As adults it's easy to get so wrapped up in the business of "being an adult" that we can forget to play. This has shown up in my life in a variety of ways over the past year or two and is most evident as I find myself in the midst of building a new potential friendship. I'm already a bit awkward when it comes to forging new relationships but the apparent "obstacles" of adulthood, kids, jobs, responsibilities, bills, etc., can lead us to believe that forging that new relationship or letting loose and having some fun are the wholly headed dreams of children.
We forget how to relax in the flow of joy, and in this way remembering the innocence of children can be beneficial. Children, because they are unencumbered by responsibilities, don't worry about the how or the why of the moment, they just do it. They are present and open to the continuous excitement and as such live and love as creative beings. This is why children are closer than many adults to the state of unconditional love, because they truly love the present moment, because for them there is little else.
There's a beautiful simplicity in the way children go about creating joy. They don't plan, schedule, or over-analyze it. Kids jump in head first and sync into the creative flow of the universe. As adults, while we have to plan a little more, factor in more responsibilities, and look at the bigger picture we often forget to appreciate the excitement of creating joy in our lives. We think jumping in head first will cause problems, what if we hit our heads, disappoint someone, make a mistake, etc... But the beauty of lived wisdom as that as you practice jumping in head first you learn how to do it without hurting yourself. In this way adults have a slight advantage over children. Life experience allows adults to intuitively know when it's right to jump in, this is the role intuition plays in creating joy. Intuition+experience=wisdom. Unfortunately most adults forget how to listen to their intuition...
Appreciation for excitement and joy arises when we trust that our responsibilities and commitments will be taken care of. Anyone who's worried about neglecting responsibilities isn't likely to do so. It's usually those who are overly conscientious that worry they one day won't be, and that's just the ego trying to keep them in check. The practical aspects of our lives will continue to be monitored because we are aware that we aren't children so we don't have all of their luxuries, or at least it appears we don't. This is because we've been indoctrinated to believe that adulthood must be boring, planned and somber. Yes, some aspects of adulthood are boring, some are somber and some just plain suck, but we still possess the potential for enthusiasm, joy and wonder, which are the core ingredients to creating more freedom in our lives. We forget about these faculties as we grow older; growing more and more serious, cautious and potentially cynical about the possibility for joy and excitement in our lives.
It's okay to allow in spontaneity, joy and excitement. Our lives won't crumble. It's okay to occasionally forget our problems and limitations. We won't lose our homes or jobs, forget to go to the grocery store, or neglect our kids or forget to pay our taxes. We won't all of a sudden revert to an irresponsible state of chaos and mischief. Although if you do, it could be that you've suppressed your excitement and joy desire for too long and should honor the kid in you who craves the spontaneous expression of joy and desire. Better to do this in an integrated and psychologically healthy way than to one day explode and truly disappoint others through immature abandon. I vote that we stop policing our joy and freedom so it doesn't show up later as frustrated craving and insensitive recklessness.
So make that impromptu vacation plan, forge that new friendship, put on a silly outfit and do a dance In your living room. Whatever it is, let the moment take take you and know that allowing yourself the joy and freedom to rest in the energy of enthusiasm and excitement is your birthright, and a lost art you owe to yourself to reclaim. In this way we can truly learn from the wisdom of babes.