As we move into Cancer season, I feel the impulse to spend more time outside, especially in the garden. With all the rain we’ve been having, the plants are growing rapidly, and the garden looks lush. Unfortunately, this rain also has encouraged the growth of unwanted plants, primarily grass, so most of my garden time has been spent weeding the vegetable and herb beds. (If anyone wants to help in the Shakti Garden, then please know I welcome the company. In particular, I would greatly appreciate help staking the vegetable plants and trimming the hedges. Email if you want to schedule a time to hang out in the garden with me.)
In addition to wanting to spend more time outside, I also have the desire to play. Play sometimes looks like watching movies, attending live music concerts, going for ice cream, swimming in the lake, cooking out with friends, or simply laying outside on a blanket. I crave play in the summer and recently made a commitment to myself to have more play in my life.
Thank you Monica for donating amazing art supplies to the Makerspace! We loved using the rubber stamps to make cards.
Sometimes I feel challenged to play. I allow the should’s to interfere and feel pressure to “get my chores done” before I play. Finding the balance between taking care of business and enjoying life’s pleasures feels like toggling back and forth between two opposing poles. This back and forth feeling was my sign to use a polarity map to diagram the upsides and downsides of play and work as well as to identify action steps to move into balance. If you too feel a similar struggle, I share some of my insights below. As always, take what you need and leave the rest behind.
One insight I garnered from mapping the flow between work and play came from identifying the Greater Purpose statement. The Greater Purpose statement is the benefit one expects to receive from achieving balance between two poles. I discovered that when I find equilibrium between work and play, I look forward to my day. I feel more relaxed because I do not feel pressured to hurry up and get things done. I trust that I have the resources I need to both work and play. This feeling makes it easier for me to be present.
Another insight came from identifying the early warning signs that I was on the downside of play. One of the signs I listed was “disappointing others.” I paused and asked myself, “Is this true? Is my play a source of disappointment for others?” After delving into that question, I realized that the problem was not too much play but rather a commitment to fulfilling other people’s expectations. Yes, sometimes I elect to play rather than clean my house. (Can you blame me?) And, what is also true, is I consistently, with very few exceptions, do what needs to be done like pay my bills and meet deadlines.
I believe my goal of meeting other people’s expectations contributes to my tendency to get stuck in the downside of work. I hate disappointing people so I put my head down and expend a lot of energy attempting to meet the needs of others. When I get in this fear loop, I am more anxious, irritable, and more judgmental. Part of finding balance between work and play is identifying what is motivating me. If I am motivated by fear of disappointing others, then I know I need to slow down and to set limits. This fear also requires radical self love or reminding myself that my worth is not based on what I do but rather on who I am.
I found it very helpful to identify actions that would help me engage in play. Some of the steps I identified to move into the upside of play were:
- Schedule a playdate with a friend
- Turn off electronics
- Go outside
- Play music and dance
- Get out art supplies and create
I am looking for more ideas. Please let me know what you do to get out of work mode and into play mode.
The last insight I will share from the Polarity Map is the paradox I uncovered within the paradox. I noticed that all the things I listed as being a downside to work also are the things that prevent me from being effective in my work. When I work too much, I am less creative and more blocked. I have difficulty concentrating and sleeping, which in turn, makes it harder to get things done. I engage in behavior (snapping at people and judging people) which is a deterrent to collaborating or to getting help. In other words if my goal is to get things done, then sometimes the best thing I can do for myself is to take a break and to play.
How do you play? Please drop me a line with your remedies for overwork and overwhelm. In the meantime, I hope you will choose to play with us at Shakti in the Mountains. We have a lot of fun events on the schedule including Makerspace this Friday from 2 to 5 pm. (For a complete list of summer events, check out the schedule below.)
Wishing you a wonderful week!
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where people could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Kim is a licensed professional counselor and a yoga teacher. She completed the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy program as well as the Shake Your Soul Yoga Dance program. Kim is very interested in somatic expressive therapy, archetypal psychology, gardening, herbalism, astrology, wisdom traditions, and regenerative economics.
Kim continues to build and to support inclusive, vibrant communities. She spends most of her time mentoring leaders, guiding healing programs, and providing mental health counseling.
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Shadow Work: Uncovering our Unconscious Needs
A 6 week series
To support emerging leaders, the Shadow Work series is being offered this fall to build resilience and freedom. The goal of this series is to unearth your unconscious needs so you may eliminate limiting beliefs and healthily address your needs.