Stop the search

We’re constantly trying to connect to our inner kid and we don’t even know it. We’re trying too hard. We’re searching for happiness, we’re reaching for exhilaration, we trust “How to ____” articles online. All of these things we do to try to be more ourselves than we were one minute ago. We think about who we want to be tomorrow and how much better “she” is.

I’m guilty. What do I do when I have too much to do? More. What do I do when I need to chill out? More. What do I do when I want to be happy? Google it. — Imagine that for a second. We’re so obsessed with thinking others are doing everything better than we are, we trust them to make our decisions. Our plates are so full that we can hardly breathe, but we think we can fit in one more thing. And, in the moment, we think that thing is THE thing to solve all things. *phew*

Long story short, I think we’re just chasing that intentional, in-the-moment, mindful feeling of contentment – that is happiness. Think about the childhood days of playing outside until dark. You felt like a bit of a rebel, those hours of playing in the darkness were always somehow so much harder to tear yourself away from. What do we do to find this feeling as adults? We still stay out late with our friends closing the bar. We make stops on the way home for fast food. We wait it out and drink water before heading home. We suck in every last bit of time. 

Think about the days of running around at recess or playing dodgeball. The sweat. The dirt. The panting. What do we do as adults? We hike, we do yoga, we garden. We try to connect to our bodies and the outdoors in the most “adult” and productive way possible.

Think about the days of swinging on the backyard swing set so high that the legs lifted slightly off of the ground. The adrenaline of even the thought of it possibly tipping over was a rush. Then, you jump. For that split second that you’re in the air and you feel weightless. You feel like time has stopped and you feel confident that gravity’s gotcha. The ground will catch you. What do we do as adults? This is the nasty one. We cheat, we drink heavily, we step on the edge of right and wrong. The adrenaline, the rush, the fear, the feeling that something will catch you at the end. All of this in a search for happiness. Imagine that.

So, what if we just played outside, what if we went on the swing set? Of course these are all metaphors for just looking inside yourself for the ease, the rush, the contentment, the happiness. What if we stuck to what we knew – the innocent, childish, simple, and easy ways. Let’s not over complicate it. Do less to feel more.

Next time you find yourself searching for happiness or wondering what to do with your day – what if you just did whatever you wanted? What would happen?