What did you love doing as a child?
When I started to explore this question my world opened up. I found that the things that had led me to my greatest successes were the things I had discovered before the age of ten, which were:
Reading and Writing
As a child I loved to read and write. I remember reading my first book at age four, sounding out the single words on the page and falling into my own idea of heaven. Reading gave me an opportunity to make connections and learn. I was quick to grasp reading and was soon that child who constantly had “her nose in a book.”. I often joke that unlike the majority of parents who are constantly pushing their children to read, my parents complained at my constant reading. “Will you just put that damned book down!” or “For goodness sake, put that book down and go outside to play.”
I also spent hours writing stories and creating written adventures for us to role play. Sadly, my handwriting was appalling and I soon started to take on the message that “your writing is terrible”, interpreting this to mean that it wasn’t just how I was writing that was terrible but what I was writing too. It took me a long time and a lot of re-learning to rediscover my confidence in my writing.
Fortunately, there was nothing my parents could do to dampen my enthusiasm for books as they were also the great escape from my challenging childhood. However, I definitely felt some embarrassment and discomfort because of my love of books, which took me a while to overcome.
I also loved to dress up, play with makeup, sing and dance. At nine years old the thing I loved to do most was dress up as Madonna. I’d don full makeup, masses of pearls, messy hair with head scarves, and sing my heart out whilst creating dances with my friends. I was often picked on for my desire to dress “differently” and my seemingly inherent desire to be glamorous.
For some years I denied myself this pleasure. Not feeling worthy and struggling with Inflammatory Bowel Disease left me feeling far from glamorous. In 2009 when I finally gave myself permission to embrace this side of me my life took on new meaning. Dressing up has lead to so many truly awesome experiences that have come from my soul. You can read more about that over at Lottie’s Story, where you’ll discover I’ve become quite the pro at dressing up and dancing my way through life.
My young self knew exactly what spoke to my soul. Wow, I’m writing this and crying my heart out. Oh my gosh, if you could see me now, I’m a snotty mess! But it’s because when your soul speaks it’s INTENSE. I still feel incredible gratitude and relief that I re-discovered these things about myself and learned to honor them.
I hope you have this experience. Please explore what you loved doing as a child and continue with the YOUnicorn challenge. You deserve it and I believe your soul wants and maybe even needs this.
With all of my love,
Photo Credit: Kelly Hsiao