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How to Be Naked like a Baby

Photo by Matthew Bennion

… And Just as Happy

Why is it that once we become adults, we become so serious all the time (generally speaking). We get so caught up in the hectic race of everyday life that we forget that we are here to experience joy, to experience Life. We forget to smile and enjoy the beauty of the present moment. I notice that I fall into the many demands of my life story. Recently, I have gotten so busy that a week can pass without realizing. I don’t get the chance to slow down once to reflect and to be present. I seem to fall into the pattern of constantly living in the future, running after that next goal or achieving that next task on my never-ending list of Todos. Let’s take this moment to slow down, just for a few minutes.

Small children and family pets (dogs, cats) can serve as great ‘Zen’ teachers. Have you observed them before? Try it. It is so beautiful to watch the innocence of a small child, or a dog. They are so present in the moment, stress-free, open to their feelings and are a bundle of joy. I tell people that my dog Tommy is “made of love” because from observing him, he really is! A fluff of positive energy, which serves as a constant reminder to be positive in any situation and to not take things so seriously. Live life, enjoy the moment.

I also believe that child-like innocence and creativity have a direct connection. I work with lots of artists and creative people, and I have found that child-like innocence are very common among all of them. The purity, the openness, and the awareness of the present moment are clearly shown through interacting with each of them.

We can guide ourselves back to the inner child in us. You ready? Let’s first start with some common traits and characteristics of our cute little ‘Zen masters’:

  • Trusting – Children aren’t cynical and they don’t expect disappointment. They have an innate trust of the world and other people.
  • Delight – Children are full of wonder and delight. They are amazed at and enjoy the little things. Seeing an airplane in the sky is an incredible thing from a child’s eye.
  • Present in the moment – There is no past or future for a child. They are fully engaged in the present moment.
  • Forgiveness – It’s possible to hurt a child’s feelings, but they won’t stay mad at you for very long. In fact, they may not get angry at all. Children have a refreshing ability to let go of the past.
  • Uninhibited – Children have not yet learned to care what other people think of them, so they are free to do and say the things they truly want to.
  • Strong emotion – Have you ever seen a child throw a tantrum? The truly amazing thing about children is that they feel and express emotions ‘fully’ – happiness, anger, fear – and then they move on. They feel and express the emotions fully and completely, but they bounce back quickly. Nothing is suppressed or held back.Children experience things to the fullest, but somewhere along the way toward adulthood, something changes. Through social conditioning, we start to act like other adults, how society expects us to act. We begin to care about what others think. We aren’t always present in the moment. We hold grudges. We stress about our daily problems and tasks, and we don’t get excited about seeing an airplane in the sky anymore.




Each of us will always have that child-like innocence somewhere within us, the part of us who is present, happy, positive, playful, joyous and compassionate. The following are six simple practices to help us free and get in touch with the inner child within us:

1. Being with the moment. Practice being present in the moment, by giving your full attention to each task you perform. I’ve come to realize that it really doesn’t matter what I’m doing, as long as I bring present in the act, I will find joy in it. Regardless of what you are doing, do it fully! Be aware of little details, relax your mind, and bring awareness into everything you are doing.

2. Explore. Practice seeing things from new perspectives. Imagine you are seeing and doing everything for the first time – everything will seem so much more amazing when you view life in that light. What do you notice in this moment doing this task that you haven’t noticed before? Look for small details to appreciate.

3. Laugh & Smile. Nothing can bring out the child in you faster than a good belly laugh. Rent a comedy, tell a joke, act silly with a friend, do a ‘happy dance’. Find something that’ll make you laugh.

4. Play. What did you enjoy doing as a child? Did you jump rope? Ride your bike? Climb a tree? Watch a trail of ants? What’s stopping you from enjoying those simple things now? Give your childhood pastimes a try. You might really enjoy them and brings back fond memories. If not, do something you consider playful as an adult. Pull a prank on a close friend, build a spaceship with Lego, draw with colored crayons, dance like no one’s watching, go to an amusement park, turn up the music real loud and start singing, slide around the house in your underwear. :)

5. Run. If there’s one thing that children are good at, it’s running around (or skipping). They seem to have a never-ending supply of energy. Find a park and try for yourself. (And I’m not talking about exercising. I’m talking about running around for no purpose at all except to have fun.) It’s energizing, right? Combine running with laughing and hilarity will ensue! I periodically do this with my dog. We do this in the apartment too. It’s fun!

6. Practice acceptance and forgiveness. Children have the right idea with this. Not only will practicing forgiveness benefit those around you, it will greatly increase your own peace and inner harmony. Feel your feelings, but then let them go. Let yourself forgive others.

So, you’re probably still wondering about the title, huh? Well, I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I don’t mean butt naked … I’m referring to naked metaphorically, for dropping your inhibitions. :)

What do you think? What make you feel in touch with the inner child in you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

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About the author

Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives. Subscribe to new inspiring stories each week. You can also subscribe to Tina on Facebook.

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56 thoughts on How to Be Naked like a Baby

  1. Don

    Daydream. No, not sex or vacation. Knights coming to save the day, other worlds, finding treasure on an island, finding out your really a princess.

    Everyone I talk to my age (50′s) has quit daydreaming. We need those times, both to explore and relax.

  2. Chris Sharp

    Wow! Tina, thank you again. Your gifts, your posts grow in power and simplicity each time.
    I have noticed how very young children naturally share everything with you. They bring anything they can carry and bring it to you, no strings attached. They love giving things away, as though they no nothing or next to nothing, about lack. Children just get it. We adults become like onions of beliefs (acting like filters) that become so concerned with past and future, the presence and awareness that children are and do is nearly all but obscured by the indoctrinations we layer around us. But children have magical abilities – they can immediately bring out our own amazement and wonder in a heartbeat, which shows that we can just as easily, unless we don’t practice.
    I am surprised how something so simple becomes the greatest thing in the world to a child. Today I watched some children just explode with laughter, just from deliberately pretending to be frightened by pretending to jump off a ledge. They of course didn’t really jump off, but they knew a real ledge was there, so they had fun with a fear. They played.
    God! Imagine if something that once seemed so serious or painful or heavy, was completely felt, and magically turned into a belly laughing session about how silly it really was? It was all a game. I wonder if folks out there have experienced this too?
    Arigatou Tina-san!

    Gratefully,
    Chris

  3. Very refreshing to see that there are still a few free minds out there who have not been sucked into the system of capitalism and the seriousness of the rat race. You have but one life and the key is to live it in a way which fills you and those around you with joy and happiness and that could be in a sharing a kiss or a look a smile a moment between strangers. I have had the opportunity to enjoy many of these moments and I wish the world could experience them. Thanks for the great post.

    Kwamsta
    P.s if you have a moment watch zeitgeist the movie, it has a lot of interesting viewpoints especially at the end. One

  4. @James T: Thank you for confirming of my point of view. :) I thought it was just me.. being ‘crazy’ again.

    @John Gwynne: Nicely put! Indeed, what we focus on expands, so we mind as well focus on something positive and worthwhile of our time. And it is so true, we attract like energy back to us… we truly receive what we send out. I’ve played and experimented with this concept many times, and it’s never failed on me, 100% of the time. This site was a result of such an ‘experiment’. :)

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was fantastic! Thank you for asking. :)

    @Shashank: Thank you for making me smile with your comment. Keep laughing Shashank, and continue to spread joy to others by making them tickle with laughter.

    @Billco: Great comment Bill! You are right, it really does seem that we adults tend to cover up the boxed-up frustration we’re not allowed to release. Rather than expressing anger, I’m a fan of open communication before the anger takes place, or expressing your anger feelings rationally after you’ve calmed down, so that the person on the receiving end doesn’t feel that they need to defend themselves from an angry person. :) Thanks for the comment! Very nicely expressed.

    @Tan Kah Yap: I love Wayne Dyer and the way he expresses himself. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll check it out. :)

    @Don: Indeed, daydreaming is a great way to relax and explore our imagination.

  5. @Chris Sharp

    Arigatou Gozaimasu Chris-san! :)
    You know, I’ve always loved reading your comments. I’ve found it to be inspiring. It’s obvious that you are speaking from a place of presence.

    Thank you for the compliment. I’m working very hard to keep the content quality high and consistantly asking the question, “How can I provide value to readers? How can I express this idea to a simple form such that people will get it and possible apply it.” Do keep feedbacks coming when you have them. I am still learning, and there are things I can do to improve the site and its content.

    I loved your analogy with the onions of beliefs, it’s very visual and a simple example that we can all ‘see’. I really do love how children will give without strings attached.. I forget that. Hmm… what pleasant reminders we have here. Thank you for sharing the vision and story. :)

  6. @kwamsta: Hi, thanks for stopping by my little place here on the web and thanks for commenting. I am a free spirit, but I have been guilty of being sucked into the system of capitalism and the rat race at one point in my life. Not anymore tho, it’s been so liberating to live the life that I want. I’m learning that the way our life turns out is truly a choice. The joy we experience is truly a choice. We may not be able to control our external circumstances, but we do have the power to control our internal circumstances… which perceives and determines our experience of our external situations.

    Thank you for the moving recommendation. I’ll check it out.
    By the way, have you seen “Waking Life”. It’s a fantastic thought provoking film that you may enjoy. :)

  7. Thank you so much for this article, it’s make me smile and make me realize that… i think i need to do one of the things that u mention above, after what i’ve been through in this life and make me depressed for a while, mostly because of my daily task in the office, and my lovelife ;P

    And also, i want to put this article in my website, just for my private collection. And maybe share it to my friends. But i wont forget to put the link where this article came from ;)

    Thank you

  8. Great article Tina. Wow, 40 responses, looks like you really hit a button here. I have to agree that the playful innocence of childhood is good for us all.

    I connected most strongly with your point about children and temper tantrums. As an adult I am surprised by how a child can have a meltdown, then an hour later be totally fine, with no leftover grudges or anger.

    I think I certainly could learn from this. Even though I may not want to let lose in public, sometimes our anger is justified and we should acknowledge it in private. Maybe if we did this more often we would be more balanced. It’s certainly something to think about. . .

  9. @ardi: Keep smiling, because it looks good and feels great. I wish you success in any area of your life that you are working on. Regardless of what’s happening external in our life story, we are still the same inside, and we can choose our perception to the external stories. Choose the ones that make you feel good. :) Thanks for the sweet message. Feel free to link to this article if you like.

    @Shirley: I hear ya. What’s most amazing about children is how fast they get over things. Adults tend to hold grudges against people or situations. But as a result, the adults are the ones being hurt mentally and emotionally.

  10. Hi, thank you for your participation in the carnival of healing at Where we Relax here is a copy of this weeks carnival
    http://www.we-relax.com/random-thoughts/blog-reviews/carnival-of-healing-submissions-115.htm

  11. The Tao of Pooh did it for me. Man, that was a long time ago now. It keeps working though. Just be.

    Peace.

  12. jd

    Tina – I once heard Ellen say we should let our inner child out by playing tag at work. I haven’t tried it yet, but it just might work.

  13. Catherine

    thanks, for this article. this helped me alot, with a dance i’m doing where i’m a small child with my dolly! now, i can create an endless supply of child-like movements!

  14. I just started working at a childcare center for a local gym. Everything you have said here is apparent in these kids. It’s a testament to how good life can be if you adjust your lens a bit.

  15. krentz

    Sorry, but I can’t resist addressing these points.

    1) Children are that way because they are being taken care of. They don’t NEED to worry about where the food comes from or where they’re going to live tomorrow; mom and dad take care of that for them.

    2) Society wouldn’t progress if people weren’t concerned for the future; the future of their children/grandchildren, the future of an individual’s rights, and more to-the-point, their dreams of what society’s future SHOULD BE LIKE.

    3) Adults fret not for some arbitrary reasoning; it’s because they know what’s out there (because they’ve been alive for approx. 21+ years and they’ve experienced/observed things around them). There’s: a) hypocrisy, b) oppressive/offensive behavior, c) closed-mindedness, so on and so forth. These things cannot be ignored as they present themselves every day.

    These attributes are not born of anger – they are attributes that live in each and every one of us; small children don’t exhibit them very frequently because there’s no need to; they get all the attention/care/love they want and there’s no reason to be cynical.

    Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not a pessimist (though my previous words would SEEM to indicate so)…I’ve had great parents who although sometimes show undesirable characteristics, I know it’s because of all the shit they’ve had to deal with over the course of their lifetime – and they’ve done a great job in teaching me that we don’t need to lower ourselves to the common denominator. So all I’m really saying is that it isn’t right to emulate a child – the goal is to recognize the problems around you and to deal with each of those problems directly. If you just ‘forget’ about a bad thing that has happened, it will most likely happen again. and again. and again.

    1) You’re right. Children are carefree because they’re provided for, but they’re also provided for because they lack the ability to take care of themselves. Just because we have things to worry about doesn’t mean we should worry about them… know what I mean? What I’m trying to say is that how you feel about your responsibilities is entirely down to perspective, not that they don’t exist.

    2) I’m concerned for the future. I was even concerned for the future between the ages of 5 and 8, for example, I couldn’t wait to get home to carry on playing the game I left running. Seriously, though, it’s good to take appropriate steps to make sure that the world will be worth living in, in the future. It’s good to have aspirations for your achievements and personal development, too. But the path to the future is paved in the present. It’s good to think about the future but not to live in it.

    3) Yes, there is an awful lot of shit out there, something I had an awareness of even as a child. However, back then I just wanted to understand it so I would know how to change them. Now, my understanding has improved, but along with that understanding comes the realisation that not everything can be changed. What I can do, though, is to make sure that *I* don’t become one of them – by staying true to the ideals I conceived in youth.

    I’m not emulating a child. I remember how I used to think when I was a child, and to be honest, I said a lot of things that made a lot of sense, and not every adult took me seriously enough to understand them, though some did. I’ve grown a lot since then and I’ve seen a lot of unfortunate things, but all that does is just reinforce what I already believed to be true, and fill in much needed missing details. For all I have changed, I don’t think I have, much. And I feel good about that.

    As we experience hardship we erect barriers around ourselves as a defense mechanism and become increasingly cynical and disillusioned, but in doing so we also cut ourselves off from our own passion, our own joy and love, our own idealism. By all means I am not advocating a complete return to naivete – we have had those experiences for a reason – but by chipping away at those barriers little by little and being more selective in their use I believe we can remember the lives we once lead and how much better they seemed by comparison, but we also have the choice to live however we want today.

    If you just quiet the chatter of your mind for long enough to hear what your innermost self and feelings have been trying to tell you all along, and if you can develop the courage to be truly yourself in a world that, at times, seems downright threatening, you have the potential to live a far more fulfilling existence.

    I also wish we were allowed to be more expressive and spontaneous in public. Being young was great – you could do more or less whatever and get away with it because you were ‘just a kid’. Damn social conditioning. Damn near kills the playful factor. Necessary as it might be to live in such large groups as we do, it seems a little unnecessarily sterile to my eyes.

  16. Just read How to be Naked like a Baby, and it was like a switch had just been flicked on inside my head and heart. I have watched my son look at the planes, throw tantrums, run around for no reason and Ive even chased him or he has chased me, we laugh so much when doing this. You tell him off and all is forgive so quickly. We can all learn from our children. It is so true we get conditioned into adult life. Thank you for flicking that switch and opening my eyes. Cant wait to run around with him and watch the next plane in the sky.

  17. Phil

    There is a season for all things: a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to be serious and a time to be silly. We know this as children and practice them all daily. So, why do we forget as we grow older?

    Loving the site, in the past few hours it has helped me do the first 3 but now I think it’s time for number 4. Now, how can I be silly whilst making a coffee? It shouldn’t be too difficult, being silly is something that I am normally very good at:~)

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