A New Earth – Week 2: Ego

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A New Earth - Oprah and Eckhart Tolle
In week 2 of the Oprah, Eckhart Tolle webinar on A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life Purpose, we begin an exploration of ego. Let’s use this space to continue to explore this concept.

What does ego mean to you?

How did Tolle’s explanation of ego in the book and/or webinar deepen or shift your understanding of the concept?

Identifying with objects

In the book, Tolle tells the story of a dying woman who accused one of her caregivers of stealing her diamond ring. Tolle describes the anger this woman experienced because of the loss of this “valuable” object. He went on to share that:

“In the last few weeks of her life, as her body became weaker, she became more and more radiate, as if light were shining through her. She gave many of her possessions away, some to the woman she thought had stolen the ring, and with each thing she gave away, her joy deepened.”

What objects do you identify with?

Look around your home or office and ask yourself “how many of the things I see do I describe as ‘mine?'”

How would it feel to give these things away?

Can you imagine being in a state where giving away these possessions would bring deeper joy?

What is in the way of that happening now?


Your Week 2 Flower Petals:

In the workbook for the webinar we are being asked to pick our two favorite passages or quotes from the book. At the end of the 10-weeks, we will have a beautiful flower whose petals inspire us to continue the process of awakening.

What are your petals from week 2?

Here are mine.

When you don’t cover up the world with words and labels, a sense of the miraculous returns to your life.

Yielding means inner acceptance of what is. You are open to life. Resistance is an inner contraction, a hardening of the ego. You are closed. Whatever action you take in a state of inner resistance (which we could also call negativity) will create more outer resistance, and the universe will not be on your side; life will not be helpful. If the shutters are closed, the sunlight cannot come in. When you yield internally, when you surrender, a new dimension of consciousness opens up. If action is possible or necessary, your action will be in alignment with the whole and supported by creative intelligence.

Use the comments space below to leave your quotes, answers to the questions above, or any thoughts, observations or further questions you might have.

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Personal Growth Resource Roundup #13

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Well this lucky 13 edition of the Personal Growth Resource Roundup is chock full of goodness! Seems to me that the quality of personal growth related content on the web just keeps getting better and better. And to that I say, “Rock On!”

First up is the Law of Attraction carnival. If you haven’t heard, Dean Lacono of Law of Attraction for Beginners, and Ellie Walsh of Living the Law of Attraction have taken over the longest running Law of Attraction blog carnival. And so far, they’re doing a great job! The theme of this edition, number 29, is Relationships – How to use the Law of Attraction to create, maintain, improve relationships.

Then there’s Jonathan Field’s post Is Visionary Just Another Word for Masochistic? I don’t know about you, but sometimes being out here on the Leading Edge of Thought feels pretty crappy! But I wouldn’t give up my spot on the Leading Edge for anything. Does that make me a masochist? Maybe. Jonathan starts with this quote from this Seth Godin post, “Remarkable visions and genuine insight are always met with resistance.” If you feel that your Visions are being met with resistance, go check out this article.

Next up, Dawud Miracle takes an inspiring look at what we can learn from how Ben Franklin ran his businesses. There are number of excellent lessons to be learned from Ben, but I think this is my favorite: “Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”

Alex Shalman must have taken a look in my car when he wrote this extremely helpful post on How to Declutter Your Car! If your car looks like mine, go check it out.

And finally, don’t forget that Oprah and Eckhart Tolle’s Worldwide world-changing Webinar continues Monday evening. This week will focuon on Chapter 2 of Eckhart’s book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.

They promise to have the technical issues worked out. So if you had problems watching last week’s webcast, hopefully this one will be better.

If you haven’t watched last week’s class, you can access the On Demand version Oprah’s New Earth Web Event here and download a video, MP3, watch a streaming version or grab a transcript of the show.

 

And after watching it, be sure to leave your comments and questions here.

 

If you haven’t already registered, head over to Oprah’s site now to sign up. It’s free.

That’s it for this week’s Personal Growth Resource Roundup.

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Have You Seen Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture?”

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Just a quick head’s up in case you haven’t seen this video from Randy Pausch. Randy is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University where the professor’s have a tradition of giving their “last lecture:” the lecture they would give if they were dying. Well for Randy, this is not just an exercise. Randy is dying of cancer.

He gave this lecture on How to Achieve Your Childhood Dreams

I could tell you more about it, but I think I’ll leave it to Randy. However, I will encourage you to spend the full 11 1/2 minutes watching this first video all the way through to the end. There are some truly powerful insights at the end.

Here’s the 12-minute “cliff”s notes version of the lecture he gave on the Oprah show recently:

And here is the full lecture he presented at Carnegie Mellon. This one is over an hour.


The Italian Driving Method of Personal Growth

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Did you ever see the 1970’s super-cheesey movie, Gumball Rally? Alright, I admit I probably watched it about 20 times back then. It was fun, when I was ten.

Well, for some strange reason, a scene from that movie popped into my head the other day. (This might give you some insight into my state of mind!)

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing this cinematic tour de force, The Gumball Rally is an illegal New York to LA car race with absolutely no rules. The winner, in addition to all the glory, gets to take home the coveted Gumball Machine! And I’m sure you can imagine the creative sorts of mischief that the drivers get up to as they attempt to arrive before everyone else at that finish line.

The scene that popped into my head takes place at the beginning of the movie and the starting line of the race. It’s our first introduction to the driver of team Ferrari, Raul Julia, who is sitting in his Ferrari convertible with his co-pilot, a much less experienced, and if my memory serves me, non-Italian, driver. Raul turns to him and says:

“And now my friend, the first-a rule of Italian driving…” Here he reaches up, rips off the rear-view mirror and tosses it, with much Italian flare, out of the car. “…What’s-a behind me is of no importance. ”

Now certainly don’t recommend that you rip the rear view mirrors off of your car and start driving around with that attitude. However, when it comes to personal growth, I think this rule has some validity.

There is an approach to personal growth that goes something like this: “Until I uncover all of my past wounds and heal each and every one of them, I will never be happy, fulfilled and abundant in my present life.”

This attitude is rarely that explicit, and it’s almost never conscious. But there are many people (and I speak from my own personal experience as well as my observations of others) who, on some level, believe they can not have a great life until they have “handled” all of their past wounds. They seek answers to the questions: “Why am I the way I am now?” “Why do I always act this why?” “What happened to me?” “Who did this to me?”

That approach to personal growth has the potential to suck us down the rabbit hole into a never-ending search for the “cause” of what is “wrong” with us. We can end up traveling back in time to heal our past more often than we spend rooted in the present, focused on creating a better life now! At that point, our journeys into the past are not longer about finding answers that can help us improve the present. Those journeys become a way of avoiding the work that will create the positive changes in our lives.

And that’s never a good thing!

Here’s something I’ve discovered, something those voices don’t tell you when they’re suggesting that you take another journey into your past to find another wound to heal. You ready?

Balancing a bit of Raul Julia’s attitude can often create a more healthy relationship with the past and lead to a better life now and into the future.

I’m not suggesting that you completely throw away the rear view mirror when it comes to looking at your past. I don’t think that’s even possible. But maybe spending a bit less time looking in that rear view mirror would be helpful.

Certainly there is a lot that we can learn from exploring our past, including (and perhaps especially) the painful parts. But if we are to truly grow, the information we discover must be used to empower positive change in the present. In other words, we must act in the present on what we learn from the past.

So the next time you find yourself heading down memory lane, before you go there, remember the young, suave Raul Julia, sitting in his Ferrari and repeat these words: “What’s-a behind me is of no importance!”

How To Leverage Punctuated Equilibrium For Personal Growth

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Have you heard of the Term Punctuated Equilibrium? It’s the term evolutionary scientists use to describe a widely held theory related to evolution. According to this theory, evolution happens mainly in short bursts of rapid and sometimes massive changes that “punctuate” long stretches of “equilibrium.”

It’s also sometimes, and affectionately I’m sure, called Punk Eek! (I think it’s safe to say that those evolutionary scientists have a darn good sense of humor and maybe a bit too much time on their hands!)

Here’s the official Wikipedia definition:

Punctuated equilibrium is a theory in evolutionary biology. It states that most sexually reproducing populations will show little change for most of their geological history, and that when phenotypic evolution does occur, it is localized in rare, rapid events of branching speciation (called cladogenesis).

Got it?

This theory is not accepted by all scientists: Another school of thought embraces what they call Phyletic Gradualism (these guy s don’t have a catchy nickname) which states that evolution happens gradually and continually.

Here’s the Wikipedia definition:

Phyletic gradualism is a macroevolutionary hypothesis rooted in uniformitarianism. The hypothesis states that species continue to adapt to new challenges over the course of their history, gradually becoming new species… During this process, evolution occurs at a slow but constant rate; for this reason, it is known as “evolution by creeps” (as opposed to punctuated equilibrium, or “evolution by jerks”)

Phyletic gradualism has been largely deprecated as the exclusive pattern of evolution by modern evolutionary biologists in favor of the acceptation of occurrence of patterns such as those described on punctuated equilibrium, quantum evolution, and punctuated gradualism.

Note that this theory “has been largely deprecated,” meaning it is no longer accepted by a large portion of the scientific community.

And that makes sense to me, because in my personal experience and observation of others, personal growth and evolution seems to happen more like Punctuated Equilibrium than Phyletic Gradualism. And it makes sense that our personal evolution would follow a similar pattern as our macro or societal evolution.

There are times, most of the time in fact, when we are coasting along, making gradual, incremental changes in our lives. We are in a homeostasis or equilibrium state. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, these times are important because they allow us to rest and integrate and prepare for the next round of punctuation!

Because, once in a while, our equilibrium is punctuated by something that throws us into a rapid state of growth. It could be a job loss or a divorce, an illness or the death of a loved one. Or it could be something internal that just bubbles up to the surface ready to be acknowledged and healed so that you can move to the next level of your life.

So if you accept that personal evolution flows in a pattern of Punctuated Equilibrium pattern how can you leverage this knowledge to accelerate your personal growth? Here are some suggestions:

1. Learn to recognize when you are in a phase of equilibrium or homeostasis and when you are in a phase of punctuation or rapid growth.
If you want to leverage this pattern to accelerate your personal growth the first step is to become aware of which part of the cycle you are presently in. Begin to recognize the symptoms and signs of equilibrium and of punctuation. There will be physical, mental, and emotional patterns indicative of each phase. In general, if you notice you are having more resistant emotions than usual, it is a sign that you are either in or moving towards a period of punctuation.

2. Ideally, learn to recognize the signs that you are beginning to move from a period of homeostasis into a period of rapid growth.
A more advanced form of awareness provides you with an early warning system. You begin to recognize the signs and signals that indicate you are preparing to head into a period of rapid personal evolution.

3. Take full advantage of your time in the equilibrium state.
For leading edge thinkers, the equilibrium state is not a time for twiddling your thumbs. This is a time of integration, rejuvenation and sharing. During these periods of homeostasis you put into action the insights and new awareness you have gained from the last round of punctuation. This is also a time for sharing and modeling what you have learned with others. And finally, this is a time to truly enjoy and appreciate our life experience.

4. Don’t rock the boat of equilibrium.
This is a tough one for me. I was affectionately given a charter membership in the “Gluttons for Growth Group” while working through the Master of Intuition Program I was going through the Academy of Intuition Medicine. For some of you, like me, the equilibrium times will be the uncomfortable phase. If there is no crisis or upheaval or rapid growth happening, you’ll want to shake things up and jump right back into a period of punctuation. Don’t do it! Both phases, equilibrium and upheaval, are necessary for your personal growth. And trust me…your equilibrium will be punctuated without your help.

5. When your equilibrium is punctuated, ask for support.
Let go of the Lone Ranger approach to personal growth. It doesn’t work! When you find yourself in a period of rapid growth or approaching one, call in the cavalry. When you ask for and allow support into your life during these times of rapid growth, you can dramatically accelerate your return to equilibrium. It’s important to have support systems in place before you enter a period of punctuation. I just launched a new program, the Rapid Evolution Mentorship, for times like this.

6. Just say “NO” to the sweep it under the rug school of personal evolution.
During times of rapid personal growth, crisis and upheaval, it is tempting to do whatever you can to return to homeostasis as quickly as possible. During these times of potential growth, issues will most likely come up that are uncomfortable and downright painful. Sweeping them under the rug does not make them go away. It just causes them to go back into hiding and regroup for the next round. And when they come out next time you can bet they will be even more potent! And even if you are able to return to equilibrium it will be at the same level as before. You will not have stepped up to the next level in your personal evolution and will have, therefore, wasted the time you spent in the punctuation period.

7. Mine the moment for gold.
It is during these periods of upheaval and rapid evolution that you will find the true gold in your life. Carl Jung called this the “Gold hidden in the shadows.” During these periods of rapid evolution higher levels of personal awareness are available to you if you’re willing to do the work. In this case, doing the work means being willing to look at and explore whatever is coming up. When you dive into the underlying elements that are bubbling up from your subconscious mind, you will facilitate a faster return to equilibrium AND a higher level of personal awareness. In other words, you will bring that gold back with you into your next period of equilibrium. And that gold will help you create a better life for youself and for those around you.
8. Know that it’s all good!
This is a tough one for some people. Most of us want to claw our way out of those periods of punctuation as quickly as possible. A few of us slightly strange folks (yes I’m one of them) can’t wait to dive back into the punctuation. In reality the most enlightened approach to Personal Punctuated Equilibrium is to enjoy both phases. Think of it this way: At an amusement park you’re not on a ride the entire time. You walk around, grab a snack, wait in line, and then get on a roller coaster for a short, thrilling ride. Punctuated equilibrium works the same way. You need both of them if either of them is to be truly effective.

Both the periods of punctuation and the periods of equilibrium are necessary for our personal growth. And if you judge either of them as bad or negative, you will minimize your ability to grow and the overall quality of your life.

So enjoy all of it and always be ready for your next ride!

Unleash Your Greatness Using The Law Of Reversal

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James RayMy wife and I went to see James Ray in San Francisco last night for his free evening event, The Secret of Attraction True Wealth. We missed him last year when he was here and were looking forward to seeing him live. It was well worth the 90-minute drive! His 2-hour presentation was filled with excellent information and brimming with inspiration.

And yes, we did sign up for his Harmonic Wealth Weekend in June!

I’ll be sharing some juicy tidbits with you over the next few weeks. But for now, I want to talk about The Law of Reversal.

James defines it this way:

The law of reversal says that to turn misery disease and failure into joy, health and prosperity, you must think, speak and act, in ways which are the exact reverse of how most people think, speak and act.

It’s so obvious, but at the same time so difficult. Of course we need to act differently if we want to be different than others. The problem is that most of us, on some deep level, DON’T want to be different than others. So what do we do? We think, speak and act in exactly the same way that most others do.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Do what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

If you want to live a life of greatness, you need to stop thinking, speaking and acting like the vast majority of people around you and start thinking, speaking and acting like the great people in your life and in the world!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that the people in your life are bad, they’re just doing what everyone else is doing. And because of that, they’re most likely not going to live a life of greatness.

Who do you consider to be great? Who are your role models? Do they think, speak and act like everyone else? Or did they reach their greatness by doing the exact reverse of everyone else?

What do you want for your life? Greatness or mediocrity? The choice is yours, and if you choose greatness, the Law of Reversal is a fast way to get there!

James Arthur Ray

7 Ways To Get A Positive Start On The Day

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How do you start your day? Is your first act intentional? Is it a reaction to something? Or is your first act of each completely random?

As a Deliberate Creator, every conscious act matters. And one way to get every day off to a great start is to make your first act of the day intentional. So here are a few suggestions that you might want to consider for your first conscious action of the day.

Smile: You’ll be amazed at how powerful that one act can be at setting the tone for your day. Do it no matter how tired you are, no matter how little sleep you got, no matter how much you’re dreading some aspect of your day. Smile. I love this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh: “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” When you think of something that brings you joy, a smile is likely to come naturally. Remember that a smile can brighten a person’s day. And if you wake up with a smile, it just might be your day that gets brighter.

Think of something joyful: Maybe you feel strange putting a smile on your face for no reason. (If you do, stop it!) But one alternative is to think of something that brings you joy and let that thought bring a smile to your face.

Think of your primary intention: What is the single most important intention that you have right now? How would your day change if your first thought upon arising was a positive thought about that intention?

Look at your primary intention: Remember Jack Canfield’s story in The Secret? He taped a “$100,000 bill” to the ceiling above his bed so the first thing he would see every morning would remind him of his primary intention. You can do something similar. Come up with an image, object or phrase that reminds you of your intention and tape it to the ceiling or place it beside your bed. And each morning, make sure your first act is looking at it and feeling it.

Send a positive thought to someone else: Sending a prayer or other positive thought to someone is a wonderful way to start your day. In order to send positive vibes to someone else, your vibration must be positive. So starting your day this way ensures that your vibration will start out positive.

Give thanks for what you have: One of the best ways to empower your day is to begin with gratitude. Instead of allowing your mind to jump to all the stuff you have to get done that day, intentionally guide your mind to focus on and express gratitude for all the wonderful things that you already have.

Say I love you: If you share a bed with a partner (and even if you don’t) one great way to set a positive tone for your day is to say “I love you” to them (or someone else) before you even get out of bed.

These are just a few suggestions. Any one of them will help you set a positive tone for the entire day… If you do it!

Top 10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From My Daughter (So Far)

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Children bring a great amount of wisdom with them when they join us here in this world. I have known this for many years and have always loved being around children. But it was not until I became a father, a bit more than four years ago, that I discovered just how wise these little beings really are.Father-Daughter Beach

From the moment of my daughter’s birth (and even before that) fatherhood has been a truly transformative experience. It’s rare that a day goes by without learning something about life from my Ella. And in many ways I really do see her as one of my most effective teachers.

So I thought it would be fun to share some of the personal growth lessons I have learned from Ella over the past four years. If you have children you will most likely recognize many of these. If you do not have children, you may find some of these corny or silly. Trust me, they are not. Every one of these lessons has had a significant impact on my life.

So here, then, are the top 10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From My Daughter… so far!

1. Tomorrow’s Gonna Be a New Day.
When Ella was younger she would ask me, “Is tomorrow gonna be a new day?” I assured her that, yes, indeed, tomorrow would be a new day. Now that she’s reached the ripe old age of four, she gets it. And now she reminds me: “Don’t worry Dadda. Tomorrow’s gonna be a new day!” It’s good to remember that!

I the only one hearing a refrain from Little Orphan Annie in the background? “The sun’ll come out tomorrow…” Sure it’s cheesy, but there is a lot of power in recognizing that, no matter how difficult today is, tommorrow’s gonna be a new day.

2. Sometimes it’s Better to Make Up Your Own Rules
I already wrote about this one in the post Life Lessons from Candyland. But it’s an important one so I included it in this list.

Bottom line: Sometimes it’s best to throw away the rule book and make up your own!

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Your Enthusiasm.
Ella is not shy when it comes to showing her enthusiasm. If someone makes a suggestion that she likes she responds in a number of different ways depending upon her level of excitement. If she likes the idea, she’ll say something like, “That’s gonna be a great idea, Dada!” If she really likes the idea, she’ll nod her head vigorously and let out a loud, “Uh huh!” And if she really, really likes an idea, she starts jumping and galloping around, shouting, “Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh.” over and over and over and over…

My favorite part is when we’re at the dinner table and we make a suggestion (like for instance on a hot summer night when we, very rarely, suggest walking down to the ice cream shop in town) Ella will get so excited that she actually has to climb down off her chair so that she can run back and forth yelling “uh huh, uh huh, uh huh!” Sometimes her excitement is so powerful I’m afraid she’s going to fall off the chair!

Do you ever curb your enthusiasm? I know I do. Somewhere along the line most of us learned that stuff we really wanted or were really excited about could be taken away in an instant. Often the very things that were most exciting to us were used to get us to do or not do certain things: “Get dressed now or you can’t ride your bike today!” Or, “Stop saying that word or you’ll be grounded for a week.”

No wonder we’ve learned to hide our enthusiasm! We don’t want the good stuff taken away from us so we don’t let anyone know what we think is good! How messed up is that.

Well it sure is refreshing to watch Ella express her enthusiasm with no hesitation. Enthusiasm is contagious. People want a taste of enthusiasm. They want to know that it is safe to be happy about something.

So give it a try. The next time you discover something you really like, do a little happy dance and see what happens.

4. Feel your emotions fully.
Ella isn’t always happy. Like all kids she has moments of frustration and sadness. We’ve done our best to encourage her to fully feel those emotions and express them when they’re happening. It’s amazing to watch how Ella has learned to deal with these moments.

If something happens that causes Ella to feel frustrated or angry she’ll go into her room, close the door, lie down on the floor or on her bed and scream or cry for a minute or two. Then she opens the door, comes back out and says, “All better.” And usually she is. The frustration that was moving through her just needed to be let out.

How often have you held onto sadness, frustration, anger or grief? I know I’ve held onto stuff for a long time! And the longer I hold onto those emotions, the more powerful they become.

Much better to just let them out in the moment and let yourself be “all better!”

5. Walk On Walls Whenever Your Have The Chance
wall walkWhen was the last time you walked on a wall? Whenever I’m out walking with Ella and we pass a wall, whether it’s a curb or a retaining wall, Ella wants to walk on it. And now she gets me to walk on them with her: “Come on, Dada!” And I must say, if you haven’t walked on a wall in a while, give it a try. It’s a lot of fun!

The life lesson here is that we adult types tend to pass by opportunities for joy and exploration without even noticing them. These opportunities are all around us all the time. We just have to open our eyes and expand our perception. Hanging around kids (even if you don’t have your own) is a great way to do that.

6. Sometimes you have to do it alone (even if there’s someone right there who could help you).
I often feel a strong temptation to reach out to help Ella put her shoes on or put a puzzle piece in the right place. Simple tasks that I take for granted are a challenge for Ella, as they are for any child. If I were to constantly jump in and say, “Let me do that for you,” it would take her a lot longer to figure out how to do it.

It’s especially tempting to help her when she reaches that frustration point. But I’ve learned that if I let her go a little bit longer, just past that moment of frustration is when she succeeds.

In those moments I sometimes think of the scene in the movie, Ray, after Ray Charles has gone blind and his mother pretends she’s not in the room as he’s calling out for her help. In that moment, he discovers that he’s not as helpless as he thought.

It’s been a powerful lesson for me as a father and in my own life.

7. Know When to Ask For Help.
Now, while this one seems to contradict the previous lesson, they really work hand in hand. Let’s face it; there are some things that a four year old just can’t do yet. Ella is pretty good about trying to do things. And she is also pretty good about asking for help when she has reached the end of her patience: “Please help me, Dada.” Or if she’s tired or frustrated she might say, “I can’t do it, Dada.”

Her willingness to ask for help is a powerful lesson for someone like me: a die-hard do it yourselfer. Countless hours have been spent figuring out something that I could have easily asked or paid someone else to do.

Knowing when, and how, to ask for help is an important life skill to master. And I am learning from a master.

8. Don’t be attached to what you painted yesterday (or 2-seconds ago).
Ella is a prolific artist. She cranks out paintings and drawings faster than the fastest graffiti artist. And the beautiful thing about her creativity is that once she’s done, she’s done. There is no attachment to the painting she just created. She puts her piles of artwork into the recycling bin as easily as the Tibetan monks sweep their intricate sand mandalas back into dust. http://www.artnetwork.com/Mandala/gallery.html

I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time letting go of stuff I created 10-years ago! Ella’s willingness to let go of her creations leaves her open to the flow of creativity. She is not attached to what she painted yesterday. She does not compare what she is doing today with what came before. She is free to be open and just let it flow.

9. Singing Makes Everything Better.
No matter how traumatic a situation might be, whether it’s an overtired and cranky before bed tooth brushing meltdown or a big boo-boo, singing makes it better. Ella and I sing together on our way to preschool. We sing the silly tooth-brushing song we made up together. We sing the pee-pee song. We sing our favorite bedtime songs. Just about anything that you can say can be sung (hey, didn’t the Beatles write something about that?).

Singing is fun. Singing makes you smile. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s research showing that singing releases endorphins. And most of us adult types tend to sing far too little. The 7-Dwarves knew what they were talking about when they whistled while they worked! So try adding a bit more singing into your daily diet.

10. Dance like no one’s watching (even when you’ve made sure that everyone is!)
Team Kadena receives free toysLike most houses with young ones, the phrases, “Watch Dada. Watch Mama. Watch everybody!” are heard on a regular basis. Ella loves to dance. And when she does, she lets it all hang out. She makes up new dance moves on a regular basis: There’s the running back and forth dance, the sneaky dance, the jumping up and down dance, the spin around until you fall down dance, and of course Ella’s famous Jiggy-Jiggy dance!

Somewhere along the way, most of us lose that uninhibited ability to express ourselves. The voices of self-doubt come in and we become self-conscious of our performance. Watching Ella dance with all her heart, whether she’s alone or in front of a crowd, is a great reminder of the innocence and joy that we all have inside of us. Isn’t it time we start letting a little more of it out?

So there are the top 10 life lessons that Ella has helped me learn… so far. What lessons have your children taught you? I’d love to hear. Leave a comment below and share your lessons and stories.

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