Home The FlyLady | You can teach an old dog new tricks

The FlyLady | You can teach an old dog new tricks


Most of my life I have been very self-conscious of reading aloud. I automatically assumed that it was not blessed with that ability. In fact it was very painful for me and everyone who would have to listen to me. This past week I have been reading aloud the book that Leanne Ely and I wrote, Body Clutter. Leanne and I were in a recording studio. At one point I was just about in tears over my inability to say a whole sentence smoothly. 

I decided to take a break and breathe. That is when Leanne told me a little secret about how to read a sentence, paragraph and even a whole page. She said for me to read phrases. Then she came over to my music stand and read as she took her finger and went from the start of the sentence to the first comma or conjunction. She made little swooping motions. We called the phrases scallops. She asked me to read the paragraph in scallops and I did it; the very first time.

I was blown away by the simple fact that I just did it effortlessly! It flowed as if I were standing on stage talking to you. I could even talk with my hands because I was feeling the words not just saying them. I could not believe the difference in how I felt and the quality of the oral interpretation.

Why had I always assumed that it was me? Because that is what we do! We decide that we just can’t do something, and we either don’t even try or beat ourselves up when we don’t do it to suit ourselves. What I was doing was not loving to me! Even though I knew I was smart, not reading well made me feel stupid. I could get up on stage and talk for three hours but I could not read one line of text without it feeling awkward.

I started to think about other times when I had that awkward feeling. It was in aerobics class. I was aerobically challenged and could not clap my hands and kick my feet at the same time. My teacher taught me how to not feel intimidated by the learning process. She said to practice the feet movements to one little section. As those steps become automatic you can add your arm movements. That worked! I was neither clumsy nor stupid. I was just trying to do too many things at once. ALL I NEEDED WAS BABYSTEPS!

BabySteps help us get to where we are going. They keep us from being too hard on ourselves and keep us calm! I think it is so wonderful that we just have to be gentle with ourselves to accomplish our dreams. I would like to thank Leanne for using babysteps to help me FLY! The visual of scallops helped me to focus on what worked for me! You can teach old dogs new tricks!

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out Marla Cilley’s website and join her free mentoring group at www.FlyLady.net, listen to her www.blogtalkradio.com/flylady show, or read her books, Sink Reflections, published by Bantam, and her New York Times bestselling book, Body Clutter, published by Fireside. Copyright 2008 Marla Cilley. Used by permission in this publication.



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