Today’s value: Playfulness

Even if you feel you no longer got it, you probably had it as a child. Being playful is one of the ways to stop time, to fully be in the flow, to be immersed in what is going on right where you are. It requires concentration, lightly held to allow room for new things to emerge. What about this? What if I put this over there? Let’s see what that does. There is a lightness to it.

Playfulness does not have a goal, except itself. In our overscheduled lives, this makes it a radical act. It also makes it a necessary one, for playfulness is what gives birth to innovation and new ideas. It is also the perfect antidote to adulthood turned calcification. Ever watched how a grandma’s face changes when playing with her granddaughter? Life itself flowing right back. Kids often allow parents to have a second round at this. Nieces, friend’s kids also work to tickle that side in you. Or the puppy from the shelter. The art workshop.

But its been so long. But I have forgotten. But I don’t have the time. What will my boss think? Oh you adults. It really doesn’t take much to get back into that mood… using what is there and creatively exploring its for maximum enjoyment. Play with the water a bit when you do your dishes, you got that fancy shower head faucet for a reason (nobody is watching). Use your hands to make the burger patties (it’s OK to play with your food). Hop along the sidewalk stones making a pattern (ignore them, they are just jealous they don’t have the guts). Find words that rhyme and switch up your favorite song lyrics as you go for your run (park animals love early morning songs). Wear that tie or scarf that you never quite thought you could pull off. Hang up that wonky drawing from your niece, right next to your fancy credentials in your office. Try out a different thing when opening your next team meeting. And if you feel you can’t quite pull it off yet, invite your team to make a start and let them know you are genuine. And for the sake of your younger self, play along. Let life back in. It will be good for you.


Check out the values worksheet here.
Or
go deeper and get the book.
Or
ping me about how coaching might help. 

Today’s value: Enchantment

Do you believe in magic? At least a tiny little bit? If magic is a movie, enchantment is the everyday, snapshot version. Allowing yourself to be touched and transported a little. Opening the shutters of the mind and allowing something beautiful in to truly touch you and take you away on a bit of a journey to the what-if, reminding you that you are a physical, sensual being.

Our days are often so packed, rectangular and navy-blue, thread count and whatnot. Letting things get to you to actually touch you often feels risky. But when it is good, it whets your appetite for that journey momentarily hinted at. You long for these fragments of stories: Half-forgotten memories, the imaginary, the what-if. Taking the plunge to dive behind the waterfall to see what adventures await.

When this stirs in you, don’t swat it away immediately. Treat yourself to a bit of enchantment. T’is the season. Every season is, if you let it. And you get to keep that cheeky half-grin as you adjust your double-cuffs and snap back into your regular day.

What invites enchantment for you? What does it do for you? How can you build more space for this in your life?

Check out the values worksheet here.
Or
go deeper and get the book.
Or
ping me about how coaching might help. 

Today’s value: Art

Art opens a window into human expression at its most intense, both raw/refined, and at its most non-linear (good contrast to enrich my usual business environment). Sharing your art with the world is one of the most radical ways of showing up authentically. And experiencing this is the best encouragement to reciprocate and to invite others along.

Living authentically then becomes an imaginary conversation between the artist, myself and the world. The art reaches out, I look, listen and feel and then share something back that got touched by this. Not just when it comes to art, I increasingly find this to work pretty well in dialogue with other trusted fellow travellers as well (crayons optional).

What are your experiences with art? How can you use this as part of your self-reflection and expression?

Check out the values worksheet here.
Or
go deeper and get the book.
Or
ping me about how coaching might help. 

…but is it art? (and who cares)

Creativity might be part of your core values. As an activity in your own life, or in appreciating what others do. The question then might become “is it art”, and therefore possibly “is it worth it”. If you are not in that field as an “industry” and you can put your inner critic on pause (no mean feat), this question becomes less important over the magnificence of the act of creation itself, and the sheer number of possibilities this unlocks for yourself and, by extension, everyone around you.

If you didn’t like drawing at school, don’t worry. Creativity really is for everyone. In the broader sense has something to do with taking inspiration from the outside, linking it to something inside of you, and making this into something new that then comes alive on the outside again. Or, if you will, some form of putting spirit into matter. The outcome could be all sorts of things. A new recipe for a salad, a solved engineering problem, an insight translated into a conversation or vice versa, a beautiful framework to cut through a thought-mess, a vision becoming reality. Or, actually, nothing; aka something that isn’t quite done yet (and never fully might be), and that’s OK too.

It’s about not getting in the way of what wants to materialize, realizing none of this is linear (while still doing the work). On bad days it may feel like being in a chain gang with your-selves in endless painful grinding minuscule repetition with no end, outcome or goal in sight – in your least favorite weather while being ridiculed by the entire village. On good days it might feel not like doing, but more like bearing witness to an emerging miracle, so breathtakingly beautiful that tears replace words.

It doesn’t matter how big the outcome is, how visible, and if it is going to win any awards. As long as we know it is there. We are doing the work. We are sticking with it and eventually, we will have created something out there. It will then need to start walking by itself, make its own friends and find new creative ideas to mate with. And we have no idea what that might lead to, and that is the beauty of it.

What we create and put out there can change a day or a life for a person, and we might never see the longer-term implications this might have. Maybe that person then felt great as a result and had a really important conversation with their kid at home that will come to full fruition 10 or 20 years later. Or they muster the courage to embark on a journey of creation themselves. In all likelihood, we will never know. All we can do is keep the intention, do the work, get out of our own way, and create things. If we do enough of that, this will result in some next steps somewhere down the line that make a positive difference. Whether it’s art or not (that’s a picture of radishes).

Check out the values worksheet here.
Or
go deeper and get the book.
Or
ping me about how coaching might help.