Trick or treat?

jack-o-lanternsEveryone I knew thought my house was going to get egged. And frankly, I started to think so, too. I didn’t know if the kids on Halloween would consider my offering a trick or a treat.

Upon hearing my adult friends’ responses, you’d think I was handing out razors. My offering wasn’t anything outrageous, but it definitely was a little non-traditional by my neighbors’ standards.

And all it was – bottles of water.

Yup. That’s it.

And guess what? The kids loved it! Apparently word got around thetrick-or-treat neighborhood that I was handing out thirst-quenching water. Kids appeared at my door asking for it. Long after I ran out.  Apparently they were parched after all the walking and snacking on choice treats.

This was NOT what I expected.

This experience had me thinking about life in general. Stepping out of our comfort zone to listen to our inner voice above the din of others, especially when it may require stepping outside the cultural parenting norm can be quite scary. I knew my kids would collect a plethora of candy, so my goal was to offer something nurturing for the body and send the message that healthy choices can be a part of Halloween. My move was far from monumental but it was a stand, nonetheless.

Steps for taking the scare out of stepping out:

  1. Be clear on what is important and matters to you; what you are passionate about.
  2. When something appears to come into conflict with what you care about, determine if it is worth fighting for. Is it something you can compromise on?
  3. If you’re answer is “no” to the above question, then be prepared for outside opinions and internal thoughts telling you to avoid confrontation and accept status quo. Notice how making your decision to speak your truth may trigger your body into fear or anxiety or anger.
  4. Honor all of the emotions that arise for you, then give space for peace and resolve by taking time to sit quietly. Pause to fill your body up with deep breaths and release all the anxiety and frenetic energy by exhaling slowly and deeply.  Do this for as long as you need to – until you feel your energy settling down and your mind clearing up.

To speak our truth takes something – no matter how grand or petty it may seem to others.  And it’s a very dignified action to take. (A bonus is that you are modeling an important life skill for your children.)

In regards to Halloween, it won’t feel as scary to give out water this year  –  especially since after all the fuss that momentous holiday which ended with a text from an equally surprised neighbor: “Good call. The kids loved your water.” Honoring my inner voice proved to be a treat for many, indeed.

Here’s to taking a stand!

Happy haunting,


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