How do you feel about toy stores?
I am stuck in the part of the time-line of my life in between having small kids and acquiring grand-children. So for me, toys are not a big part of my life.
So I have instituted a new rule in my life. I declare I will never pass by a toy store without going in.
The toy store: a wonderland of fun, inspiration and a way to transport ourselves out of our normally boring adult world.
Chalk full of colors, shapes and sounds that delight – the toy store can instantly transport us back to our youth or our young parenting days.
On my most recent trip to the toy store something special was screaming out, “Buy me, take me home!” And I did! Guess what I bought?
A kaleidoscope. And it’s beautiful. I love it. I love looking at it, turning it, discovering new, intricate patterns in it. It’s almost meditative, putting me in a Zen-like state when I take a few minutes out of my life to peer into its little portal that transports me to a new world.
During a recent morning view I realized why I just had to have that kaleidoscope: it has many secrets to reveal and many parallels to real life. This quiet little toy spoke to me and this is what it said:
- Go toward the light. The kaleidoscope doesn’t do so well when it’s pointed towards the dark, but face it toward the light and wow, its beauty can shine through. Life’s like that, too. Surround yourself with people who personify ‘light’ and they will help you shine. Not to say ignore you should those who are ‘dark,’ but recognize who in your world lights you up and who makes you feel dark. Establish clear boundaries so you can spend more time in your light.
- Turn slowly. If you turn the kaleidoscope quickly you miss so much of the beauty that it holds, but if you turn it slowly you can see and appreciate so much more. Life’s like that, isn’t it? When we are whipping through life we miss so much of the beauty. The crescent moon, fabulous scent of an orange, the luxurious feel of the lotion on our skin, the gentle smile on a contented face. Turn your kaleidoscope slowly, take some time to move purposefully and slowly through parts of your day and pay attention to the little things that make your world special
- The beauty is in the many. The kaleidoscope is made up of many individual parts, but the magic happens when all the single parts collaborate to create something better together than they were individually. Life’s like that. We are all special, unique individuals, but when we pair and partner with others and share our gifts we can really shine. When we count on others on the team to bring their gifts to the table, we can really create a wow experience together.
- The beauty is in the difference. The kaleidoscope is made out many different colors and different shapes. If the inner workings were all the same, it would be a pretty boring toy. Life’s like that. Even though we sometimes want other people to think like us and act like us imagine how boring life would be if we were all the same. Appreciating the differences that each individual brings to the table allows us to create a rich experience.
- The beauty is in the movement. Peering into a kaleidoscope is pretty but it’s not until you start turning its wheel that you get the true experience that the toy can provide. Life’s like that. You can sit on the sidelines of life and be a spectator, you can watch other people living and trying and failing and succeeding and playing and having fun. You are safe and content, but you are not living the breadth of your life until you get up and move. Falling forward, experiencing new things that challenge you to live bigger, better and more joyfully – that’s what Living Your Life Unlimited is all about.
- The beauty is in the reflection. A kaleidoscope reflects what it sees. Life’s like that, too. Your life is a mirror: put out negativity and that is what you will see; put out positivity and it will be reflected back to you tenfold.
And so, I thank my beautiful kaleidoscope for reminding me of these important life lessons: the beauty is indeed in the reflection, the movement, the difference, the many, the slowing down and turning toward the light.
Keep shining, Steph 🙂
Stephanie Staples, CSP* is the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success and an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker. She empowers audiences & clients across North America to bring their ‘A’ game to work and to life. Stephanie has a special interest in working with and empowering nurses and healthcare providers. She happily calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home. You can get loads of complimentary resources to help with issues such as work/life balance, wellness, stress management and happiness in general, as well as find out more information about her coaching and speaking services at http://www.YourLifeUnlimited.ca. * Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), conferred by the National Speakers Association is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform proficiency. Less than 10 percent of speakers have earned this credential and are recognized as some of the best in their fields. Stephanie was one of only five professional speakers in Canada (and the only woman) to attain this designation in 2013.