Do you remember how, when you were a child, you used to really take the time to look at things and imagine and wonder about their weirdness? I look at this image and my adult brain says, “Romanesco.” My child brain says, “Wow! That is so cool! A baby forest!”
I sometimes wonder at what point in time did my brain effortlessly – and without my consent – switch over to the predominately-adult way of looking at life. At what age was I suddenly thinking with the practical parts of my brain and no longer seeing those little white plastic pizza box widgets (the ones that save the pizza from sticking to the top of the box during a jouncy delivery) as the perfect tea table for dolls? Or seeing an empty matchbox as something to be tossed in the recycling bin rather than using it as the perfect little box for hiding treasures?
It’s not that the Adult Brain is a bad thing. Not at all. I think of the scientific advances that have been made, the complex transportation systems that have been developed, the fact that man has actually walked on the moon . . . Not bad stuff for thinking like an adult. Still, I believe at the heart of all of these discoveries and creations there was a Child Brain at work, imagining the possibilities and definitely seeing both the forest and the trees . . . seeing the “That’s so cool!” along with the applied possibilities.
It’s like metadata . . . how one set of data provides info about other data . . one brain provides the background for the other brain to process and interpret it . . . wonder serves invention . . . curiosity grows into a brilliant theory. I respect the magic of metadata and how experiential learning grows more learning and how Child Brain inspires Adult Brain. It’s all so very Romanesco!
If you are feeling like you are currently in a Stuck Place in your life today, allow your Child Brain to take the wheel for a while. Look at the situation, challenge, difficulty, complication, obstacle, or worry through the eyes of your Child Brain. Let it loose to wonder. What does it see? Maybe it isn’t exactly what your Adult Brain has been interpreting. Maybe it isn’t as bad or scary as you were thinking it is.
There are times when I get so caught up with my Adult Brain spiraling scenarios out into their worst-case outcomes that I forget to reel everything back into the present moment and take a breath and see the moment for what it is. Is it Romanesco or is it a baby forest? Or is it a overly-complicated combination of both with my adult-child brain saying, “An otherworldly forest of the most exquisite-of-greens on a micro planet that is inhabited by creatures that go entirely unseen for the thick forest canopy”?
I want to see the simple wonder in the moment rather than get caught up in picking everything apart into its smallest fragments in order to “make sense” of things. I want to appreciate the natural simplicity of a moment rather than nurturing my tendency to confabulate.
My challenge for today: Think “baby forest.” See, capture, and experience the wonder within the moment. Quash my nature to distort reality into a tempest-filled teapot and, instead, allow positivity to be poured forth into my adult-version, child-sized teacup and take a sip of optimism. I feel better already.