This weekend, I reconnected with my inner child. Often, I find I explore how the past can affect our present behavioural patterns, which defaults to focusing on the problematic aspects of childhood. But there is another part that I forget – the playfulness of childhood. The time of our lives when an empty room could be fun. It would be a space where we could imagine far away lands, friends or foes, and form ourselves into different roles (admittedly at one point I did enjoy pretending to be a Power Ranger). It is a shame that as we grow up and become adults, a bulk of us end up with our imaginary power decreasing. Those of us lucky enough to retain our imagination can go on to become artists or authors of fiction or find other ways to channel our creativity through music, numbers or other disciplines that may feature in our everyday lives.
This weekend I was lucky enough to see with my own eyes what we once were so easily capable of creating with our minds. The experience was magical. I booked a ticket some months ago to see an exhibition at London’s Southbank Centre, Adventures in Moominland. During my childhood, I used to love watching the Moomin cartoons and read the books. I would imagine the landscapes in my waking hours, or dream of them by night. It was only a week before attending the exhibition that I came to realise that it was an immersive experience. Not only were you able to see the fantastic original drawings of Tove Jansson (creator of the Moomins), but you were able to view the works whilst travelling through the Moomin landscape.
Much like journeying in your mind’s eye when you read a good book, here we all were – an audience comprised entirely of adults – following our guide through Snufkin’s tent, Moominland forests, caves, aboard a raft to the lighthouse and standing within Moominmamma’s dining room.
You always know when you reconnect with the fun of your inner child. You can feel your heart stirring, your innocence awakening and a euphoric excitement expand throughout your being. It is a feeling of boundlessness, where imagination is unrestricted and thoroughly encouraged. A pool of creativity, where boredom simply does not exist. How and why did we ever give up such a powerful and beautiful feeling? How can we recapture our youthful joy and reconnect with our inner child?
I feel it important to look back at all the things that spurred on your creativity and produced great energy within you. Perhaps you won’t be imagining fantastical lands in your front room, but maybe it can give you ideas of what you can do. Go to immersive experiences, play locked room games, take to the streets on your skateboard, or hula-hoop in your back garden. Whatever it is, once in a while it’s a brilliant thing to wake up the zest of life that sits within you. And if you did have a rough childhood that wasn’t so full of fun, then you can still gain those experiences today – you can still take up that musical instrument you always wanted to learn or play board games with friends. It’s not too late; why not start now?
Reconnecting With Your Inner Child resources:
- Adventures in Moominland – running at the Southbank Centre, London, UK, until 23rd April 2017
- Punchdrunk – immersive theatre company, often running shows in the US and UK
- Forbidden Island – go on an adventure to a sinking island; a collaborative board game, which is rated by Mensa
- Escape rooms and clue quests – immersive experiences where you have to escape locked rooms within a time limit / go on clue-hunts around the city. Also, for those in the UK, The Crystal Maze is coming back to our TVs soon and I believe they are still looking for teams for the show!
- Why not buy a skateboard / hula-hoop / ukulele for your fix of fun?