Kidding around with the keys to happiness

Living your best life? That's child's play.

Oh hi there! Today we’re going inward and backward to connect with our inner expert on a lighthearted approach to life – we’re diving in for some lessons from our inner child.

Remember when a cardboard box was a castle, and the floor was lava? Somewhere between then and our all-too-serious adulting, we lose touch with that wildly imaginative inner child. But what if I told you reclaiming that connection could be a major key to unlocking joy on your wellness journey? Let’s play!

kidding around

I liked being a kid – I was really good at it… and I still am. My life has shown me the true power of tapping into my inner child. For me, it’s not just an important exercise for healing, it’s a way of life. It’s having the propensity to see the bright side first. It’s the lighthearted whimsy of living in the moment. It’s the difference between walking on the sidewalk like a “normal person”, or avoiding the cracks, so as to not break your mothers back.

Luckily I grew up in an age where Nintendo Gameboy was the only handheld device that grabbed our attention, and between 3 brothers there was no way to get addicted and have too much “screen time”. I’m grateful that my active imagination had several outlets, like creating a secret world in the trees of our front yard, or turning some blankets and pillows into a bunk-bed fortress.

Remember staring at clouds, finding shapes and stories? That was your inner child understanding the importance of just being. In a world that idolizes busyness, taking moments to simply exist—without goals, without checklists—can be revolutionary. It’s in these pauses that we often find our most profound moments of clarity and creativity.

Plus, think about how our inner dialogue tends to get harsh as we age. What if, instead, we spoke to ourselves with the kindness, encouragement, and awe we’d use with a child? This isn’t just about positive thinking; it’s about rewiring our brains to appreciate the magic in the mess and most importantly, treating ourselves with kindness.

The more you tap into that inner kid you may find that they are your hold the key to your superpowers.

let your inner child sing

When I was a kid I was teased for being a “girly man”. I could also sing really high… like a girl. So from a bullying perspective it wasn’t always in my best interest to admit that I could sing like a Disney Princess… and still can.

Flash forward to spring of 2018 where one of the best moments of my life happened when I let my inner child out of his room and let my freak flag fly. At the time I was a member of the San Diego Gay Mens Chorus and we did a show themed with ‘Movie Night’. In a group of over 200 men, I got up on stage and performed the opening song from Beauty and the Beast, “Belle” (you know the “Bonjour!” song… the one with a million characters singing overtop of eachother for 5 minutes straight… yea, that one!) by myself to a sold out crowd. One man doing about 30 different voices.

Why was this a momentous occasion? Because I’ve known this song by heart since it came out in 1991 and had always practiced the voices in my bedroom alone. So when I got asked to do this on a much bigger scale… I was immediately terrified but said “YEP!”. To get up on stage and perform this song to a sold out crowd was a big deal for my lil’ inner kid. I will never forget standing back stage as the piano intro started. I closed me eyes and said “just have fun, Danny!” and stepped out on stage. The familiar Beauty and the Beast village beamed on the screen, so people knew what song this was. What they weren’t prepared for, was a grown man who opened his mouth and sounded like a Disney Princess….and a shop keeper… and the Baker…and Gaston, the arrogant village @$$hole… It was an out-of-body experience where I could actually feel my inner child taking over.

When all was said and done, I finished the song and was met with a standing ovation. It felt so good! I left the stage, and then the stage manager called me out our for another bow because the crowd was still going. I was immediately emotional – there was this instant wave of validation for that little kid in my heart who was now, not only accepted for being himself, but everyone was on their feet cheering him on. It was magical.

And this magical moment happened because I chose not only to honour that little Disney-loving boy, but celebrate him and give him a platform to be himself. To this day, it’s one of my proudest moments. And if you really want to see what a big kid I am, you can watch it here.

pure imagination

For me, the real golden ticket to a life well lived is the active imagination that is innate in children. We tend to lose this imagination over time because, well, the world can be a pretty scary place. Instead of dreaming about all we could be, do or have, we start dreaming up all the ways we can stress ourselves out.

That’s why using your imagination is so important. Our imagination is the projector in the movie of our lives. So let’s have more fun with it and play! Get creative with the life you want to live. Shoot for the stars and don’t let the jaded world we live in tarnish the beauty and innocence that is still deep down.

This week, I challenge you to take a trip inside to visit that inner child of yours. Do something that would make 8-year-old you proud. Dance in the rain, sing like a rock star in your shower, or colour outside the lines—literally or figuratively. Your inner child has been waiting for you to come out and play. Let’s make them proud.

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collingwood, on
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