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What rocks taught me about play

Today I am better. Much better.

Yesterday was a difficult day for me. I have no external event or circumstance that I can attribute the horribleness of the day to, just me, myself, and I. I was the reason for the ugliness that permeated my body. I don’t recall having a specific thought or worry, but rather what seemed like a number of small and large boulders accelerating toward me from the top of a faraway hill. I could feel the rumble of them coming, but had no way of stopping them. They came, tiny rocks, large stones, all making their way to me. Some hit me, others just sat at my feet and surrounded me, stifling the air which I found heavier throughout the day. I tried many things, many things that I have written about, that help me keep my mental prowess afloat. Yesterday, none of those things worked. I ended the day with a couple of glasses of wine as a last ditch effort to flip off the day and let numbness have its way with me.

When I opened my eyes this morning, I knew I was better. All the stones had rolled away, I could breathe deeply, see clearly, and once again, rise. I am humbled to write about this because honestly, this is not the first time in my life that I’ve had this sort of experience. Nor, I’m sure, will it be my last. I have thought a lot about what brought on these suffocating, disempowering feelings, and truth is, I’m sure it’s not just one thing, one thought, or one event that has been rattling around in my mind. However, one thing seemed very clear to me last night when I was sipping wine and readying myself for bed – eager to kiss the day goodbye. Somewhere along the way this summer, among my list of goals and calendar of events, I forgot the everyday play. I don’t think it was forgotten entirely, but it was definitely overshadowed by expectations and pressures that I had put upon myself.

I am proud that I have followed through on much of what I had wanted to accomplish this summer, both for myself and for my family. Although, some of my personal work has been focusing on making candles and figuring out how to brand them and market them to sell. Well, let me tell you – since this is not an area that I’ve ever explored – none of it, from being a candle maker to a seller of things – I have been extremely overwhelmed with all the parts and being in the novice category comes with many frustrations. I have read books, articles, joined online communities, and reached out to local individuals that have found success in this business. I have felt pushed aside many times in this learning process as I have reached out asking for guidance. Being pushed aside or even simply overlooked is a terrible, icky feeling. Yet, it is nobody’s fault. I don’t blame anyone for not stopping their life to embrace me in my lonely square on Start while everyone else seems to be doing flips off of the chutes and ladders of the business game – catapulting into areas that I can’t even see from Start. I despise Start and I realize now, after yesterday, that it is my gumption and ambition to freaking get off of Start as quickly and hastily as possible, that has caused me much dissatisfaction. Just because I desire things to clip along at a pace that seems ambitious but practical, doesn’t mean the world is going to respond in kind. In all honesty, the world knows better. As the saying goes – Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor was any business venture.

Throughout this summer I have agonized over the chemistry of candle making and using products that I verified as eco-friendly and also provided the loving glow and scent that I know makes a candle buyer happy. I have wanted the just right labels to personify my brand, but resolution and graphics have kept me spinning in circles. There is so much to consider and of course perfection haunts me and judges any small action I take, leaving me petrified at times. Now that I’ve realized this, I have actually laughed out loud. My whole intention behind these candles is to bring a peaceful, calm, and centered glow to your home reminding you of the calm resolute light inside of yourself – and I was driving myself crazy. How’s that for an oxymoron? A great weight was lifted from me when I decided to forget about the business, for now, and just play with the making. I desire being a maker above all else. If I focus on that and enjoy it and share these candles with family and friends – I believe the business will evolve organically. I have faith that this is the right path to take and writing this sentence has brought on a warm glow in my soul thus validating my resolution to play first. I am humbled by this humanness and that it took a metaphorical rock to hit me on the head to knock some sense into me 😉

If you find yourself in a rut or even worse, you feel like dirt, and your eyes are scratchy with the haziness of the uplifted ground – take a moment and ask yourself when was the last time you were spontaneous and welcomed playfulness into your day? Perhaps you have small children and you play with them.  Great!  However, from my own experience, that kind of play and the play of our own desires are often different.  I always had a difficult time holding a doll and make believing it was talking.  Not my thing.  Yet, I have lots of playfulness inside of me that loves to be recognized and given permission to come out and PLAY.  I know you do too. It might just be the ingredient that has been missing and will spice up your life in surprising ways. 

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