Rock Your Life: Embrace Your Inner Child

The other day I created this post on Facebook. “You are an adult to your inner child. Give yourself permission to eat ice cream for breakfast… in your cowgirl boots.”  Judging by the likes and comments, this little ditty delighted a number of friends. Like me, they probably sometimes tire of being an adult. Not only is it hard work, as grown-ups, we sometimes lack the creativity and spontaneity of the young.

little girl with ice cream in studio isolated

Are you too wound up in the parameters of adulthood? I know I am much of the time. When I need to step back, turn off the noise of the world and shake off my Ms Manners persona, I turn to my old friend Dr. Suess. I think he nailed it when he said “I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain.”

crazy monster

I’ve always cherished reading to children and delivering the sing-song verses written by Theodore Geisel, (AKA Dr. Suess) the man dubbed as the modern Mother Goose. We love his characters because they embrace coloring outside the lines. Rarely do they play by the rules. (Actually, Theodore was prone to breaking the rules too as evidenced by some trouble he got into at Dartmouth. Along with some buddies, he was caught drinking in his dorm room.) I know, no big deal right? Well this was 1924 when prohibition reigned so there was a penalty.

Embracing our inner child means sometimes looking at the world wearing glasses two prescriptions too strong.

Funny nerdy school boy in classroom

Perhaps Suess was doing this when he wrote: “From here to there, and there to here, funny things are everywhere.”

 

So jump on the bandwagon today and plan something fun. Break out of the constant mold of proper adult behavior. Head to the mall and buy some light-up shoes to wear to work on casual Friday. Hide a bottle of soap bubbles in your desk drawer and blow them over your cube when the boss isn’t looking. Get creative and mix it up a bit. As Suess reminded us, “There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.”

About breakfast…forget your morning Starbucks ritual of a non-fat decaf cappuccino or your skinny green tea latte. Stop at the nearest Ben and Jerry’s and opt for a scoop of one of their insane flavors like Pumpkin Cheesecake. As for me, I just might show up at the breakfast table wearing a pink tutu

Ballerina in pink tutu leaning forward

and munching on cold pizza my favorite wacky breakfast treat.

 

 

Kindness Lessons Learned from a Board Game

Free Happy Woman Enjoying Nature. Beauty Girl Outdoor.

Not long ago I was playing Monopoly with my two young nieces. At one point, Alina, who is six, decided she wanted to gift some cash to her sister whose bank account was rapidly dwindling. When I inquired of Alina why she would just give money away, she simply replied she had more than enough. At that moment I was torn between which lesson to impart. Was it more important to explain the object of the game was winning, or should I cast the rules aside and let Alina continue with her act of kindness?

kindness word inside love cloud blue sky only

I needn’t have struggled with the decision because Aisaylnn, her ten-year-old sister, wisely stepped up to field this coaching moment. She very sweetly lavished praise on Alina and made it clear how much she appreciated the gesture. Aisalynn then explained a win was more meaningful if earned fairly.

Life Lesson

Without missing a beat, the game continued leaving me with a warm glow over what I had just experienced. The life-lesson lingered with me throughout the day causing me to examine my actions. How often have I acknowledged I had more than enough?  Do I give generously and frequently? Do I possess the bigheartedness of a little girl? Having pondered this I decided a kindness campaign is definitely something to keep on the front burner.

My Kindness Journal

I’m a tracker. Weighing, measuring and logging results are motivational in my world. Alina’s charitable example prompted me to initiate a Kindness Journal.

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Knowing at the end of the day I must log in a minimum of five benevolent or thoughtful acts keeps me in grace. Sometimes my actions involve giving physical items away as I truly do have more than enough. Other deeds may be as simple as reaching an item from the top shelf in the grocery for someone in a wheelchair.

Your Challenge

My challenge for you this week is to take kindness to heart by acting on it daily. Make a caring gesture expecting nothing in return. Typically your kind deed will live on. Here’s some geeky brain stuff: scientists have coined the term, “upstream reciprocity”

Brain cell

to explain your act of generosity inspires others to also pay it forward. Another bonus: givers also experience a brain boost in a release of endorphins which are “feel-good” chemicals.

Each night when I finish my journal entries I cannot help but smile and think how much you can learn by playing a board game with a six and ten year old.

Please let me express my gratitude to you for reading Life on the Sunny Side. I welcome your comments and would love  input on how you raise the bar on kindness. 

Cherish the Memories

art christmas and 2016 new years eve

Soon the dismantling will begin. Trees with sparking lights will vanish. Fancy holiday wrappings and greeting cards with lovely sentiments will be relegated to recycle. The last of the Christmas cookies and honey crusted spiraled hams will be consumed and radio stations will return to normal programming. Although the physical evidence of the wondrous holiday season will no longer be evident, we can carry the memories with us in our hearts.

I’m a memory keeper. On Christmas day, relaxing in a cozy setting content after consuming our fill of food and drink I began the process.

Two Cappucinos

Tell me your stories I urged my friends. Mentally rewind the year, stopping to pause and reflect on the highlights I coaxed. Then I peppered the group with questions like what was your happiest moment? When during 2015 did you experience your proudest moment? Give me a teachable moment. I longed to share in the events of their lives now considered history.

Smiles began to appear all around. As my friends entertained us with some milestone moments, we all basked in the glow of happy times to be forever kept in our hearts.

One friend deferred explaining he rarely looks back. Cheers to those individuals who excel in living life by staying in the moment. Certainly I could not argue with the wisdom of residing in day tight compartments. Being present wherever you are both physically and mentally is commendable. I applaud mindfulness. In my coaching practice I preach it. But, my philosophy is a bit different. I believe life is about balancing the moment and the memory and that is where I try to live.

What is the point of making memories if they are never revisited? On a physical level, isn’t the reason we snap a picture to capture the moment? Isn’t the point of the clicking the shutter to retain a glimpse for posterity?  Don’t travelers journalize to document their experiences then share the journey with friends upon their return? My belief is that 2015, or any year, should not to be tossed aside lightly. Granted there are times in life when we are happy to see December 31st arrive so that we can start anew, yet within each twelve month period we all experience some joyful moments.

Want to end the year on a high note? Make time to recall the best of 2015. Reviewing those magical moments offers a sense of wellbeing and encourages your inner optimist.  Then move on and embrace the New Year.

Magical New Year theme background, pine cones, coffee, cookies on wooden table

My wish for you is that 2016 brings you wondrous moments of great joy. Capture them and hold them close to your heart.