REkindle: Reclaiming Work & Play to Refuel Your Soul
Have you ever just been frustrated that the very things you WANT to do are the things that you find the least time for?
Do you wonder when it’s YOUR TURN?
Would you just like a break from it all, and catch up on all the things you’ve “been meaning to do”?
I can relate!
There are many things that fuel my soul and I’m sad to say that in the past – in both personal and professional realms – I’ve found myself denying soul-feeding activities (like writing, designing, going for country walks, arranging flowers, making albums) so I can get onto more “pressing” matters (like payroll preparation, income generation, dishes, and laundry). But you know what I’ve discovered?
The activities we perceive as pressing will suffocate the soul if we dichotomize our life.
The reason I have often let my refueling activities take a back seat? My mind has been trained over the years to practice work-before-play. In other words, I’m a highly responsible young lady! However, although being responsible is an admirable quality, throughout my life I didn’t know where responsibility ended and where it had turned into denial of soul-building. So, I put off the best things, the simple things, the joyful things, so that I could do the things I perceived as more important and “responsible” for adult life. I had dichotomized my life into chores and relaxation – and I never felt I was doing either very well.
Here are two resulting traps from the work-before-play dichotomy:
First, it makes us view work as obligation. It drains the purpose and meaning and joy out of work and makes it a chore. It makes it seem that work is something to be endured till you can get to the fun things of life. (I now embrace all forms of work as an expression of my purpose rather than something I have to do.)
Second, work-before-play keeps us in reactive mode because new projects always present themselves and “play” gets shelved for later. (I now am learning that play isn’t just something we do after 5 pm or on the weekends; it’s anything that fuels us. It’s a frame of mind; it’s enjoyment itself!)
What if we reclaimed both work and play as one-in-the-same? What if the difference between the two in our lives was indiscernable?
What if we allowed ourselves to fuel our soul every day?
By erasing the lines between work and play and investing in the landscape of our soul we will REkindle our fire for life.
Rekindle means to excite, renew, or rouse again, to ignite afresh.
Almost everyone I meet could use a fresh fire for life! Most folks can relate to feeling there’s not enough time for the things they enjoy. And I have a suspicion that most people are just like I was….suffering from over-extended responsibility and under-practiced soul kindling.
Here are some steps to help YOU REKindle:
Confront your deep-seated beliefs. If we truly believe work is a chore, we will rebel against blending work with play because we will simply not believe it’s possible. If we believe play is more worth living for than work, we will worry that our dreaded work will encroach our our goal of fun. So, the very first thing we must do is confront the limiting beliefs that are keeping us stuck in dichotomy!
Embrace “work” as an expression of your purpose. Widen it’s definition to include every form of work; not just that which pays the bills “on the clock”. Work is also laundry, cleaning the shop, putting away toys, mowing the grass, helping your kids learn, etc. Expanding work to include all forms of effort will actually liberate you from enslavement. You are more than a worker bee earning a paycheck. You are more than an income-producer to provide for your family. And if you don’t work 8-5 at an office, you are most likely still working every day!
Redefine “play” as enjoyment. It’s time to stop waiting for “approved” windows of time in which you can earn a “get out of jail free” card and get furloughed long enough to indulge. This (I know from personal experience) is a suffocating and fruitless way to live. I’ve found that what most folks are missing is profoundly simple: enjoyment. If you expand “play” to include all forms of enjoyment, you will take the time to:
- Take pride in color-coding that spreadsheet you have to turn in by noon because you enjoyed making it professional
- Smell the roses (literally) on your next walk and notice how each variety has a different perfume
- Watch your children’s faces as they tell stories (not just tap your foot till they get to the end)
- Dip in that kiddie pool, too
Trevor and I (especially me) are on our own journey to re-wire our minds, let go of limiting thinking, and embrace this integrated living. I’ve had a more pronounced need to REkindle; to fuel my soul. He seems to come by this more naturally. For me, it has been a journey of expanding my capacity in every area of life.
I hope this article has inspired you to re-ignite your fire for life – that you don’t have to wait for that break-that-never-comes to play. You are not “stuck” with work. You can erase the lines between the two and rekindle your love of the things that feed your soul.
Join me in the journey and share your thoughts below!
- Sign up for our free monthly inspirational enewsletter [RE]store
- Join the movement of Life Reclaimists by signing up for my free Life Reclaimist Jumpstart
- Visit our Life Reclaimist page for more resources