Tag Archives: courage

Memoir Project: Dusting Myself Off, Putting my High Boots on & Going Back In!

After a lot of procrastination I have published three excerpts from my memoir in revision. I’ve also shared several writer’s notes over the last few days. You can find Memoir Project entries HERE and a couple Writer’s Notes HERE


I had full intentions this morning to continue to write and revise my memoir’s manuscript this morning but I was stopped in my tracks by an event yesterday that kept me awake last night. It all started with:

You Should Have…

After tossing and turning in bed and making every effort to disavow what is roaming around inside of me I decided to put my high boots on and step back Into the arena. The arena where I bring my vulnerability and courage.

Vulnerability is the most accurate measure of courage. ~Brene Brown

I realized this morning as I sipped my coffee that I have been in that same arena immeasurable times in my life and that over the last few days I have been standing naked and left my armor behind. 

I’m showing up in a big way.

and so are all of my anxieties and concern about being killed on the field as I share my story and who I am. The real deal with no armor to shield me.

Yesterday I stepped out and was hit by the the same criticisms and shame that have kept me from writing and sharing what I am creating over the course of my lifetime. I asked myself this morning,

How is this critic similar to other critics that have voiced their disapproval of how I look, act, what I do, who I am??

I came across a photo of Mary Alice (circa 1954). I am just over a year old, standing with my Easter bonnet, dress, and coat. Looking ahead in a focused way. Even then I had a sense of who I am suppose to be and started to give away the parts of myself that didn’t fit that ideal.


Today I’m breathing deeply in a fetal position on the floor, dusting myself off, and continuing to create and share. On this Autumnal Equinox I feel like I am falling, breaking down. As I continue to play and create my life and life’s work I give myself permission to stay home for stretches of time and also to explore outside the edges of my experience.

I will continue to create and share here, on the Play=Peace blog, and on Medium knowing that as, Brene Brown, says,

if you step into the arena, you’re going to get your ass kicked

Every one of you has a Critic’s seat reserved in that same arena. See you there. Will you be fully armored or nakedly sharing your vulnerability and gifts with us all?

A Life Well-Lived is Play-FULL

How do you define play, Mary Alice?

The art of playing in the everyday 

could be ‘the art of meditating in the everyday’, Jamie said.

For me, its simple really and a commitment to Self-development.

Practicing the art of playing in the everyday is my life practice and viewpoint–my compass.


Meditative walking, reflecting while I do the dishes, musing over my night dream when I first wake up in the morning, singing in the shower, reading a book to my grandchildren, sharing what’s happened during the day with Michael over a glass of wine in the evening, drawing or journaling while perched on an overlook, photographing a wildflower, puttering around the house…

each and every moment of my life can be playful

I can play with it all

there is playfulness in each step I take…

I am grateful for moments of ease & joy and doubly grateful for the more challenging moments of life where play transforms walls that I have built to pathways of positive development.

Jamie’s question encouraged me to reflect on two questions,

what is play?

what is not-play?

When I face my fears I am more likely to find my place of fearlessness. Similarly, when I practice not-play I tend to deepen my practice of playing in the everyday of my life (and then some!)

Not-play is when I get hung up or find myself in a complex. I forget and have to find playfulness buried underneath all the seriousness, concern, worry, or challenges that I am holding on tightly to.

When anger and even rage surfaces (sometimes at lightning speed) I forget my Self when I am swallowed up in a deep morass. I am grateful that these moments of forgetfulness are short-lived. Why? Because I remember PLAY (and SHE never forgets me!) and I am pulled out of the destructive holding pattern I find myself in and am set free!

Today I’m playing with ideas of how to deepen my writing, how to playfully organize my writing, how to en-courage my Courageous Self to come out, how to follow through with positive action supported by the guidance of my dreams, how to share my writing with others, how to focus on the important bits.

Take a walk on the (not-play) side and see what happens. [if it feels like you are dancing counter to the rhythm of the music that’s okay–it’s all play!]

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