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.


4 thoughts on “Self-Doubt & Play”

  1. Hi, Mary Alice.

    I love this! Thank you for the reminder to give myself permission to play. I grew up in a household where play was for children (my mom is the super productive, hard work ethic type). It was long into my adulthood when I started realizing that play and fun and relaxation are all things that fuel us. They are so necessary.

    Great reminder!

    1. Hi Alicia, thank you! I am so happy to read that you are moving ahead on your unique playful journey. I grew up in a household where it was difficult to be playful at home so, like many others, I would leave home to explore and play outdoors, read Pippy Longstocking’s at the library, and attend dance classes with neighborhood friends. After years of sitting in a desk and earning several degrees I found my way back to play and creativity with the help of my dreams. I value my education and analytical work and at the same time I have found that play is the thing! that supports my living a full and creative life. Practicing the art of playing in the everyday in my relationships, as I work, dream, and create continues to bring me many gemstones as I pursue what is important, as I become…

      I invite you to sign-up for our ‘Play Notes’ list if you aren’t already receiving ‘Play Notes’ in your in-box. You can sign-up here

      Lets stay in touch. I would love to read your ‘play stories’– about your unique ways of playing. Bravo!

  2. Mary, there are lots of messages in this post for me – particularly about writing without editing. I have been sitting, staring at, and adjusting the same two paragraphs for quite a while now!
    Like you, I was very sensible in pursuing my degrees, but then once I went travelling, all the play came back to me. I think I probably need to work now on finding a middle ground, but there’s nothing like just letting it all go to have fun. Thanks for the post!

    1. Thank you Jo. I just completed another write without editing. Side-by-side with this practice I am playing with ‘attending’ one bit at a time…not multi-tasking!

      The practice of the art of playing in the everyday–in my relationships, my work, my dreams, and as I create helps me to create a life that is full, joyful, and meaningful. A work in progress to be sure…imperfect, full of ‘not-knowing’ and filled with travels yet to come!

      Looking forward to following your future travels. You can find some additional blog posts at

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