of risk, thanks to the bean-bag.
There has also been some free-range construction – you know the kind of houses and forts built with off-cuts of timber and old pavers (that could at any moment collapse down on an unsuspecting toe) rather than Lego sets built with instructions or virtual worlds created in Minecraft (nothing against Lego and I sort-of think Minecraft is OK, if only it wasn’t so addictive). There’s been a whole lot of helping Dad build the deck and Mum establish a new garden.
We naturally know how to play – we’re born to it. Only we forget.
We forget a whole lot of stuff we are born to – and then think we are actually getting smarter as we become adults and eventually ‘get wisdom’.
Dr Wayne Dyer (OK I’m slightly obsessing over him since his passing), talks about how we have everything ‘God-given’ to us, without any input from us, in those first nine months in our mother’s womb.
The universal intelligence gets on with the business of working with our parent’s genes to create our physical form, with the spark of divine spirit in us that determines everything from hair colour to personality and sets in place our calling in life – all before we are born.
We’re not busy with worrying about our eye colour or planning the next 90 (hopefully) odd years. And yet we are born, with whatever eye colour nature intended, ready to do everything we will ever want to do. We have within us already everything we need to know.
And then life happens – we are close to nature and we innately play as children but this good stuff is usually ‘learned’ out of us. Even if we still feel close to nature we spend less time in it as the demands of learning and then earning take over – there is precious little time (and often inclination) to play.
Instead we learn to forget. And we learn a whole lot of stuff we should forget – to judge, to compete, to conform, to strive, to judge ourselves – in the name of nurturing our parents (and we as parents) and society make us forget our true nature, and so we lose sight of our true calling. We forget how to find our flow. Plus we also have this strange brain bias to remember bad stuff more than good.
We should slide down an improvised slippery slide, because life should not be an uphill battle or climb to the ‘top’ but a ride we can only enjoy, especially when skiing down a slope.
We should learn from our children. We should let them teach us.
And you should close your eyes, reflect, meditate on what it is you did as a child that made your heart sing, made your soul soar, stopped time, and left you feeling more alive than ever. And then do that thing (or at least an adult version).
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.Howard Thurman
And reverse that brain bias and remember the good stuff (this is one of my most popular posts) – I can almost guarantee there will be more of it to remember than bad.
PS – Big kudos to hubby the firefighter (and deck builder), who a few weeks ago was a hero rescuing a woman from a crash down a steep embankment. Then this week he had ‘a day’ that went into the night – a couple of major grassfires and then more than four hours at an accident scene where a man was horribly trapped after crashing over an embankment. Sadly he couldn’t be freed in time and died at the scene. Makes you really want to live by Thurman’s quote.
Linking up for a Friday with Grace for FYBF. Are you in favour of free-ranging? What do you need to forget and what do you need to remember?