Category: Spiritual Motivational Articles

The Importance of Play

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An Excerpt from Hop, Skip, Jump

by Marney K. Makridakis

Chances are there is something in your life that you’d like to manifest — and it’s likely something you see as being part of your meaningful life. You might want to manifest:

• A creative dream
• Improvements in physical health
• A soul mate
• A different job or profession
• Completion of an old, forgotten project
• A new home
• A meaningful community
• Transformation of an old belief or attitude
• A certain sum of money
• A fantasy vacation
• Change in the world

Of course, there are many more examples, but ultimately, manifesting comes down to momentum. Play invites you to connect to the power of momentum without even realizing it.

 

 

I believe in a world where work feels like play, and while it’s not always as easy as I’d like, I try to spend as much time there as possible. My goal is to help you identify, activate, and use the powerful intersections between play and productivity in order to manifest whatever you desire. Manifest means to reveal what is already there, to take what already exists and make it clearly and plainly visible. My clients, many of whom are creative entrepreneurs, already have what they need to succeed — and likely so do you. However, I help my clients by introducing playful toys and tools that help them manifest their desires faster, and with more ease and joy.

Play can be applied to anything, even the most serious, unplayful topics. When writing Hop, Skip, Jump, I reconnected with a friend I had not seen in over twenty years. She knew me in my tumultuous teens and early twenties, before I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and hit rock bottom. She asked me why I was writing books about creativity instead of books that help people recover from mental illness. Interestingly, her question made me realize that this book is about mental health recovery, only not just for those diagnosed with a disorder, but for everyone who wants to radically improve their day-to-day productivity or even make a Great Big Dream come true.

The playful processes I use today were things I was doing two decades ago to pick up the toppled ABC blocks of my life. Almost anything I’ve managed to make real in my life — emotional healing, creative business success, major health improvements, raising a child, concocting the ideal chai latte — has come from the spirit of play. So I continue to Hop, Skip, and Jump through this wild adventure of life, and in these pages, I invite you to join me as we explore all the sweet, surprising ways we can playfully manifest what we want in our lives. Whatever you want to manifest, you can use the ideas in this book to do so and create a life that matters to you while having fun doing it. This is your opportunity to remember how to laugh from your belly, try new things, and feel a bit silly as you play with who you are and how you move about your life. When you connect to the power of play, you tap into the spirit of adventure and experience the amazing feeling that everything is possible.

Why Play Matters
Ask anyone to define play, and they’ll probably give an example rather than a definition. It’s a tough thing to describe accurately. It’s fairly obvious to see the very general ways that play shows up in the human life cycle. Infants play to achieve emotional attunement and security. Preschoolers play to discover their sense of self and the world around them. Children play to develop imagination and social skills. Teenagers can play to explore their identity and express the spectrum of emotions. Twenty-somethings often play to escape real-world responsibilities and ever-increasing pressures of life. Adults of all ages use play as a reward that usually comes after working: choir practice in the evening, golf on the weekend, photography on a vacation, bird-watching and boating after retirement.

For adults, play can be much more than simply filling the open spaces between work and daily responsibilities. Play is the portal to presence. Play is the way you touch and amplify the enchantment of being human. Play is filled with contradictions — inspiring sophomoric pranks and high art, deconstruction and discovery, mindless escape and soulful expression. It is the thing that animals do without being taught and the state that humans crave without knowing exactly how to describe it.

When it comes to the intersection of play and productivity, the secret is quite simple: what moves us is what moves us, which simply means what moves us emotionally is what moves us to action. This is why play helps us be productive. Play is many, many things, but it is never still, stuck, or stagnant; it somehow always moves. So when it comes to manifesting a meaningful life, play works.


Marney K. Makridakis is the author of Hop, Skip, Jump and founder of the online community ArtellaLand.com. 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 ArtellaLand.com.

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.

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