How do we be present? Ask the experts: children.

We once knew how to live in the now, be our whole selves, and be fulfilled. As children, we were masters of wonderment. We did not worry about what others thought, or about lacking, being less than perfect, or trying to achieve greatness, because we were already great.

We could literally stop and smell the roses, or be in awe of an ant carrying food to its home, without desperately trying to clear our minds of worry and be present. We were proud of who we were and wanted someone to watch every time we awkwardly learned a new skill.

We think as adults that we’re supposed to teach children the ways of the world, but what if it’s the other way round? What if children are here to teach us? We’ve set up a society that inhibits our true selves; it’s no longer appropriate to cry in public, dance in the middle of the street, make prolonged eye contact with a stranger, or run around naked on the beach.

Our parents taught us to be appropriate, and we now teach the next generation. So how as adults do we unlearn rules, and get back to freedom? We give up our power, our control, and our superiority, then ask a child to teach us.

Take action: It’s common to think that giving up control over children will instantly lead to chaos. Find a balance, try it for half an hour. Ask a child to show you how to play, or how to create, or how to imagine. Let them be the expert.

Inspired by Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s Oprah Supersoul Session, The Awakened Self

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