THE KID IN EACH ONE OF US.

I have always been fascinated by how celebrations like the festive season , reunions,  and being around your peers and on a sad note the loss of a loved one bring the child in us to the surface.

I took time to read about this topic and as expected there was a lot written about it. By the time I got the answers I was looking for, I was as optimistic and as excited as any healthy, loved kid I know.

This is what I found from my treasure hunt. You will learn something useful from it as I did.

Irrespective of age, maturity , class or education, each one of us has within us a vulnerable little child who still bears the scars –whether big or small of our formative years- the first five years of a child ‘s life during which the building blocks for basic learning and development are set in stone. The psychologists refer to this little child as the Inner child – the memory of the child outgrown. The child of the formative years is small, fragile, and helpless and its ultimate concern in life is feeling safe and secure and feeling that it belongs. It wants to be loved , accepted and to fit in and its worst fear is being abandoned or rejected.

It wants to make people love it and be proud of it. It has no control over its environment so it trusts its parents or guardians to look after it well. Once loved, it feels secure, then it goes out in the world and interact with it. But if it feels unloved or abandoned, it is forced to take on the responsibility for its survival and safety early in childhood. It grows up mistrusting and fearing to explore the world around it.

The inner child always remembers how it was treated during the formative years. If it was held closely and comforted when it was injured, it will want to be treated the same way though the person is now an adult . This inner child lives with us all our lives : wanting to be heard, loved and accepted. It wants to make people love it and be proud of it.

When we grow up, we all want to create the safe, secure, peaceful environment that we knew as children though in reality we live in a harsh world. In this safe environment, we are open to joy, optimistic and excited . We trust ourselves and trust others to learn from them to become wiser and less naïve just as we trusted our parents and guardians. This inner child is the source of the person’s vitality and creativity.

As this inner child is always with us and cannot be sidestepped, the psychologists advise us to embrace it. The child in us is spontaneous, fun-loving, playful and creative. The psychologists advise us to go back in our childhood and revisit the lovely memories. For those of us who missed out on any part, we should make up for this part of our childhood. If you never had a birthday thrown for you; then throw one for yourself. If you never received any affection or affirmation then learn to affirm yourself and give yourself positive self-talk. The psychologists call this giving the inner child some healing.

No doubt, losses of loved ones or something important to us like a job make us feel vulnerable out of the fear of abandonment or rejection. Thereafter, one needs to be nurtured, comforted, hugged, guided like the child you once were.

I was thrilled to learn that it is not immature to be silly as long as I balance the child mode- spontaneity, playfulness, carefree and the adult mode- knowing that your actions have consequences , what you do affects what happens to you  and that you can have some control over your environment.

We are all advised to allow our inner child to shine through our lives by tapping into our childhood spontaneity and creativity. The best way of doing this is by taking up free writing or drawing. What you write or draw expresses the emotions of your inner child. We should also explore our worlds by playing childhood games like Hide and Seek with our children or grandchildren and singing the songs of our childhood. Our faces may be covered with wrinkles but tapping into this vibrant inner child helps us to stay young at heart.

Undoubtedly, the next time I dance the night away with my peers, buy and send out Christmas cards, decorate the Christmas tree with the young ones, sing the Christmas carols out of tune, I will do it with gusto for I will be revisiting and protecting my inner child. My inner child is very important in my life for it determines how I respond or react to whatever life throws at me till I breathe my last.

If you are reading this now, let your imagination go wild as you tap into your spontaneity and creativity. You can throw a dance party- children love dancing.

Thank you for taking time to visit my blog. Please leave a comment and you could even suggest a topic for my next post.

Thank you.

Jane Nannono

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COMMITMENT

 

COMMITMENT

By early December last year, I had decided to write about commitment in the first post on my blog in 2017. I decided on it simply because at the beginning of each New Year many of us are still excited by  our resolutions for the year. We need encouragement and support as we try to improve ourselves. We are all Works in Progress that need  modeling, shaping and refining through the experiences we go through.

2017 has already rolled in and a number of us have made some resolutions for the New Year. Available statistics show that 45 % Americans make New Year resolutions but only 8 % achieve them. Digging deeper into why few of us achieve the resolutions, I learned that the difference between the achievers and non-achiever has more to do with the degree of commitment than anything else. We could write the resolutions and goals down , think about them, talk about them read through them  and even sprinkle some form of action over them but by the sixth month we have almost forgotten about them. This happens because we are not committed to starting and finishing what we chose to do.

Commitment simply means devoting time, attention and energy to a person or something. In the first place, you are presented with options then you commit to what is most important, most valuable, most pleasing or the one with most potential for growth. The choice can be made willingly but sometimes it is made reluctantly or just forced on you.

You can commit to the people you love, to your work or cause, to a set of ethics or values or to a way of life.

When you commit, you make prudent and practical choices among the options presented to you.

When you commit willingly, you commit to what you love and you want to remain true to your commitment. This sets you free to express your true self.

Commitment is an expression of your love to a person, to something, to values, to a career or to a country.

When you commit to a person, you do it trusting that he/she will reciprocate your love and trust and together you will  build a lasting relationship.

The 8% achievers commit to their resolutions out of their love to see themselves become better individuals or out of love to make a difference in the world. Since they want this badly for themselves; they set out determined to achieve their goals. When they meet obstacles along the way, they push through them to grow to another level.

Commitment is hard work and in most situations it is lifetime work. But like all work that you love and enjoy doing; it gradually becomes fun and almost child’s play.

Sometimes you commit to something and you never get the returns you expected and sometimes you get surprised by the dividends. You only control the process but not the outcome so the best thing to do is to be as well prepared as you could be for what you have chosen to commit to.

I have been taking online courses and attending Webinars on Creative Writing with the intention of improving and honing my skills as a writer. On the 3rd of January, one of my mentors, Jeff Goins offered his Followers a free 31 days  500 words challenge. It involves writing a minimum 500 words every day about a topic of your choice and sending it to him.

He is doing this simply to encourage people to get serious and write, start blogs or just help them develop a regular habit of writing every day. He knows it clearly and points it out to any writer or would-be writer that you can only become a writer simply by writing, writing, writing. The same way that James Ngugi, East Africa’s leading novelist, recently reminded all of us when he was asked how he became a remarkable writer. He wrote, wrote and wrote.

Every day for the next 31 days, I shall be getting a reminder from Jeff Goins to write the 500 words, but he also points it out to me that I can finish this assignment by wanting it too much for myself to commit seriously to it. At the same time he gives me the option everyday to get out the group if I want to. My desire to become a better writer gives me no other option but to commit to this 31 days assignment. I will be the richer for completing it.

I am encouraging you all to commit to your goals and Resolutions for 2017 then work diligently to achieve them.

So what have you resolved to do, change, improve in your life in 2017?

Do you want it too badly for yourself to commit – time, attention, energy, to it and achieve it by December 2017?

Paulo Coelho said, “Freedom is not the absence of commitment, but the ability to choose-and commit myself to-what is best for me.’’

Peter . F. Drucker said, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.’’

Neil Strauss said, “Without commitment, you cannot have depth on anything, whether it is a relationship, a business or hobby.’’

We are in this together.

All the best