I felt hesitant to send this post live because I’m still so early in my learning this myself, but it needs to be shared. I sense that many of you are in this same place.
Let’s talk play and why it matters to your LIFE and your business.
Sister friends, you simply have to live the full range of life. It’s not enough to live in just strength or faith or powering through or busy or even business booming growth.
You have to also live in joy, harmony, vibrancy, sensuality, tenderness, slowness, just the right pace-ness, laughter, and even childlike (or, heck, even sophisticated) play.
*To be fully WOMAN and live in your fullest expression of success, you have to get cozy with the full range of LIFE and ALL it has to offer.*
Let me tell you where I’m writing this from: the woods of West Virginia on a yoga retreat with one of my clients. Earlier today I got to play with the coolest monster-sized bubbles and I’m pining for a ride on the swings as soon as I’m finished with this stream to you. I’m learning.
Play, my new favorite adventure sport, recently revealed itself to me, on my retreat with Nisha & Co., as my next lesson and biggest “edge.” We’ve been making friends with each other ever since. Not the kind of friends that hit it off and realize right away that they’ll be lifelong BFFs, but more the kind that at first admired each other from afar, and “get” each other a little more every time they hang out.
My most common sentiment in this budding relationship: “Huh. You’re not who I thought you were from my first impression…and I’m liking you more and more all the time.”
Here’s the practice that just literally shoved its way into my life the second I landed back home from masterminding in Bali. There was no choice in the matter, and I’ve been growing more and more attached ever since.
1. A morning laugh before work. I can’t seem to get the day started until this happens. Between my husband, pup, and a new joie de vivre lately, this has been remarkably easy.
2. A mid-day play break. Every day. No exceptions.
Holy cow, when this one hit my life it was like a TON OF BRICKS. Ummmm, no, I argued, that will not be happening
Um, yes, came the response, it will.
I mean I felt guuuuil-ty at first. Until, after 45 minute or even a couple hours of play, I went back to my client work with more calmness, creativity, zest, and energy. That’s when I started to see the light. Take note, play is critical to your business.
What do I do during that time?
Well, so far I’ve gone on long, luxurious walks with our pup, baked banana bread for my hubs, taken five times the amount of time it normally takes to make lunch (how does it taste so much better after that?), enjoyed recreational reads, napped, gone to hot yoga, and watched an episode of my newest favorite HGTV find called Fixer Upper—which felt so good it couldn’t have been anything less than naughty. (P.S. if anyone can connect me to Joanna Gaines, please let me know. I’d fly to Waco tomorrow to have lunch with that woman.)
This, dear girls, is the unwinding of too many years of pure seriousness. In case any of us need a reframe here: seriousness is/can be good. Years of it at a time, not so much.
To contrast, my breaks before play entered my life with a big ol’ bag of tricks were only “productive” and included things like cleaning the house and ironing. Word to the wise, THAT IS NOT A BREAK!
3. End of day activities.
This is pretty simple and just like it sounds, except that instead of thinking, “Okay, after I’m done with work, I’ll walk the dog, make dinner, and clean for half an hour,” it’s become, “Okay, what sounds most exciting and relaxing for us after work?”
Sometimes it is taking the dog for a stretch, creating a delicious meal, and tidying up for the next day, but the energy of it has shifted so much in this new play-consciousness.
And sometimes it’s playing in the garden, going for a run together, or being with friends.
It’s just different. And more relaxed.
So I’m waist-deep in this new life experiment, but there’s one thing I already know for sure: the second you introduce an element in the range of life, it’s like your old stories about it start to fall away.
And that, perhaps, is the most beautiful part of it all.