My kids chose me this solar-powered hula girl ornament for a gift. As I come to terms with whether or not I like it, it has prompted some interesting life lessons. Besides knowing that she draws her energy from the sun when I look at her, she has been teaching me a lot about life. Here are ten life lessons I’ve got so far:
1. It’s never too early to start moving
I’ve been amazed at how little light a solar-powered mechanism needs. Up at the crack of dawn, the girl starts gently swaying her hips when I’m barely even awake and I love how, even when barely moving, she’s still up and starting something.
2. Pick your tempo to match the mood
I learned about tempo recently as a question to ask yourself when trying to read a room (for education purposes). Tempo is easier to adjust than mood. Slow and steady or hard and fast? Or both? On a grey day it can be a steady rock or when the sun is shining hard, let’s pick up the pace. The take away is that the tempo can be adjusted depending on the environment, the people around and how much energy we ourselves have in the tank. We can pick our own tempo.
3. Dance like nobody is watching
Albeit a cliché, the hula girl goes for it even when no-one is home. I love that. How much do we feel like we rely on affirmations from others? How much do we feel like we need an audience to perform? She’s got a job to do and she just does it regardless of what audiences might be out there. I like her attitude.
4. Find your energy
I have also noticed that she doesn’t dance as much on the lounge windowsill. I shifted her to the kitchen window to catch the morning light. Maybe she is teaching us that a change in environment could be the adjustment that we all need? Chasing the light… where do you perform best? At home, in an office, near houseplants, in a team? I like how she is most ‘productive’ when she finds her happy place in the sun. She has ignited the question, where can I get the most ‘sun’?
5. A little bit is still doing it
Out of direct sunshine, she just kind of gives an irregular wiggle. It’s kind of half arsed dancing, but she is still dancing. She is teaching us that it’s ok to have off days and we can’t be ‘fully on’ all the time. A little bit is still doing it. Great lesson.
6. Find your sunlight
So the hula girl is solar-powered, but how do we recharge? For me it is family, creative hobbies (drawing/writing) and hiking. How can you find more power to keep your life dancing? How can we take time out to recharge? Or, even better, how can we get charge while doing whatever it is that we have to do?
7. Dont wait for music to start dancing
This is an interesting lesson. She dances even when there is no music. Who says you need music to dance? Maybe we all rely on outside influences too much and we are all waiting for the ‘right song’ to come along as an excuse to be motivated to pursue that which we are good at or to try something new. Don’t wait. You don’t need music. She doesn’t.
8. A higher power isn’t everything
If you believe in higher powers and energy outside of yourself then that is wonderful. But there is also an internal mechanism that you can take responsibility for. The balance in this instance is the sun AND the solar mechanism in the base of the hula doll. The doll needs the sun but the sun also needs the mechanism to make her dance. Maybe we should figure out what our intrinsic motivations are before we rely fully on extrinsic motivators. That’s a big question to ask of ourselves.
9. Dancing first is better than dancing last
This doll doesn’t wait for other dolls to start dancing. She is first up, first dancing, and consequently first to inspire. If you have an idea, chase it. Your enthusiasm might inspire others to join you… and it is always better to be first with an idea than last and potentially resentful that someone else pursued it before you. Do it. Dance. Go for it.
10. Individual style never goes out of fashion
Be yourself. This is the tenth lesson that I’ve got from her so far. Sure, she comes from a mass-produced factory somewhere and I’m not even going to address the post-colonial cultural appropriation danger zones (I’ll leave these for another time). But what I like is that she is just herself. Just doing it. Not changing for anyone. Dancing as herself by herself.