Play: a lesson from children

It is a happy talent

to know how to play.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dance Play Peace

When was the last time you played? Not a board game. Or team sport. Or anything weighted down by rules & expectations. But really let loose?! Like laugh-until-you-cry, can’t-feel-pain, no-sense-of-time, free-as-a-bird all-out play? I’d bet for most adults, it’s hard to remember. Many of us juggle long work hours, busy personal lives & full family schedules. Between the business & stress there isn’t much time left for play. Not to mention we are taught to fit society expectations & comply with social norms. Once you factor all this in, do we even remember how to play like we did as kids?

Play time at the Creek

Probably not. But hope is not lost! We can reclaim this fun-loving, free side of ourselves. By doing so we will feed our soul & nurture are true selves! Or at least find some much needed stress release! To better understand what the function of play might be, check out this post on Mark’s Daily Apple. If you are struggling, observe the children in your life. Better yet PLAY with them and let them have the lead! They have not yet gained all the inhibitions that adulthood brings. They are the experts.

Spontaneous Play

If you are at a loss, here are a few ideas to get you started…

  1. Dancing – freestyle, all-out, & if need be – alone so no one can see! I’m currently rocking out to Sugar by Maroon 5 on repeat 🙂
  2. Cartwheels – It really takes you back to childhood. I recommend a grass field to soften any falls 🙂
  3. Hooping – Take a hoop dance class, take your hoop to the beach or just pick up an old school hula hoop at Goodwill & go to town!
  4. Water Fun – run in the sprinklers, create a DIY slip & slide with friends, go body boarding & jump waves, hit the lake for some skiing or intertubing, water gun fights
  5. Beach Soccer – grab a few friends, create seaweed goals & let the rules go
  6. Hacky Sack – Remember this awesome game of skill & laughs from school days?
  7. Parkour or Free running – checkout some awesome video inspiration in Youtube.
  8. Climb a tree – pick a branch & go for it!
  9. Wrestle – just don’t take it too far, remember how as kids the laughing inevitably ended in somebody crying?
  10. Puddle Jump – if you are lucky enough to live where it rains – get out & splash!
  11. Scavenger Hunt, Treasure Hunt, Hide & Seek, Tag, Cops & Robbers…

Beach Play

For more ideas check out 15 Concrete Ways to Play on Mark’s Daily Apple. Play is a highly valued activity in the primal world!

How will you incorporate more play into your life?

Setting Goals: Summer to-dos

There is something magnificent about being fully submerged in the ocean. The first shiver as toes meet the sea, the instant cessation of other thoughts and emotions as the icy blanket swallows me whole & the inevitable taste of salt that lingers on my lips. I find myself craving this reboot, or symbolic cleanse, when seeking clarity, trying to shake negativity, needing to reconnect with nature, or when looking for a fresh start at the turn of the season.

Celebrating Summer Solstice yesterday by soaking up the last rays of the evening sun

Today, I took a re-vitalizing dip in the Pacific and began thinking about my goals for this summer, the rest of 2014 & the end of an era – my twenties. That’s right – my 29th birthday is this summer!

I have been wanting to start a bucket list for awhile now, but I think I’ve been a little overwhelmed by the task. Hence the procrastination and many “life to-do lists” that I’ve been jotting randomly on every scratch paper in sight. I see a bucket list as a work that will always be in progress. A tool that promotes staying true to the self & living a vibrant, fulfilling life each day.

I will start my official bucket list soon (maybe I’ll re-watch the movie for inspiration), but in the meantime, here are my current goals as I set intentions for a summer of health, love & listening to the guidance of my inner voice. Have I mentioned I love making to-do lists?


  • Create a “30 by Thirty” list: set goals for final year of being a twenty-something
  • Surf a wave: on a stand up paddle board
  • Meditate regularly (2x daily): start with 7 days in a row
  • Practice Yoga: attend 2 classes every week & continue #headstand365 challenge
  • Hike Wednesdays: stay committed to 1 new hike per week
  • Play guitar: learn & sing one complete song. It is time to pick it back up – literally!
  • Be grateful: finish #100happydays gratitude practice
  • Read 5 books: Summer is the season I remember how much I love to read & I have a book shelf full of must-reads 🙂
  • Wash the blinds: I really need the accountability on this one!
  • Dine with a view: eat dinner at Nipenthe in Big Sur
  • Paint a picture: put something beautiful on the four mini canvases collecting dust on the craft table
  • Just drive: take a road trip to somewhere new
  • DIY: try out a homemade deodorant recipe
  • Watch “The Secret”: this film on the law of attraction comes highly recommended
  • Play & Laugh: in the sunshine & as much as possible!!!

That should get things started! What will you do to cherish this summer season?


If you need some goal setting inspiration you can take a Goal Setting Skills Test or find some tips for writing your goals from Psychology Today. I love Matt Cutt’s Ted Talk on trying something new for 30 days. It provides motivation for trying something new off your own bucket list & is also a good strategy for incorporating small changes into our lives one day at time!