Growing Up

I remember when I was a kid being so eager to finally become an adult. To finally be respected. To finally get to make my own decisions without having my parents involved.

I think Natalia is already getting there. It took 20 minutes to get her out of the driver’s seat, where you see her in the photo above.

Growing up never really ends, though, does it?

Well, I sure hope it doesn’t for you or me. Because we need to continue to learn and grow – be lifelong learners. Stay humble and always realize that you don’t really know what you don’t know.

That is to say, that there is so much you don’t know, that you’re now even aware of what it is.

Beginner’s Mind – a concept from Zen Buddhism. Kids like Natalia have a beginner’s mind.

We need to continually cultivate that, too.

I remember when I was a teenager hearing adults comment on how fast kids learn. “Soak it up like a sponge”

Even as a very young person, though, I thought that kids only learn quickly because they have noting else already occupying their minds. They have a “{beginner’s mind” at all times. And before I even knew what Buddhism was, I remembered trying to approach new things with an open mind – with the one exception of making connections to things I already understand…

…but not to confuse that with having preconceived notions.

And as I have gotten older, I agree with with what my younger self theorized.

I have even proved it in that, while I am a professional musician (pianist, vocalist and even developing organist), I didn’t start playing piano until i was 23.

I am completely bilingual in English/Spanish, and Natalia’s primary language right now is still Spanish. But I didn’t start studying Spanish until I was 23 – around the same time I started piano.

What’s the key?

Beginner’s mind.

(But also – Dare to Suck. I’ll talk more about that tomorrow.)

So I’m in no hurry to grow up. And I’m certainly in no hurry for Natalia to grow up.