In the last little while I've had a re-think of that idea and decided, that the enthusiastic kid that went at everything like a bull at a gate (and had very few regrets) really had some things right. Yes, I was doing almost everything on purpose! Call me a hedonist if you like (in fact feel free to label me in whatever way works for you). I've been testing out some new ways of behaving. And one of them is acknowledging to myself that it's OK to wish myself loads of happiness.
One thing I've noticed as a result is that my creative output has tripled. I'm pre-judging less and producing more, and enjoying the process regardless of the end product.
And I don't know what the hec is going on this week with children, but Offspring No. 3 had her turn last night. Hers was a question regarding her experience of feelings. And her question also took me by surprise (it was very specific) and catapulted me back into childhood and another belief that was blatantly taught (more reminiscing on 'post traumatic stress' in a sec).
I don't have permission to quote the detail, but I can tell you my response to OS 3 (which surprised me, that's a third time this week – things in three's???). So after contemplative pause, my reply; “you need to trust the energy you are sensing from the other person, trust what you feel”. OS 3 very happy with that answer. And then responded. "I didn't like what I felt", which again surprised me, as I had thought she was relating a positive experience.
So back to my childhood. I was clearly taught “don't trust your feelings”. I know the intention was to be protective and keep from making big mistakes in the heat of the moment. I understand that in brain terms very well now, and it's pretty good advice to remember that rapid changes in brain chemistry may mess with your core intuition (which I am believing is somewhere outside of this system – the core of you, maybe even a soul). I do encourage my kids to be as logical and calm about all their decisions as they can possibly be, but I add lots of 'new age hippy' concepts along the way. I believe in listening to your intuition, even when it sometimes contradicts your nice calm logic. At least it's worth asking yourself. “What am I feeling right now?” “Why might I feel in conflict with myself”, “What is the energy coming from this other person?” “What is my guess about their intentions?” (They may not be completely in tune with their own intentions...). “Is it OK for me to challenge myself or somebody else based entirely on my intuition, even if I have no other 'logical' evidence to back myself?”
So, back to purpose. I reckon there's a lot of value in setting an intention, or if you like, very deliberately doing stuff on purpose. In hindsight, I think if I'd stuck with the core kid, I may have made less mistakes, experienced less pain, caused less pain, and had a hell of a lot more fun along the way.
Never too late to remember and practice what kids already know and do...