So Stella got her groove back, and I think I may have finally gotten my sparkle back. It happened kind of suddenly, so I'm still investigating, but I'm pretty sure it's there! Just as bright, shiny and full of exuberance as it was when I was wearing purple leg warmers and singing along to my Get-In-Shape-Girl tapes with my totable tape deck and microphone in the early 80s.
My coach Allison and I talk about standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients, and I couldn't feel that more emphatically than today. Just as I encourage others along their journeys, here I am strolling along mine...working through exercises, digging into my soul, pondering the lessons. And this week's inner child work in our coaching group has me in the trenches realizing some pretty powerful stuff.
Our assignment this week is based on a Cheryl Richardson (love her) exercise:
"Start your week with an enormous amount of self love and compassion. Rather than beat yourself up for eating too much, spending too much, doing too much, or not doing enough, choose a new tactic. Love that adorable you!I always seem to come back to this photo:
Find a sweet photo of yourself as a child and keep it with you. Then, look at it every time you catch yourself being mean to yourself and say, "Whoa! I'd never talk to you that way. Let's find a better plan." Trust me, you'll feel so much safer with yourself and your whole world will change."
Maybe it's because it's one of the only scanned, digital photos I have of me as a kiddo. Maybe it's because my big sister used it on a blog post for one of my birthdays. Or maybe it's because this is the exactly the photo the Universe wants me to come back to...
When the world ended at my driveway. When I was surrounded by more love than some kids get in a lifetime. When cats named Flybutton could soar and magical flowers grew in the backyard and the Old Wagon Wheel trail behind our house held treasures beyond my imagination...
I wrote a letter to this little Kayla today, giving her advice, wisdom, and kind words, and as I did this line escaped from my fingertips:
"It doesn't have to take 30 years for you to recapture your sparkle. But it's okay if it does. Because this is your journey. And you get to choose what you want for it."Tears welled in my eyes. I don't think I realized I had lost my sparkle until I wrote those words. Oh, but I most certainly had. Suddenly years worth of pain, angst, responsibility, pressure, striving to be enough...to gain approval...it all came bubbling to the surface.
I have been on this beautiful, patient, nurturing journey in the past few months aimed at loving this stuff up and out of my life, and yet it still startles me at times when the wounds open again.
I said on our group call this week that I was so thankful for the repetition in my life these days. Used to I would beat myself up for not catching on or learning something the first time. But these days, when I find myself "getting it" yet again...even if it's something that I thought I'd already "gotten".... I just find myself grateful that I have the opportunity to keep hearing the lesson over and over.
Well, that's certainly the case with little Kayla. Every time I talk to her... Every time I pull out this photo... I seem to find a new little boo-boo to heal... a new opportunity to pull out a band-aid, seal off the wound with some medicine and a kiss, and send her off to play again.
So that's how it was with my sparkle.
I was TOTALLY born sparkling. Moment after moment comes to mind! The sparkle of my little kid laugh (I can still hear it in my mind). The sparkle of my little kid independence (I can remember occupying myself in my closet or the back yard for hours). The sparkle of my thoughts and ideas (I can remember always having so much to say...so much to SHARE!).
And somewhere along the way I fizzled it right out. I decided to believe that I laughed too loud. I decided to believe that I needed to please others instead of myself. I decided to believe that I talked too much. Can you feel the sparkle fade?
Well, I'm done believing all that. And since I believe that true love, positive energy and the will of the Universe can bend time and space, I'm retroactively deciding to believe in my sparkle.
And I'll learn it again if need be. Gratefully.
But right now I'm content to shine. :)