So my little niece just turned one year old this weekend and I cannot even begin to express the wonder and joy I've experienced getting to know her. Too often with children we think we are the ones teaching them all about life: how to crawl, then walk, how to eat solid foods, and how to behave. And we are. But these little humans are also teaching us valuable lessons too. I can't believe the number of revelations I've had while watching my niece explore her home or experience her first taste of frijoles, mustard, and peaches (she has quite the adventurous palate). But for this blog, I've narrowed down all the things my niece has taught me to five all-encompassing life lessons:
1. Don't over think it. Adults tend to complicate things; we can get so caught up in hectic days or convoluted paths to happiness when the most wonderful things in life are the simplest. Being an auntie has slowed me down and made me get rid of the unnecessary clutter in my life, simply because I do not have energy for anything that seems to weigh me down or makes me feel muddled.
2. Trust your instincts. Remember when I said adults tend to over-think things? Well with a baby in your life, you begin to learn how important instincts are. Take my niece for example: when she likes something, you know it. When she doesn't, well, you know that too. She is ruled by her instincts right now and more often than not, they guide her in the right direction. It made me realize that I, too, should be relying more on my gut-reaction to certain things and not talking myself out of the way I feel. Our instincts are powerful guides on this journey through life; the more we listen to them, the stronger they get.
3. Always leave time for naps. Okay, so sometimes she fights her naps, but she always wakes up so happy and rested after them. And I've found that a sleeping baby is a powerful sedative. She sleeps, I sleep--and feel better for it. As it turns out, I can fight naps too in my effort to get more done in my day. Yet more often than not, a little R&R is better for you that squeezing in one more thing. The marvel of it all is that I usually do end up doing that last thing post-nap just with less fuss and stress because I am rested.
4. Stay playful. Life, after all, is an expression of the joy and abundance we cultivate. Everything is a game to my niece, from blinking to stacking blocks. This is an important reminder to cultivate that exuberant enthusiasm that makes everything feel like play. It also makes you appreciate just how much fun we can have in our daily lives if we stay loose.
5. Keep it magical. Seriously, have you ever seen a baby marvel at the way a flower opens or at the smoothness of a rock? Have you ever watched them trace the pattern on a rug with their tiny fingers or giggle and bounce when a catchy tune comes on? At the end of the day, life is a mystical magical experience and it's important to take the time to marvel at the simple wonders surrounding us.
What have you learned from the little ones in your life?
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