Have you ever watched a 1 or 2 year old carefully? What do they do? It’s pretty simple, they experience. Unencumbered by the rigid adult belief system, the cascade of shoulds and shouldn’ts, or the numerous adult defenses they move from one thing to the next and simply experience whatever they are doing. Sometimes they lick things, sometimes they touch and feel, other times they just ambulate from one spot to another but no matter what they are doing they are involved in the moment.
Most of us can’t imagine what it would be like to have such a focus on our present moment. We are often too busy with our persistent thoughts going one way and then another or preoccupied with our fears or regrets. What can we do?
Find a 1-2 year old and follow them around. It could be a relatives’s child or maybe your own. Do whatever they do no matter what. Do it for five minutes and see what happens. I can just about guarantee that you will be laughing and of course as a later post will say, laughter is a great way to be in the moment. Be sure that you are not the responsible party for the child’s safety. Yes, you both get a babysitter!
Tom Golden is the author or three books, Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing, The Way Men Heal, and Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons: UnderStanding the Unique World of Boys. Tom was the creator of the youtube channel Men Are Good and served as the vice chairman of the Maryland Commission for Men’s Health. He has been a therapist in private practice for over 30 years.