When I was 6, 7, and 8 life seemed so much easy and I had so much fun.  I didn’t have all the worries of my adult self.  In fact, some of my biggest worries were around what and who I would be playing with and what was to eat.  As I got older and into my teens all I wanted to do was be recognized and treated like an adult.  I became self conscious of what people thought of me and would hid my true feelings about things and try not to be to smart, to funny, to creative, to emotional, to whatever it was I thought people wouldn’t like or appreciate about me.  In additional, to all that, I tried to do things to fit it, I like what others liked just so I was cool, even if I thought it was dumb.  In fact, I compromised so much of who I was in a past relationship I didn’t even know who I was and once that ended I had to rediscover who Amanda really was. Over the 9 nine years I have done just that.

Yesterday I spent the day with my six year old nephew for his birthday, just me and him having some quality auntie time.  I decided to take him to a trampoline park by his house and out to eat.  Well let me just say it was probably the best $10 I have ever spent in my life.  I learned so much from him in the two and a half hours we were together and I have to share it with you what I learned from a 6 year old.

1) “Showing off” is good – Remember when we were kids and they told us “Don’t be a show off.”  Well this is something that I heard, not just from adults, teachers but other kids too.  I felt like what I was doing would make someone else feel bad about themselves. As I watched my nephew, he proudly showed off his jumping and flipping skills and the other adults and staff there took delight in what he was doing and so did I.  I watched and cheered him on as he showed what he could do.  That in turn sparked other kids to show my nephew what they could do and he was so excited for them.  The staff also showed what they could do and if it wasn’t to dangerous they showed all the kids how to do it as well.  Showing Off can encourage others to try new things.  It is also and most importantly a celebration of what you are capable of doing.  So get out there and show off your skills. Showing off does not make you an a-hole or arrogant, as some might say.  It just makes you proud of what you can do.

2) Breaks are important   – My nephew took several breaks from our jumping experience.  He got water, stood in front of the fan and even went to the bathroom.  So often as adults we push, push, push and don’t take a break from an activity for a variety of reasons.  However in watching him, I saw that as soon as he got tired he took a break, recharged and then he went back to jumping.  When we push though things we cannot give it the same intensity as we could if we were recharged.  And sometimes when we start to get frustrated a break is exactly what we need, and once we come back we can have not only new energy to do the task but also maybe look at the task from a new perspective.  So take breaks and rejuvenate even if it is just 3 minutes 🙂

3) Talk to new people – how else will you make friends, right?  As adults I find that we have such a difficult time talking to people until we are maybe forced to like in an airplane.  Some of this might be our personality types but when I think back to being a child, I was much more willing to meet people and less judgmental.  (I try not to be judgmental now however it takes much more effort than when I was 6).  I watched my nephew just go up and start talking to other kids and the staff,  he wanted to play and have fun with them.  As I played and jumped little kids also talked to me and I talked with the staff, however never once did any of the parents there talk to me, not even one hi.  This was just so fascinating to me as I thought about it.  Kids do not have the same filter as we adults do and this allows them to be more social and I think have more fun.  I challenge you to say hi and spark up a conversation with a stranger and more than just the weather.  🙂

4) Don’t be afraid to Try New Things – As I watched my nephew he was never afraid to try something new and if he didn’t like it he stopped.  He if he did, he kept going.  It also took much less effort of him to try something new than it did me at the jump park.  I laughed when I told him I couldn’t do a flip (because I was scared of getting hurt) and then accidentally did one.  And once I did it I laughed because I didn’t get hurt (remember at a trampoline park).  My mind was getting in my way.  So I said “Bubba look what I can do.”  Then I showed him my front flip and he said “See Mandy you’re a kid again.” I agreed I could be a kid again and from that point forward, I followed his lead, tried new things, bounced as high as I could and allowed myself to be free.

Things I LearnedIf you have never been to a trampoline park, I would highly recommend it.  You can go by yourself, with some friends or with a child.  I would recommend taking a child and instead of doing what most adult were doing (sitting on their butts watching the kids or playing on their phones), go jumping and have some fun, do a front flip or whatever fun tricks you can.

Life is too short not to laugh, have fun and play.  As adults we are to serious, worry to much about what others think, and can learn a lot from hanging out with kids.  Instead of trying to get them to fit in and act the way we think they should, we would benefit from being more like they naturally are, because they know how to enjoy life.

RELEASE YOUR INNER CHILD AND GO PLAY!!!! 

<3 Mandy (my inner child) oxox