Stay Wild by Alison Oliver
When I began a meditation practice as an adult, I was struck by how familiar it felt. It was almost like deja-vu, the sense that you’ve already lived the present moment. I realized that the experience of meditation wasn’t new to me; it was one I’d felt often as a child.
Meditation begins when your mind opens, loosens its tight grip on your thoughts and lets them flutter away. In that moment, you feel a peaceful sense of connection to all there is—that deep feeling of connection is one I vividly remember feeling as a kid. But I wasn’t sitting down with an intention to meditate. I wasn’t cross-legged, barefoot, sitting with my spine straight. I was playing. Or I was drawing. Or I was just staring. Whatever it was, I had become fully absorbed in a point of focus and my mind had started to let go, my thoughts slowing down enough that I could feel the space in-between them. And there I was, in that peaceful connection to everything. When I would come back to drawing or playing, I felt so happy.
I don’t think this experience is unique. Much like being creative, finding this peaceful place is something I believe all kids can access easily. It’s when we come back to it as an adult that it seems like a new subject we have to learn; a practice that we must try to incorporate into our life. The benefits of accessing this space are many; we have better focus, more creativity, and more empathy for others. We find our intuitive self—our wild self. In spite of our busy natures, it makes sense that a kid, without all the years of thoughts, can easily slip into that space. And it is crucial that we give them, and ourselves, the openings to do that. Imagine if we never stopped having those moments. We would stay wild.
Alison Oliver is the author-illustrator of Moon and the illustrator of more than 30 BabyLit board books, including, most recently, Anne of Green Gables. Sales for the series total more than 1.8 million copies. She is also author-illustrator of a forthcoming Be Bold, Baby board book series, featuring biographies of strong, inspiring women. Alison lives in New York City, where she also runs a design studio called Sugar. Visit her online at http://www.pure-sugar.com and on Instagram at @alisonoliverdesign.