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.

 

 

Optimists Whistle While They Work

Motivational concept with handwritten text TODAY IS YOUR DAY

Recently I spent some time at The Happiest Place on Earth. Strolling down Main Street, I encountered some pals of the lovely Snow White. Based on personality type, three of these characters reminded me of individuals we alI know.

Three Personality Types:

Happy, the dwarf providing laughter and adding joy to the lives of the others, is easy to love. He is the personification of my optimist friends who consistently find the good in every situation. An optimist excels at positive thinking and knows tough times won’t last. This admirable characteristic is worth emulating. Granted, finding the silver lining amidst stormy dark clouds is not always an easy feat,

Create Your Sunshine

but if you work hard enough, it is doable. In addition to creating a sunny persona, optimism promotes an aura of peace, increases patience and helps develop resilience in the face of adversity.

The polar opposite of the endearing Happy is the formidable character Grumpy. Easily irritated by the troop, this dwarf is argumentative and prone to finding fault. Labeled a pessimist,

crazy monster

we all have experienced and typically avoid individuals possessing the Grumpy personality.

The Huntsman is the realist in this fantasy film. Chartered by the jealous Queen to lure Snow White into the forest and kill her, he realizes this task clashes with his moral code. Bottom line, our Huntsman urges the fair maiden to escape. Who can fault realistic people? They often take a zero expectation stance. Much can be said for keeping your expectation level in check. It’s like entering life’s stage in protective armor. You cannot get hurt or disappointed if you expect nothing from a situation. This quality helps eliminate an individual’s need for kudos and constant appreciation. Realists do their best and that’s where it ends. They to not measure success by how many likes a post gets on Facebook, or the number of “atta-boys” tossed their way.

Perhaps a large segment of the population are realistic-optimists, a scientific term I just made up. (Smile). Individuals possessing this personality type know success is far from effortless. Planning carefully, and working diligently at achieving set goals, realistic optimists go about their work with a upbeat attitude.

Whether you fall into the realist camp, the optimist group, or somewhere in between, beware of pessimistic tendencies. Negative thinking spirals into lethargy and depression. According to Web MD and other medical experts, attitude matters

Beautiful blond girl jumps over green grass

when it comes to your health. Studies reveal pessimists are more likely than their counterparts to suffer from diabetes, elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol.

So this week, take a lesson from the Disney gang: Be happy, mix in a large dose of reality and experience pleasure in your journey. And, if possible, follow Snow White’s sage advice.

“When hearts are high, the time will fly, so whistle while you work. “

Popsicles and Pockets of Joy

Enjoy the little things.

Over breakfast my friend Dominique announced everyday is a Monday. Responding to my quizzical expression she filled in the blanks. Dom, a successful entrepreneur, is in the process of growing her second successful business, Escape Room Palm Springs. This venture means hitting it hard in back-to-back seven day work weeks. Understanding the amount of work that goes into a new business enterprise, I tipped my head in an empathetic nod.

My friend continued talking about her busy life and related how one day while listening to a CD, she discovered a way to keep the pace without spiking her stress level. Adhering to the advice of a female combat soldier, Dom cultivated a way to look for, and take advantage of pockets of downtime. For example, when she has the rare 2 hour chunk of time she heads home to soak in her Jacuzzi. An extra thirty minutes may be used in the grocery store with her headphones on. Dom finds strolling the aisles relaxing as she leisurely accomplishes restocking her pantry. For a mere 15 minutes, she can find a quiet corner to sit still and “just be.” If her pets are around, Dom indulges in doggy cuddle time. (Stroking a dog is touted by experts as a healthy form of stress relief.)

Dom and Dog

 

Author and speaker, Amanda Enayati, is in complete agreement with Dom about mastering “the pause” during a demanding day. In a recent interview, Amanda referred to these portions of down time as “pockets of joy.” Enayati, who authored the book, “Seeking Serenity: The Ten New Rules for Health and Happiness in the Age of Anxiety,” discusses a pause as a way to deal with negative stress. The author recommends not over-thinking a pause. Just find a quiet space to rest and renew, or head outdoors to commune with nature.

Free Happy Woman Enjoying Nature. Beauty Girl Outdoor.

Establishing one of these new rules in your life might take a bit practice. Like Dom, you must develop an awareness and capture those precious moments of “me” time. By setting up these buffers, you can minimize and neutralize your stress level. A word of caution here: Don’t fritter it away thinking you should use the time to knock off a few more things on your “to do” list.

Try it with me. This week I’m committing to my pockets of joy by instituting the 80/20 rule. For 20 minutes each day I’ll close my office door, think of nothing and enjoy my 80 calorie cold-brew coffee pop.

Chocolate popsicles on baking paper with scattered nuts and choco topping

Bye, bye toxic stress!