Thursday, April 9, 2015

Bypassing fear

 Do you swim? Do you enjoy it? Or do you have a fear of water? If so, how did you pick up that fear?

A book called Underwater Babies by photographer Seth Casteel contains adorable photos of little ones, only a few months old, under water and enjoying it. The book reflects an effort to teach babies, even as young as six weeks old, to swim, somersault and float under water. Proponents of this say that babies already are comfortable in water since they spent nine months in a water environment. And babies haven't yet had time to develop the fears we all seem to add into our lives as we grow.

Hearing a segment about this movement and this book on the Today Show last week made me think about fear—and how some of our fears are picked up as we observe the reactions of those around us (parents, teachers, siblings and others). Many of those fears are legitimate and healthy. Children need to be afraid to touch a hot stove, for example, or walk to the edge of a steep stairway. But there are other fears we would be better off without.

If you have little ones in your life, this is something about which to think: How can you teach them to embrace adventure while still staying safe? How can you help them retain their curiosity and openness to life?

And here's a question: How can you (and I) learn from them to stay open to wonder and an openness to life? Life is such an adventure, and there's so much beauty out there—an abundance of wonder-full things! Let's open up to it and savor as much as we can. Let's fill our lives with delight and wonder.

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