This weekend I found myself in a fantastic conversation with a woman who raised two children - one is in college, and the other is in graduate school. We were chatting about education and the importance of play. As a teacher, I strongly believe in the power of play and the role of play as a medium for learning.
I mean, play is where the magic happens.
After having this conversation, I started to think about the role that play has, well, played in my life.
I realized: play is what has brought me here. Drawingwithin.com was manifested from many acts of play.
Let's start with the intuition portion of what I do. My mother has told me about times when I was young where I was just playing with words and telling stories, but I was saying things that later on came true or were true, without me knowing it. The first time I actually remember this happening was when I was around 8 years old. I was on the phone with a friend and we were chatting about things that weren't real -- we were playing, making things up. After I hung up, my father, who was in the same room, said to me, "how did you remember that story?" "What story?" I asked. "The one you just told to your friend...I would have thought you were too young to remember that." "Oh, it wasn't real Daddy," I said. "We were just playing pretend." Later on that day, I overheard my dad telling my mother about how I remembered this particular instance and how he couldn't believe it.
Play continued to move me in the right direction with intuition development when I was in college. I'd play intuition games with my best friend, without any consequence or bad feeling for being wrong. I remember vividly the first time I had her hold a playing card in her hand with its back to me so I could guess the card. "Seven of hearts!" I blurted out. When she turned it over, it was indeed the Seven of Hearts. We'd play games like this all of the time, never really minding if one of us was wrong -- because it was all just for fun. And we were often wrong. But we just shrugged our shoulders and tried again, because it was still fun.
A few years later, I got my first deck of Tarot cards. I'd do readings for fun for my best friend and her sister. We sit on the floor, drinking wine or gin (or both) and I would look at the Tarot cards and just start talking. I knew they didn't care if I was right or wrong, and this act of play eventually taught me about the Tarot cards and to trust my intuition. My friends started to call me up and say, "Remember that Tarot reading you gave me a couple of weeks ago? Well, you were right!"
More recently, I started to invite play into how I performed Reiki distance healings. I am a part of a lovely group of women online and started to offer free distance Reiki healings to the ladies in this group. I purposely did this with a group of online woman...because I knew that if I was completely off with my readings, these people didn't know me in real life and if they wanted to judge me, it wouldn't matter. It turns out, though, that this act of play morphed into me finding my own unique way to fuse my intuitive skills with Reiki together. It also boosted my confidence immensely because every single woman responded positively to what happened in the reading.
In retrospect, play has helped me in so many other areas of my life. I like to go into things without expectation. I always tell my yoga students to "experiment" and "play" with a yoga pose - but this mindset can be applied to everything in life. Sometimes, releasing pressure and expectation is all that is needed to get a desired result. This happened when I met my husband. I saw him at a party, and we just started dancing. I released expectation, I released fear, and just lived in the moment and did what felt fun. I told myself that if something didn't work out, I would respond with an "oh well" and move on. This mindset takes the pressure out of a situation and invites in a sense of ease and openness.
I had this mindset when I launched this site. I said to my husband, "we'll just see what happens. I want to try it out for fun." I had the same mindset when I launched my Tarot Within E-course. I thought it would be fun and if people wanted to join - awesome. If nobody registered, I knew I would still benefit from the act of just creating the course.
So, let me ask you -- what could happen if you saw life as one big adventure full of play? What might happen if you release expectation and experiment? What if you put on the mindset of being what you wanted to be -- intuitive, a shaman, a person connected to spirit - and saw what it was like? There is such power in the act of pretend and in the act of letting go.