The endless energy of a toddler is mind blowing. How many times have you heard (or said), "If I could bottle that energy…"
Toddlers wake up early, fight naps and beg for "one more drink of water" at bedtime, while many adults find themselves craving caffeine just to survive the day.
I'm all for parenting survival techniques, but what if we CAN actually learn from toddlers and harness a little bit of that fantastic energy? Toddlers are on the right track when it comes to a joyful life. Let's take a look at 3 things your toddler can teach you about experiencing more vitality.
The sometimes exhausting questions toddlers ask are a secret to their zest for life. The world is a new adventure for them every single day. Rain, sounds, textures, foods – they are constantly discovering things about their world. No wonder my kids would pop their eyes open way before the sun. If you had amazing discoveries in your life every day, you might find it hard to sleep too!
So, how curious are you? Do you invest time and energy in personal development? Do you take classes, try new hobbies or visit interesting places? Sometimes we are so focused on getting a diploma, that we forget how enriching and beneficial learning is. The demands of life squash our desire to discover. Become a student of life. Constant learning is exciting and energizing.
Toddlers usually have an extremely close relationship with their mom, dad or both. Think about the kisses, squeezes and intense expressions of love. That relationship is everything to them. As adults we don't want a dependent relationship the same way we did when we were children, but intense expressions of love are powerful forces.
Do you express your love to those who matter most to you? Do you love intensely? This requires vulnerability, which gets harder as we get older and have more painful experiences. The love we experience when we invest in deep connections provides a more fulfilling life.
3. Feeling emotions
Tantrums. Tears. Squeals of delight. Screaming. There is no doubt about it - toddlers are emotional beings! When they are upset, they react, feel the feeling and work through the issues that they are facing. We help them feel these feelings, problem solve and move forward.
As adults we get to be emotionally responsible, and hopefully not so reactive. The problem comes when we don't ALLOW ourselves to feel our feelings completely and see them through. Men in particular are conditioned to believe that feelings are a sign of weakness, so they stuff them down and don't show any signs. Sometimes rather than feeling anger through and resolving, we hold on to a grudge. Another phenomenon is that we resist feelings, which creates anxiety. We don't like the negative feelings, or maybe we are afraid of how we will react. Instead we tend to resist, and they stay trapped.
What if we could pay a little more attention to how we feel and not be afraid to feel the unpleasant emotions? Feeling them and working through them is a healthy way to live. Trapped feelings weigh you down, which can be energy sucking.
What do you think? Does your sleepless, emotional, clingy toddler have some words of advice for you so you can "bottle that energy?" Perhaps these are the reasons they never run out of energy (and why WE never seem to have enough!)
Think about small ways you can include some of these practices to rekindle your zest for life. Curiosity, love and emotional health will do much more for you than a caffeine fix (and it's a lot more fun too).
Molly Freestone is a Life Coach focusing on motherhood, phase of life-transitions, home success, and improving relationships. She offers coach-by-phone programs and delights in watching her clients create a satisfying life. www.mollyfreestone.com