Take a walk with a young child; listen to them chatter as you drive in the car, watch their eyes sparkle with excitement and exploration when dealing with everyday things. Children know how to live. They enjoy the pure, simple things in life and find joy and excitement in them.
Take some time to step back from the routine of everyday life and learn to view life through the eyes of a child. Once you learn to do this, you will experience life at a different level than those around you. Anything and everything is open to exploration and joy if you allow it to be.
You approach the railroad crossing, the bars go down, you are stuck waiting for a very long train. What do you do? Do you grumble about the delay, check your cell phone while you wait, or do you enjoy the train? My six year old grandson is happy as a lark when you get stopped by a train, and the longer the better. It is exciting, there is the engine, all the different kinds of cars in multiple colors, shapes, some have graffiti, some don’t. They rumble and shake and make various sounds. Some go fast, some go slow. It is exciting to see the different things about each train and car. What a disappointment when the last car rolls by and the safety bars go back up, but if you are quick enough you can look down the track and see the train chugging away. A train through the eyes of a child.
Take a walk through the woods, but really “see” the woods. As a nature photographer I have learned to look more closely at what is around me. This was drawn to my attention a couple years ago when taking a walk around an uninhabited island with my cousins. I was taking photographs and told them they did not have to wait for me. When we completed the walk there were many things I spotted that they did not…a snail on the ground, a spider making a web, the beauty of a side trail filled with daisies, and more.
So why did I spot those things and they did not? Because they were walking through as adults, enjoying the quietness of the setting, the beauty of the large picture. I was walking with a photographers eye, looking for the things to capture with my camera lens. Look down, look up, look off to the side. There is a whole world out there you are missing. If you don’t know what to look for, walk through the woods with a child. They will spot all kinds of interesting things you don’t notice such as leaves on the ground, moss on a tree stump, toadstools, bugs, anything small and at their level.
Experience life through a child — buy a jar of bubbles and blow them into the wind, hear the water lapping up onto the beach, notice the pebbles in the sand, bird feathers on the ground, the chirp of a bird, the hop of a grasshopper or the inching along of a caterpillar on a leaf or the sparkle of a beetle on a plant. The simple things in life. The beauty of the world around us.
There is a saying “Take time to smell the roses.” When you do that, you will find life more relaxing, more enjoyable. Stress will not have as great an impact on you. All you need to do is view life through the eyes of a child.