My inner child dances

Way back in the 80s, it was cool to get in touch with your inner child. People who had more than the ideal amount of responsibility or discipline foisted on them as children were encouraged to enjoy some of the fun and love they had missed.

The ideal many of us felt so cheated on was based less on real life and more on sitcoms, before TV families become dysfunctional. It got out of hand when some zealots started toting around teddy bears.

Still, much of this philosophy is relevant and inspiring, as I was reminded this week when I attended a seminar about uncovering your brilliance. The morning was laden with cheery aphorisms and acronyms, helpful prods to put me back on track, but not much new or profound. Or so I assumed.

But then the leaders, Carolyn Ellis and Jan Marie Dore, insisted we go back to our childhood and visualize what brought us joy.

My mind immediately rewound to a scene of me, around two or three, dancing. My mother, a talented singer and pianist, had given me a record player and children’s classical albums. Swaying and spinning to Hall of the Mountain King, March of the Toreadors or the Dance of the Sugarplumb Fairy –I can still feel it.

Even better was dancing for an audience, which I did every time my parents had guests. I was too “heavy-footed,” as they tactfully said, to dream of becoming a prima ballerina. But I enjoyed the chuckles the grownups politely tried to conceal when I tripped or fell, then turned to the audience and earnestly explained it was supposed to be part of the dance.

Throughout my childhood, I continued performing in ballet, tap and jazz shows, piano recitals, choir concerts, church services, school plays and more. Then I became a teenager and stopped because I was self-conscious and my genres were not hip. What a shame.

As an adult, I’ve written for many business and political performers, but remained back stage until recent years, when I’ve tentatively eased toward the spotlight. My sense of humour, once dulled by serious business, is shining brighter too.

I love it. The seminar confirmed I need to keep reclaiming this brilliance.

If you missed those earlier chicken soup, self-discovery movements, don’t despair. Just think about what made you happy as a child and how you might apply it to your life today. It’s so easy.

But please, no teddy bears, in public at least.


3 Responses

  1. Yes I was also taken back to times in the country in southern Ontario, running through the back fields as a child. The overall sense of joy that I had when I was helping others in our group was the main thought that poked through.

    I enjoyed the session with Jan and Carolyn a lot and especially liked meeting the other women in the group. Expanding the friend circle is always great.


  2. Barb, I could see that joyful part of you shining through in the room. You had a twinkle in your eye as you thought about what brings you joy.

    Keep reclaiming your brilliance. Your sense of humour and love of performing are true gifts.

    I do hope our paths will cross again!

  3. Great post Barb and so wonderful to have you with us at the seminar! I hope your post serves as a reminder all of us involved in the “serious” task of running our businesses that the joy and freedom of our brilliance is actually an important ingredient to our success, not something we should only tune into during our “spare” time.

    Thanks for bringing your joy and wisdom to us!

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