If you ever want to be reminded of how to live through your heart, just take some time to ‘hang out’ with a young child. ‘Hanging out’ is very different from babysitting. ‘Hanging out’ means experiencing the moment without judgement, fear or worry. ‘Hanging out’ means to immerse yourself completely into the moment. To ‘hang out with a young child’ means to become one with the heart by letting go of all past experiences and to see the world with a fresh eyes and an open soul.
It’s been raining in NYC, so yesterday I took Odin to an indoor playground and today to the Brooklyn’s Children’s Museum (which by the way is the oldest children’s museum in the nation, established in 1899 – how cool is that?). I’m not sure who had more fun, Odin or his grandma.
I love stepping into his being, which is all about observing and absorbing and experiencing each moment in pure wonder and curiosity. To truly be immersed in his world, I have to notice details and become totally unaware of time. He is in love with vehicles, especially trucks, so we spend a lot of time spinning wheels and tires and steering wheels. I play this game with him, where I let him be the lead and my guide. I listen to what he has to teach me by participating in whatever he is discovering and not leaving that activity until he’s ready to discover something else. His patience is intense and pure because the details mean so much to him.
Odin is reminding me to discover the joy that is in every detail of our beautiful, astounding world. He and I stop to look at the ants crawling along the cracks of the sidewalk, we stop to pick up leaves and watch them float in the puddles that line the uneven walkways, we stomp in the puddles and feel the water splash up into our faces. And we laugh and giggle, and sing a lot.
When I’m with Odin, I get down low, and listen. What I hear are the tiny sounds I miss everyday when I’m busy being a grownup. What I leave is the place of judgement and the inner voice telling me things I should be doing, and I enter a place of peace, love and immense gratitude.