Category Archives: The Playful Journey

Play and Self-Care

Playing with self-care * listening to STOP signals * so you can be free (to GO!)

Want to learn more or work with me as a mentor and creative coach? I’d love to talk with you!

Claim your Free Guide to the ‘Art of Playing in the Everyday’.

Please leave a comment following this post/podcast or post a comment on the Play=Peace Facebook page.

Playing with New Things and Perfection: We Are All a Little Weird

We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. ~ Dr. Seuss

Stepping into new experiences in our lives can feel challenging. If, on top of those feelings of inadequacy and lack of confidence, we add a desire for perfection we can too often give up on the practice we have just begun.

I have been trying out some new online video tools. I am comfortable with audio or being filmed during a performance but somehow looking at myself on the phone or computer screen as I record a #scope or LIVE event feels uncomfortable and frankly doesn’t feel playful.

Listen to: The Art of Playing in the Everyday and New Experience (Part 4) 

(Oh! Perfect!)

Want to learn more or work with me as a mentor and creative coach? I’d love to talk with you!

Sign-up for ‘Play Notes‘, our bi-weekly newsletter and receive a free downloadable copy of  ‘The Art of Playing in the Everyday’ e-book.

Please leave a comment following this post/podcast or post a comment on the Play=Peace Facebook page.

 

New Series: The Art of Playing in the Everyday and New Pathways (Part 2)

Last week I spent a week at my daughter’s home caring for my grandchildren and grand-dogs while she was away on a business trip. Yesterday it was time to go home. Heather, Bailey, and I found ourselves in a long ferry line. We would have been waiting for 3 hours or more to be loaded on the ferry so we decided to get out of line and take a different route home. On our way–we discovered new places to play–state parks, an underwater museum, and new places to stop for treats and re-fueling.

We stopped to walk and listen to the birds, watch the Dungeness River flow. We enjoyed sharing stories and playing with Bailey on the bridge. We discovered new playful spaces along our route and deepened our mother-daughter, nana-granddaughter relationships.

 

Do you take the same path to events or the store nearby home? When you leave for the office, studio, or place of work on Monday–do you take the same route to work? If you work at home, what could you change even slightly to create greater ease and relaxation in your creative space?

There are so many benefits from playing in the everyday. While traveling to and fro in your day consider creating new pathways, heighten your decision-making skills, increase your options, discover new adventures, bring more joy, deepen your relationships, and break free of routine.


Want to learn more or work with me as a mentor and creative coach? I’d love to talk with you!

Sign-up for ‘Play Notes‘, our bi-weekly newsletter and receive a free downloadable copy of  ‘The Art of Playing in the Everyday’ e-book

Give me a call/text at 206/200-4542, leave a comment following this post/podcast, post a comment on the Play=Peace Facebook page, or write me at maryalice@playequalspeace.com

A Dose of En-Courage-ment & Inspiration Leads to a New Focal Point

Over the last few weeks I have been in conversation with three very disparate people have brought me insight and safe passage as I bridge the gap between where I am and where I want to be.

  • This morning I listened to Christine Gilbert talk about ‘bringing it together’. I recognized while listening that I am ready to focus on the one thing that matters to me most in my business and that I am ready to do the work to get me to where I want to be.
  • Greg Dickson is an author, business coach, and entrepreneur. He and I only recently began to converse about a diverse array of subjects. I truly appreciate Greg’s willingness to share his viewpoints and to listen to what I have to contribute in the conversation. When I talked to Greg I used the word ‘trying’ and later shared my realization that (through the help of my spouse, Michael) that it is more of a re-start or re-vitalization.
  • Julie Jordan Scott is a writer who inspires women to experience creative re-birth. She (and Gloria Fuentes) inspired me to write

Between my trials and my deepening there is a bridge and it means safe passage

So now I am embracing two Summer-time Words:

Focus

Fly!


  • Do you have some helpers in your life that en-courage and inspire you?
  • What are your summer-time words?

I would love to hear from you!

Want to learn more? Sign-up for ‘Play Notes‘, our bi-weekly newsletter and receive a free downloadable copy of  ‘The Art of Playing in the Everyday’ e-book

Give me a call or text me at 206/200-4542.

 

 

Some Highlights from our NEW Instagram Photo Challenge & Contest to Inspire YOU!

Submit a photo for a chance to win a gift of playful goodies packaged lovingly by Mary Alice. Follow us at Instagram, use the hashtag #playintheeveryday, sign-up to receive ‘Play Notes‘, and you are in!

BONUS!! When you sign-up for ‘Play Notes’ you will receive a link to download a copy of ‘The Art of Playing in the Everyday’ e-Book.

Instagram is a platform that allows you to share images and videos. It has millions of daily users and is a great way to keep up with friends, family, and even your favorite brands. There’s no limit to how much you can post or interact with one another and it’s basically like one big family. This Instagram challenge was a great way to interact with one another and see what we’ve all been up to recently. Posts racked up quite a few likes and perhaps some chose to buy Instagram likes because they had significant engagement! Lynzelle from South Africa @live_in_wonder submitted a photo of her son’s experiment with chromatography.

I wrote in response to @live_in_wonder:

I love how you’re playing with science. I was involved with a nonprofit called ‘Art, Science, and Nature’. As a group we invited in international artists and scientists and Montessori teachers, et al… to explore the intersection of arts and science, that arts and science are not separate. In your image I love the play and colors. We would all love to hear your comments about the ways you play with science.

Lynzelle @live_in_wonder added:

I am homeschooling my son. He is in 7th grade now, and we just love to do all the experiments. This one was about chromatography. I really love science and enjoy watching the amazement on his face when things start to happen! This one was very colourful too!?It is important to me that he enjoys the experience, then you learn so much more!

Callie @callie_carling posted:

Today has been a true self-care day, playing in my garden in the sunshine! All thoughts of exam stress, work pressures + health issues were vamooshed with a sweep of my pritt-stick.

I wrote in response:

Recently a friend and I did the same thing. We took our paints, markers, pencils and paper outside and had a great time creating and sharing together. Thank you so much for participating in our NEW INSTAGRAM PHOTO CHALLENGE & CONTEST.

My goal for our first Photo Challenge and Contest is a playful one. I want everyone who participates to have fun while sharing photos of what makes them happy, what creates joy, what feels playful in the every day. There are so many opportunities to play in the everyday. Science experiments, art-making in the garden and a spin in a colorful convertible!

Each moment brings along a playful opportunity… #playintheeveryday

@createthelight posted:

A sandpit is one of the best places for us to practice our imagination. Here we made roads to our sand houses. The other day we had a bakery and were making sand cakes (the blueberry super cherry cake was a winner). We were unicorns by the way, and could only pick the blueberries from unicorn land for which only she had the password.
.
My little one is the boss of the game and I have to follow along. Love this!!

I wrote in response:

I love to play at the beach with my grandkids and remember fondly creating mud pies that I traded for delicious Norwegian cookies be by our next door neighbor–she was like a grandma to me. I also have been in my own sand play process and held sacred space for sandplay as a therapeutic mode for my clients when I was practicing as a depth oriented psychotherapist. Child center play is so important. Whether child or adult imagination can lead us to wild places, often very different than our every day reality.

Now Its Your Turn! Submit a photo for a chance to win a gift of playful goodies packaged lovingly by Mary Alice. #playintheeveryday

While sharing your image of ‘play in the everyday’ moments of your life, be sure to Follow us, use the hashtag #playintheeveryday, and sign-up to receive ‘Play Notes‘, our bi-weekly newsletter filled with playful resources, to be in the running for my special gift package of playful goodies. I will be re-posting photos as they come in–sharing what makes us all sing! dance! be happy! express ourselves! and play and en-joy! life to the full.

BONUS!! When you sign-up for ‘Play Notes’ you will receive a link to download a copy of ‘The Art of Playing in the Everyday’ e-Book.

Find Play=Peace on Instagram

Instagram Challenge: The Art of Playing in the Everyday

 

The Question: How do I Bring more Joy into my Life?

 I don’t know how to play

Everyday I hear from folks who report that they don’t know how to play. I also hear from people who tell me that I inspire them to play more, to make play a priority in their lives.

The Question: How can I bring more joy into my life?

The Reality: I am feeling depressed, stressed, unmotivated [fill-in the blank].

The Solution: Sign-up now for our ‘Play Notes’ bi-weekly newsletter and receive inspirational play quotes and mentoring haikus + play-based, depth-oriented blog posts + additional resources and updates

AND

When you sign-up you will receive a complimentary The Art of Playing in the Everyday‘ e-Book to help you re-claim play and joy in your life.

Sign-up for ‘Play Notes’ for inspiration today and receive your free e-book [Just click on sign-up now!]

Self-Doubt & Play

There was a couple of days last week when I was feeling it. Doubt came for a visit.

I danced with Doubt for a while before I realized that the rhythm was all off between the two of us and I needed to look for another partner. Play showed up at that point and I haven’t looked back.

A couple of my friends shared with me that Doubt is often a sign that it’s time to go in another direction. Oh, that makes sense, I thought. I felt lifted and was able to pull myself out of the hole I was in.

I realized that my direction is not linear but has many different spirals and loops. I don’t have to run to the end of the road. I can release my expectations and ride along just enjoying the view for a while before planting my feet again firmly on the ground. There is no need for re-solution as I travel.

I am attempting to write in draft form without editing as I go along. It is harder than I thought to let go and just get it out. It is also a challenge to not look at other resources or do re-search as I write.

Attempting. Good practice.

Since giving Doubt the boot!

  • I am focusing on the ways I attend to and care for each moment. Each time I give my all to any one life event or relationship it feels so much more satisfying than when I am trying to do it all, flitting from this to that.
  • I am noticing when my neck stiffens, my breath is shallow. When I hold my breath and am not opening up to what is…
  • I am giving myself permission to play, explore, be curious, go on a grand adventure, take myself out on a play date. There is no perfect way to do anything. All I can do is give it a go and make the best of it. Practicing and deepening my resolve to fully savor each moment, task, conversation, mundane or meaningful pursuit seems to be what is up for me.  On my way to any new directions.

I may be leaving behind something I have held close for a long time. It is going to take some amount of care and wisdom to pull this off.

I am really not sure. But then, who is?

I can give myself all the permission in the world to play, fiddle, rip into, take a huge bit of life, go for it! No one can take that away from me. It’s mine.

Commitment is not a one time only deal. I am re-committing again and again to noticing what no longer serves and, then, making my way to where my heart leads me.

 

Ingesting Joy

I skipped lunch today in favor of painting. Yum!

I am playing, creating, ingesting, and sharing what I am learning.

So many people who I work with are searching and questioning the purpose of life:

How to be more compassionate and make a difference.

I feel very fortunate that I understand my role in making a difference in the lives of others. My purpose is to help myself and others re-search and learn ‘the art of playing in the everyday’.  To help others create playful pathways where each of us stand up and act compassionately (with an open heart) from the grounding of a life-well lived.

As any of you who are readers of my blogs know–I value dreaming, sharing, and taking action for the greater good. Even so, it is only recently that I began to send more than the occasional email to subscribers of our Play Notes e-list. I didn’t want to overburden anyone’s email box or be accused of being TOO MUCH, TOO BIG, TO VOCAL.

When I was a girl growing up, in a large, Catholic family; I knew that I was to stay small, not speak, not be different. The nuns at the parochial school I attended showed very little tolerance for lack of conformity or drawing outside the lines. Even in my doctoral program I was told by one of the women I studied with, I could wipe the floor with you. About that same time, around my 40th birthday, things began to change. I began to play again outside of walls that I created for myself–walls that were built from my choices.

TODAY I understand how important it is to inform others who will be impacted by my actions about what I am doing. Be in my authority. Communicate and not be concerned that it’s TOO MUCH.


Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity. ~Henri Nouwen

I Play and Find Joy in:

  • Writing
  • Walking in my neighborhood
  • Snowshoe during the winter season
  • Hiking
  • Talking with a friend
  • Posting a Photo and Sharing a Story on Social Media
  • Listening to someone who is sharing a painful experience
  • Watching a Sunrise or Sunset with Soft Focus
  • Playing with my grandchildren

What brings you JOY?

[Fill in the Blank]

There are so many moments of JOY! and OPPORTUNITIES TO STAND UP AND RAISE YOUR VOICE!


I have been sharing ‘Play Quotes‘ for a while now. I’m excited to see how many people are sharing these bits of inspiration with others. Some of the quotes are my own and then there is a portion of quotes that are ‘riffs’ by me on the words of those who inspire me. I am drawn to a variety of voices some known and increasingly new voices of poets, songwriters, novelists, play advocates, creativity experts, dreamers, scientists, innovators, activists, and more. My goal in sharing these ‘play quotes’ is to inspire you! To help you move ahead on your playful, individuation journey.

I am also sending blog posts to subscribers of ‘Play Notes‘ from both the Play=Peace blog and the Create a Life that Comes from the Heart blog. I am finding that my writing is deepening as I commit to the process of writing and of sharing courageously with my readers.

I am eager to connect with many more of you this year in meaningful ways. There are a number of avenues to connect and learn more about ‘the art of playing in the everyday’.

  1. Individual Play-based, Depth-oriented Mentoring
  2. Memoir Project writings, Performances, and Workshops
  3. Speaking Engagements and Freelance Writing
  4. Playful Journey Virtual Retreats
  5. Play=Peace Shop
  6. Play=Peace on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and others…

 

Playing in the Dark + Walking with Others without Pity

To those who have dared the darkness, and those who have walked with them, without pity. ~ Marion Woodman, from Bone: Dying into Life

As I write I am aware of the many people who have inspired me along the way. Right now I am allowing the names of those who have breathed life into my everyday to tumble in. Some of these folks have frankly been more like thorns in my side than soft hugs or light touches against the soft skin of my cheek. The latter have been and will continue to be chosen partners to walk with on my playful, creative journey.

As I write I am aware of my desire to let go of constraint and get on with it. I am making an attempt to write way ahead of my thinker! I’m a body intellectual, amongst the many facets of Mary Alice, and so its a challenge to get ahead of this-is or thats-is that want to be heard. There is so much that I do not know, haven’t seen, haven’t experienced and I want it all!

As I write I am aware of those writers that I admire. I love their style of writing, their courage, their way of languaging what they have to give voice to. Critics are always going to be part of the scene because I dare to share. I am interested in traveling to the multitudinous places that my dreams will take me. No pressure folks! Ha! Part of the fun is planning the trips with no expectations and the freedom to include everything imaginable without concern for cost, where I will stay, or an itinerary.

I remember when my husband, Michael, and I  traveled to London for a month’s stay. He created a color-coded grid with the dates of our stay and every aspect of our trip–reservations, tickets, time slots; train, plane, automobile…Horrors! We made an agreement that every bit of the schedule could be changed at a moment’s notice. Similarly, I DO NOT want my life’s journey to be on a grid. When I write I want to be able to switch tracks on a moment’s notice.

As I write, I am aware of the value I place on play and creativity in the everyday moments of my life especially in the moments where I dare the darkness, face my fears, meet my Shadow. I am grateful for those who walk with me as I struggle, those who walk with me as I stumble.

I am curious.

I am clearing what is not longer necessary.

As I write, I am aware of my desire to bring more consciousness into my playful, creative journey. Writing and creating in new ways helps my brain to stay limber, my heart to remain open, and my gut to speak the truth. Each time I make another attempt to dive deep into unknown waters I am freed to take another leap into the muck and beauty of what we call life.

To those who have dared the darkness, and those who have walked with them, without pity. ~ Marion Woodman, from Bone: Dying into Life

Tell the Story of Who You Are With Your Whole Heart

Important Question: What is keeping me from completing my memoir?

Psyche’s Answer: You must give birth to and release what you have been carefully nurturing for soooo long!

Courage: to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart

In 1987 I released my newborn into the waiting arms of his adoptive mom.

30 years later, I am struggling to release the story of who I am and what I am becoming…

After my mom died in 2008 I dreamed:

In the middle of the front yard of our home there are large stones that spell out a word:

The word is COURAGE


I became the Goddess without the feminine ground that would return me to humanity. 
I am beginning to understand the power of archetype. I am conscious and making choices YES!
This morning I wrote down a new writing schedule in my journal. These hours will be devoted to writing and preparation for birth.
I begin to page through the edited version of my manuscript and I see the words
bird
raven 
butterfly
and am able to fly, and dive deep, anew…and where I never imagined possible, until now. ~synchronicity in the moment of writing/excerpt from a friend’s email

I am doing what needs to be done to complete my memoir, perform my life, discover more…
My surrogate son’s 30th birthday is Saturday. This is the first birthday I am able to wish him a
Happy Birthday!
 I am celebrating my son’s life, our story.
What I said yes to…
I will never say yes to again…
AND…
I am the woman, I am today because of my experience as a surrogate mother
AND
because I play
because I create
because I write… I am READY to complete a lengthy work filled with story, images, dreams, and letters.
I am READY to deepen my work and accept the challenge of completing my work. It is difficult to write about completion and release…there’s a lot for me to learn. This is another step in making sense of what holds me back. Not wanting to let go has brought me to tears, sobbing, many times. I can do this!
IMAGINE what will birth next?!
I’m going to keep writing and watch to see what synchronicities emerge. Undoubtedly many of these connections will bring difficulties and challenges + de-light!
Want to find out more about our Memoir Project? Great!