The key to less stress and living longer is not what you think

Recently I talked to my 8-year-old granddaughter, Ella, and told her that I had a dream that she would lead a retreat with me one day when she's older. 

I explained to her what a retreat was and she said, “I'd love to do that.”

And then I said, "what part would you lead?"

She said “I dunno.” 

And I said, “well, maybe you could remind women how to play.”

She looked at me in disbelief and said “what”? 

I told her that sometimes adults forget how to play. 

She looked at me as if I was from another planet. 

In her little mind, not knowing how to play was incomprehensible. 

 That day, I realized that I, too, had forgotten how to play.

It began raining that same afternoon. Both Ella and her sister Katie ran out fully dressed and they did what kids do…relished in playing in the rain, laughing, yelling, and having the time of their lives. 

Tapping into my younger self

For once, I decided not to be an adult. I listened to the younger part of myself who said…"go, go, go have fun with them."

And so I did. 

I ran outside, too, fully dressed, not caring about anything except feeling the freedom of just being in the rain. 

We laughed and giggled, opening our mouths to taste the rain and looking up at the sky to feel the soft drops fall on our faces. We ran through the mud, we skipped, and we jumped up in the air. 

I felt free and wild again. I couldn’t stop laughing. 

Our clothes, and our hair, were soaked to the absolute bone.

In these moments that I’ll forever treasure, l realized how precious it was to be with these granddaughters and how this was truly my self-care. 

There’s so much about this simple childlike experience that’s important to learn from. 

Living in the present moment

Children know how to play. Ella and Katie don’t think about or plan what they're going to do to play, they just play. Nor does their little brother, Rob. That's what children do. They’re in the moment. 

When we as adults focus on the present moment that we're in, we’re not thinking about the to-do list or what we’re going to have for dinner, or what the state of the world is. We're free, and we're in the moment enjoying the here and now. 

Learning lessons from children

And we don't have to schedule the time we're going to give to ourselves or how we're going to take care of ourselves. We can learn from children.  

Do you want to know how to be less stressed? How to live longer? 


Be in the moment. 

Do something that brings you joy. 


Hang out with an 8-year-old

If you’re wondering how to fit self-care into your day, you're not alone. We adults struggle to fit it all in. And sometimes if you're like me, you just want to run away from your life or stop feeling so overwhelmed. Just remember what brings you joy. And do that.  You’ll learn the secret of real self-care. 

What will you do for yourself, to be in the moment, today to feel really free? 

No matter where you are, stop and forget about the problems in your life, and in the world, and do something for yourself that brings you joy and has you be in this very moment. 

That’s what real self-care is. 

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