Each summer, I’m lucky to spend a week or two with my niece and I am always amazed. It’s a refreshing perspective to watch the world through a young one’s eyes. When Skylar is purposely focused, creating a detailed, drawn-out story around something as seemingly minuscule as a stick outside, for instance, I gain insight into what it means to truly live in the moment and experience life passionately.
Skylar likes to write poetry, she loves to make up stories and she relishes in make-believe. She even creates her own language complete with definitions. On one particular day of playing school this summer, “teacher” Sky told “student” Auntie T there are a few rules everyone must live by. Wow, she’s wise beyond her years. I was so intrigued that I felt compelled to write these down. I asked Sky if I could mark these on this blog. Of course, that brought up a whole new conversation on blogging. She couldn’t wait to tell mom and dad! 🙂
- Laugh every day. Skylar’s right – laughter is indeed the best medicine. We change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and core, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster. It’s a mild workout, if you will, for your psyche. Come to think, I just looked this up and found a laughter researcher (what a happy job!), William Fry, who claimed it takes ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter. I’m not so sure that exact amount of time holds true for everyone – I know my own heart rate elevates more rapidly during exercise. In any case, there’s no argument to the claim that laughter does wonders for us.
2. Be happy. This one truly is a choice . . . Skylar gets it right again! According to Thérèse Jacobs-Stewart, whether we realize it or not, we choose the thoughts that run through our heads and, thus, can choose feelings of happiness. Thoughts turn to our reality. I always err on the happy side. How about you?!
3. Listen to mom and dad, not strangers. This one was music to her parent’s ears. Young or old, we should all listen more carefully to what our parents are saying or said, and be grateful for our time with them, shouldn’t we? As for the strangers, it’s important to make friends but take heed of those that don’t follow the rules on this page.
4. Don’t be mad or sad. I agree with Sky that we can choose to not be mad or sad. Recognize and ride out those feelings but don’t let them take over. Forgive, keep on keeping, and be grateful for what you have. Holding onto the smallest ounce of negativity toward the past can lead to losing precious people in our lives.
5. Always, always, always LOL. She actually used the acronym when she said this one. I love how she came full circle, back to laughter. She indeed recognizes its significance. So there you have it, life as it should be according to a six-year old. It really is this simple. Period. Sometimes we need a young one to remind us.