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*Name changed for confidentiality
I’m going to tell you a story about a little boy named Lucas.*
He is five years old and a student in one of my music classes. He doesn’t say much, and he doesn’t sing much, but I can tell he likes music, and I can tell he likes me.
One more thing about Lucas. He is visually impaired and wears thick glasses.
I was in the middle of singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with the class when Lucas interrupted the flow of the song by empowering himself to raise his hand. He looked disturbed.
“Why aren’t you wearing the flower in your hair today, Cheryl Melody?”
Lucas, who was visually impaired, noticed. Lucas, who was usually quiet, empowered himself to raise his hand and share how disappointed he felt.
Up until that moment, I didn’t think what I wore was that significant. I wear mismatched socks, sparkling caps, long interesting earrings, fun clothes, and a colorful fabric flower in my hair because I hope it helps the kids feel safe with me. I want them to sense that my spirit is filled with the joy of music and creativity.
I also do it because it is the inspirational catalyst that helps me teach creatively and playfully. What I wear motivates me to tap into the spirit of my inner child. The free, imaginative, creative, open, playful, and innocent inner child.
In that moment, I saw that what I wear matters to at least one child, and of all times, I had left my yellow flower in the car.
There was something about Lucas’s words that caught my breath and held me back from continuing the lesson. My heart opened, and I quickly reassured him that I would never forget it in the car again. He nodded, gave me a faint smile of approval, and seemed satisfied.
Life Lessons, Life Wisdom
Here are the life lessons and the life wisdom I received from Lucas asking, “Why aren’t you wearing a flower in your hair today, Cheryl Melody?”
>> Love is in the details.
>> Everything we do counts. Even a flower in my hair mattered to someone.
>> Expect the unexpected and get ready to shift your agenda, structure, lesson plan, day, and mindset.
>> You never know what will delight a little or big person.
>> Color outside the lines.
>> Allow words like “should, would, and could” to disappear from your vocabulary.
>> Free yourself to be yourself.
>> Step into the land of imagination and creativity. As Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
>> Stand in your light.
>> Ideas don’t need to be huge. You never know which idea will make a significant difference to someone.
>> Know your worth. Your imagination. Your uniqueness. Value yourself.
>> You don’t have to work hard. Just being who you are is enough. (Now there’s a concept.)
>> Believe in yourself. Know that you are making a difference.
>> All parts of you matter. I was surprised that the flower I wore mattered. Now, I know.
>> Leave a space for silence. Just listen. Silence leaves room for someone else’s voice.
>> Invite the playful and light inner child to return to your adult life full force (and if you didn’t have a happy childhood, maybe for the first time).
>> It’s never too late to change, transform, and shift.
>> Empower yourself.
>> It’s never too late to say, “I’m sorry.”
>> Keep your heart and mind open.
>> Be flexible about everything.
>> Listen with compassion, empathy, and love.
One minute I was busy being Lucas’s teacher. The next minute, Lucas was my powerful teacher. In life, we never know who the teacher will be, and who the student will be.
I’ll keep contemplating this inspiring moment. I know there are still more life lessons to receive from this precious visually impaired five-year-old asking me, “Why aren’t you wearing the flower in your hair today, Cheryl Melody?”