Friday, October 14, 2011

A Little Zest Anyone?

In my mind, the greatest teachers of how to experience a zest-filled life aren’t the paid actors on television, or the seasoned columnists, or even the well-educated leaders of the world. Such an esteemed honor goes to the best deservers -- to the children in our lives.

In the inquisitive minds and innocent spirits of children, where inventive ideas emerge and creativity flourishes, there is a great pool of discovery brimming that, on any given creative playground, could overflow with Niagara Falls-like power.

Have you ever sat and listened to children play? I mean, really listened? Not with one ear trying to decipher your best friend’s debate over which latte is better, mocha or white chocolate, and the other cued in a child's make believe parades down the great street of imagination. I mean with full concentration. When you do, you’ll soon discover the experience of belly-tickling laughter and giggling marathons (must-haves for zesty living!)—opening your mind to not just what is apparent, but more importantly, to what is not—the area outside the box of your own reality. 

Study a child’s rendition of artwork and you’ll see what I mean. From the earliest portrayal of self-expression through art, my niece was not limited by the famous color-in-the-lines rule. She would run that crayon against the page in every direction that she wanted, and in the end, she would proudly smile and feel good about her unique work of art. She didn’t worry about what her auntie would think of the countless red and purple strokes filtering outside the bold, restrictive lines. She cared only that the colorful lines were hers. The more stray lines of color, the broader her smile grew.   

Self-expression dictates uniqueness. Making something our own. When we learn to stop worrying about what others will think and instead care more for what we will love, we open our hearts to living a life bubbled over with more expression, more passion, more wonder, and a whole lot of zest. 
Hoping your day is filled with wonder, 

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to Chely Wright's LikeMe foundation ( to help provide support, resources and education to LGBT individuals, and their families and friends.

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