Children have and do something that makes life easier to live. As we adults observe children, it is obvious that we will come to think now and then, “How easy it is to be a child!” But we should ask ourselves occasionally: “What actually makes it so difficult to be an adult?”
One of the reasons why children are experts on happiness is that they allow their senses to be stimulated more than adults. Art and crafts, music, sport, playtime, dance, imagination and storytelling are a completely natural part of any day for a child in a kindergarten. Why? Because it is important – important for balanced development. As we never stop developing until the day we die, there will be parts of us that will be under-stimulated if we do not utilise all our senses throughout life.
Children dance freely. To move is the most natural thing in the world for a child. As a child, you found it easy to move your body, to dance and express yourself; there were no concepts of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ movement. In other words, the body of a child is free to follow its own will to move and feel. A child’s body is much more liberated, joyous and alive. Children are happy people in happy bodies. If we sit still too much as adults, we become locked in our bodies, and since many of our feelings and expressions are in the body, we risk becoming emotionally and expressively blocked. You must use your fantastic and flexible body. The body needs a great deal of movement, including creative movement. It’s not enough just to go down to the corner shop every day. I want to encourage you to explore much more imaginative and festive ways your body can move.
It is a fact that the body remembers everything. Every cell of your body has a store of memories about everything you have ever experienced or felt in that body. Open up for the “Ministry of Silly Walks” (Monty Python’s Flying Circus). Do you remember the sketch, where they walk around in weird and wacky ways? If you don’t remember (or would like a refresher), it’s included below. Perhaps you have tried walking or dancing in such a silly way yourself?
When you connect to the movements, the play and the dance you have stored as memories in your cellular makeup, your body will automatically open up for the happiness that lies within these movements. If you have never tried to walk in a really silly way, or dance like you’re out of your mind, then now is the time to try it. Try it when you are alone to start with. Put on some light-hearted music, (maybe something made for the younger generation) let go of your worries and your feelings of self-consciousness, and dance like a crazy fool! You can also practice your silly walk at home. Exaggerate your arm or leg movements. Lift your legs a bit too high or add a little cha-cha-cha to your arm movements. Suddenly, it’s a lot more fun just walking around your house. You can also add a little dance number to your daily chores. Shake your hips as you shimmy around with the vacuum cleaner. Make a party of doing the housework. I have disco music set as my ringtone. When I sit working in my office, and the telephone rings in the living room, I get up and dance to the telephone. Just that little dance done on the way to the phone, makes me feel so great that when I pick up the phone, I can do it with genuine happiness in my voice. I have placed the telephone in the next room on purpose – to make sure I do my dance number every time it rings.
It doesn’t have to be crazy, but make sure you dance every time you get the chance. When we adults dance, we often have the idea that we have to dance in a particular way. The adult ego takes the task of dancing very seriously: “I just have to be the perfect dancer and a wrong step will not be tolerated!” Many of those who hang around the edges of discotheques and look longingly at the flirting dancers on the dance floor can’t bring themselves to get out there and join in for a very simple reason: they are afraid of dancing in the wrong way! But, I have good news for you, dear wallflowers – there is no ‘wrong’ way of dancing. Dance is freedom and play. Dance does not demand that you be perfect. Dance is an invitation to have fun, so take the chance when it offers itself. Don’t wait to try and start dancing until you are sitting in a nursing home. Dance while you still have the energy. Dance while you are still alive. Dance now!
by Thomas Flindt, The Laughter Guru
Available in print and digital.
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