I started out as a serious being. Even as a kid, there was a streak of responsibility and practicality, and I was often convinced that I knew more or knew better than adults (and told them so). I can laugh at this now, and send apologies retrospectively to those generous beings who let me be that version of myself.
I was also creative in my play, constantly outside in nature or painting, writing, drawing, putting on performances with friends and creating costumes. As I grew, the serious part took hold more and more. Until there was no room for play. I felt boxed in, closed off.
Through yoga and dance, I found movement. In my body first, then my mind, behaviour, and then in my worldview. Standing in a pose that brought discomfort and learning that even as I tried to strong-arm my way out of the sensations mentally, it was much more easeful to feel them. To know that I wouldn’t be stuck in this posture forever.
My dance too, was rigid to start. My body uncomfortable, my closed-off-to-play-ness winning over my movement. Still, I showed up. Bit by bit, as my body loosened to the movement, my mind did too. My heart opened some, and then opened some more. Until, low and behold, one day, dancing was FUN!
I could play with my partner. Improvise. Match their energy with mine to merge and create something completely new. Casually lead the play of movement for a time, feeling free to do so. I could trust in the sensations of fun and play just as much as I had trusted in the seriousness of being.
Following this came laughter. Laughter in the moment when I “messed up” or couldn’t do something. Laughter at my mistakes and learnings. On the dance floor or yoga mat, and then… in life. Something the serious little girl turned woman spent years internally scolding, afraid to move. As the laughter flowed (and continues to), I find actual joy and freedom in the playful spirit that has always been with me. The one that trusts in spontaneity. With laughter and play there is nothing to “prove,” and I no longer have to be anything other than feeling.
Laughter, in some way, actually allows me to flow through even more accountability of my actions and myself. Acknowledgment without the need of self-recrimination. The play of moving on from one moment to the next without avoiding discomfort, but including it into what is unfolding through me and around me. It opens up that energy for other things, like creativity, imagination, and dreaming. Crucial parts of who I am.
Goldenrod helped me to see this. Writing with her entrepreneurial spirit, she showed me that her medicine (among many other things) is one of balancing work and play, pleasure and pain, fortitude and fun. To not get caught up in mistaken beliefs of who I am based on how I respond or what others think of me. Her new short book, Dreaming with Goldenrod, is available today as a paperback and an eBook and I can’t wait to hear how you work with her medicine. The folklore around Goldenrod is also particularly interesting and modern as she brings her resilience and ability to innovate through to the human world time and time again.
What is your relationship to play? To laughter? Do you hold back, dive in, or move in another way around these parts of yourself? Dreaming with Goldenrod will help you explore these questions more deeply.
For more information, visit the book’s page.
eBook available for Amazon Kindle (device, app or laptop):
Paperback book available:
*The information shared in this post is not intended as medical advice or diagnosis. This post was originally published as a newsletter in April 2021.
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