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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

Play Notes: : Ways to Create the Life You Want

Sep 02, 2011 02:25PM ● By Dr. Mary Alice Long

Sir Ken Robinson, one of the leading authorities on creativity and author of The Element writes, “The truth is that we all have profound creative capacities.” Creativity helps us dream and envision new possibilities for our self and our community. Creativity connects us with our authentic nature, our purpose, and helps us engage with others in deeply felt, meaningful ways that are real and create balanced, healthy lifestyles. Our imagination, play, and creativity help us express the many parts of ourselves that makes us unique. Try wrapping your arms around the idea that you are playful and creative by nature. You are more than what you do. Playfulness and creativity are part of our birthright as humans. In our culture today, push ahead, achieve, strive, and ‘be all you can be’ are daily mantras. Driving force, addictive behaviors, and unhealthy lifestyles do not create actions that lead to positive change. A few suggestions to playfully engage in your creative life: Lighten up. Laugh and find time for play to be healthy in all areas of life. Create personal, professional, and financial success by cultivating a playful attitude as you prepare, complete, and celebrate your daily and life transitions. Find small ways to bring playfulness into your daily routine as well as take time for vacations, time alone, and retreats. Be true to yourself. There is no other being quite like you. Share your unique qualities and ways that you like to play and create with others. Tell your stories—both successes and failures. Failures often lead to our greatest creations. Make mistakes, be outrageous, and take risks. Most importantly, be grateful. When you can, send notes of appreciation and gratitude to those who have had a positive impact in your life. Contribute in ways that have meaning for you. Support others and give without the expectation of receiving something back in return. As you mature and master skills find ways to mentor and teach. Give back to your community. There are so many ways to contribute. Life is there for the taking! Commit. Take small, playful steps toward completion of your goals and then rise to the occasion and go over the finish line. Often we change the course so many times that we never get to savor the joy of success. Celebrate your successes! Dream. Our dreams are gifts that help us live more playful, creative lives. When we pay attention, write down dreams in a journal, and spend time playing with the dream images and figures that emerge, we are rewarded with greater insight, creativity, and a life path filled with purpose and meaning. Stop. Find moments of stillness on a daily basis, and breathe deeply and slowly. Taking a minute to stop aides the creative process. Spending time outdoors slows us down and resets us emotionally and physically. I don’t know. Live from the position of “I don’t know.” When we are too certain and rigid, we lose the ability to be fluid. Remaining open to all possibilities creates a much larger canvas on which to paint and imagine what is possible. Imperfection. Marion Woodman, one of the most well-known Jungian analysts, once told a story about a Raven on her shoulder. Raven called out loudly, “You think you’re perfect, you’re not perfect, no one is perfect.” There is no such thing as perfection, get over it. Notice what you admire in others. Who do you admire? Pay attention and write down some words or phrases that describe that person. Do you see any of those same qualities in yourself? If not, take another look. Create for yourself not for someone else. University students often question, “How do I make a decision about what degree to choose as my major?” Are you working in a field or studying in a field that bears someone else’s imprint? No need to worry; the choice is yours. What do you want to create?   Dr. Mary Alice Long is the creator of Play=Peace™, a Jungian therapist, speaker, and writer. She guides her clients on ways to embrace their playful, creative natures and reap the benefits of a passionate, purposeful life. For more information, visit PlayEqualsPeace.com. Join Dr. Mary Alice Long and Local Movement Therapist Betsy Wetzig from Thursday Oct. 20 to Sunday Oct. 23, for a fun, transformative weekend workshop held Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center in Breinigsville. Enjoy unique, playful explorations; partner with your movement-mind link for physical and mental well-being; and delve into your “Authentic Self”. Call 610-395-3355 or visit www.twinpondscenter.com for more information.
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