On Play + What Comes Naturally + Hangin On

The grey sky and rain encourage me to walk up the stairs to my studio.Image 5

Playful writing this afternoon leads me to synchronicity, awareness, choice.

flow…..

Drawn by the setting sun, I walked out onto the deck to get a better look. I began to sing in an effortless way. I remember you.

Dancing with abandon on the dance floor I embrace what pulses. I remember you.

my body re-members….

Joyful moments follow chaos and life is lyrical when I play.

On Play

Not everything comes naturally for sure. I don’t always feel in the flow of life.

facebook_8d343021b8

Sometimes I just hang on and wait for the impulse to play…

Some things are difficult

or not so pleasant

I wish I didn’t have to go there

There are times in my life

…when i feel i can’t do it

….when i procrastinate

…when i feel afraid

…when I feel overwhelmed

I am the dancer of my life

and play helps set me free!

Repeat after me…

I am the dancer of my life

and play helps set me free!

Do you re-member moments when you felt in the flow of life?

How about the difficult moments?

What are some playful ways to move into the flow of your life even (and importantly!) when you find yourself challenged, struggling, or in a new season of your life?

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

 

It Feels Right: I Have a Confession to Make

Writing or creating anything really seems to take its time with me.

instagram_606a7a99f4

I collect ideas, dreams, images, and what-nots for an undetermined period of time and then when the time is right to let it rip-I share my collection. Its occurred to me lately that it might be wise to share bit-by-bit, in dribs and drabs, dot-to-dot. For NOW I’m ready to share what I have stored away.

No Matter What I Play on…

Many people, when they learn about Play=Peace and my play-based work, tell me that they don’t play enough or even that they don’t really know how to play at all.

There are also folks who ask me incredulously,

why would I need someone like you to help me learn to play?

well….

We live in a playful world

Every one of us is born with the birthright

to PLAY

YET

our Culture pushes us towards stress, poor health, migraines, worry, tension, conflict, pressured-scheduled living or lethargy, workaholism, and much more that is harmful to our well-being and opportunity to live full-out!

NO MATTER

who joins me learning the art of playing in the everyday

I GET TO PLAY!

My Imaginal Being, my Dreams, Psyche–calls me to play and create

for myself and in service to others….

Play is the Thing!

and

There is another Side of the Coin

Stress and Pressure live there…

It all what you want to Choose. I’ll be playing! no matter what…

I’d love to hear from you!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

 

 

Serial Play + Re-Solution + What is Possible Through Play

series: a succession of things of a similar kind or related nature coming one after another

completion or

re-solution

When I write or say the word completion it doesn’t feel good in my body. My memoir’s manuscript is a part of my ongoing archival memoir project. As I develop and live the postpartum of my experience there is so much more that is part of the story….

I’ve intentionally been choosing ways to create that contribute to the body of my life’s work. I’ve been choosing my play spaces and what belongs there by listening to my impulses and dreams and playing with what I hear call my name.

playing with what I hear call my name

I have been developing a

series of play quotes. As I read them I’m aware that the series of quotes and prompts is reflective of my experience and what I’ve learned and want to share through my play-based mentoring.

Every Human Being is Under-Development

twitter_f51a793aa5

We are all becoming. We play and continue to learn over a lifetime.

Take More Risks

twitter_27ac9e5d8d-2

I’m picking up the fiddle, learning about songwriting, and painting. As I play a new musical instrument, practice, and paint…

I’m creating colorful styles in every avenue of my life.

Root Your Play

twitter_2fda8d92ad

Play plants me firmly to the Earth that sustains me and all living beings.

Do you find yourself playing with a series of similar things?

I’d love to hear about it!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

Playful Enthusiasm

Play is the Door to Creativity. ~Mary Alice

I am a Potter

Michael shares his desire to play with clay with a ceramic artist at a local gallery.

He wants to hold clay in this hand and smoosh it around.

He tells Cindy about how we both took an introductory pottery course in Morro Bay when we lived on California’s central coast. He shares the story of how he created his first hand built piece. How he dreams of creating large pottery pieces.

He asks her if she would like to see his piece, its small and chipped in some places.

photo

 

I Remember what I Love

Shiny objects have been grabbing my attention. I’ve been playing with visual images and listening for sparks of inspiration as I build new ways to share news about what I am creating and want to share with others through my play-based, depth-oriented work.

Yet…

I had planned to write…

paint and create new songs…

facebook_08485cba39

What is really important to me? What will bring me the greatest joy?

What I love…

I trust that what I have placed on the table in my play studio at any moment is what I need (to grow & learn), not necessarily what I want…

When I choose something to try out, something that I am not at ease with, the momentum of that shift leads me to swing back and forth from

‘lets try this one out’ to (‘oh, I know this will feel good’)…

I feel lit up and excited!

My playful Spirit jumps up and down and yells, ‘me, me! see me over here! this is great stuff!’

Get on, Get Off, Get on With It!

I can hear the words of Phil Porter, co-founder of InterPlay….get on, get off, get on with it! 

I am performing my life. I’m stepping off stage after taking my bows and I’m ready for the next play.

What will you see and hear if you come to see this new play?

For sure there will be some scribbling of words, some singing of songs, some colors dabbed on blank canvas.

You’ll hear authentic, natural voices  and the applause of wild enthusiasm that comes from an audience who are as much a part of the play as those sharing their stories on stage.

Ready to get on with it? I’d love to hear all about it!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

Creatures of Habit-[at]

We are creatures of habit.

Each habit-[at] is uniquely its own.

 

Spring Blossoms

A place that is natural 

–for the life and growth of an organism.

I went to bed last night asking, ‘what will I write about tomorrow?’

This morning a dream tells me ‘we are creatures of habit’. what is my natural habit-[at]?

what are some of my habits? are they a good thing? or not?

Each morning I get out of bed and prepare breakfast

When I wake from sleep if I remember a dream I write it down in my journal which is by my bedside on a side table. I listen for the first morning sounds for a bit, stretch, and sit up and put my robe on.

Coffee. I pour milk into the bottom of my cup which reads ‘Writer’ and add dark, hot, aromatic liquid that stirs me.

Oatmeal. First I get the small pot out of the drawer, fill it with just the right amount of water, and turn on the flame to bring the water to a boil. Then I go to the pantry and pull out the oatmeal, almonds, and raisins. I usually add cinnamon to the oatmeal while it is cooking. I slice the almonds in half with a sharp knife and take two teaspoons of raisins out of the package. I add the sliced almonds, raisins, and soy milk to the cooked oatmeal. Finally I use a large spoon to help me transfer my oatmeal and yummy add ons into my cereal bowl.

How I get out of bed or prepare oatmeal is not all that interesting. They are routine behaviors that I repeat regularly and that have a tendency to occur unconsciously.

My morning habits are a good thing. I don’t have to think about them. They are healthy and help me start my day in a positive mood.

Can I change my habits? Well, of course. I can and I do….

Michael has had by his own admission the same breakfast for well over 60 years! He likes his routine and is the ultimate creature of habit. 

I on the other hand cherish diversity and like to play with multiplicity. I might like (some day) to play with the way I get out of bed in the morning. Change the side of the bed I sleep on. Change the color and style of our bedding.

I can see myself choosing to bake some delicious goodie at the start of my day. Something that is not good for me but fits my playful nature and love of baked goods and carbs. Fresh baked bread out of the oven, yum!

Playing in the everyday: how about creating some new habits?

My natural habit-[at] includes dreams, coffee, and oatmeal with almonds. Its a playful environment.

From time-to-time as a writer I challenge myself to write down every bit of my day in my journal. When I engage in this style of journaling I am amazed at the detail I can pull out of even the  most mundane of days. which is not mundane at all. Each day I am in my natural habit-[at].

Lately I’ve been taking the steps to create some new habits or at least thinking about it…

Each step is the place to learn

I’ve been listening to fiddle music and researching fiddles and teachers in the area.

The sign reads: Quality fiddles for all levels of students

I’m about to start fiddle lessons and just about ready to call on one of my musical buddies to help me create a children’s song album.

The thing is play needs no purpose

I have the desire to try some new ways to play. This isn’t going to be pretty folks!

My strings will sqeek! I don’t know… I know only a smidgen about creating a music CD.

The question, how do I? will come up frequently.

Oh, what the heck. I’m writing and leaning into sharing-publishing. I’m painting and learning to mix colors bit by bit. I’m dancing new steps with new partners who tell me I have way to much swing! and I bounce too much!

I’m all for greater play-diversity in my habit-[at].

How about you?

Share your stories, questions, comments. I’d love to hear from you!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

 

 

 

Share Your Story with your Whole Heart

Turning the page and finding so much more…

IMG_8832

Openness

Generosity

Bravery

Playful, Action Steps

vulnerability is not weakness

= courage

vulnerability-coeur-heart

the willingness to do something when there are no guarantees

vulnerability is the way to live

Judging by the amount of time it is taking me to write this post I am both desiring and struggling to be vulnerable on the page.

I want to share what I’ve collected or what has captured me with my whole heart but am I willing to share my vulnerabilities when there are no guarantees?

Can I continue to write, perform, share, teach, offer help, give, reach out, do the best I can without guarantees?

So many times I am unsure if anyone is really wanting to connect. To create real connection.

People close to me tell me that I’m taking too much of a risk. Be yourself, ha!

This week I found myself sharing in-person and here about how I found my way back to play, re-claiming play in my life, after years of achieving degrees, analytical hours, and striving to achieve. Yes, those  years are valuable and helped me become who I am today…

AND

when I was called back to PLAY and understood that life’s playfulness and creativity, wild imagination and dreams were there for me so that I could learn and develop…become….individuate…

THAT’S WHEN IT ALL HAPPENED

Pushing, Cautiousness, Criticism, Comparison weren’t getting me anywhere I wanted to go…

What does Vulnerability mean to you? Share in the Comments or Email Me to schedule an individual, customized play-based retreat:

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

Choices + Action: Create Your Playful Journey

I don’t do black & white photos so when I was asked to participate in a recent photo challenge I decided I could turn my color images into black & white. ~Sarah Miller

Image 2-25-16 at 9.44 AM

What Sarah is saying, in part, is that she created a playful shift in her thinking which easily allowed her to move forward so she could participate in the black & white photo challenge that her friend sent her.

There are so many ways to play in the everyday of our lives. Think about your daily routine. I wake with a dream, stretch in bed, listen to the sound of birds outside, get out of bed and slip my robe on, say hello to Michael and our puppy, Lila, walk into the kitchen to grab myself a cup of coffee and pick up my journal and pen….

and that’s just the start of my day.

Your day has a routine too. Breakfast, brushing your teeth, driving or walking to work, dropping the kids off at school, studio time, and multiple possibilities depending on the day and what matters to you most.

The thing is that every thing you or I choose to do whether its sweeping the floor, meeting a friend for coffee, sitting with a dying friend or family member, taking a walk, working on a project, writing a blog post, or painting can be playful–it just takes practice!

Listen to your Impulses. Choose to Live Playfully & Creatively. Take a Different Path and Live a Joyful, Meaningful Life.

Most mornings I start my day with journaling, stretching, dancing, and meditation. I might pick a book and open it to any page and see what calls me that morning. What wants to be played with?

Today I open my visual journal and see…

No Time to Lose

Riffing on that phrase a bit…

Each day I choose one way to play and then share it with others that day or when the time is ripe. Today I’ll be playing outdoors planting some colorful primroses that I picked up at the garden center yesterday. I’ve been picking up cedar branches and am imagining an early Spring ritual of burning the wood while letting go of anything that is holding me back. No matter what I choose to play with-digging in the dirt, planting, burning away what is no longer needed, brushing my teeth, wondering if I hurt someone, organizing, writing, looking up something new that i want to learn about, planning a new course, teaching, or performing…

I can play in every moment of my life and so can you!

Choose ways, as Sarah and I have, to create playful shifts in the way you go about your day and see what happens.

What does your playful spirit want to play with first?!

Want to try turning the customary way of doing things into play?

Turn around, move betwixt and between, and breathe this in…

even the most challenging of times can be part of your playful journey if you make the choice to practice the art of play in the everyday.

What will you Play with TODAY?

Share Your Experience in the Comments or Email me…REALLY, you’ll make my day if you share just a bit of your playful journey…

and even better! we can meet up and explore together!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

My Playful Journey, My Playful Practice

Each time I play with my grandchildren I learn something new.

Bailey is 14-months old. Chase and Jenny are in first grade. Bailey wants to do everything that her big brother and sister do. I take out the crayons and some paper so she can hold the colors in her hands, make her mark on paper, place them in the box, and dump them out again.

IMG_1957

Bailey and the twins are shaping their lives. As their Nana, and a witness to their development, I am privileged to be a part of their play and learning.

as I develop

I am aware of what is revealed as I remember, reflect, and take playful action in response to what I have learned along the way. I am grateful to all who have mentored and supported me along my path. I receive new gifts and playful connections every day.

Some of the questions I ask myself are:

What memories are evoked when I re-visit my playful journey?

Are their changes that I notice? What pathways feel similar? Unfamiliar?

What are the most delightful parts of my playful journey?

What are the most challenging?

What is most important to me now?

How can re-visiting the pathways of my playful journey inform my work with others?

a life view

I believe that ‘playing in the everyday’ is fundamental to a life well-lived. Playing in every nook and cranny of my life, the easy bits and challenging transitions, has offered me both joy in the everyday moments of my life and nurturance as I struggle to find my way.

I believe that I am called to a playful practice which includes helping others to embrace their playful natures and share their unique gifts with others.

from the beginning

Thank goodness! My dreams led me back to play and encouraged my playful nature’s callings to sing, dance, write, draw, paint, explore outdoors, try out new things especially when ‘I didn’t *don’t* have a clue’ how to do this, or that…

I found myself listening to my impulses and moving forward without knowing everything.  No instruction book needed. I’ve noticed that a lot of people’s life storyline includes needing to have all their ‘ducks in order’ before they move ahead with anything. If I’m drawn to something my approach may be to move slow…slow…but often it’s not.

I’m honoring my gut instinct. My gut is reliable I’ve found.

becoming

Sooooo, I’m playing with some new things like:

fiddling

I’ve listened to fiddle tunes for years. Love the play of a swing instrument.

children’s songs

Not really a new way to play for me but I’m finding myself listening to ‘Casper Babypants’ as I dance in my studio, take a break, stretch in the morning.  Is this something a PhD in Clinical Psychology is supposed to do?

art-making

Well, you know, there are lots of ways to paint the world. and I want to try them all! I’m finding that Pinterest is a great place to discover some of these ‘ways to play’…I’m collecting these ideas on boards and trying them out. Soon I want to play with a group, interested?

What do you delight in?

What is most challenging for you?

Are you playing with some new things?

I’D LOVE TO HEAR ALL ABOUT IT!

Share Your Experience in the Comments or Email me… [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

 

Random Play: Who Inspires Me Today?

UnknownGenerally I start my writing with my favorite pen in hand. Today I’m writing in my upstairs studio on my laptop. I prefer handwriting over tapping the keys on my laptop for many reasons. When I’m using my laptop I find myself correcting my spelling, editing, and generally getting caught up in minutia.

 

This leads to a tension that I don’t seem to slip into when I have pen to blank page. I lose myself in my writing. Oh, but I digress…

A question I wrote in my journal and circled with my pen is: Who inspires me today?

Golden-crowned_Kinglet_-_Olympic_NP_-_Washington_S4E2538_(19050567919)

 

 

 

 

I begin to think of many people in my life who inspire...

breathe in….

and then another tiny inspiration steps forward….

One of our tiniest birds, seen here at Hurricane Ridge, is the Golden-crowned Kinglet. I learned while snowshoeing this winter that they are remarkable in their ability to survive in cold climates. These birds eat dormant moths that are found in the branches of the conifer forest. To keep warm, they huddle together at night and fluff their feathers in a way that provides their small bodies protection from the elements.

Learning about the Golden-crowned Kinglet’s ability to survive in a winter environment prone to high winds and dipping temperatures reminds me of my own life stories of protection and survival. She inspires me TODAY to nurture and protect myself.

I am actively asking myself, what is it that I am inspired to play with and create for the good of all who huddle in the branches to keep warm? What feeds and will sustain us through the winter?

I have some ideas (of course) but am hesitant to put those ideas down on paper. My overall desire remains the same-to create a kinder, more gentle world. To be grateful for what is given and what I am able to offer.

These are some imagined images that are emerging as I tug on the inspiration provided by a small bird:

I’ve created a painting of Forgiveness. *(wouldn’t we all like to hold that image in our hands?)

I’ve created paintings of random Play and what is inspired as a result of Playing in the everyday of the body landscape.

Images, Subtext, and Feelings that Emerge from individual ‘Archival Memoir Projects’ created and published as part of an ongoing group process.

Photos, paintings, drawings, words, natural sculpture of the aches and the stirring moments.

Intimate, Courageous, Meaningful Performance

I love it! 

I feel Better!

NOW, what are you inspired by? Are there new ways to imagine the many books, projects, ideas you’ve had on your LIST?

 

 

 

 

 

Stretching & Creating a Life

Stretching & Creating a Life

“… as we age we have not only to readdress earlier developmental crises but also somehow to find the way to three affirmations that may seem to conflict. … We have to affirm our own life. We have to affirm our own death. And we have to affirm love, both given and received. [p. 88]”

? Mary Catherine Bateson, Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom composingacreativelife

Stretching

While changing into my comfortable workout clothes this morning, similar to those you can see here, I notice the stretch marks on my hips. They remain as scars that are tender to the touch and that remind me of my pregnancies and birth.

  • What I carried then…
  • What I carry now.

I stretch myself unnecessarily when I move away from where my impulses lead me.

Scars

My stretch marks, pregnancy, and lumpectomy scars remind me of major events in my life. My experiences as a surrogate mother and breast cancer survivor help me now as I support others and nurture myself while creating a playful life. I would never change the opportunity I had to become a surrogate mother. Helping people who perhaps can’t conceive for whatever reason is the best feeling, and so I wouldn’t change these scars for anything. Although, if I do decide to change my mind one day and get rid of the scars, or any others I have on my body, I know to go to a compounding pharmacy that will create a product catered specifically for my skin so its able to become less visible with time. However for now, I’m sure I want to keep my scars so I can show what I’ve been through and cherish these memories of pregnancy. If you’re looking into becoming a surrogate mother, check out surroconnections.com for more information on the topic.

Scars are inevitable and are reminders of openings and closures; wounds and healing.

Labor & Birth

My labor & birth experience is at its best when I am relaxed.

What was true for me in my physical birth experience as a young woman is also true now as a woman in late-life transformation, a grandmother, and a creator fully committed to her play-based work in service to community.

When I feel myself pushing with all my might, using every muscle in my body, and popping blood vessels–I’m hurting myself. Eventually my path is blocked rather than open. The opening comes when I follow the flow that comes from playing with what presents itself in the moment. Staying attuned to my body rhythms and patterns I can stretch myself in more ways than one and compose a life that is filled with wonder.

The Art of Playing in the Everyday