What I learned from a 4 year old called Chloe…

When I was travelling round the world, doing a grown-up OE, I ended up in this random little town in the Aussie outback staying with these very welcoming friends of friends. They had a little girl, cute as a button, called Chloe.  A riot of blonde curls and joie de vivre. One day I was outside minding Chloe, and she had these big coloured chalks you could write on the pavement/sidewalk/drive with, that would wash away in the rain. We set about our outdoor art with gusto.

Now, a very interesting thing happened. She was drawing away an absolute hodgepodge of scribbles randomly everywhere. Having a lovely time. I was also having a lovely time drawing flowers, and cats and teacups and so on. I drew some helpful outlines of cupcakes and kittens and encouraged her to come join me so she could colour them in rather than just randomly scribbling.

“Ooo Chloe do you want to come and colour in this Mickey Mouse?” I said a few times, feeling really helpful and pleased with myself…

“No thank you. You colour what you want to colour. I’ll colour what I want to colour.”


Who am I to say that my colouring-in is better than her free expression?!

There is no “right way” to do a lot of life, actually. Despite what we like to tell ourselves – and others.

We can get really righteous in our conviction that ours is the “right way” to load the dishwasher or deal with the accounts department.

Actually, our “best way” isn’t always the best way for everyone.

And sometimes…whisper it…we might even learn a few things if we drop our “right way” and observe.

3 + 3 = 6

but also

2 + 4 = 6

Learning to observe and respect others’ ”best way” is a huge learning curve.

SO many arguments and niggles and nagging are when we are trying to make OUR way THE way.

It isn’t always so. Life is not always so black and white.

In the Wellbeing Warriors Coaching Academy, one of our overarching teaching principles and community boundaries is “You Do You”. All tools are taught in a way that you can make them your own, make them fit your life and life circumstances. One size will never fit all! Of COURSE it won’t! That’s fine: apply it in a way that works best FOR YOU.

All communication is based on the principle of compassion: we NEVER tell another member what to do or judge their situation (how could we? we will never know how it truly is in her shoes at that time) but offer insightful suggestions of what we tried in similar situations so they can be inspired to their own solutions. It’s a VERY different approach. The world (and internet) is FULL of people telling others to be like them, think like them, do like them. It’s unhealthy this attachment to pushing our own rightness: they need to listen to Chloe:

“No thank you. You colour what you want to colour. I’ll colour what I want to colour.”

Such wisdom. And she was FOUR!

Our best way isn’t everyone’s.

You do you darling. Let them do them.

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