Last week I was out, eating dinner with my family. The restaurant was comfortable and had a quiet atmosphere. We ordered food and were sitting and talking when I noticed something moving in the background.
It was a young boy who was hopping around the restaurant. He was following a pattern around the tables, chairs and other diners. During the first lap the boy’s mother called out for him to join the family who was in preparation to leave.
The boy kept hopping, starting on lap two. As I watched the boy, I noticed his face. It had the look of pure joy. His trip around the restaurant felt good to him. Hopping in this moment was the singular best thing in life right now.
The other diners watched as the boy hopped by their table and then went back to their conversations. No one seemed to care that the boy was hopping around. Then as lap two finished the boy followed his family out the door. It was a brief moment in time but to me it had meaning.
It made me wonder about our adult lives, how we are busy, how it becomes difficult to treasure our time, and take in the moment before us. The pure joy that was on the boy’s face eludes us, because we are distracted by all the items on our to do list.
What would happen if we captured some time each day to hop in the restaurant?
Would we be less productive? Would finding something that gives us pure joy and engaging in it for a moment waste our time?
Hopping in a restaurant more often could benefit us greatly. It would open up the possibilities of our true selves, not the person who we think we need to be. If you were to be bold today and hop for just a minute with others around how would you feel? Many of us would be shy or embarrassed, but why?
This mentality carries over to all of the things we might do. What will others think about an activity that gives me joy? What will others think about a decision I make? If we chose to try activities that symbolize hopping in a restaurant, we can let down our guard, and apply that inspiration to our practice and our lives.
Children are amazing at living in the moment. They move about their day taking in the world with all of their senses. Children get to experience the true meaning of life. They experience daily life without filters, and capture a joy many have left behind.
One of the keys to our practice involves emotional labor. Being our best self lies in remaining with the moment. One-way to become more in touch with this feeling is to hop in the restaurant. Don’t wait for permission, because permission is never granted, it’s chosen. If we choose to live closer to the moment we are in, the world opens up to us and to the possibilities ahead.