How Play Makes Connecting to Your Authentic Self – And Self-Care – Way EasierSep 27, 2023
My first day of kindergarten, I got in trouble because my teacher thought I wasn’t following directions. She wanted us to draw a self-portrait, so I drew a horse. :) I’ve always had a connection with animals, and that day, I felt like a wild mustang.
You remember the imagination you used to have as a child too, don't you? A tree could become a fairy palace, new friends could materialize out of thin air, and grand adventures could happen in the living room...
But as we grow up, all too often our childlike sense of play gets replaced by work, rules, "shoulds," and expectations.
...and as a result, we lose touch with our authentic self, power, and magic.
Where we're at in this 6-week series on becoming your most empowered and authentic self...
Week 1: What We Really Mean By Authentic Self––And Why It Matters
Week 2: [This Post] How Play Makes Connecting to Your Authentic Self––And Self-Care––Way Easier
Week 3: Hint: it's about Radical Honesty and Self-Trust
Week 4: Hint: it's about Magic and Manifesting
Week 5: Hint: it's about Power and Sovereignty
Week 6: Hint: it's about Wonder and Awe
Missed one? Check it out on the blog!
It's a major reason why my coaching clients come to work with me even if they don't quite realize the why behind it yet––and I've found that cultivating a play mindset is the first key step toward feeling more like your best, most empowered and authentic self.
Research backs up the very tangible benefits of play (yes even for adults!), including increased brain function, creativity, and optimism––as well as decreased stress levels.
So what does a play mindset actually look like in practice? Let's look at a common example...
One of the things my clients dream about is having a consistent self-care practice, especially with all the responsibilities they juggle.
Traditional self-care and habit advice usually emphasizes commitment, consistency, and follow-through above everything else.
While repetition IS key for building a habit, I've found that folks are more likely to stick with and benefit from a self-care practice if they take a more playful approach and create a ritual that feels like an adventure.
When we treat life changes as adventures and experiments, it automatically evokes a play mindset––it takes the pressure off, allows us to try something new, and empowers us to adapt to changing circumstances and moods while still working towards the goal.
For example...you have a goal to connect more with your intuition.
Meditate for 10 minutes every morning.
Make a menu of intuitive practices to choose from, pick an adventure timeframe (like a week), a time chunk (like 10 minutes), and a frequency (like 3 times / week) to try that feels doable and fun.
Give yourself permission to mix up which practice you do––based on your intuition, energy level, and mood! Make notes about what you liked best and reassess at the end of your chosen timeframe. At the end of the timeframe, see what worked for you and what didn't, and iterate on it for the next timeframe.
Now I'm curious... which self-care practice sounds more fun? And which practice sounds like you'd be more likely to do it––and keep doing it––long-term?
Now imagine what can happen when you apply more playfulness in your relationships, work, household chores, exercise routines, dinner plans...you name it.
(I dare you to try it!)
As you can see, play is powerful––we often don't know what is going to feel best until we try it, and if we heap on pressure to commit to the same thing with no wiggle room, we are more likely to quit.
We're also more likely to drown out our intuition in favor of following a "should"––and wind up burned out and back at the beginning.
But when we focus on play instead, we rediscover what is truly, authentically us along the way and create sustainable consistency.
Play helps us reclaim our core essence, desires, energy, needs, purpose, and more––which is why cultivating a play mindset is the first key step toward crafting a life you don't need a vacation from :)
Stay tuned next week for the 2nd step to reclaiming your power, feeling more like your authentic self, and living your most satisfying life.
Trust me, it'll be good :)
P.S. This series is pre-marketing to support my upcoming course on how to read and create your own Oracle cards: Become Your Own Oracle which will start enrolling early November and kick off with a 90-minute intuitive art workshop on Sunday, November 5th.
Stay tuned for how to sign up for both soon!