Kind promise: I will nourish my body, mind and soul attentively.

Painting snip“I like your crown,” I told the five-year-old girl in the vestibule of my apartment building. She was wearing a sparkling tiara.

“It’s her birthday,” her mother explained. Sure enough, the girl sported a sash that proclaimed her “birthday girl.”

Not all of what delighted my inner five-year-old still delights me (though, honestly, I still love sparkles).

It’s not the objects I need to bring into my adult practice, it’s the attitude. What does the birthday girl know that I’ve now forgotten?

She was dancing around the vestibule, holding her mother’s hand, waiting with a bounce for the ride that was coming. She is in her body, in the moment and looking forward to what’s next.

She isn’t worried about what other people think or whether she is doing what’s normal. It’s fine that she is wearing a crown and I am not. She is not comparing and not judging.

She is learning what makes her heart sing, what makes her happy to be alive. She is willing to experiment out loud, to show who she is and risk a mistake.

She made my day with her presence, openness and bravery. Thank you, birthday girl. I hope the gifts you receive are as lovely as those you gave me.