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Jill Allison Bryan : Reframing – Seeing Life Through the Eyes of a Child

Seeing Life Through the Eyes of a Child — What Fun!

By Jill Allison Bryan

The other morning as I worked diligently at my computer, my eight and a half year old daughter, Riley Anna, came in fresh from a good summer night's sleep — the kind where you know you don't have to wake up early for school the next day! Like a cat she curled up in a comfy corner of my reading nook. She yawned, stretched and surveyed my office. A snaggle-tooth grin appeared across her face as she proclaimed, "I love your office, Mama! It's really messy — but everything in it is exciting!"

At first glance, all I could see was piles of stuff that desperately need to be organized and the empty boxes stacked in a corner in which I hoped to someday soon complete said organization (on or before the next millennium would be nice). But Riley Anna's genuine enthusiasm made me take another look, and in a moment I could see it.

There was my electronic keyboard surrounded by songbooks. My guitar hanging on the wall. Partially filled spiral notebooks — their empty pages ripe with the promise and possibility of the new ideas and lyrics that would soon fill them. A beautiful poster of seashells I scored for free from the Gap when they were changing out promotional pieces. A meditation bell. Candles. Piles of art supplies and stacks of inspirational books from my recent creativity retreat. Shells from beach trips. A piece of wood from Colorado. A Chinese lantern hanging in the corner and Tibetan chimes hanging in the window.

Riley Anna was right. I just needed my "Can't you see I'm a serious adult-self" to step aside and let my "Wow! Isn't life cool?" kid-self take a look.

You can do it too! Try this on for fun. Take something in your life that needs your attention (a messy office, an extra-long to-do list, a project you keep putting off) and look at it through the eyes of a child. Watch your messy office transform into an emporium of delights. Enjoy turning your to-do list into your "I get to-do" list. How about giving your project a fun name like "Adventures in Culinary Re-alignment!" (Who knew cleaning out the pantry could be so exciting?)

In creativity coaching, we call that reframing. And it's just one of the many fun and easy ways to live a more creative and fulfilling life. When you've accomplished your task — take yourself out for an ice-cream cone and give yourself a gold star sticker. Your inner child and your grown-up self will love you for it! •

© 2008 Jill Allison Bryan

Jill Allison BryanJill Allison Bryan helps people to experience the joy and fulfillment that creativity can bring to their lives with Creative Oasis Coaching. More »