The Importance of Play in Inspiration

{Etsy art by spunkyfluff}

{Etsy art by spunkyfluff}

Many people get caught up with words like, “progress,” “certainty,” and “maturity.” They worry when they don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. They beat themselves up when two steps forward leads to one step back. They are self-critical and ashamed when they are “acting immature.”

But it’s all part of the process. According to Care of the Soul author Thomas Moore, it’s neglecting the complexities of our inner child (the part of us that is playful, creative and spontaneous) that hurts us most. He says progress and growth are prioritized in our society, but they are not always necessary or relevant. Sometimes in order to grow or heal we need to take a step back. Sometimes in order to know what we want, we need to honor the child. To go forward, it’s imperative that we look back. He believes that taking care of your soul requires that you accept, nurture and pay attention to all aspects of yourself. And in fact, ignoring or attempting to deny your childhood desires, your inner joy, spontaneity, and your creativity can cause significant suffering.

Who you are right at this moment is a conglomeration of who you were, who you are and who you are about to become. To neglect any part of your soul in disgust, distaste or disdain will work against you. It’s like a critical and demanding parent who controls you into being the person they want you to be. You will never know your true purpose or calling if you continue on that path. The only way to awaken the part of you that asks the following:

Who am I?

What do I really want in life?

What do I want to be when I grow up?

…is to listen.

This means prioritizing play in your life. Respect the time you devote to reading, playing, creating and protect it as well as you protect time spent working. Embrace your inner child’s wants without judgment, criticism and reprimand. You’ve had enough of that in your life and that’s the reason why you are where you are in this moment. I’m afraid the only way you can free yourself from the hold of a stifling past is to release your fears and finally respond to the part of you that you’ve been hiding for so long.

It’s a frightening, but worthy cause.

For today, let yourself be immature,

open your eyes to life as if you’ve never explored it before,

and be okay, just for this moment, with not knowing what’s through that unopened door…

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How Do You Know It’s Time to Call it Quits?

Unfortunately, there’s no sign on the door that says, “Closed,” when it’s time to pack it up and go. You need to be a bit of a detective, a sleuth, an intuitive master to figure out that.

Here’s what I do know.

Life doesn’t just let you alone without any clues to help you on your way. But you need to be 1) open to hearing them 2) ready to embrace the message.

When contemplating the move from California to Hawaii, the decision was not easy. It was probably a lot harder than you’d think. It took many conversations within myself to decide that listening to my intuition was smarter than following my head.

It took carefully packing away my fears, gently rocking my inner child and softly and compassionately showing it the way.

In short, it was no cake walk.

But in the end, I’m here and all is well. And I was reminded that life is easier when we listen to ourselves.

 How do you know when it’s time to go?

1. You feel restless.

2. You wake up at night with a, “Something’s not right feeling.”

3. You’re terrified about the decision you know you have to make.

4. You’re tired of living the life you’re living.

5. You keep getting signs that you should be doing something else.

In all honestly, you know what you have to do. You may be too afraid to do it. You may believe that you can’t. Sometimes what’s really holding us back isn’t the thing we have to do, but the belief that we can’t do it.

Allow yourself to imagine the possibility that you can, that you have all the tools you need to do what seems impossible, that fear is just a normal part of the equation.

Our fears will never go away. But as we get stronger and courageous and more able to face them, we allow ourselves the opportunity to fulfill our life purpose and to grow into the person we were meant to become.

We only have one life to live. We only have this moment. If something isn’t working in your life, please dear friend,

consider changing it.

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A Short Note of Gratitude

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People often asks what inspires me. I could say the beauty of nature-the way the wind makes leaves dance, how raindrops capture the rays of sunshine in little perfect beads, or how animals in quiet ordinary moments seem to hold the key to all of humanity.

And then there are store windows, art pieces, live shows and things that humans made that fill me up with possibility.

But what really inspires me is hope and resiliency.

As one part of my job at Psych Central, I manage social media. It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds. But having the opportunity to connect with people there is so inspiring. When I read about a person’s struggle with mental illness or how they are seeking therapy so that they can become a better person for themselves and their family, it makes me weep.

That type of courage to overcome what most of us would hide from is inspiring.

It’s what makes me want to keep getting better in my own life.

It’s what makes me want to keep doing what I do.

I also feel inspired by you. The you who remind me of me when I was calling out for hope. Someone who had big dreams, but didn’t believe they were possible.

I’m finally beginning to realize that if you only listen to your inner voice-the child who had dreams without fear-and continue to listen to it, despite doubt, despite what your family says, regardless of who wags their finger at you and makes you feel ashamed for what you want to do, then you will get there.

The clouds have started to dissipate and suddenly everything seems clear.

Just keep on following the path, dear friends, believe and you will eventually get there.

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