We habitually view work and play as mutually exclusive opposites. But what if we didn’t? What if we could manifest whatever our heart desires from a place of fun, joy, and ease? What if having more fun could mean getting more done?
In this short excerpt from her new book Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life, creativity expert and bestselling author Marney Makridakis explores how we can manifest our desires faster, and with more ease and joy, when we approach them from the perspective of play.
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Chances are there is something in your life that you’d like to manifest — and it’s likely something you see as being part of your meaningful life. You might want to manifest:
• A creative dream
• Improvements in physical health
• A soul mate
• A different job or profession
• Completion of an old, forgotten project
• A new home
• A meaningful community
• Transformation of an old belief or attitude
• A certain sum of money
• A fantasy vacation
• Change in the world
Of course, there are many more examples, but ultimately, manifesting comes down to momentum. Play invites you to connect to the power of momentum without even realizing it.
I believe in a world where work feels like play, and while it’s not always as easy as I’d like, I try to spend as much time there as possible. My goal is to help you identify, activate, and use the powerful intersections between play and productivity in order to manifest whatever you desire. Manifest means to reveal what is already there, to take what already exists and make it clearly and plainly visible. My clients, many of whom are creative entrepreneurs, already have what they need to succeed — and likely so do you. However, I help my clients by introducing playful toys and tools that help them manifest their desires faster, and with more ease and joy.
Play can be applied to anything, even the most serious, unplayful topics. When writing Hop, Skip, Jump, I reconnected with a friend I had not seen in over twenty years. She knew me in my tumultuous teens and early twenties, before I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and hit rock bottom. She asked me why I was writing books about creativity instead of books that help people recover from mental illness. Interestingly, her question made me realize that this book is about mental health recovery, only not just for those diagnosed with a disorder, but for everyone who wants to radically improve their day-to-day productivity or even make a Great Big Dream come true.
The playful processes I use today were things I was doing two decades ago to pick up the toppled ABC blocks of my life. Almost anything I’ve managed to make real in my life — emotional healing, creative business success, major health improvements, raising a child, concocting the ideal chai latte — has come from the spirit of play. So I continue to Hop, Skip, and Jump through this wild adventure of life, and in these pages, I invite you to join me as we explore all the sweet, surprising ways we can playfully manifest what we want in our lives. Whatever you want to manifest, you can use the ideas in this book to do so and create a life that matters to you while having fun doing it. This is your opportunity to remember how to laugh from your belly, try new things, and feel a bit silly as you play with who you are and how you move about your life. When you connect to the power of play, you tap into the spirit of adventure and experience the amazing feeling that everything is possible.
Why Play Matters
Ask anyone to define play, and they’ll probably give an example rather than a definition. It’s a tough thing to describe accurately. It’s fairly obvious to see the very general ways that play shows up in the human life cycle. Infants play to achieve emotional attunement and security. Preschoolers play to discover their sense of self and the world around them. Children play to develop imagination and social skills. Teenagers can play to explore their identity and express the spectrum of emotions. Twenty-somethings often play to escape real-world responsibilities and ever-increasing pressures of life. Adults of all ages use play as a reward that usually comes after working: choir practice in the evening, golf on the weekend, photography on a vacation, bird-watching and boating after retirement.
For adults, play can be much more than simply filling the open spaces between work and daily responsibilities. Play is the portal to presence. Play is the way you touch and amplify the enchantment of being human. Play is filled with contradictions — inspiring sophomoric pranks and high art, deconstruction and discovery, mindless escape and soulful expression. It is the thing that animals do without being taught and the state that humans crave without knowing exactly how to describe it.
When it comes to the intersection of play and productivity, the secret is quite simple: what moves us is what moves us, which simply means what moves us emotionally is what moves us to action. This is why play helps us be productive. Play is many, many things, but it is never still, stuck, or stagnant; it somehow always moves. So when it comes to manifesting a meaningful life, play works.
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