What happened to that little girl that loved to play dress up, climb trees and steal kisses? In the thousands of conversations I’ve had with women, I’ve come to a conclusion: women are lacking the soulful expression of play. Somewhere, somehow, we’ve been made to believe that being uber responsible, perfect and controlled is a badge of honor. In the meantime, women are struggling with their bodies, waking up with nothing to look forward to and going to bed exhausted and dreading the next day.
Perhaps, it’s time to wake up that girly girl part of yourself that knew a good time was always around the corner and wasn’t afraid to let go, be wild & feminine and enjoy life.
So, let’s dig through the treasure chest of our childhood “girlie” days and have some fun.
1. Be curious. Victor Hugo said, “Curiosity is one of the forms of feminine bravery.” Raise your hand and ask questions. Don’t stop asking until you get the answer.
2. Throw a slumber party. Call up your girlfriends and plan a night of popcorn, facials and chick flicks. The good news is that now you’re old enough to have Champagne.
3. Play dress up. You’re never too old to be imaginative with clothes. Put on red lipstick, glitter eye shadow or cat eye glasses. Imagine being a princess, rock star or teacher and dress the part.
4. Write love letters. Remember spilling your heart out with pen and paper to someone you loved? Well, an expression of love is appreciated at all ages.
5. Have an imaginary friend. Mine happens to be my 90-year old self. We laugh at my mistakes. She is constantly telling me, “It’s going to be okay, darling.” And, she absolutely loves lingerie and pearls. Her name? Coco.
6. Brag. When you won a contest at school or made a good grade, you had no shame about telling everyone. You were proud, as you should be. The same applies to adulthood. What are you proud of? Do share.
7. Have a tea party. This time, you can invite real people, have proper tea and enjoy slowing down for a beautiful ritual of tea time.
8. Go on an adventure. Grab your backpack or your Louis and head out on an adventure in your backyard, hometown or city. Tap into that childlike wonder and seek to discover something miraculous and you will.
9. Play hot and cold. Except this time, it’s about finding your life’s path. Everything is offering you information about what you love and what you don’t. Move towards what feels hot and stay away from anything that feels cold.
10. Draw and Paint. Get paint and paper. Get messy. Get lost in the creative process. The answer you’re looking for might just be a painting away.
11. Give a Makeover . . . either on yourself or a friend. Turn your bathroom into a transformation station. Makeup, hair and an outfit to kill could be just what you (or your friend) need.
12. Bake something delicious. Remember the easy bake oven that you couldn’t wait for Santa to deliver at Christmas? Well, now you have a full-sized one in your kitchen. Break out the flour, eggs and sugar (and don’t forget the sprinkles) and bake something beautiful!
13. Play in the Rain (or water of any kind). There was a time when you weren’t afraid to get wet. In fact, you sought out opportunities to be hosed down, find a puddle to splash in or a pool to jump into. Water is cleansing. You’re “girlie” self knows this.
14. Pitch a tent in the living room. Blankets, popcorn, movies . . . these were a sign of a fabulous night in 5th grade.
15. Say no. If you didn’t like something back then, you said so. Same rule applies to today. Say no, unless you really want to say yes.
16. Take a nap. My mom made me take naps when I was a kid. As an adult, when I really could use one, I wish I still had her commanding an afternoon siesta. Now, I must give myself permission. We, girls, get tired. Naps are a necessary luxury.
17. Daydream. The hours of floating off to faraway lands, imagining yourself as a princess, ballerina or actress inspired you. Don’t stop dreaming. Inspiration is always in demand.
18. Kiss and hug your parents. If your parents are still living, you are blessed. You are never too old to wrap your arms around them and tell them how much you love them.
19. Be stubborn. I’m sure that at some point, you were probably accused of being a stubborn little girl and taught that it wasn’t okay. Well, I’m telling you that it is okay to demand something for yourself. Stand your ground. Be fierce!
20. Sing and dance like it’s no one’s business. Remember those show-off performances that you loved to give in your living room? Well, grab the mic and put on your dance shoes and show us what you’ve got!
21. Lighten up and be spontaneous. I know. I know. We are adults now and have responsibilities. And, most adults I know are miserable. Perhaps, it would do us some good to not take life so seriously and do something radically out of character from time to time.
22. Form or join a Secret Club. These secret clubs contained your best of friends. You took an oath, right hand on the bible, that you would never breath a word about this circle of trust. Within this circle, you shared your deepest secrets and desires – crushes, first kisses and wild dreams. As an adult woman, you need this now more than ever. This is why I formed this, except we meet in Paris instead of treehouses!
23. Do cartwheels and headstands. Running and doing a perfect cartwheel (with a round off, if you’re good) or inverting your body in the air (please use a wall, if it’s been awhile) will bring back those childhood feelings of having fun with your body.
24. Pick a bouquet of flowers (and put one in your hair). I remember going to the ditch banks and picking wild flowers to bring home to put in a water filled mason jar. I still love flowers. They are nature’s Chanel. Sticking one in your hair is a natural beauty accessory.
25. Swing. See how high you can go. You’re never too old to fly through the air. And, if done well, it’s a great ab workout!
26. Steal a Kiss. When your partner least expects it, plant a smoochy kiss on his cheek (leave lipstick for extra credit).
27. Keep a Diary. Fill it with secrets, desires and fantasies. Lock it up! It’s your secret garden.
28. Throw a Temper Tantrum. Instead of sucking it up and trying to be a good girl, give yourself permission to stomp, cry, beat a pillow or sulk in the corner for however long it takes to move through whatever is bugging you. You don’t have to keep all that negative mojo in a boxed container. Let it out!
29. Love your Body. As a little girl, your body was your vehicle for living a fun life. It took you on great adventures, you could dress it up and climb trees and play games. To scold your body would have been like scolding your best friend. Treat your body like it’s your best friend, and it will be good to you.
30. Listen to your Body. A kids eats when she’s hungry and stops when she’s full. She takes naps when her body is tired. She goes out and plays when her body was wants to move. Your little girl knew how to listen to her body. Your “girlie” self does too! If you don’t know where to start, this may be just what you need.
Care to add to the list? C’mon.
What are some girlie things you miss that you’d love to do again?
Let me know in the comments below.
To All Things “Girlie,”
The Self-Image Manifesto
You’re Invited To Live An Extraordinary Life!
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