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  • Writer's pictureDayton

Being an adult means eating popcorn for dinner and cookies for breakfast…

Remember when we were young and all we could think about was becoming an adult and getting to make our own decisions…mostly because all of the adults in our lives were making decisions for us that we wanted nothing to do with. I knew what was best for me…or so I thought at the time.

Actually my premise…I know what is best for me…was accurate…is accurate… and I stand firmly on this foundation to this day. What was missing from my awareness way back then was this…our prefrontal cortex…the part of our brain that is responsible for decision-making…is not fully developed until around 25 years of age. That doesn’t mean someone under 25 is incapable of making appropriate decisions, it simply means their capacity is limited. Since this is true for all of humanity, one would think that we give ourselves a break…and everyone else…right? This is a perfect example where compassion would be instantaneously engaged…right? Hmmm…

It has been several decades…4 to be precise…since I was in my twenties which means that I have been an adult for quite some time and…sometimes…the only real benefit I see in this designation is nobody is going to yell at me when I have popcorn for dinner and cookies for breakfast...If I think about it, that is a small victory for total accountability. I mean…I have complete responsibility for my entire life…my thoughts…my feelings…and my choices. And because my pre-frontal cortex is fully developed, what happens when I miss the mark? When I make a choice that is in opposition to my highest good? When I harbor negative thoughts that rob me of my inner peace and joy? When I entertain thoughts which only becomes a breeding ground for judgmentgrew up and condemnation and keeps me separate from my fellow travelers on this journey we call life?

The answer is quite simple…although it took me a very long time to understand. The answer is the same for prior to 25 and after 25…the answer is compassion.

becomeSomewhere along the line we bought in to the idea that grown-ups…the adults in the room…have all the answers. They knew what was best and we…as children…were suppose to listen and obey.

Consequently, when we grew-up, we assumed that magically we would have all the answers. It can be quite shocking to realize that is not the case…nobody received an instruction manual when they arrived in this time and space. Some would say that religion provides an instruction manual, and even if one subscribed to that idea, it doesn’t provide a step-by-step manual such as the table purchased at Ikea. Most of the time, life is merely a process of trial and error…or missing the mark…adjusting…missing the mark…adjusting. And the only way to thrive in this constant state of adjustment is to have compassion…towards others…toward ourselves. To, as Walt Whitman says, be curious, not judgmental.

I have the perspective that food is medicine; consequently, I make conscious choices about what I eat. Everything I consume either provides nourishment or its opposite and what I think or how I feel about what I am eating is also important.

So if I am concerned about my food, why would I ever have popcorn for dinner and cookies for breakfast? The short answer is because I can. I can be curious what it feels like to eat popcorn for dinner…do I feel all grown up…do I feel giddy because I have the power to eat whatever I want to…do I feel joy because its been years since I ate popcorn…do I feel shame because I know popcorn isn’t a basic food group?

It's great being an adult…as long as I remember to walk through life with the curiosity of the child. For it is the child that really enjoys cookies for breakfast…

Blessings for a beautiful NOW…

From my heart to yours,

Dayton ~ the holistic wellness coach


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