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31 Days to Shine: 10 Ways to Feel the Shine

October 29, 2013


After twenty-eight days of writing about Shine, I’ve noticed a few things.

Shining comes from within. We choose to shine — it doesn’t happen by accident. We choose to let light shine through our cracks and broken places. It’s a state of being, shiny.

Authentic and vulnerable.

Truthful and courageous.

I think shiny can also be an emotion.

Shiny doesn’t come from being in a hurry. It’s not found in busyness, or even the satisfaction of a completed checklist.

It’s spontaneous. Contagious. And it makes you a little hungry for more. We choose to be authentic and vulnerable. We can choose other things, too. We can choose to be silly. We can choose to slow down. We can choose to laugh, and look for the flowers, not the weeds.

I started compiling a list of times when I feel the shiniest.

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Here are a few tried-and-tested ways to bring out your shine:

Embarrass your kids. Whatever hat or headband your child has made in school that day, wear it on your walk to the car. Proudly. Don’t take it off for the drive home. Wave at passing cars.

Skip. Especially in crowded places. Be bold — once you get your rhythm going you will feel 8 years old. I promise. And your kids will DIE. See point number one.

Sing, loudly, to cheesy music in the car. I highly recommend anything by ABBA. Or the gold standards “Dynamite” and “Call Me Maybe.” Roll the windows down.

Bedtime stories. Climb under the covers and snuggle.  Don’t rush; be sure to make all the animal noises. I have an excellent whinny and an even better gobble. This only comes with practice, practice, practice.

Snuggle in the dark. Look out the window at the night sky together. Some of my favorite memories of the last 10 years are the nights during the Christmas season where my oldest and I lay in his bed and look out at the  lights outside.

Conquer the cranks with crazy. When your kids are fighting over a toy, confiscate it, and then do something ridiculous. Last night I put two electric candles that were in competition into my eye sockets and pretended I could still see. I walked around like that for a while.

Take a tip from Steve Carell. Use silly voices when organizing chores or house cleaning. I have a character called Nadya Tashakominichiva who sounds oddly similar to Gru from Despicable Me. I order my minions around. They love it.

Tickle fights. Let them tickle back.

Nap with a teddy bear. I dare you. A friend gave me the softest bear right after I had a major surgery and I slept with him for days before the boys kidnapped him. It really was a comfort, especially when I was home alone recovering. Cats will come and go, but a bear is a friend at all times.

Scratch a cat under the chin. Or a dog on the belly. Just scratch. Don’t be in a hurry, don’t think about how they really should be brushed, or isn’t it about time to trim her nails, or should I vacuum before I go to bed?… just scratch.

What are the moments when you feel the shiniest?


Have you missed a post? Check out the entire series 31 Days to Shine.

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