A few weeks ago, I was dangling my feet in my friend’s pool, rocking out to an amazing Chilean + Japanese reggae trio at a fabulous party in the nestled in the Hollywood Hills. The only child at the party, a sharp little six-year old, plopped down next to me, wearing a T-shirt that said, “Trust me, I’m a unicorn.” She and I ended up having the most imaginative conversation about how to throw a killer tea party on the ocean floor, what running like a cheetah feels like, and what kind of unicorn we each were. My right brain left the party satiated with creativity.
Two things I absolutely love are children…and unicorns.
However, it took me a long time to learn to embrace my love of unicorns. (I’ve always loved kids. I’m one of those women who’s always wanted to be a mom.) But, unicorns on the other hand…
You see, since I was eleven, I was obsessed with acting older. I always felt I had to prove myself, prove how smart I was, prove how grown up I was. I set aside my imagination in order to act like an “adult.” I tossed my sparkly clothes and settled for a more “professional” look that made me look like I was in my late thirties rather than fresh out of high school.
And unicorns, well those were for babies, right?
In my quest to be perceived as “grown up,” I accepted other people’s opinions of how to “be mature” and “act like an adult.” Unicorns didn’t fit into their paradigm of being a “grown up.” I let their opinions conform me into someone that bored me. No sparkle. No magic. Just a regular ol’ workhorse. However, after taking a closer look at the sources, I realized just how unhappy they were in their own lives.
Unhappy people will try to dull your sparkle to make themselves feel better. That’s why there are more horses than unicorns.
Whether it was your parents or society, most of us have created an auspicious paradigm that says to be an “adult” you have to completely “grow up.”
Now, I’m not saying throw caution to the wind and forsake your responsibilities. You still have to pay your rent. You have to provide for yourself and for your family. You still have to take care of your body by eating right and exercising. Nor, am I saying you should be unprofessional. You still have to nail your deadlines and complete your projects. You still have to be respectful.
But, you don’t have to lose the play. You don’t have to lose the sparkle of child-like wonder.
Do you ever look back on your childhood and remember the fun of just playing? Dressing up never seemed like a challenge. No one cared if you rocked a tutu and jellies or wore a hundred different necklaces. You were playing. That’s all that mattered. You didn’t care about other people’s opinions. You just flounced into the other room, where your imagination could wander.
Being a grown up can, frankly, suck sometimes. It can literally suck the imagination and creativity right out of you. No pun intended.
Somewhere along the road to adulthood, I lost it. The play. I became so consumed with being "grown up" that I forgot about the magic. I allowed other people to rule my life with their loving, albeit misguided, beliefs (bless their hearts) of what a "grown-up" should be and how an "adult" should act.
Here are two secrets to add a little magic to your life.
No.1 See the world through your Inner Child’s eyes.
Children are miraculous creatures. If you relate to a child on his or her level, you’ll have the deepest, richest, most imaginative conversation ever. So many of my clients who have had children, experience a beautiful revival of their own childhood sense of wonder. They re-learn how to play.
Revisit your silly side. You know the side where you couldn’t give a flippity-flap what anyone else thinks. Crank up some tunes and dance around your living room. Throw on a ridiculous amount of necklaces. Build a fort in your living room with your girlfriends and watch an animated film. You can always hire a Handy housekeeper to clean up the mess after (That’s the great part about being an adult). Surround yourself with colorful pencils and attack a new coloring book. Check out these amazing adult coloring books! My two favorites are the Enchanted Forrest and Secret Garden coloring books. They’ll help fill your world with wonder.
Get out of your comfort zone, where you’re protected by other people’s opinions, and do something different than your normal routine. Adding more variety to your life will not only inspire more creativity, but it will also make your regular routine seem much more inspired.
No.2 - Find Your Neverland.
By this I mean, explore the world. Go on an adventure. Get out of the comfort zone of your adult world and revisit what it’s like to experience the unknown. The world can literally be your playground. To a child everything is new, fresh, unknown. As adults we get settled into our routines, and what’s familiar. Travel can set your inner-child free.
Whenever Spike (the hubs) and I travel, I take my fancy photographer’s camera, just so I can literally look at the world through a different lens. This lens allows me to marvel, to see the world differently.
You don’t even have to go far. I guarantee that within twenty miles of where you live there are new restaurants, new flavors, new places, that you have yet to experience. It doesn’t even have to be expensive. Anywhere you go, there’s always Groupon and Living Social deals that will cut the cost exponentially.
Even without leaving your home, there is always a new sunset at which you can marvel. Take a few moments to enjoy it. There will never be another one like it.
Today, I can confidently say I crown myself as Professionally Sparkly. I embrace my unicorn-i-ness. Perhaps, I’m making up for lost time, with my obsession over everything that glitters and magical fictional creatures. But my right brain is enjoying every magical minute of it.
When you share happiness and light with others, you help transform your world into one of childlike wonder.
So now it’s your turn. Tell me how you embrace your inner child and add a little more play to your daily jam in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear from you. And if you’d like to hear the Chilean + Japanese Reggae band I was listening to…because they’re amazing, check out Wanaku Beat
Share this to every jaded human you know.