The Best Advice I Ever Received Came from My Toddler

I can still see the toes of my daughter’s tiny hot pink hiking boots tapping together as she sat staring straight ahead, slightly embarrassed by the goings on around her.  Never contemptuous yet a bit a dismissive, she watched out of her peripheral vision as the other toddlers and parents did the hokey pokey. 

It was the only part of story hour she disliked. 

She was there for the stories and neither needed nor wanted help getting the wiggles out.  She arrived ready. 

Just shy of two, Molly was already teaching me the importance of being uniquely and unequivocally herself.  She didn’t want to dance and sing so she chose not to, despite my coaxing. 

I was raised to conform and to fit in — to do as others were doing — to color inside the lines and not make a fuss.  And I was trying to raise her the same way. 

Yet Molly would have none of it and it was through her quiet determination to not participate in the hokey pokey that she taught me an invaluable lesson.

Just be you. 

She was most comfortable sitting and waiting for story time to begin.  It was I who was embarrassed.

Oh for the love of those tiny hot pink hiking boots, tap, tap, tapping as I sat uncomfortably beside her, wishing she would conform. 

I’ve never been more thankful to fail; forever grateful that Molly didn’t give into the ease of conformity. 

Many years have come and gone since we sat there waiting for the hokey pokey to end but the advice Molly modeled is still as relevant today as it was then.

Be you. Each. And. Every. Day. 

Hold on fiercely to who you are and don’t ever let anyone else make you feel less than for being unapologetically you; including yourself. 

While a lot of money is made off of our believing that we are faulty or incomplete, it’s just not true.  Diet, fashion, beauty and big pharma (to name but a few) all want us to believe we’re flawed and spend billions (with a B) of dollars each year to remind us of that.

Instead of falling for societies version of ideal, I beg you to instead try what my not quite 2-year old daughter knew. 

Be you. That, in its simplicity, is your gift to this world.

Want to learn more about the hokey pokey? This article covers the sacred dance in great detail! 

Want to learn more about just being you?  Writing about your past can help bring the authentic you into focus as can individual coaching