Messages from Children ... and What They Can Teach Grown-Ups


“… and a little child shall lead them”

Early one Sunday morning, my daughter was cutting and pasting from a magazine as part of her second-grade homework assignment. She was singing, making up the words as she went along. She really caught my attention as she sang the words, “I’m doing what I was born to do.”

“What a beautiful song,” I said. “So what were you born to do?”

She paused for just a brief moment, then looked at me with a grin and ...

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“… and a little child shall lead them”

Early one Sunday morning, my daughter was cutting and pasting from a magazine as part of her second-grade homework assignment. She was singing, making up the words as she went along. She really caught my attention as she sang the words, “I’m doing what I was born to do.”

“What a beautiful song,” I said. “So what were you born to do?”

She paused for just a brief moment, then looked at me with a grin and said, “To be a kid.”

How do we stop fighting for our survival and get back to thriving? How do we return to that sense of knowing that all of our needs will be met? How do we restore that inborn trust, natural wonder, sense of joy and peace? How do we step unto our true path and come to know that for which we were made? According to Dr. Kathleen O’Malley, the answers lie in Messages from Children … and What They Can Teach Grown-ups. It is a collection of eighty-eight timely and powerful messages for self-healing, personal growth and leading a more meaningful existence. It shows us how to power up our intuitive sense, pay attention to what really matters, and cultivate our creative energies. It serves as a reminder that every person is an expression of divine love and a gift to this world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452570778
  • Publisher: Balboa Press
  • Publication date: 4/23/2013
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Messages from Children ... and What They Can Teach Grownups

By Kathleen O'Malley

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2013 Kathleen O'Malley, DC.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4525-7077-8



Be Happy Now

"Mom, I don't think I'm going to college because I feel like I'm going to peak too soon and I will want to do other things." We were in the car at the time and like the start of many of our conversations, this was completely unexpected.

"What do you mean by peak too soon?"

"Well ... it's just that I might want to try other things."

"Well you're eight and feelings change. Besides, you really don't have to think about all that right now.

This message was timely—I too needed to hear that the next five years of my life didn't have to be completely mapped out. Yes, it is great to make plans and set goals. It is also okay to not know exactly what will happen next and allow things to unfold. When we are constantly trying to figure it out, we lose sight of all that is right in front of us. When we trade in what is for what could be, we miss out on the joy that is available right now.

It is important to realize that we are not meant to know every single detail of our lives in advance. Many of us wish we could. Then, just maybe we could keep our life in a permanent state of order, nice and neat. No more roadblocks, no more struggles, no more pain. But that's not how life works. There is nothing permanent or immovable about anything we ever experience. There is always movement. There are always changes. Change is the nature of life. It is happening inside, outside and all around us. Just as the cells in our body are constantly changing, on every level we are experiencing growth daily. We are always growing and healing and changing and evolving.

Each day presents another occasion for us to rise above our challenges and move forward in our lives. What appears to be a roadblock often positions us onto a trail we would not have otherwise considered. It is our struggles that often allow us to know our deepest strengths. This does not mean that life is meant to be a struggle. When we are moving in the right direction, we know it. Doors easily open for us. It's when we're met with resistance that something else is calling to us. Obstacles are indications to consider a new way or direction. Pain signals our attention to the things that truly matter. Illness brings to the surface the deeper wounds that need healing.

Instead of focusing on the distant future, what do you want to do with this day? If you have a long-term goal in mind, what can you do today that brings you just one step closer? When you focus on each day, it is less overwhelming than if you try to determine what the rest of your life will look like. No amount of worry will change the present circumstances, but our thoughts and actions can.

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

-Author Unknown

I have heard people say, "In my next life, I'll do this." What about this life? When will you start living the life you already have? Why continue to give this one away— to your children, your parents, your spouse, your job, to everyone else but you. This does not mean that you stop caring for others. We are meant to give to others, but our identity is often completely wrapped up in who we are to the people in our lives. We often forget that life is meant to be enjoyed and shared in ways that are most honoring of ourselves.

When will you recognize the divine life force that resides within you? When will you start living the life of your dreams? I mean really living and doing what you are meant to do. More important, when will you be who you are meant to be? Do you even know who you are? I mean, who you really, really are, not just who everyone expects you to be.

Easier said than done? It may not seem easy at first. It begins with awareness and practice. Practice doesn't always make perfect, but it gets us closer to where we would like to be. And that's when it becomes easier. When you begin to live your life with integrity, intention and purpose, it can be magical how it all unfolds. Trust that the right people and books will show up to help you along the way and they will. When you are open and willing, you are better able to make sense of all that has happened in your life and see where your experiences have been leading you this whole time.

Are you still unsure of where to begin? Start by determining what brings you the most joy. What are you most excited about? What thought brings a smile to your face or makes you laugh out loud? What did you once dream of doing that you have not yet experienced? Let the child inside of you and the children around you lead the way. Children are experts at creating happiness and filling their days with pure enjoyment.

If you feel that you are already giving one hundred percent to your dreams, a project, a business or a relationship and it's still not working, it's time for a fresh perspective. Get quiet, look inside yourself and ask, "What am I not seeing?" "Have I done all I possibly can?" "What's the next step or am I meant to move in another direction?" Then, pay attention to what comes about. You might need further guidance. We often benefit from others who ask the questions we may not think to ask ourselves. Be truly open to other viewpoints. Remember that you still get to decide if it feels right for you. Consider all the options and then see what resonates within you. Also, be willing to make mistakes. We all would like to get it right on our first attempt, but mistakes are often how we learn. Trust that nothing is ever without purpose.

Your happiness does not lie in another person, place or event. Nor is it about chasing after the fairytale ending. It's about this moment and who you choose to share it with. You don't need anyone to rescue you, only real connections with people who seek to understand you. Be happy now.


Live With Compassion

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

-Dalai Llama

A little girl named Rebecca (her name has been changed for privacy) was born with only half an arm on one side. She was at the pediatrician's office when a little boy about her age kept looking at her. Rebecca was two and a half years old at this time. Noticing her son's apprehension, the boy's mother remarked, "You don't have to play with her." Rebecca's mother overheard and was upset by this statement. But then Rebecca walked over, put her other arm around the little boy and said, "Oh, that's okay." She too sensed the little boy's apprehension, but responded with love.

This little boy's reaction was likely because a child about his age looked different. Very young children are able to notice differences based on symmetry, but how they respond depends on their parent's response. His mother's response is likely due to her own discomfort with another child's physical condition. If she had said, it's okay, you can go play with her, this would have been a much different scenario. Then again, Rebecca's mom would not have had the opportunity to witness her daughter's beautiful gift of compassion.

Some children have special needs, but for their specific purpose in life they are exceptionally-abled. Every man, woman and child have a place in this world that only they can fill. Even those deemed less fortunate can give far more than what is given to them. For some, they only need the right conditions, encouragement and opportunities for the gifts within them to shine through. As Barbara de Angelis has said, "No matter what age you are, or what your circumstances might be, you are special, and you still have something unique to offer. Your life, because of who you are has meaning."

We are all created from the same source. That source is love. Each of us has a choice on how we express that love. And we all have the same essential needs—to love and be loved. I am reminded of a story told by a woman I met at a retreat. She shared how she and her friends had stopped at a rest area along their travels. They noticed an unkempt man and after observing him a while, she felt compelled to go over and ask if there was anything he needed. Her friends stood nearby as she approached him. "Do you need anything" she offered. His response took her by surprise. "Only love" is what he said. Only love.


Be Creative

... Everyone should feel as an artist does. Everyone should be free to let his or her inner mind speak to her. And everyone is an artist when she does this.

-Kenji Miyazawa

At our first parent-teacher conference, my daughter's first grade teacher described her as "very bright, but quiet." She explained how my daughter "struggles" with paying attention and didn't participate in classroom discussions. She often got "in trouble" for excessive talking in Kindergarten and quiet is not how I or most people who really know her would describe her demeanor. While I explained the importance of staying focused in class, I found it equally important to inquire about her distractedness and asked, "What takes your attention away from the teacher?"

"I don't mean to not pay attention; it's just sometimes I need to think," was her response.

I knew what she meant because I spent a lot of my early classroom days lost in thought. If I was curious about something that was said, I would be consumed with my own thoughts and miss the rest of the teacher's instructions. When I recently asked what she liked most about school, her answers came as no surprise; "Art, gym, recess and sometimes music when it's not too boring."

Yes, our world needs scientists and physicians, but it also needs comedians and artists of all sorts. Laughter and artistic expression awaken our soul and clever thinkers are not just born in a classroom. In fact, cleverness comes from the ability to think creatively outside of what is being taught. We only have to watch and listen to children in pretend play to see their capacity for ingenuity and greatness. We only have to acknowledge their strengths to see them climb to great heights.

As adults, we need to allow for our own creativity as well. This extends far beyond drawing and painting. Being creative is at the core of who we are. We are each a unique creation. Our creativity exists in our ways of thinking, expressing ourselves, decorating our homes or office spaces, in our unique styles and in the choices we make. Every choice creates an experience. It's a good thing our Creator allows for second chances and even clean slates. Yes, we can choose to start over when we don't get it right the first time. We can choose to re-paint our walls when the color no longer suits us. We can adopt new styles and learn a new language. There is no end to our creative energies when we carve out time to cultivate all that lies within us.


Power Up Your Inner Vibes

We are each born with an inner compass. This compass is an important tool for navigating our way through this life. It is our guiding light. It speaks to us through our feelings and sensations. It gives us the ability to look inside ourselves and know what is true for us. It is that sudden voice of warning that beckons our attention. It is that twinge we feel when we say something and immediately wish we hadn't. It is that indescribable feeling you just can't seem to shake. Even a young child has the ability to feel the energy of a situation even if they don't understand fully what's happening. They know when something doesn't feel right. How can we decipher between our intuition, worry and fear? How do we power up our intuitive sense?

I remember one day when my daughter was about three months old. I put her down for a nap and began my household tasks. In the middle of cleaning the bathroom, something inside me said to go and check on her. I hesitated because this meant I would have to take my cleaning gloves off just to have to put them back on again. But I listened. Sure enough, her little legs were up in the air and she had managed to kick her blankets over her face. She was not crying or in any form of distress, but I was so happy that I had listened. This moment also served as a reference whenever my inner alarm sounded.

Similarly, when she was about two years old, I had the sudden urge to check in on her while she was napping. In the middle of a phone call I decided to walk up into her room and found that she was not in her bed. I called out to her but she did not answer. I walked into my adjoining bedroom and found her in the closet painting the walls with the contents of her diaper. Let's just say that it was not her finest work of art.

We often disregard our feelings and try to explain them away, especially when they appear to be the least bit inconvenient. We might choose not to listen because we really don't want to hear the message or we get lost in logic and rationalizing. We often know when something is happening even before we can clearly find the words to adequately express it. We don't want to think the worst of a loved one or a trusted friend. What if we are wrong? We don't want others to think that we are crazy. So we overanalyze or worse, we completely ignore our inner wisdom. If we really pay attention, we often find that more times than not, our instincts were right on target.

Women are often considered to be more intuitive than men. However, intuition is not something that is gender-specific. It may be that women typically pay more attention to all that they are feeling and openly discuss their emotions. The act of sorting through our feelings and emotions activates our intuitive sense. Determining precisely what we are feeling opens the way for insights and messages from our innermost being. These insights come with greater frequency and intensity when we reprogram ourselves to pay attention. They also come when we are silent and still.

In these moments when we are emptied of all the loud noise and idle chatter we become filled with what we need to illuminate the truth of our circumstances. We receive greater clarity about the direction of our lives. We begin to see the connections in seemingly unrelated events. We discover the truth of who we are. We begin to uncover our gifts and the dreams that were inscribed within our hearts. These gifts and dreams are not only meant for us to live a fulfilling life, but also intended for us to share with the rest of humanity.

It is when our extraordinary mind is at rest that we begin to hear the whispers of our heart. At times, the message is to let go and not have such a tight grip on life. We still have to choose to listen. So power up your intuitive sense, pay close attention and trust your inner guidance.


Stop for a Moment

"... We need to be silent. Just silent. Silent for a moment ... Before we forever lose the blessings of songs that grow in our hearts. We need to notice. Just notice. Notice for a moment ..."

-Mattie Stepanek

One December evening, my then preschooler was bouncing with excitement at the prospect of our first snowfall of the season. But when we awoke the next morning, it was raining instead. In her eyes, the next best thing would be a rainbow. I explained that rainbows need sunlight in order to appear, but the forecast for that day called for only dark clouds with no chance of sunshine.

As I headed down a flight of stairs with my breakfast shake in hand, the cover popped off as I was shaking it. My shake spilled not only on the floor, but also went all over the walls. I couldn't believe the mess and we were already late when my daughter exclaimed, "Look momma, a chocolate rainbow." She was four years old. So this is the title of our special story.

The Chocolate Rainbow

It was raining this morning when I got out of bed. I had hoped for the first snow, but there was rain instead. "It's not cold enough," my mom explained. That was the reason for only rain. I can hardly wait to play in the snow, but it would be great if I saw a rainbow. "That would be nice," my mom did say. "But, there may not be any sunshine today." In order to see a rainbow of colors, the rays of the sun must shine down upon us. "Now let's hurry or we'll be late," mom said, while grabbing her breakfast shake. Before we could make it to the front door, mom spilled her breakfast and not just on the floor. She was shaking her cup when she lost the cover. Her shake flew into the air and then it went all over. There were puddles of chocolate EVERYWHERE; on the walls, the carpet, on each and every stair. I was careful not to slip or fall, as I watched chocolate raindrops wriggle down the wall. And then I saw before my eyes. It was something special to my surprise. It wasn't such a big, huge mess. I saw something else, can you guess? A chocolate rainbow had suddenly appeared, after the rain shower, my mom had just made. Without pretty colors like blue, red or green, it was still the most special rainbow I had ever seen. While colorful rainbows must have sunshine, all a chocolate rainbow needs is a COLORFUL mind. And if you pay attention, you too will see that in every single thing, there is great beauty. Long after the very first snowfall, I will remember this moment best of all—the chocolate rainbow that I did see; Made by my mom, especially for me.

Excerpted from Messages from Children ... and What They Can Teach Grownups by Kathleen O'Malley. Copyright © 2013 by Kathleen O'Malley, DC.. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Foreword      xiii     

Introduction      xvii     

1. Be Happy Now      1     

2. Live With Compassion      5     

3. Be Creative      7     

4. Power Up Your Inner Vibes      9     

5. Stop for a Moment      12     

6. Seek to Understand      15     

7. What if a Tree Could Talk?      17     

8. Get Dirt on Your Hands      19     

9. Laugh Out Loud      21     

10. Keep Moving Forward      23     

11. Believe!      25     

12. Wake Up Laughing      28     

13. Practice!      30     

14. Smile at Strangers      33     

15. Give As You Receive      35     

16. Give the Gift of Your Love      37     

17. Live Fearlessly      39     

18. Don't Be Afraid to Hear or Say "No"      42     

19. Don't Be Afraid to Hear or Say "Yes"      44     

20. Don't Take it Personally      46     

21. Keep Your Heart Open      48     

22. Recognize Your Power      51     

23. Embrace Your Uniqueness      54     

24. You are Amazing!      56     

25. Your Feelings Do Matter      58     

26. Express Yourself      60     

27. Just Say Thank You      62     

28. Say What You Mean      64     

29. Say What You Need      66     

30. Say When You're Afraid      68     

31. Say "I Love You"      71     

32. Learn to Let Go      73     

33. Let Go of What Others Say      75     

34. Let Go of Past Hurts      78     

35. Let Go of the Blame      80     

36. Let Others Have Their Feelings      82     

37. Let Your Light Shine      84     

38. Forgive Sooner Than Later      86     

39. Forgive Yourself      88     

40. We All Want to Be Free      90     

41. You Can't Hide Forever      92     

42. We All Need Our Own Space      94     

43. Remember When      96     

44. It's Also How You Remember      98     

45. It's Okay to Be Different      101     

46. Mistakes Are Often How We Learn      103     

47. Mix it Up      105     

48. Lighten Up      107     

49. Dance It Up      109     

50. Play Freeze Tag with Your Thoughts      111     

51. Play Fair, but Lose the Labels      113     

52. Ready, Set, Go      115     

53. Your Body Knows      117     

54. You Hold the Answers      120     

55. You Always Have a Choice      123     

56. Choose Peace      125     

57. The Energy You Give, You Get Back      127     

58. Take a Nap      129     

59. Take a Calming Bath      131     

60. Take Pleasure in Simple Treasures      133     

61. Create Your Cozy Corner      135     

62. Leave an Imprint of Your Love      137     

63. Just for Fun      139     

64. There's Much Life in Winter      141     

65. Ask for What You Really Want      143     

66. Live Like a Butterfly      145     

67. Don't Settle for Less      147     

68. Don't Settle for Small Dreams      149     

69. Dream With Open Eyes      151     

70. Go into Your Heart      153     

71. Look at Your Story in Reverse      156     

72. Write it Down      158     

73. What Do You Mean I'm "Poor?"      160     

74. Define "Success"      162     

75. Love and Be Loved      164     

76. Love Can "Fix" Anything      166     

77. Love is Eternal      168     

78. Don't Hide Your Tears      170     

79. There is More to This Life      172     

80. Infinity and Beyond      176     

81. Hold on to the Magic      178     

82. Recognize Your Amazing Healing Powers      180     

83. Pay Attention to Your Dreams      182     

84. Pay Attention to the Sun and the Moon      185     

85. Pay Attention to the Stars      187     

86. Plant Your Wishes, Watch them Grow      190     

87. Just Imagine      192     

88. Just Be      194     

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