Allowing Yourself to Play Freely and Create Deeper Connections with Yourself and Your Kids
“Play is really the work of childhood”- Fred Rogers I would add play is essential for life to bloom at all stages.
As a former teacher fusing play into my curriculum was done effortlessly because I knew it was paramount to help all my students grow and challenge themselves socially and emotionally as well as physically and mentally.
When my daughter was young 2-6 years old, I made sure to give her a variety of playful experiences daily but I was often an observer or a engaged with her in her play only when she asked. But, my desire to play was not really there, actually it was just buried.
The idea of being silly or playful once I became an adult made me feel uncomfortable for fear of judgement. It was this fear that stopped me from experimenting and engaging with my soul on a deeper level.
As a child I played with my environment like splashing through swamps and climbing trees, created art and performances. I was silly but I had a reserved side and as I got older the silly faded and the serious mindset took over.
Once I graduated college I was focused on work, surviving, and going through the motions of “adult life” and the “play” that I did engage in, came in the form of art, dance, swimming, or meeting up with friends for dinner and maybe a game or two.
These actions were a very basic level of play BUT they didn't move me out of comfort zone or help me grow socially, emotionally or spiritually.
It was not until a few years ago when I was feeling that my life was stagnant, which lead me to do some deep dive soul searching, that I discovered the wondrous expanse that RADICAL PLAY, playing past your comfort zone can bring to you as adult.
It started when I was starving for connection to my creative soul. I mentioned this to a friend of mine during a heart to heart and she suggested a dance group, it was not just a ballet or modern dance group but an Ecstatic Dance group. I was a bit wary and deep down a bit scared at first, in fact it took me months before I “made the time” to go. We would gather monthly around the full moon and create a fire and people would play music and all you needed to do was feel it and move without thought, let your freak fly!
Letting myself go and feel was super hard at first! Since I had been trained as a dancer I knew how to move gracefully BUT I had great difficulty letting my self just feel and move without thought or judgement. A women there who could sense my trepidation suggested closing my eyes so I could boost my sense of hearing and feel the vibrations in the ground.
THIS pushed me to the edge of my comfort zone, to my FERTILE EDGE but I kept with it and my body started to flow.
As I silenced my mind my body took over and my movement because full of emotion. I wept releasing that first layer of fear and it was beautiful.
After this experience I came home, my daughter was asleep and my friend, who was caring for her while I was dancing, went home after we had a luscious conversation about the act of letting go and being.
It was at that point I felt compelled to write down the beginning of a business idea, an idea that came to me as I was driving back from the dance circle. What came out of me that night was the first spurt of a vision that would eventually become the Rejuvenation Grange.
So, over the years I have come back to this memory for reflection because it has so many pieces of inspiration for myself and others and has given me the gift of connecting with my deepest desires and playfully engaging with my daughter fully.
It was this act of radical play that pushed me to leap and take a risk without panic setting in. It was this act of letting my true self free that allowed me to start splashing in puddles, swinging super high, and climbing trees with my daughter and feeling joyous while do it.
How would it feel to shed those layers of judgement and rigidity and experience playing again? Join me for my 5 Day Play Challenge starting October 15-19. Click here for more information and to RSVP.
I love my work and how I structure my week for my Sacred Livelihood. I have set up my weekly work flow to allow me time for soul fueling space such as creative play, community connection and quality time with my family in nature.
This love of Monday’s didn’t come overnight.
In fact it took me three years to discover how best to weave my variety of gifts together.
It took this time of nurturing my inner being while learning tools to release old stories that were holding me back. Through work, I was able to connect with my true gifts and move through fear of being visible to creating a business that weaves facilitating and teaching, artistry, play and knowledge of creating creative business structures together.
Creative play inspires me to connect my soul to my work. This is a time when I push myself to the edge of comfort zone. Its different then creative practice, it is a time for me to do something new and different and this practice has allowed me to make huge break throughs when it comes to visibility, to how I want to create certain work structures and most importantly it has allowed me to connect to daughter on a deeper level.
Community Connection is the foundation of how i bring my life and work together and share my sacred vision. How I connect and engage with my local and global community has to be aligned. I am passionate about my work and bringing people together, so HOW I connect is a sacred act for me and my business brand.
Creating my Sacred Livelihood came with a ton of trial and error, digging into my old beliefs and stories steeped in “the starving artist” mindset and creating a way to bring my programs to the world ( aka marketing) that was from my heart not from a prescribed method.
Prescribed methods don’t work for most people because in order for it to work it needs to empower you to bloom. It needs to be tailored to:
How YOU want to be seen.
How YOU want to share your vision fully.
How YOU want to put your work into the world without overwhelm and soul sucking.
The HOW is unique to you.
Are you struggling with knowing how to meld your unique gifts into Your Sacred Livelihood so you will love Monday’s too?
My Sacred Livelihood lets me to do exactly what I am meant to do- help amazing visionaries create a lively journey, into making a living, doing what they love.
I guide them to understand and innovate creative work structures that empower them as they design a weekly flow of support and resilience so they can make their biggest impact and monetize it.
Discover YOUR Ikigai ( Your reason for waking up excited ) with this workbook here.
Come Play Your Way to Your Sacred Livelihood here and set up a complimentary 30 minute Vision Session here.
Spring has sprung here in the Northeast andhere at the Rejuvenation Grange new ideas are blooming and coming alive! We are working to push to the fertile edge,and bring inspired programs and events to you that are boldly playful, create unconventional connections and spice things up so you can explore, experiment and create from the inside out so that you can grow the life you want with clarity and ease. This winter was a season of introspection, connecting with my desires and playing with my inner child. What did I discover from giving myself space to do this?
That my soul needs to create and boldly play.
As a business owner this is not always easy to do but what I found is when I pushed to my fertile edge (that place where your curiosity lies, that place where you can’t see what is beyond the horizon, that place just outside your comfort zone) I was able to make radical shifts in how I was creating, what I was creating and how to make the space for my business to grow without getting overwhelmed. One thing I have been struggling with, is doing THIS: writing newsletters. Why?
I was not inspired and sitting down to type was the last thing I wanted to do but I knew that I wanted to connect to you all and I wanted it to be fun, creative and authentic. So during a conversation with a colleague I mentioned the resistance I was having and what she said was so simple but shifted everything for me. She said if you are doing something and it is not working for you DO IT DIFFERENTLY!
I took it a step further and made it radically different for myself. I made sacred time three times a week for my creative practice. Sometimes this involved painting, doing cartwheels and dancing, or skipping through a field. The way I connect to my creative spirit is through moving my body but doing this outside in plain site of anyone passing by was unforgettable for me. For you, what is radically different may look totally different. The key is push yourself to do something you rarely or never have done. At the end of my practice I would sit down and create a mandala and journal using notes inside of it.
Here is mine from today:
I started using this method to write my programs, copy and this newsletter. For me it allows my concrete brain to take a back seat so my creative side can flow with ease.
Another tool I discovered when I was feeling a need to connect with my inner desires about my work and how to move it forward with alignment to my essence was Ikigai.
Ikigai is a Japanese word whose meaning translates roughly to a reason for being, encompassing joy, a sense of purpose and meaning and a feeling of well-being.
The word derives from iki, meaning life and kai, meaning the realization of hopes and expectations.
The key questions to discover this are:
What do you love?
What are you good at?
What can you be paid for?
What does the world need?
And where they all meet is the sweetspot for you in this moment. It is your Ikagai.
There are Venn Diagrams out there that can help you put this into a visual form but I found it was super helpful to have someone guide me through the process and ask other key questions that pushed me to my Fertile Edge.
It helped me get crystal clear on how to Bloom and make forward movement, how step into my power and connect with my true brilliance. It was so powerful for me that I want to share this method with you. Join me on June 1st at 12:00 pm EST for a virtual Ikigai workshop where I will lead you through this process and take you deeper into how to put your Ikigai into aligned action.
If you are feeling stuck in your creative muck, if you are wanting to get inspired and connect to creative collective Join me here and the other Soulful Innovators in our Facebook group The Soulful Innovators Collective
As a creative business owner does the notion of connecting with your finances, especially at this time of year, cause you to run in the opposite direction or put your head in the sand?
Do you feel overwhelmed by the idea of where to start and too embarrassed to ask for help?
When we swirl into the overwhelm abyss; we often attach shame to ourselves and our work, shame around not doing enough, shame around not understanding how to attend to our finances, shame around not showing up fully.
I know I have dealt with financial overwhelm off and on for years, as money has ebbed and flowed through my life and businesses.
There were many sleepless nights and deep worries. It took me spiraling around my feelings of scarcity and lack before I was able to find a way to connect with them that was purposeful and compassionate.
I had major shame which created great resistance to even starting on this journey but once I held my shame and looked at it with love it started to shift.
If you are connecting to this I want to start by saying:
It IS going to be OK because shame can be dismantled through gratitude and small intentional steps that create deeper understanding and ease.
Secondly, we are entering into a New Moon Phase today and it is wonderful time to set intentions for the next month. We have just entered into a new year and this is a great time not for new resolutions but for reflection and creating a plan for your intentions.
So, CAN you start this year by being compassionate with yourself?
Can you give yourself the time to reflect at what has worked for you this year and what needs more attention?
The exercise below can help you start to write your intentions for this year.
Start by taking 5 deep breathes to calm and connect with your body. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
1. What are three celebrations you have from this year around your finances? Remember it can small? It can be around giving, or growing or understanding.
2. What are three things you are grateful for?
3. What are three things you want to understand better or put more energy into?
4. How do you want to feel about your finances at the end of the year?
5. What are 2-3 Compassionate Financial Goals you have for this year? A compassionate goal is one that is positive and comes from a nurturing place instead of a place of scarcity and worry.
Let me know what you discovered in The Soulful Innovators group on Facebook. Click Here to Join.
My daughter turned eleven last week and with that celebration she announced to me that she was officially a tween. I cringed a bit because I find that word so ambiguous, a word that in my mind means in between without a center and the hollowness of the word made me uneasy. Yet, it is this time in an adolescent’s life where everything is changing, feels unfamiliar and they are stepping from their child like understanding into a new space which seems foreign. Yes, their body is starting to change as well as their chemistry for which there are a myriad of resources to find that explain the why and what is next. However, what I have found challenging is finding the resources to help support her through the emotional space that is the under current and foundation for what is to come and what is already here. Over the last two years I have had to navigate the anxiety she is feeling which has come from entering this foreign space where she has started to discover that the world is bigger than just her, that there is suffering in the world, and the smallness that comes with this knowledge has led to fear, to sadness and also new passions and sense of wonder. As we delved into the thick of her emotions over the last two years, and they keep changing and are becoming bigger, I have started to reflect back on my own youth and where certain fears I still carry came from. My pre-teen years are a time where I often felt alone, disconnected and the need to blend in for fear my voice was too big. I don’t remember my parents being open to discussing the deep emotions that I was feeling because in reality they themselves did not have that support when they were ten, eleven, twelve and beyond. This was the time I stopped playing for fear of being seen as a “baby”, this is when I struggled to understand what I feeling and that lead to constantly feeling embarrassed and or ashamed of my emotions. I know I don’t want to pass this void on to my daughter so over the last two years I have started to find tools and rituals to help her connect with herself, her heart, and express her ideas, her feelings and her frustrations openly. These tools I want to share with you so that we can help this generation learn to love their emotions and connect with them deeply so that they can safely connect with friends and family and feel fully supported.
Energy Connection is where we started. Yoga Nidra is a type of deep relaxing meditation where you do a body scan while lying down. Here is the one we used to the most. https://www.doyogawithme.com/content/yoga-nidra-sleep We would do this at night for it helps to calm and connect the mind and to body so that it can process, relax and release information from the day. I also got certified in Reiki which is not something everyone desires to do but for us it turned out to be a powerful tool that really helped my daughter clear energy from her body that wasn’t serving her and dissipated some deep fears that were interrupting her sleep. For those unfamiliar with Reiki it is a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel and move energy into and through the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being. Mindful Connection is another tool that we use daily. For us this is another nightly ritual. My daughter needs touch, she craves it but she also craves and needs mindful connection. So every night we share one thing that was great about our day, one struggle from our day and one thing we are grateful for. Often times, after this is when we have our deepest conversations. This simple ritual sets the stage for discussions in an intimate setting where she can unload all that is bottling up. I can being full aware and focused on her and allow her to voice her questions, insecurities and sadness. This has allowed her to connect to her emotions and get clarity that she seeks. Sometimes all I do is listen and that is all she needs and other times a conversation happens where we both learn and understand something new.
The third ritual we have started to incorporate is that of Play Time. This is different, yet similar to when she was a toddler and young child and I would sit down andplay with her. Now, the play comes in the form of board games, dance parties or signing karaoke. I know life is busy and often times she comes home and goes straight to her room to chill which is needed too. But, as these children are navigating their emotions and their desire to be more independent they need a container in which they can still play and be young, where they can feel seen and heard and where they can connect. We have time every night after dinner for this and often times this is where we laugh the hardest. Laughter is such good medicine and we all need more of it!