What nurtures the little child inside?

Baby photos with her family pictures taken with Charlotte NC children's photographer.My daughter has loved and believed in magic her whole life & I wouldn’t change it for anything!! She has always enjoyed the magic of a jolly, fat man bringing good will and gifts to cheer children. She has had a family of fairies that she has fed chocolate brownies on mini tea sets. We have made fairy houses since she was little. We have had every magical holiday possible, even our very own, made up holiday on May 1st that we celebrate as “Fairy day.” Her childhood has been full of magic, whimsy and wonder.

So, a few of her younger cousins have adored my daughter’s whimsical fairy land & always watch and wonder as she tells them imaginative stories of magic. My daughter loves to nurture the wonder and magic in her tiny cousins. It is so fun!!

So, a couple of these tiny cousins (who are under the age of 10) have wished and made their own fairy houses in hopes of having their own piece of magic. Well, I happened to find a couple of the same fairies that my daughter has on Amazon for a crazy low price, so I told my daughter that maybe we should surprise her little cousins & leave them on their door step with a special fairy note. My daughter was SO excited and knew the little girls would LOVE it!! We put our plan into action, ordered them & then went about delivering them.

It was SO FUN!! One of her tiny cousins parents were going on an overnighter, so we were invited to come over for the evening and play. We knew this would fit very well into our fairy delivery. We went and played for a couple of hours, I snuck out of their house & grabbed the fairy from my car & left it on their porch. About an hour later the kids were all walking out the front door to go on and walk & what did they find???

A special fairy box with a note addressed to the two youngest little girls. They were SO excited & instantly began trying to figure out where to put the fairy, how to make her bed…it was a flurry of excitement. Even the young boys in the family began talking about making a ladder and hammock out of sticks and leaves. It turned into a creative spring of JOY for everyone!! It was so fun. Their little imaginations ran wild with excitement. It went on for hours…special lighting, a special rock for food, an acorn trail…It was so fun!!

The next day when the parents arrived home to hear all about the new arrival, their Dad told them he didn’t believe in fairies.

I heard this and my heart sank. I felt so bad.

So, my question is this. Who nurtures imagination and creativity? Children are naturally creative and have an imagination, but if adults so easily squash the magic, the whimsy, the imagination—what happens?

I think we have a role as parents to encourage creative play, to foster their imagination, to ‘play along’ to help them develop their own stories, to write their own endings & not have the ‘adult’ come in and squash the child dreams or the childlike wonder that seeks to find its voice. That is my opinion.

I think this video (below) perfectly illustrates the child vs the adult perspective. Perspectives change, so let our children be little, let them dream, let them imagine having mermaid tails or shark mouths. Let them be little. Let them create their world of their youth, because the world will take it away soon enough. If we don’t nurture their childhood, who will?

I LOVE this video. Enjoy.

Nurture their dreams, put them to bed with stories of wonder, give them gifts that delight in magic. Childhood is too short, so let them be dreamers, creators and let us help them explore their imaginations.

This is also a great video on this topic. Love it!!

Here is another article on ways to nurture your child’s imagination https://www.bubhub.com.au/hubbub-blog/5-simple-ways-to-nurture-your-childs-imagination/

Have a beautiful day.  -H

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Oh, the difference of gratitude

My husband just left to head back to his RV home in Reno, NV. We are big fans of Survivor, so we are now affectionately calling his other home—RENO ISLAND (like Redemption Island). We figure the two are similar–a place where he finds his own food, works to help us survive and is away from everything he loves and appreciates. He is on his own.

I have to constantly say to myself that there is a point to our separation—A JOB=MONEY=SURIVAL! So, I am beginning to think it does have something to do with ‘the root of all evil!’ haha. Smile.

I woke up this morning thinking–Why coudn’t everyone just live in a tropical paradise, live off the land, have no money worries… & I was quickly brought back to reality…probably because most of us have seen Survivor & know you just get eaten alive in one way or another!! haha. bugs…people…weather…

So, as my sweet husband drove away yesterday & the tears rolled down my face & my daughters, I have to remember to have a grateful heart. Gratitude is everything in any situation. You can either decide to be consumed by frustration and anger, or find a place within your heart to be grateful.

So, this morning I am adding some quotes to help me feel more gratitude & to focus on the gift of it in all we do.

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I am banking on the above quote—We will NOT be the same people after two months. I do not believe we are the same people after two weeks of being apart. My gratitude for my husband made me appreciate a deeper level of appreciation for him, this sacrifice, his everything. I appreciated hearing his whistle even more. I hugged him even tighter. I cried even harder this second time he left. I believe through the struggle we become stronger in some way.

beattieI have always loved this quote because it is so true. I am still waiting for the feeling of confusion to turn to clarity, but every experience is what you turn it into. I pray we can turn this into an even better vision for tomorrow.

f133e80473302b7638795925c1450a3c--gratitude-ideas-gratitude-jarYou can always find so many things you are grateful for right now!! Since my husband has been gone he has mentioned a few of the ‘comforts of home’ he misses. It may sound funny, but he missed the cheese & bread we usually buy. He misses going to our local gas station & buying his favorite soda. He misses our shower, because now he showers in either a KOA shower (used by numerous people) or his tiny RV stall (which is 3 x 3). I am not complaining. We are extremely grateful for the RV. We are by no means destitute or living on the street, but I know this experience will help us learn a few things about ourselves, our relationship and all that we take for granted. Think of some things you take for granted & are grateful for. LIST THEM.

e9424d4583308720a3c9c96973a07495I am grateful to have my little family, even though we are apart. Separation truly does make the heart grow fonder. (I have learned that!). I am grateful to breathe, to smile, to walk, to smell fresh air, to take warm showers, to see the beautiful, blue sky, to hug my daughter, to talk on a phone, to have my parents still close, to have a home, to have a job, to have clean water, to live in freedom, to have a healthy body that can move, to walk through forests, to feel the sunlight upon my face, to play with my dog, to dream, to create, to write, to have an abundance of food, to hear my dog bark (haha–he is crazy), to see butterflies, to see the change in light outside, to…there are so many things if we take a moment to notice. What are you grateful for? Think about it.

THANK YOU. I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOU! Have a BEAUTIFUL DAY! Make it AMAZING. It is what you make it!  -H

The energy of it all!

CrLr9lHUIAAq-17I don’t know about you, but I have been a constant life learner. I have always been in ah of how the seasons change, wondered why ocean fish swim in circles as if a secret rhythm was singing to them or listened to crickets harmonize at night in a rhythmic pattern no one can dismiss. Nature is full of wondrous surprises and patterns that make us all find connections.

A couple of days ago I had an amazing experience. Don’t get me wrong, I have had numerous amazements when nature is involved, but this was something to behold. Me, my daughter and our little dog went outside to water some plants. A black and white butterfly started dancing above my daughters head and gently tap her headband. Just for fun I threw my hands up in the air, fingers stretched and said, “come over here.” The butterfly flew and danced around my arm & then gently landed on my finger. It delighted me, but I was not shocked because I have had butterflies and dragonflies land on me before. (Don’t get me wrong–every time is whimsical and very joy filled!)). I LOVE IT!

My daughter stretched out her arms, but the butterfly would just circle around her almost teasing her. It fluttered about for awhile & would periodically come and land on me again (4 times). But, as I watched this little black and white, tissue like spirit I saw something I have never seen.

We live near a walking path and my little dog LOVEs to chase bikers, runners, anyone who moves down this path, so of course someone goes by & my little dog takes off running. The funny thing, this little butterfly did the same thing. It would fly right above my little dog as if chasing something. I couldn’t believe how fast this little butterfly would go. My dog would wiz past (and he is fast) & the butterfly took on the challenge & flew in turbo mode right above him. It was as if it felt his energy & jumped into a wave of my dog’s energy. It was crazy!! It happened numerous times & then the little butterfly would take a break, land on a leaf and after a few minutes, would chase my little dog & follow him. It was so incredible. I have never seen anything like it.

Talk about energy. For this little butterfly to want friends, to land on me not once, but four different times & then to see it chase our little dog…priceless. unbelievable.

I know it may sound crazy, but its true. Nature is always full of surprises.

 

I wanted to find some other BUTTERFLY stories that can inspire. Enjoy.

blue-morpho-butterfly-headerTHE BLUE BUTTERFLY

There are lots of kids who love running around and catching insects in jars, but it’s different for young Pete Carlton. Pete has cancer, and according to the doctors, it’s not going to get better. Instead of giving up hope, though, Pete has a dream of catching the rare Amazonian blue morpho butterfly. With the help of his mother, and a famous entomologist, Pete sets out on a transformative journey that touches everyone around him. This is the premise of the Canadian film The Blue Butterfly, and the best part is, it’s based on a true story.

The real life Pete Carlton is one David Marenger, also once a young Canadian boy given 24 months to live before likely succumbing to brain cancer. David was only six years old. Instead of writing to a famous entomologist to get to the Amazon like Pete, however, it was the Children’s Wish Foundation that heard of his love of butterflies, and his deep-rooted desire to seek the vibrant blue morpho. The foundation granted him that trip to Mexico, along with a Montreal entomologist, George Brossard. The young boy was so sickly that, much like Pete, he had to be carried by his entomologist friend through his trip.

The efforts were not in vain, however. Something changed in that jungle, something truly miraculous. After a long journey, David managed to find the blue butterfly. He went home, and the doctors found that the cancer in his head was shrinking instead of growing. David went into remission, and astonished those doctors by continuing to get better.

Decades later, David stood in the jungle again during the filming of The Blue Butterfly, a rare morpho in his hand. This time, though, he was standing, unaided, healthy, happy, 30 years old.

Do miracles exist?

Hope, belief and perseverance are what David counts as the cures to his ‘terminal’ disease. Like the real-life protagonist, The Blue Butterfly hero, Pete, chases the butterfly through the jungle, seeking hope and meaning behind what anyone would consider a tragic occurrence. Why is he the one who has cancer? Why does this have to hurt his mom? Why can’t he be like other kids? The Blue Butterfly’s beautiful juxtaposition of mysticism and scientific study doesn’t answer all the questions explicitly, but instead demonstrates the power of love and belief.

We’re all looking for answers, aren’t we? However, as demonstrated by Pete, sometimes we don’t need all the answers. Sometimes, all we need is a miracle in the form of hope. -taken from Gaia.com. (there is a movie based on this story apparently)

 

UnknownA MIRACLE ON ITS OWN

Or consider the monarch’s metamorphosis. After the caterpillar builds a chrysalis around itself, it releases a chemical that turns its insides to mush—no perceptible parts. Somehow from this emerges the brain, internal parts, head, legs, and wings of a butterfly.

One butterfly expert said, “The creation of the body of a caterpillar into the body and wings of a butterfly is, without doubt, one of the wonders of life on earth.” Another expert feels that this metamorphosis is “rightly regarded as a miracle.” -odb.org

Here is more on this idea & its correlation with us as individuals.

 

 

BUTTERFLY SYMBOLISM: Here is a great article on symbolism in different cultures & more https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/Butterflies-Symbols-of-Life-and-Hope

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Have a beautiful day. Know all is well & that life is full of changes and surprises. Know there is an energy that whirls around us and envelopes us with love…if we look for it.

Peace and love to you today.  -H

 

Great thoughts for life!

Happiness: A Letter From Richard Branson To A Fan

By Sunny Skyz • June 5, 2017

Dear Stranger,

You don’t know me but I hear you are going through a tough time, and I would like to help you. I want to be open and honest with you, and let you know that happiness isn’t something just afforded to a special few. It can be yours, if you take the time to let it grow.

It’s OK to be stressed, scared and sad, I certainly have been throughout my 66 years. I’ve confronted my biggest fears time and time again. I’ve cheated death on many adventures, seen loved ones pass away, failed in business, minced my words in front of tough audiences, and had my heart broken.

I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary life, and that most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But they haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy.

So many people get caught up in doing what they think will make them happy but, in my opinion, this is where they fail. Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being. In order to be happy, you need to think consciously about it. Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to write a to-be list too.

Kids are often asked: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The world expects grandiose aspirations: ‘I want to be a writer, a doctor, the prime minister.’ They’re told: go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, and then you’ll be happy. But that’s all about doing, not being – and while doing will bring you moments of joy, it won’t necessarily reward you with lasting happiness.

Stop and breathe. Be healthy. Be around your friends and family. Be there for someone, and let someone be there for you. Be bold. Just be for a minute.

If you allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment, happiness will follow. I speak from experience. We’ve built a business empire, joined conversations about the future of our planet, attended many memorable parties and met many unforgettable people. And while these things have brought me great joy, it’s the moments that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that have given me true happiness. Why? Because allowing yourself just to be, puts things into perspective. Try it. Be still. Be present.

For me, it’s watching the flamingos fly across Necker Island at dusk. It’s holding my new grandchild’s tiny hands. It’s looking up at the stars and dreaming of seeing them up close one day. It’s listening to my family’s dinner-time debates. It’s the smile on a stranger’s face, the smell of rain, the ripple of a wave, the wind across the sand. It’s the first snow fall of winter, and the last storm of summer. It’s sunrise and sunset.

There’s a reason we’re called human beings and not human doings. As human beings we have the ability to think, move and communicate in a heightened way. We can cooperate, understand, reconcile and love, that’s what sets us apart from most other species.

Don’t waste your human talents by stressing about nominal things, or that which you cannot change. If you take the time simply to be and appreciate the fruits of life, your stresses will begin to dissolve, and you will be happier.

But don’t just seek happiness when you’re down. Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit. Take the focus off doing, and start being every day. Be loving, be grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your own thoughts.

Allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment. Take the focus off everything you think you need to do, and start being – I promise you, happiness will follow.

Happy regards,

Richard Branson
Read more at http://www.sunnyskyz.com/feel-good-story/2660/Happiness-A-Letter-From-Richard-Branson-To-A-Fan#veBw27HM58h2pIXz.99

I love that letter!! I bolded some of my favorite parts. Below are some other great thoughts by people who have given so many beautiful gifts to the world. Great words inspire great thoughts, which inspire greater action within each of us. Make today a little better than yesterday!24534-Lao-Tzu-Quote-Care-about-what-other-people-think-and-you-willPaulo-Coelho-Quotes-41f17c9dd193c61e0335240d8a2ffffcb8--the-alchemist-paulo-coelho.jpgextc271040b555a83de1d937569ecd8b4b7--yoga-inspirational-quotes-great-quotesAAEAAQAAAAAAAAXdAAAAJGJmMjI2NWI2LTU4OTktNGY0Zi1iODQwLTczYTlkZDlkNjljYgmarianne-williamson-quote-11247249-Elizabeth-Lesser-Quote-How-strange-that-the-nature-of-life-isnice-love-quotes-thoughts-mother-teresa-judge-time-best-greatQuotes-From-Elizabeth-Gilbert-Big-Magic

Well, I hope these thoughts and ideas inspire you to be a little better today. Have a beautiful day and a bright, shining life!  Peace to you. -H

Find your YOUniqueness!

570fd34c4dd35c2149fcb5e0ed7879da--epic-quotes-godly-quotesMy daughter has been going to a summer camp this week at our local aquarium. She has been learning from all sorts of people–some love to scuba-dive, some love ‘cats’, some train the parrots, one guy loves toads and another guy LOVES coral.

As I have sat and listened to my daughter explain these various people, my mind truly connected on how different each and every one of us are. We each have our own strengths. We each have our own ‘loves.’ We each are drawn to various things. We are each so very unique! It was truly an aha that someone could truly become so attracted and drawn to coral. Who would have thought!! But that just shows how the world is full of variety on every level. Each and every individual is suppose to unearth their ‘YOUniqueness’! Their one and only gift to the world. The things that make them come alive.

That makes me think of this great quote:164351-don-t-ask-what-the-world-needs-quote

Here are some tips and tricks to unearth a deeper, bigger part of YOU.

Look at your passions/gifts/strengths: What do you enjoy doing? What could you do for hours and not get tired of doing it? Look at your hobbies & evaluate what you enjoy about them. Figure out what you are good at, what you enjoy, what lights you up & build on that.

Look at your strengths and build on them: I truly believe investing in yourself is a great step in moving forward in developing yourself. Take a class you are drawn to, but have been avoiding because of feeling uncomfortable. Take time to read something that will lift and build your life. Learn something new each day. Practice something you excel in each day (even if it is only 15 minutes). Take a strengths test–see link below.

Don’t ever compare yourself to anyone else: You are YOU! You have your own unique qualities and characteristics, so when you compare yourself to others, you are desiring to become more like them & NOT yourself. Practice seeing YOUR unique life gifts and the great things you do.

Don’t shrink so others feel comfortable: I think society makes many of us feel like we need to wear certain things, drive certain cars, participate in all the fads, have the “best” things, etc. I think we sometimes put our own styles aside to fit in. I think we say things to fit in. I think we do things, buy things, talk about certain things to fit in. How does that serve the world?? If we all become exactly the same & shrink so we ‘fit in,’ how is that shining our uniqueness for the world to embrace?  That reminds me of another great quote–one of my favorites.

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Take a fun test to learn about your strengths & personality traits: There are all kinds of personality and strengths tests out there. Find one that sounds interesting to YOU. I have taken a couple–The Strengths Test (StrengthsFinder by Tom Rath–which helps you identify different strength qualities you have). Recently I took the free 16personalities.com test & that was a fun test to take. The tests are fun just to see how accurate you feel they are & give you additional insight to you in a different way. Try it & see what you learn about yourself.

Here is another article with some tips: Top 10 Ways to Discover your unique gift. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-berman-fortgang/personal-development_b_1925875.html

Great article with some additional ideas to help you seek your YOU.  http://www.yoursuccessprogram.com/blog/19-steps-to-becoming-your-unique-self/

A list of different ted talks to help you find your purpose: https://www.ted.com/playlists/313/talks_to_help_you_find_your_pu

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Have a BeYOUtiful day!!