I found this sweet little book yesterday, while celebrating Mother’s Day at one of my favorite little eateries/bakeries in Los Angeles – Little Flower. This sweet gem of a place is the brainchild of Christine Moore – an amazing baker/candy maker/pastry chef – who makes THE BEST Salted Caramels I’ve ever eaten! I once worked with her, years ago, at Nicola’s, a restaurant that was in downtown Los Angeles, before moving into Beverly HIlls. Christine was as kind and sweet and yummy as her baked goods were – and she remains ever the same to this day. Recently, she opened a new restaurant called Lincoln in Pasadena, and I hear it’s as terrific as her first place, if not better! Check it out, either location – you will be so delighted.
…but the book!
Swing High – Life Lessons from Childhood – by Anthony Gunn, is basically a Self-Help book…124 helpful tips that come straight from the mouths of babes…or the truths that babes (young children), seem to grasp without muddling the simplicity of things. It’s a charming read, full of no-bullshit insight, that allows the reader to simply plop the book open anywhere and glean something of value, while gently pushing us toward a more positive/healthy direction. And that direction has everything to do with Play, Allowance, Persistence, Freeing our perspective….and Surprise.
Some of my favorites:
#2. The Goldilocks Complex – Gunn writes how Goldilocks was a perfectionist, always wanting things to be “Just Right!” But life is not often, Just right, right? He reminds us adults that children are much easier with simply allowing things to be as they are…or in other words, less than perfect. The more able we are to “go with the flow” and allow, the more we can actually get things done and the happier we will be! And besides, as Salvador Dali reminds us: Have no fear of perfection – you will never reach it! Amen, and move on!
#85. The fear of emotion – Children display a wide palette of emotion…they let it all hang out! Anger, frustration, joy, tears, excitement…! But as we move into and through adulthood, we often “bottle” our emotions…we hold it all inside. But these unexpressed emotions can ultimately, destroy us – they are linked to depression, heart disease, cancer, insomnia, neuroses…Maybe we should try being freer with our emotions, more honest with our handling of them. Sometimes the best thing is just to “let it all hang out!”
This is a lovely bedside book – flip it open at random, and allow the subtle wisdom to inform your day, your actions/thoughts/behavior. Make a mud pie! Sing a song at the top of your lungs! Grab your kids’ scooter and take a ride down the hill! Play. Be free. and Live Childishly:)
…at least every now and again…:) A little is better than none at all.
*Anthony Gunn is a psychologist and specializes in Anxiety – he has a knack for helping people step outside their comfort zone…so challenging, so very often, for us Adults! He is the author of multiple books, including: Raising Confident Happy Children, and Walking Tall.