Everyone has something that makes them light up. What makes you sparkle? Is it a cute puppy? A genuine smile? A random compliment from a stranger? Yeah - that energy - what is it for you and how can we maintain it?
I know how much I love it when I see puppies - my heart melts at their innocence and cuteness. It's the same warm feeling when someone smiles, happy to see me because I am welcomed in their world. Of course, when out of nowhere I get a, "Wow, love that dress on you - great color!" from a stranger; I stand up taller, feeling beautiful and I have a swagger in my step. All of these moments are awesome and if the world was made up of only rainbows and unicorns, we'd be living in a different reality. (Hmmm...how cool would that be?!) Do we really require someone else to make us sparkle?
Now imagine what the opposite of those examples brings up for you. A bad experience with an angry dog that snarls and bites leaves you shuddering, perhaps? How about a scowl of disapproval from Your Bestie for what you are wearing, doing, or being? Or, what does an unnecessarily rude comment from someone do to you? All of these examples kind of shrinks you into this small ball, right? Bye, bye sparkle.
Isn't it interesting that we allow others to manage our experiences? A person cannot function in both happiness (sparkle) and sadness at the same time. So, how do we stop the oscillating between both energies? What if we can always sparkle by knowing who we are on the inside? Guess what? We can. This means no one can take away our sparkle.
In my practice, I work with clients who have bought into a judgement that someone told them and it killed their sparkle. My job is to help clients change the lie into what's true for them. For example: "I can't wear skirts, my legs are ugly." My first questions are, "Is it true?" or "How do you know?" When I hear the story that created this opinion, I continue to ask questions until we get to the point where we can un-create this belief and step into what's true for that person. Usually this is when one person said something random about "ugly knees" and the client has believed that point of view is theirs.
Kids in particular absorb everything they sense from adults and peers. Deep down kids really just want to please their parents and fit into this reality, so they accept what they are told as true. This is where a child's sparkle disappears. They bought the lie. Let's use my earlier example about the legs. The best way adults can support a child is to show them how to find awareness by asking questions. What do I mean? Well, perhaps you'd say something like, "Don't be silly, your legs are perfect! Who told you that?!" (These words are seemingly supportive and actually dismissive.) What if we ask, "Huh, interesting - is that true for you? What would it take to think differently about your body? Is there something I can do to help you with this?" Kids innately know what they need, so if you stay in question, you can support them in finding their own answer. Knowing and truth creates confidence. Ultimately, if kids learn to ask themselves questions, they can solve their own problems. You, mom and dad, have given your child the best gift of all - that's empowering, isn't it?
When we give kids the chance to figure it out on their own by teaching them the art of asking questions, we help them keep their sparkle. When we stay in question about things, other's judgements have no impact on our sparkle. When we sparkle from the inside, we can enjoy all the sparkle on the outside, too. And, those who try to stamp out our sparkle become nothing but a passing cloud in our day. Maybe someday the world WILL be made up of unicorns and rainbows...
One last thing: I just watched a lovely movie with Brie Larson on Netflix called, The Unicorn Store, which explores what makes you sparkle in this reality. If it resonates with you, check it out!