Sould Growth Side Quest
Increasingly I'm receiving the message to play. To lighten up. Everywhere I look, the natural world is trying to remind me that life isn't supposed to be so serious. In this personal growth and healing space. We seem to be knowingly and unknowingly perpetuating the idea that we are inherently broken. And that it will take a lot of hard work to fix ourselves. There's so much focus on ascending and manifesting and doing the work. And honestly, I'm usually here for it. I tend to fall into the serious vibe of personal growth myself. I mean, how many times have you heard me say on this very podcast that we are doing big work together. I believe we are doing big work together and soul growth is important.
The lesson that is coming through louder and louder. Is that just because it is important, doesn't mean it has to be. Serious. In fact, because it is important. We owe ourselves the enjoyment and fun that comes with play. Have you seen this factoid that's been circulating on social media lately? About how it takes around 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain. Unless it is done in play, then it only takes 10 to 20 repetitions. Now. I'm not going to hold a meme to literal accuracy, but the idea that we, as humans, learn and integrate so much faster when we are playing makes a ton of sense. All the research is there with childhood development, but mysteriously vanishes, when we turn into adults.
As this applies to spiritual work, I've noticed that. As usual different approaches work for different folks. Some people are led to be very serious and somber in their work as a sign of reverence and respect. Others feel that following a strict set of rules and guidelines is the only way to achieve soul growth. My personal experience is leading me in the complete other direction. Sign after sign pours in about how human life is finite. I'm not going to get a gold star if I follow all the rules and work so hard that I lose sight of the beauty and joy available to me. I don't win an award for the most hours spent meditating or adhering to rigorous spiritual protocols. Not that those endeavors are bad. They just don't have me doing the most important job of all. Which is living. Loving. Experiencing the world as a human. I can feel and taste and hear and see. Beauty. I can cry and laugh and sing and dance. All of these are specific privileges of being human.
As humans who have a finite lifespan, shouldn't we be getting to the business of living? And shouldn't that be enjoyable?
Now, this is not me pretending that we don't all have bills to pay and responsibilities that are decidedly, not fun.
I do understand that there must be a balance. I am seeing though that letting my soul growth and personal development fall into the category of work has me missing the point in a big way. So if you feel like you're not really able to connect to a meditation practice, or if you don't really even understand what the point is when it comes to receiving wisdom from the natural world, I see you. If you are starting to feel bogged down with all the self care, that feels like work because it is framed in this serious and stuffy way, I see you. If you just want to have more fun. I see you.
And I invite you. To just press pause on trying to heal. Press pause on squeezing yourself into some routine that bores you to tears. Hear me well, Pause. Don't quit. Healing is amazing, detoxing and self-discipline are life changing. But so is fun. So let's find some balance. I invite you to embark on a soul growth side quest. You know about side quests, don't you like a mini adventure within the greater adventure? Like, yes, I am absolutely going to grow up and become a well-adjusted successful adult. But right now, I'm going to go wrangle a dragon or climb a mountain in search of an enchanted well, or befriend, some fairies and learn how to weave a cute Woodland chic dress. Insert your idea of magical, playful, good fun here.
I fully believe that the plants have been ready and waiting for us to call out to them for help in choosing a side quest. I have felt mimosa playfully throwing sign after sign at me this summer to live a little. To stop trying so hard. And find a reason to laugh. Mimosa and elderflower have been reminding me that the lessons I learn when I'm having fun,land deeper within me. And make more sense when I let go and loosen up. Marigold has been showing me how much more joy I can embody when I'm moving and taking chances and giving myself grace, when I fall. Rose is holding my heart open while I create new synapses wired to detect opportunities for fun and joy, rather than staying in my usual serious pathways.
So I invite you. To shift your perspective. And feel into what you're being called to. Can you pause? Except the knowledge that you are not broken. You are well on your way to that bigger goal of being a real life adult. And you've got time and space to veer off course, just a bit, for some fun. Could you add some fun moments into your day? Blasting dancy music while you get ready for work. Pretending you are a witch crafting a magical potion as you drop your flower essences and tinctures into your morning coffee. Imagining that you are a brave warrior training to take on the town dragon when you go to your exercise class. If these examples seem silly, good. That's the point. You can choose your comfort level in how far you take these side quests.
It can be all in your head. Or you can invite friends and family to join in the fun. The key here is fun. Good old fashioned make believe fun. I want to hear about how many times you catch yourself, giggling to yourself. What side quests your imagination can come up with. Ideally. You will give yourself a month to play out whatever adventure you choose. And here's where some real magic comes in.
Tie in a beneficial practice to this. So for me, I'm taking my mimosa and elder flower, essence, and noticing how many times during the day. I can choose to be silly or find humor in a situation.
I want to know what you choose.
Are you wanting to move your body more, but having trouble in making an exercise routine fit? Maybe you can challenge yourself to dance a little every day with the abandon of a toddler. Or you can try out a different type of movement class that seems interesting. And give yourself the grace to be a beginner. See, if you can create an element of play. Find the fun.
We're doing a few things here. First as we discussed before. Creating new synaptic pathways in your brain, literally rewiring your brain. The goal isn't to rewire you into a goofball, but what will happen is that your brain and your body will start to adjust to fun. To play. To joy. And as you build your capacity for optimism, imagination, spontaneity. You grow. Experts say, you'll start to see more fun flowing into your life. More opportunities to experience joy. Will arise. Your body will adjust to holding less tension. You may even be able to expand your capacity to stay in the parasympathetic nervous system. Which could actually allow your body. To heal and function more effectively.
You may even be able to expand your capacity. To stay in the parasympathetic nervous system. Which would actually allow your body to heal and function more effectively. And all this can happen as a result of allowing yourself to lighten up and have more fun.
I just love it.
Okay. So first things first. If you have absolutely no idea where to begin. Please know that I was there too very recently. We get so bogged down in trying to be good upstanding adults, that we forget how to play. How to choose fun.
Give yourself grace. Open up to how you might begin. And take the steps that appear before you.
I am offering many side quest prep sessions to those who would like to work with the plants as guides. We'll see which plants are calling out. And what kind of fun they are inviting you to. If you're in or around Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday, August 19th. Come visit me at ritual shelter in Homewood for a session. You can also make a virtual appointment with me by going to my website or visiting my Calendly page.
I will link both of those in the show notes. Let's have some fun. Tag me. At resource to patho carry in your Side Quest updates on social media.
May your imagination come alive. May you laugh more than you thought you would. May your heart space open up to let in more love and more joy.
Big love my friend.