Cindy Hoard

Inspirational Author and Psychologist

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When it comes to spirituality, solid research has demonstrated we come into this life with “Natural Spirituality” as an additional unrecognized area of our development. The usual suspects are cognition (thinking, learning, problem-solving), communication (what hear, what we say, body language with meaning), social/emotional development, self-care abilities and motor skills (gross and fine motor). This is very important because we have inborn spiritual abilities that many think have to be “taught”, “learned”, or somehow instilled in us.

The younger the child the more uncensored, honest, real, and natural the actions or things that the child says are to be believed. It is so vital that we respect and honor this aspect of the child’s development even though it may not always make sense to us as adults.

The questions of the young child sometimes surprise us and leave us asking the question of what the child means? We, the “grown-ups” can actually learn a lot from little ones. But we have to give some thought to how to interact with a child at this time in their life. Listening is the most important response which communicates our interest in what the child is doing or saying. It is not ours to interpret, question, expand or say anything that would suggest to the child that there is something wrong with what the child has done or said. We can probably learn something about our own spirituality through such interactions.

Our job as older individuals is to be present, curious, amazed and respectful of the child’s thoughts and actions. These are not times to try to “teach” the child something or try to help them further develop ideas about something that they share. This is counterintuitive to our desire to teach, enrich, encourage and help children grow. They will continue to evolve in their growing experiences, understandings, and maturation even if all we do is listen.

So, this also means that we each need to listen to our own hearts, honor and respect what we hear whether it be during prayers, meditation, a walk in nature, journaling, worshiping, exploring or engaging in any self-care activities. These are the moments we are most likely to be in touch with the spiritual part of who we are. It does not require formal religious beliefs or practices; it is very individual and also varies over time as we also mature and evolve.

Given the inborn nature of spirituality, we deserve the gift to ourselves of spending some time in reflection, in whatever manner feels most comfortable. Along with thinking about qualities of our life that are most likely part of our individual spirituality, it also helps to be aware of special events in our life that seemed inspiring in manners they we may not have been able to verbalize. There is usually a definite “feeling” aspect of such moments, that may hard to describe.

For the little kids, listen, wonder, smile and embrace. You don’t need to say a lot unless the child asks a question and your response can be a question to encourage the child’s curiosity and hear their comments and ideas. Listen a lot!

I am sure you are not surprised when I say your personal reflection and spiritual practice(s) are an important aspect of appreciating and supporting the spiritual expressions of “the little ones.”

When have you had the pleasure of witnessing the spiritual play and thoughts of a “little one”?

Please share one of your AHA moments with me and my readers!

See you next time! Cindy