Spiritual Sisters

Spiritual Healing Serene Salad

Spiritual Voices Creativity Bakery

Spiritual Inspiration TeaRoom

Inner Sanctuary Growth Brew

Spirituality In The WorkPlace

Spiritual Parenting PlayRoom

Angels Miracles & Noble Deeds

Spirituality Message Boards

Getting the Right Start

    One night several months ago, without thinking much about it, I got on my knees beside my daughter's bed, and with the help of a couple of her stuffed animals, entertained Kelsey at bedtime. She christened the event a "Show" and suddenly was expecting a "Show" every night as a bedtime routine. I started to add more animals, each with their distinctive (or at least as distinctive as I could make them) voice.

    After a couple of weeks, I realized I had created a learning opportunity - Kelsey was remembering the "Show" from the previous night. I decided to seize this learning opportunity to impress on her some important life lessons (which is what I try to do here each month). It was a great learning opportunity for several reasons - she was truly interested, the timing was good because right before bed is a good time to impress new things in our mind, and I would be able to repeat these messages in future Shows. The first lesson was to help her be less, well, grumpy in the morning.

    I put together a little rhyme that I would have Teddy teach her about how to wake up in a more positive way. It went like this:

    "Stretch your arms
    stretch your legs
    wiggle your toes,
    Look up and say,
    'Oh what a beautiful day!'"

    I repeated the rhyme in my mind a few times to make sure I had it ready for Teddy that night. That Show included several animals discussing how to start the day happily and why it was important. Then Teddy (the emcee of most Shows) talked about how important it was to begin your day by preparing your mind and body (ok, so I talked about that in the language of four year olds). Then Teddy gave Kelsey his advice, saying. "When you wake up in the morning Miss Kelsey, the first thing to do is:

    Stretch your arms
    stretch your legs
    wiggle your toes,
    Look up and say,
    'Oh what a beautiful day!'"

    Teddy and Kelsey repeated the rhyme until she could remember it -- so that it would have a chance to have an impact beyond evening entertainment.

    In future Shows Teddy and I added other messages about sharing and kindness and other things that related to what she was learning in her life, but we always reinforced an earlier lesson. And most often, this review included asking Kelsey what she would do first thing when she woke up.

    Shows don't happen as often now as they once did. But the lesson of how to wake up is now a part of our lives. If I have the pleasure of waking her in the morning, we do what the poem says while reciting it. And while she can still be a bit grumpy in the morning, I'd like to think the lesson has helped at least a little.

    Adult Lessons

    The lessons from this story are many, from the ways I helped the learning stick with Kelsey, to the truly good advice that is contained in the short poem I composed. Physiologists tell us we need to stretch our muscles when we first awaken. Our bodies have been inactive for several hours and need to be reinvigorated before we jump up and head into our day. We also know that we benefit by putting positive thoughts in our minds first thing in the morning (or at any time during the day for that matter).

    I encourage you to think about Kelsey's Show and think about how you start your day. Beyond that, though, I want you to think about how you start:

    • your week
    • new project
    • new job
    • new relationship
    • and a New Year

    We can make choices at the beginning of all of these events that will improve our success. We can get off to a better start, with more momentum, greater vitality and excitement - and we can do all of those things by taking time to think about the importance of beginning. Maybe you will write yourself a checklist, a poem or a prayer. You know what you need to do, if you just take the time to think about it.

    Here's to great beginnings.

    Yours in Learning,


    p.s. It is going to be a beautiful day. If you don't think so, just ask Kelsey. You can hear her recite "her" poem, at: Kelsey's Poem (just scroll to the bottom). While you are there, please give me feedback on this issue!

    Kevin Eikenberry
    The Discian Group

    Kevin Eikenberry is a speaker, trainer, author, and President of the Discian Group - a learning consulting company committed to helping Organizations, Teams, and Individuals reach their performance goals through learning. For information about the Discian Group or its products and services, visit our website at Discian.com

    � Copyright 2004, Discian.com. All rights reserved.


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