Ok, joke. But I am PLAYING AROUND WITH HOW to turn my gorgeous human attention in the direction of those things, experiences, and playgrounds that are more deeply meaningful, the things that if you don’t do them in this life, you-ain’t-gonna-be-okay kind of things.
I call those Dream Meridians. You know you’re on one because the world lights itself on fire in response to the absolute joy you feel when you find a way to play on one.
I used to be a strong proponent of the do it whenever freeball approach, but here’s the dealio — you’ve got to be IN RANGE of inspiration, consistently, if you’re going to rely on it as a catalyst for doing your good work. And playing your good play. And yessing your yessiest yesses. Here’s why I am no longer in the Freeballer Club.
- inspiration is a wobbly mistress. She comes during peak moments of great joy or insight, after Burning Man or a meditation, or suddenly while doing dishes. You can’t rely on her showing up. As Jack London says, “You can’t rely on inspiration, you’ve got to go after it with a club.” For me, that club has become setting up daily playful habits that get me in range of where inspiration lives.c
- where we focus, we go. Wherever you put your attention, your life follows. You can choose to steadily put your attention on what matters to you most, on your Dream Meridians, and it’s okay. No one is going to hate you for developing discipline around your heart’s mission. I mean, they might, but as the sage Taylor Swift says, “haters gonna hate,” so, focus on what blooms you and sets your heart on fire.
Imagine a pinball machine with no flippers to keep the ball going where it needs to go. Not that fun. Pretty sure there would be no pinball wizards anymore.
Like those useful flippermajiggies, your playful habits begin to determine the direction of your life.
Inspiration is a frequency, like anything else, it’s a state of being. You achieve any state of being by directing your thoughts. If you want to steadily enter a state of inspiration where your creative projects flourish, you’ve got to set up some habits that support that happening.
BUT HOW do you develop habits and playful rituals on your Dream Meridians?
As a deeply creative child, I had no relationship with making on purpose habits. I’d get into little nooks of time, seasons, where I’d do something because it pleased me, or served me in some way. Something would inevitably interrupt the cycle, often, something as simple as running out of ink and forgetting to replace it. Or a friend would visit for a week and when they left, I would forgot to return to the thing I was doing before.
And all of that was fine, but as I got more and more reflective on the whole shebang, I realized that my happiness levels and “success” or positive response from the world with which I was interacting directly correlated with those seasons where I was painting every morning, or adventuring and building fairy houses every afternoon for an entire summer. Those seasons of direct engagement with my wild creative impulses held other doors open as well and things moved.
As an adult, a coach and a teacher of conscious play, the thing that throws off my emperor’s new groove, more than any other, is me falling behind on the things that bring me the most joy. Losing access to my playgrounds because I get distracted and let my attention go every which way, and while I’m mildly enjoying the distractions and scenery of a freeballin’ life, my deepest heart of hearts is a little grieving the deeply satisfying play I get access to when I steadily show up for a dream.
So I’m learning to play with habits. Just like I play with parenting, with my own ideas of home, and with love. Only, habits feel scary. Turning towards my own conversation with habits kind of lights my resistance on fire, like, I don’t want to be a dictator for anyone, especially me! Or, who am I to say what I should be doing?
Well, shit, who else would know? I can see that part of my wishy-washyness stems from self-doubt, doubt that I can actually know and breathe and live and take direction out of my own intuitions. And in this busy, information rich world, I need habits that help me tune into my own intuition.
So, got that, right? You can feel those areas that would be supported by consciously aligned habits, right? You feel better when you walk or run every day, that kind of stuff. But then comes in the New’s Year’s Resolution Syndrome where, in an inspired huff, you swear to change some part of yourself and to develop a new positive habit and you’re SO MOTIVATED in the moment of making that, and so focused on what you’re wanting to experience that for a few days, it actually works, and you keep up with it, and you feel GREAT about yourself and your life. But then, something interrupts, and you skip it or lose the thread. And feel badly, but then, BACK ON, renewed vigor, I’m GONNA DO IT THIS TIME! You buckle in, determine harder. Motivate more, read more memes, and blogs.
But then you don’t do the thing again, and again and eventually you either convince yourself you didn’t really want to in the first place, or you just distract yourself from thinking about it cuz it’s too painful to feel like a failure.
And I have danced with this cycle on about every front in my life. And the failure to change thing can be really damaging to your core vibration, to that calm and steady tone of “I love me. I’m perfect in my now and always becoming more.”
Which is why I’ve come to think of habit development as a way of holding certain vortexy doors open for my life to flow through and my Dream Meridians keep showing up. And choosing not opening up other others cuz they’re less bright.