Child’s Play

Have you ever noticed that most children have no filters? They show raw emotion. They say whatever is on their mind. Many times they seem fearless. I have a granddaughter who always trusted someone would catch her and would climb up onto anything she could find and jump, even if no one was close. I can remember running to stop her from certain injury, as she laughed and jumped. I’m sure all of you can think of a child like this. Maybe you were that child.

Children will do things we as adults only wish we had the courage to do. I was recently reminded of a story involving one of my nieces. She was about 9 years old, out with her mom, when suddenly she took the change she had in her hand and threw it on the floor of the store. How would you have reacted to that? Probably the way my sister did, first in shock and then questioning why she would throw money on the floor. What happened next is not what you would expect.

Was she just an ungrateful child? Nothing could be further from the truth. Her answer to her mom was simple and profound. She stated, “Mom, haven’t you ever seen the joy on a child’s face when they find money on the floor?”

My phone rang this evening, it was one of my brothers. He was filled with joy and had to share his evening with me. He had just been at my youngest daughter’s house. He said, her oldest son was in bed because he was tired out from a long day with friends. He came downstairs, walked over to my brother, wrapped his arms around him and stated, “I’m tired, but I couldn’t sleep so I thought I would come down and say hello.”

I’m sure you have witnessed many of the wonders of a child. Think about the child you see dancing when there is no music. When is the last time you did that? At what point in our lives do we transition from that child who acts on what they feel to the person who is more concerned about what people may think of them if they do something just because their heart tells them to?

Have you ever wanted to pick up the phone and just call someone to say thank you for being you and then decided that may be silly? Have you ever wanted to say thank you to someone for smiling and saying hello? Maybe you just want to put a little dance in your step. What stops you from doing the things that are in your heart? Are you too busy thinking about what others may think of you?

My challenge to you-think outside the box as you go through your day. How can you make a difference, what can you do that is nothing more than child’s play? Here is an example: I recently enjoyed a meal at a dining establishment near me. I observed the normal things, the host was polite, my waitress was prompt and courteous, and the food was delicious. However, it went beyond the norm, I noticed how beautifully the food presentation had been done which made the food even more appealing. How many times do we acknowledge the person who preps our food?

At the end of my meal I asked the waitress to please call out the person that had prepared my food, both seemed a bit nervous. In a society that focuses more often on the negative, I’m sure they were wondering what was coming next.

As the young lady approached, I asked, “Are you the person who prepared my food?” I wish you could have seen the look on her face when I handed her a Karma Card, a hand written Karma Companion Card and a tip. Let’s just say, it was priceless, a smile for miles.

Find just one thing you can do that will brighten someone’s day today. Tip the cook, say hello to a stranger, dance without music, call someone you haven’t spoken to in quite some time and say hello, thank someone you love for just being who they are…jump and trust that someone will always catch you.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t dance!!

Choppy Seas

Everything seems like smooth sailing and then it happens….a tsunami..choppy seas…and once again we are left wondering, why. It is natural to want life to run smoothly with no real hiccups.

Have you ever thought about what your day, your week, your year, your life would be like if you never had a single problem? BORING! No challenges, nothing to spark your creativity, nothing to bring excitement to your day. The world would never change..everything today would remain the same tomorrow.

The world would never see a new innovation, a new invention..after all aren’t those things simply answers to problems? This Mac I’m typing on was simply an answer to a problem. The computer or smart device you are reading this on, an answer to a problem.

It would seem that if you are searching for a new business idea, it is a simple as finding a solution to a problem. If the problem exists in your life, it almost certainly exist in the lives of others. If you have a question that you see no one has answered, answer it for yourself and you will have answered it for others.

Does the question always need to have a complex answer? Speaking for myself, I have no desire to solve the problems of the technology world. I’m more of a “practical solutions to everyday problems kind of girl.” Although until recently I never realized how often, I saw a problem, did nothing about it, only to discover some time in the future..someone else was getting rich with the solution to my problem in a way that I could have had I acted on the tsunami.. Most of us would say that at some point in our lives we have uttered the words, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Is fear keeping you from trying? Remember there are no failures…only experiences that teach us how not to do something…and I have plenty of those.

What are you waiting for? I know that some of you reading this have ideas you have been sitting on. I teach martial arts to young children and when we teach a new skill that they may not need to know until further up in the ranks we always ask this question…”When is the best time to learn?” The answer from the kids..”Now Sahbumnim.”

There is no better time than “Now” to face the choppy seas..take on the tsunami…answer the questions in your life. When life creates the big the wave. If you have a thought or an idea and you just want to get some feedback on it..don’t hesitate to bounce it in my direction for feedback.


Proud Mama: A Smile in My Heart

This post goes out to all you proud Moms. This is for those of you who have ever doubted whether you got it right, did you get anything right. Yes, each time your child smiles, just know you got it right. There may never be an award, they may never say thank you. They may never realize that the goodness in them is the goodness in you. They won’t admit to a stubborn streak, after all you won’t either.

Children are a gift that unfortunately don’t come with a manual. There are no instructions and we just have to pray we get it right. We put our heart and soul into raising this part of us that to us is our heart walking around outside our body. At times we know we did something right and at other times we aren’t so sure. We try to be a living example and hope that they get it and sometimes they do.

Raising children isn’t easy and as a Mom we find ourselves playing many roles: nurse, teacher, protector, taxi, personal chef, housekeeper and more. Never complaining, okay, maybe occasionally. We find ourselves wearing last year’s fashions, no time for ourselves, the kids come first.

Down to the last brownie in the pan and we really are craving some chocolate, we will never turn down the look on the face of our child that says–but Mom, I really wanted that last brownie. You and I know who is getting the last brownie and who will still be craving chocolate.

As our babies grow through all the stages of life we smile at the moments when they shine. Those moments when they show us that somewhere along the way we got it right. Those moments when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, we got something right. Sometimes it is found in a simple smile and the words “I love you.” Sometimes it is found in the big win at the soccer game. Many times our children shine in ways that only we can see. When our kids shine, we shine. We smile.

Today I had one of those moments. This was a text I received from my youngest daughter.

Just had a lady at CVS come up to me. She said I would probably think she’s crazy but she found this in the parking lot and she saw I have two children so she wanted to give it to me. She handed me 11 cents. I said thank you and yes I have two more kids at school. 🙂 So Sweet!

She could have sent me a message with a totally different tone. She could have said, wow, 11 cents. She could have said, “What does she think I can buy with that?” This text was a shining moment for my daughter, I love you Amanda. It was also a shining moment for me as her mother. With any number of things she could have said and felt, my daughter chose gratitude. That is a moment to shine. I will be smiling about this each time I think about it.

Unlimited Smileage is about all those little moments when we are able to give from the heart. It is also about all those moments when we just sit back and give thanks. Live, love, smile, and be grateful!

I would love to hear about your shining moments as a Mom or a Dad. Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing your great stories.