Category: Articles

Finding Your Playmate


An Excerpt from Hop, Skip, Jump

by Marney K. Makridakis

Shortly after becoming engaged to the man of my dreams, I read about the mating habits of monarch butterflies. When they mate, they carry each other. Sometimes the male carries the female, and sometime the female carries the male. Because that is an apt metaphor for our relationship, Tony and I included a butterfly release during our casual outdoor wedding. It was a whimsical touch on a gorgeous day, except for the very unfortunate story of the butterflies who got too much sun and, sadly, turned into baked butterflies. Trust me, young lovers, you don’t want overheated butterflies at your wedding. But the symbolism of the kind of mutual support we offer each other — sometimes I carry him, sometimes he carries me — remains in flight.

The Different Types of Playmates
One of the most important aspects of the Hop phase is to cultivate relationships and enhanced experiences of personal support. In child development, various kinds of social play are identified as being important. You can use the following definitions to inspire the types of supportive play that you’ll need in the beginning stages of a dream:

Rough-and-tumble playmates. You need playmates who will roll around with you as you toss and tumble with new ideas. Make sure you are selecting people you trust and who do not bring negativity or discouraging energy to the table. My friend Dan is a good example of a “rough-and-tumble” playmate. I can go to him with creative ideas, and he adds fabulous feedback and offers new ideas in a way that is fun and delightful.

Belonging playmates. You need playmates who are familiar with what you are experiencing and can serve as great examples to both normalize and inspire your process. My friend Tama fits the bill for this one. She and I have so many similar professional experiences that a conversation with her is the perfect place for me to take a deep breath and feel that I am understood and really known. It’s well documented that children need “parallel play” experiences, where they feel safe playing next to another child, though not necessarily with them. We need that, too.

Celebratory playmates. You need playmates who can be your cheerleaders, champions, and celebrants. These friends may or may not have a direct interest in or connection to what you’re working on, but they’ll be there to cheer you on. Jean E. is a friend who celebrates with me no matter what. Our initial bond was built around our roles of mothering young kids, but if I have a professional accomplishment, she’ll want to take me out for a celebratory pedicure.

Try This: Have a Tea Party
Take a look at the playmates in your life. Who currently fits into the categories of rough-and-tumble playmate, belonging playmate, and celebratory playmate? Where are the empty spaces, and how might you fill them?

After you have identified those who provide support, use your crayons to draw a picture of all of you coming together for an imaginary tea party. Add details to your drawing to make it come alive. Add decorations, a menu, and other elements. Think about whether your tea party might have a theme: Is it a marathon-training tea party? A business-building tea party? A new-apartment tea party? Do any of these made-up tea words — abilitea, creativitea, believabilitea — spark ideas?

Marney K. Makridakis is the author of Hop, Skip, Jump and founder of the online community Her first book, Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life, hit #1 on Amazon’s bestseller lists in several categories. Visit her online at

Adapted from the book Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life. Copyright © 2014 by Marney K. Makridakis. Published with permission of New World Library.

"Life happens. Life in the flow."

We learn over time that nobody can solve our problems, but someone can guide you how to solve the problem. You may receive guidance through a teacher, a guru or even strangers that you run into every day. As we practice yoga we learn that the more we know, the less we truly know. Every day I am reminded how much I truly do not know; a very humbling experience.
Yoga teaches me to be present. To just live for being and enjoying life as it is right NOW. Not ten minutes from now, no five days ago, but right now. We are taught to get out of our heads, to release worries and fears of the past or the future and to only live for this very moment. Presence.

"Lead me from untruth to truth, lead me from darkness to light." ~ Buddha

Through yoga we are reminded that we do have a dark side as well as a light side. We are not to repress the dark side, but embrace that side of our Self. We are the yin and the yang. We ultimately cleanse the dark stuff we hold inside. We shine the light on this. We must make friends with dark side. Both positive and negative balance out the whole. Daily practice refines and improves our inner vision to see our Self more clearly. We no longer need to run from fears. Face them and say I'm not running from you anymore. So much is in our heads, so much dark is only in our heads, self-doubt judgment betrayal. Yoga grounds the body so that the light and dark sides of ourselves become clear. So much is truly untrue. But as we diligently practice we are able to find the middle ground and walk our centered balanced line in life. We gain balance in centered lightheartedness. We can have harmony in both light and dark.

"Yoga tells us that the world is actually a projection of our own thoughts and we can modify our inner world to manifest into our outer world. When our inside realm is at peace and in harmony, our outer world shines this projection back at us."
~ David, Jiva Mukti Yoga co-founder

Yoga is observation.

We can observe our world and see what part that is in us is begin reflected back to us. We can then see what part of us needs modification or adjustment in order to have our outer reality reflect back to us the peace, happiness and love we so greatly desire and deserve.

Yoga is already inside of you. Happiness is there. Yoga helps you peel away the onion layers to get to the core. To freedom. The deepest Divine connection to the Ultimate Light Source.

Come out of wanting and back into acceptance and Joy. A yogi or yogini can turn any situation into bliss. That is a yogi. Yoga is being now. Ultimate yoga is meditation. Just BE.

Yoga is love.

"Love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls." 
~ Paramahansa Yogananda

Through a dedicated practice of all forms of yoga we can participate in the world with a sense of freedom, unaffected from trauma, depression, anger, etc. The freedom is balance in both.

Maggie Anderson is a Yoga & Spiritual Teacher, Reiki Master Teacher, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master Instructor, Soul Coach®, Past Life Coach, Magnified Healing® Master Teacher and Angelights Messenger. She is the author of How I Found My True Inner Peace and Divine Embrace. You can contact Maggie at

"Follow Your Bliss. It's Your Spiritual Compass."