Wednesday ZenDay: A Conversation with My Inner 7-Year Old

Recently, my Zen Coach gave us an interesting exercise and guided meditation. She asked us to close our eyes, “Think back to when you were 7-years old. What are you doing? When you have that snapshot, open your eyes.” I looked around the room and every single one of us looked very happy and content. I saw myself running on the grass of my parents’ front lawn and my dad on a aluminum lounge chair with white and green webbing. What was the point of that? She picked that age because this was the magical time of our lives where we had no thoughts about responsibilities or feeling judged. It’s a particularly joyful age.

Then she took us on a guided meditation to talk to our 7-year old selves. My mind was partway open, but I must admit, I was pretty damn skeptical that I’d be able to talk to little ‘ol me. I think we all were.

Zen Coach took us down an imaginary river that represented our adulthood and adolescence until we arrived at our destination. Ah, wow, where was I? I landed at the nursery my mother used to take me to look for plants. It had a babbling brook where I used to escape with a wagon. I remembered pulling the wagon into the cactus greenhouse when it was 12-degrees in the dead of winter and how wonderfully balmy it felt to be there.

Then she asked us to talk to our 7-year old. I saw her. Little me in with cat-eye tortoise-shell, thick glasses, a red shirt, beige corduroys, and bright red Stride-Rite sneakers. I asked me/her, “What do you want? She responded, “I want to climb trees. I want to play with boys. I like my sneakers.” I grinned. No doubt about it. That was me alright. When I was a little girl, I was a little Tomboy in a big neighborhood of boys. Which meant endless tree climbing, tackle football games, hitting wiffle balls over the neighbor’s house, and mimicking Evil Knievel jumping off ramps on my purple Schwinn and popping wheelies when my mother wasn’t looking.

After she guided us back to reality, we feverishly wrote down in our journals what we saw. Zen Coach then asked us, “What do you think you need to do to bring that joy back into your life?” I grinned. It all made sense."Crossfit," I answered. This is why I love crossfit so much. I’m basically climbing, playing with boys, and well, I like my sneakers.

But I can’t do that kind of intensity right now with my endocrine system out of whack. So I think it means I need to spend more time on the trails too. A few days later, Todd took me on one of his Strava trail outings. I hiked it and watched him peg it with a trail run. My inner 7-year old was very satisfied.