Tag Archives: play in the everyday

The Savor of Divine Things

I spotted my copy of The Seven Story Mountain, the 1948 autobiography of Thomas Merton on my bookshelf this morning while on the studio floor stretching. I opened the book to the phrase the savor of divine things.

the savor of my back pressed firmly to the studio floor

the savor of a full breath and my vocal body

the savor of the soft morning light and a new day

What divine things are asking me to savor them?

A dream asks me, you are in it everyday, why are you seeking outside what is seeking you in every moment of every day?

With this question comes a barrage of remembrance. Memories of being dissatisfied, finding something new to replace it, only to be dissatisfied once again.

One example comes from my experience in nursing in the 1980s:

I went to nursing school so that I could become a nurse-midwife, and I was lucky enough to have the chance to study for a certified nursing assistant certification if I found that this particular career path wasn’t for me. But it was my dream and I was determined to give my best go. After receiving my license to practice and gaining some nursing experience in obstetrics I looked into midwifery training but the program and training was untenable for a single mom of three. I gave up on the idea and continued to work in high-risk obstetrics, and then, antepartum care. The culture and hierarchy of hospitals started to wear me down. After a year or two I was ready to move on. Transferring to another hospital setting meant that, at least in the beginning, things would feel fresh. Rinse and repeat.

Looking back I realize that I would have been happier if I had followed my dream’s counsel:

Look to what is seeking you! Spend time with me, you are in it everyday, why not nurture yourself and those you care for by deepening what you understand about the soul of nursing.

My dreams and practice of ‘The Art of Playing in the Everyday’ is helping me to see that…

Who I am becoming, my happiness, my life, what I am creating, depend on something simple

my relationship with what I am in everyday

There is no need to look elsewhere. It is all available and comes in a variety of colors, textures, and styles.

How can I find the soul in what I experience everyday?

Every so often I make an attempt to journal everything that happens in my day. What I see, who I interact with, shapes, textures, colors, scents. Savor each moment of my life. My entire body tires as I write because, lets face it, there is a lot that happens in the everyday. From the many pages that fill in my journal I am able to easily select moments where, if I desire, I can explore the soulfulness of those moments.

What moments would you select to enjoy the savor of divine things? Try selecting a few savory moments of divinity, of soulfulness in the everyday.

I would love to hear from you in the comments. What are a few moments in your everyday that call you to a soulful relationship with that thing, person, or event?

 

 

 

 

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. It’s a great way for your friends and family to keep up with you too, and more people as well especially if you buy followers for Instagram! You can do this for a number of reasons, many people do this so that they can have a bigger audience to see their content. 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! In Instagram language, engagements mean likes, comments and reposts. The more you get, the more popular your Instagram account will become. You could increase your engagements by using something like the Ingramer bot… or you could join in with our Instagram challenges!

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.
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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

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.

 

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

Podcast: The Art of Playing in the Everyday

[ctt template=”3″ link=”8yn00″ via=”no” ]Be Curious. Begin to Play with Whatever is Before You at the Moment. http://ctt.ec/8yn00+ #playintheeveryday #play[/ctt]

I jumped on ZCast and recorded my first podcast about what led me to a re-claiming of play and creativity in my life and the practice of ‘the art of playing in the everyday’.

What do you mean by play, Mary Alice?

What does it mean to play in the every day?

Between the ages of 35-40 I began to re-claim play in my life. I was drawn to dance, singing, and storytelling, improv classes, InterPlay, Voice-Movement Therapy originating out of London, authentic movement, and sand play.

I had just started a doctoral program in clinical psychology with an emphasis in depth psychology. I was recording my dreams while completing my hours to sit for my licensed, clinical social work written and oral exams. I wanted to go into private practice as a depth-oriented psychotherapist.

I was transitioning from a woman who ‘performed her life’ as

  • a single mother of 3 children
  • as a registered nurse working in high-risk obstetrics and antepartum care
  • as a surrogate mother for her psychotherapist and her husband
  • as a clinician
  • as a researcher
  • as a student

and transforming into a woman whose focus

  • was on her dreams and what the higher Self wanted for Mary Alice
  • playing in ways she was drawn to
  • creating through writing, performance, improvisational dance, and storytelling.

I started to see a man on California’s central coast whom I would marry 4 years later. (*we’ve been together now 25 years!) When I first started seeing Michael on weekends and holidays I was preparing myself for an empty nest. Two of my 3 children wanted to attend school in Washington state and my youngest daughter wanted to try living with her Dad for a while. After seeing Michael for a year, I quit my full-time job as a health education coordinator and instructor for Kaiser Permanente and moved to Cambria. I settled into a new life accompanied  by my golden retriever, Gem. Michael had a basset hound named Dandy. We remodeled a home in town. For the first time in many years I was not working full-time as a single mom. New possibilities opened.

Many times over the years I have been asked, How did you do it?

The answer is, I made choices.

When I first met Michael I was dreaming of Red-Tail Hawk. SHE and HER energy led me to Michael. My dreams foretold our meeting and what would develop as a result of our relationship. HAWK’s energy in me allowed me to embrace a chapter in my life that many counseled me against.

What are you doing?

I had a full-time, well-paid, professional position as a health educator. I was about to begin a new career as a depth-oriented psychotherapist.

My dreams insisted that I PLAY

I Listened.

I was led to people and spaces where I could experiment, try on new ways of living my life and understand my life’s work. A series of inquiries, readings, and sessions with healers and my analytical work with Jungian analysts repeated the message:

You are called to play and creativity. You will help others find more laughter, more play, more creativity in their lives.

As I embraced my calling, step-by-step, I discovered not only ways to play with groups and tribes that I discovered along the way but, also, and importantly, I started to see all aspects of my life as play and playful. I poked around and tried on ways to play with my night and waking dreams;  creating healthy, loving relationships; playing while at work! and I envisioned and sought out ways that play opens doors to creativity as a parent, grandparent, professional, entrepreneur, writer, artist, and much more.

Every day mundane tasks no longer were a drudge or something I had to do, but, instead could be played with and play-full.

My walks, hikes, gardening, time spent outdoors all took on a new cast–a playful one!

Nature is Playful!

Everywhere I looked I could see PLAY.

and so it is today. Even in the most challenging moments

PLAY IS AT THE FOREFRONT.


What do you mean by play, Mary Alice?

What does it mean to play in the every day?

I invite you to listen to my podcast and consider for yourself:

Are there ways that I bring more play and playfulness into my life–at home, at work, while dreaming and creating?

I don’t want you to miss anything!

If you are not already receiving our Wednesday ‘Play Notes‘ with play-based quotes, resources, and updates? CLICK HERE

DID YOU KNOW? that I am available to work with you one-on-one as a play-based, depth-oriented mentor? WORK/WITH ME!

The 21-Day ‘Start Writing Your Memoir’ Challenge begins on January 5, 2017. It’s FREE but you DO NEED TO REGISTER.  Register NOW!

Play=Peace: What’s the One Big Thing YOU NEED?

Many of you are enthusiastic followers of Play=Peace (Thank you!) or you may just happen to open this post and discover us. (Welcome!)

For years I have been speaking, writing, performing, leading events and retreats, and collaborating with a number of inspirational creatives. When I founded Play=Peace I was a play-based, depth-oriented, licensed clinical social worker. I released that part of my identity a little over a year ago and now offer individual and play-based services as a mentor (an experienced and trusted advisor). I’m devoting more and more of my time to writing and art-making. I love, love, love working with individual clients on Skype, via phone, or in-person. I continue to co-create with some amazing professionals. Daily I create an intention to play in the everyday and act for the greater good.

I have a question for you all! I really, really, really would appreciate it if you would take the time to share your answer here in the comments, by email or phone. The reason I do what I do is YOU! I WANT you to en-JOY life to the fullest. Your feedback is a very IMPORTANT part (yes crucial part) of my being able to help you as you move ahead and become who you are on your unique journey.

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My hope in writing this post is that after receipt of your answers to this one question I will be able to offer you what you need. Simple as that. 

What’s the one big thing we are missing that you need?

Are you most interested in:

  • Setting Healthy Boundaries
  • Improving your Self-Esteem
  • Decision-Making
  • Playful Parenting
  • Memoir Writing & Art-Making
  • Decreasing Stress
  • Composing a Creative Life
  • Play-Based Approach to Depth Psychology
  • Setting Goals & Actions to Meet those Goals
  • Forgiveness & the Freedom to Become
  • Play-based Entrepreneurs
  • Playful Writing
  • [fill in the blank with your need so I can serve you better!]

There is no hidden agenda here. I really want to know what you need so I can deliver!

You can comment to this post, send a note, or call me directly at 206/200-4542.

Your feedback is a very IMPORTANT part (yes crucial part) of my being able to help you as you move ahead and become who you are on your unique journey.

Thank you so much for your support and help. Creating what you need through a play-based, depth-oriented approach is my goal! My guarantee is that I will take all of my experience, learned skills, and creativity to support you as you imagine, play, and create a life of joy and purpose.

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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.

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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?

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It Feels Right: I Have a Confession to Make

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

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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!

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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.

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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…

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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!

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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!

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