Play, imagination, and reverie

By: Marjory Mejia

children-playing-with-balloons
Hmong children playing with balloons. Photo by Vianh Kiet via thefavweb

I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. ~Maya Angelou

Perhaps some of us grew up without ever hearing such words. I wish we could feel this truth deep in our guts, our bones, our blood and in the inner coils of our soul, that a child comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory.  You, dear reader, are the unique expression of this vast oneness. To dip into this oneness dressed in multiplicity is life affirming, life enhancing, a gift.

How do we remain curious, passionate, resilient? Pay attention to children. Yes. I am feeling my inner child awakening. I had a dream a couple of nights ago in which I discovered these old books that spoke of the philosophy of children. My discovery reminded me to share this post with you. It is important to remember that:

“A child is not born a ‘blank slate’…but as a highly complex organism with existing determinants that never waiver throughout life” ~ Carl Jung

Not a blank slate. A complex organism. Existing determinants. Does Jung mean that a child is born with certain dispositions that don’t ever go away? Possibly. In other words, a child is not a mini version of an adult, but a breathing, pulsing life with its own heart and consciousness. The words from this article shine some light on the issue:

While it is true that some parents push their kids too hard and give them breakdowns, others fail to support a child’s passion for his own gift and deprive him of the only life that he would have enjoyed. Why should Marc spend his life learning sports he’s not interested in when he has this superb gift that gives him so much joy?

Children are much closer to source. Innocent and wild, children exhibit uninhibited playfulness, spontaneity, curiosity and ruthless truth telling. They come with unique qualities and gifts, gifts that can be enhanced or inhibited in specific environments.

Space can feed your child’s imagination, intuition, deep inquiry and caring for all life.  Space has the uncanny ability to inhibit or call forth, evoke, bring these gifts of the spirit into the light. The design of a child’s space should not only be aesthetically pleasing but also inspire, encourage and nurture the development of the child’s potential on a physical, emotional, creative, intellectual and spiritual level. After all, we are multifaceted beings.

Unfortunately, many children nowadays live as if to only realize their parents unfulfilled dreams and suffer from anxiety, stress and attention disorders. If you look at their schedules and spaces, they show signs of being hyper controlled, with little time left for play, imagination, and reverie. This post may or may not apply to you. In the villages I visited in the Amazon region of Peru this summer, the children had a sparkle in their eyes, a sparkle I haven’t seen in more ‘developed’ places. I wonder if it is the connection to the landscape that keeps their spark so intensely alive, despite so many social problems.

How do you begin to nurture and awaken the potential of such a life?  Here is a gift you can give your child, whether it is a child of flesh or a child of the imagination, give your child attention. Attention takes presence, mindfulness, and the fierce love that burns through illusions. Breathe it in, breathe it out. Let this attention flow from within and taste the grace.

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” ~Simone Weil

More on the space of children soon. In the spirit of playfulness,

Get flowing!

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Dec 3, 2012

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