Did you manage to find time to revisit a childhood pastime? I count the assignment done if you only thought about it and smiled. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote in The Little Prince , “All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” You should allow yourself more moments to do that.
This morning I began to tackle cleaning out my basement and came across a stack of children’s books that I love. They had common characteristics in that they rhymed and were filled with huge bright inventive drawings that defied the imagination. Camels peeked through doors, ships sailed in the sky, everyone was drawn with a smile. What absolute joy! I plan to put them out where I can see and open them on a whim. They are sure to bring a smile.
I had planned to write about another exercise but finding the books changed my course today. I would love it this week if you went to the children’s section in your neighborhood bookstore or library and thumb through some of the books that catch your imagination. What are the common themes? What brings a smile? When you find the one that you love and brings you to a place of joy, buy it and place it in your room. It will be a touchstone for you on this journey — to remember how truly awesome you are, how much talent lies within you, and what wonderful attributes you bring to this world. Pick it up and read it through the weeks to come and hold on to the feelings it brings back to you.
So how did the time mantra work out for you? If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a shot. I’ve received feedback from others that it is working for them. Today, I’d like you to take some of the time you’ve saved and spend it. Take out a pen and some paper, find a quiet spot, and write down a list of things you enjoy. The list may be long or it may be short. It doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you allow the items to flow from your heart onto the paper, again without judgment. How’d it feel?
Now is the time for action. Take one item from your list and plan a play date for yourself. If others are involved, fine, but don’t let it change what you have chosen to do…and only include those who will whole-heartedly support your enjoyment of what you’ve chosen. This exercise is totally about you and your joy. In the words of Pablo Coehlo, “One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” I’ve got to go, I’ve got a date with a sunset but I’d love to hear how this exercise worked for you later.
Earlier in the week, I suggested that you identify an activity which called to your imagination and do more of it. Did you? If you did – Great! Keep at it!. If not, what stopped you? Again, no judgement, just be aware of whatever blocked you and file it away to be examined at a later time.
For this week’s exercise, I’m borrowing a page from Patty Digh. Patty Digh is one of my favorite writers. I was first hooked with her book Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally then I read Four-Word Self-Help: Simple Wisdom for Complex Lives. It’s a wonderful book of four word advice. She inspired me to start my own list which hangs on the wall of my studio and is still being added to. Here are a few entries:
Only Hear the Positive
Defy All the Critics
Live in the Moment
Laugh from the Belly
I love the energy I get when I create a new phrase…it never fails to bring a smile. This week I’d like you to start your own list of four word phrases which inspire you. Keep the list where you can see it and make sure that there are no negatives in the stream, e.g. “Don’t.” If you’d like to share some of your favorite phrases, I’d love to see them.
If you are interested checking out Patty Digh’s books: