A few weeks ago I went on a long full trip down memory lane. I dove way in, down to my high school and early college years. Back to lost loves and big developments in my life. All the times and things that dragged on my heart then. I totally indulged myself in remembering the 'dramas' of the time. To the point that I pulled out my journals and re-read them, feeling once again (and even for the first time) the depth and full richness of my sheltered teenaged life in small city America. Think, a very mild version of My-so-called-Life and you've got my teenage years. (And yes, it was the 90s, so there was flannel)
A lot of times in yoga I've heard the instruction to go back to being like a kid again. Even in life development readings and affirmations there is this directive to live life somewhat like a very responsible child. To have a beginner's mind, to see things fresh, to ask 'why', to be warm and welcoming, to be playful, and to see with wonder the world around us are all reasons given for living with the mindset of a child. I definitely learn to enjoy my life more and more by watching how my daughter fully enters in and finds the fun in every situation.
I get all of that. Plus, to live as a child invites a certain innocence that adolescence certainly doesn't have any more. So, I'll not throw away that instruction.
But, I think there could be an addendum. Why not also live from the heart of a teenager? Again, it would be the adult version of a teenager -- so less hormone driven, clearly thinking, aware of responsibility/consequences. But once those things are lined up, the teenage mindset is quite different from adulthood or childhood.
For me it centered around the Arts, Love, Passion, and Friendship. When I was a teenager I spent my days learning, dancing, singing, playing piano, writing, deeply engaged in creativity AND deeply loving and enjoying my friends and boyfriends. My friends and I were on to something in 10th grade when we used to sit all over each other saying we weren't DOing anything, instead we were BEing. As a teenager I was living by FEELING, and was creatively expressing my innermost soul every single day. Not to mention, I still believed anything and everything was possible for me and everyone else. I still had no built in set of rules for how my life would turn out but instead just trusted that it WOULD turn out.
Can all of that be so bad?
As an adult it is easy to get caught up in the responsibilities and the regularity of my day to day life. And that can lead to numbing out. And so what I've been inviting myself into is a clear and deliberate cultivation of more Creativity in my life, no matter what form it takes. I've invited more passion and more feeling. And I'm inviting a fuller engagement driven by how my Heart/Soul is speaking to me in the moment. That's what the Tantra's always been offering, and again I'm seeing it.
I feel like a long forgotten/hidden part of me is reawakening, and I'm loving it.
So I think yes, it all has to happen at once, all iterations of me must stand forward. The child. The adult . And the teenager. After all, this is MY so-called-life, better live it to the fullest.