The Enchantress Within Each of Us, Returns!
Making Potholders, One Stitch at a Time!
By Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
When I was little I was very busy--as I imagine most little girls are. At six years of age I had my toys,
my fire station with a real bell, my fire trucks and other cars, my paper dolls, my coloring books and large box of
Crayola assorted crayons, my picture books and stuffed animals. One of my most important possessions was a
'working' toy which was my ceramic pig that served as my personal banker. This pig controlled my destiny to
some extent, because when there was enough change inside of him, I got to go downtown Bridgeport with my mother and
guess what? I picked out a new toy! Now I was going on seven and saving every penny toward a Toni doll.
Did you know you could perm her hair? I couldn't wait!
And then, as if in a flash, I was no longer going on seven, but turning 10. A different house, a different
town, but still so many interests and passions! I had my hand held sewing machine and spent hours creating
outfits for my dolls. The Toni doll was still around, but unimportant—small vogue dolls were my passion.
I figured out a way to make my own paper patterns for their clothing. I liked my patterns because they
involved less sewing than the store bought doll patterns. That was good for me as I was more interested in
adding details such as lace trim, rather than doing a lot of sewing. The exception to my own rule was the
bridal gown for my large Vogue doll. I went all out and sewed feverishly, dreaming of a day when ...
I was incredibly busy. I had to practice my violin. I had to read my latest Little Lulu comic.
I was in the middle of the Nancy Drew Mystery Book that I had convinced my mom to buy me. Oh—I had to work on
my next Girl Scout Badge by next Thursday. Yes, so much to do and so little time. I'm always at least
three days behind in my diary, but I must keep recording my life!
Wash up fast! I Love Lucy is on. Everything stops for I Love Lucy!
Can you feel the energy—the passion and determination of the child? It might surprise you to realize that
within each of us, the child, with her energy, her passions, her potential for greatness, is still alive. It
may take a trip back in time to find what really sparked us. It may take some creative re-inventing to figure
out how we can use the wonderment of our younger self in a form that will work now. Let me now share with you
how I further explored childhood positive energies and their retrieval with a colleague.
I was talking to Nancy Fredericks. She is a corporate consultant and the co-author of a wonderful,
empowering book for women, entitled DANCING ON THE GLASS CEILING. As we shared our passion to encourage women
to find their strengths and potential (what I call The Song of Your Soul), she shared with me how often she finds
that the secret to this personal essence resides in our past.
She remembered herself as a child making potholders. She loved making them, but after awhile she had an
awfully lot of potholders. She gave some away and still made them. Then she began to think that there
had to be a reason for all these potholders! She started selling them to neighbors. They sold!
She made more. She got the idea of enrolling her girlfriends in making potholders. It worked.
Suddenly she had a big booming business.
Here she was—a third grader with "the first pot holder mass-production line in her neighborhood.” She began
to make a profit.
In her book, Nancy goes on to say that through recalling this aspect of her childhood she came in contact with a
clue about her Heart's Purpose: "a love of business and a talent for managing people and achieving results."
Nancy's child is so clear. A business entrepreneur in the making! I will have to play with my child
and tease out some of the energy that still asks to be cherished in this part of my life. That's OK.
I'm not in a rush and part of recovering our earlier passions—to now live a life that Nancy labels: "Fully
Passionate, Fully Alive"— involves time and nurturing.
Why don't you 'play' with your child for awhile also? Pick an age or a couple of ages and get to know that
priceless human being again. I suggest that you keep a list of all the talents, strengths and potential you
find as you revisit your younger selves.