Playfulness

Lesson 4: Letting Go of Appearances

Introduction

Playfulness is where we break out of preconceived ways of acting to explore the unknown. It is where we can let go of appearances and find out what really motivates us in the world of play. When we are playful with others it enhances our ability to be playful together. The goal is to have a way of interacting that is not based on preset roles, obligations or duties. This is why, the more an individual is serious, the more it undermines Playfulness and reduces its power. The value of Playfulness is that we can explore new ways of being with others without consequences. This supports us in building our imagination and intuition. The irony of this Skill is that it has a definite feminine flow, yet it is all about masculine activity.


It becomes obvious why Playfulness is a masculine Skill when we consider what sabotages Playfulness, namely Personal Achievement and Strength. Personal Achievement is a Motive that drives us to prove ourselves better than others. Strength is a personality Attraction where we demonstrate a tenacity of spirit in our determination to accomplish things. These two frameworks tend to crush Playfulness in their need to be serious. What they do add is the capacity to boldly express themselves, which is an element of Playfulness. The key issue is the ability to remake ourselves without carrying the weight of the past on our shoulders. This means we not only need to let go of appearances, but release attachments to our past.


Playfulness is a Skill, like others, where if we do not connect to our own Playfulness, there is no way we can joyfully connect to others. It is about going beyond our comfort zones, in terms of exploring silly options. What we fear is that others will believe we are not serious or capable individuals. We focus on our masculine side, and allow ourselves to take a greater risk about what others may think and still show up and participate. The key is to put ourselves in a position where we cannot gracefully recover if it goes badly. The desire is to explore new ways of participating so we do not revert to earlier ways of interacting. The value of this is it allows us to separate ourselves from our past. The problem with this is we are seldom willing to take these risks, so we end up doing only what we know we can control. This type of seriousness, which is the opposite of Playfulness, closes us down. We try to be structured, serious implementers. This means we need to create a larger Context by embracing both Playfulness and seriousness. Playfulness is actually a super-set of all the above, without an attachment to an intellectual result. We release our need to be right. While this is about completeness, it is also about being clear about what we know.

The only way we experience our Playfulness is when others are Playful with us. This points out how useful it is to be around those with a lot of Playfulness, so we can grow used to it and even move into it. Just imagine what it could be like stepping into a place where we do not have to prove ourselves. We want to get used to being in the unknown whenever we are doing Playfulness. Otherwise, we become attached to proving how capable or strong we are. Seriousness contracts us; we become attached to our beliefs. Playfulness allows us to explore without any preconditioned thinking. The more we get into Playfulness, the greater our bold, daring sense of participation. This is what others most want.

Personal Achievement is the Commitment to prove ourselves and our value in the world. It operates from the perspective that we need to compete to survive. We internalize this need to compete by separating ourselves from others, which reinforces the comparisons we need to make to prove our self of value. This automatic distancing and comparison shows up externally as greater Intensity.The more we push forward, the more we discover our Strength and accept our power. Unconsciously we feel pressured to perform and externally look like we are success even if we are not. This “fake it til you make it” process further distances us from our core knowing of who we are. Many of us get caught up in the belief that Personal Achievement will automatically lead to success. Actually, it will guarantee that we will always be in the process of pursuing success, but never achieving it. It is the engagement of Playfulness that opens up the space for us to reconsider what we are truly interested in contributing, rather than defining our contribution in terms of what others want from us. This is because as long as we define ourselves in terms of the truth of others that we think are more powerful than us, the less we will actually achieve. The important thing to realize is that Personal Achievement usually reflects the reality of the environment we work in. In other words, we accept the measurements and standards of a particular environment in the hopes that our capacity will be recognized. As long as the measurements are externalized, we don’t have to be responsible ultimately for the results.

It is only if we have created the circumstances of our measurement, perhaps by establishing our own company, that we become responsible for our own course in life. Taking ownership for where we are and who we are is what shifts us out of superficial measurements as a way to demonstrate our success. This means we do not have to compete to be strong nor do we have to perform to be effective. Strength is typically a reflection of our capacity to persevere and push through despite adversity. Ultimately, our Strength is reflected in the results produced, which can be best accomplished if we are Conscious, in a Playful manner. Unfortunately when we are caught up in the need to perform, our fixation on being serious about the outcome tends to minimize Playful interaction and adventure. It is through Playfulness that we are able to connect in to the Joy of contributing and are able to redefine ourselves in terms of what’s going on here and now. The real cost is that when we define ourselves in terms of our job titles, we lose our sense of vision for ourselves and how we would naturally contribute. Instead, we get caught up in the pursuit of status which is letting ourselves be defined by what others think of us. This is a trap because when we give responsibility to others by honoring their truth above our own, it abrogates our Commitment to ourselves and to our own well being.

The more we take ownership for where we want to go, the more capacity we have in creating the means to get there. Playfulness, Paradox and Mutual Learning are more Conscious ways of engaging and being effective with others. We discover that outer positions or principled Beliefs are not strengths, as true Strength is able to flow and respond to a situation. What this means is that true Strength is about Transformation, understanding and Growth.  It is about being on a path and sticking to it.  Positioned strength is about being stuck in our defenses and unable to redefine ourselves in a way that would permit Growth. The evolution of Personal Achievement and Strength reflects an internal learning process of who we are as a Creative Being. If we are not able to define ourselves in a way where we constantly regenerate our Experience of ourselves, there is no Personal Achievement. This is the hero or heroines path where we seek to constantly move forward and redefine our future as we go.  This precipitates a crisis if we need others to confirm who we are to be who we are. Ultimately, we learn to understate and not fixate on objectives, but enjoy the process for its adventure.

Personal Achievement

Personal Achievement is a state of conditioning where we use a track record or resume to demand Esteem regarding our Thoughts and the ability to manifest results. In Personal Achievement we assert independent achievements as a way of justifying the demands that others follow our lead. In the motive of Personal Achievement we believe we are best suited to establish the goals of others because we see ourselves as unique problem-solvers who can get things done. Anyone who resists our efforts challenges the established status quo, which leads to both overt and covert power struggles. On the Intellectual level every motive reflects the need for others to agree with us. When we do Personal Achievement, we require that everyone agree with our capability to solve the current problem. Ironically, in doing Personal Achievement we cannot see the solutions offered by others and we end up ignoring the initiatives they take to make things happen. As a result, we see ourselves as the center of any progress being made, where an activity is only legitimate if we have sanctioned it. What we want most is the ongoing Admiration that others see us as capable contributors and therefore allows us to take independent action whenever we wish.

In the motive of Personal Achievement the Context is that we need to prove our capability by meeting or exceeding the goals we set for ourselves. We believe that striving to accomplish a larger goal is labor that will be noticed and compensated. We operate from the fear that others will or do not esteem us so we always have to be doing more than is expected. What we seek to do is to be Intentional by willfully distinguishing our actions in an attempt to be seen as outwardly powerful. It is ironic that with the Fears we have, we want others to believe that our path is superior so that we can influence them in ways we wish. Personal Achievement also increases the sense of competition we Experience with others, creating a distinction between personal and group good. Individuals operating in Personal Achievement tend to believe that what is good for ourselves is good for others. It is Paradoxical that organizations encourage Personal Achievement, when in fact it tends to compromise the larger group good. The problem is that Personal Achievement is motivated by taking charge and establishing your pre-emptive control of the situation. This personal “directive-ness” makes it difficult to listen and operate as Partners or a team. We tend to amplify our personal results and diminish the contributions of others as a way of staking our claim on the rewards.


The hidden belief of Personal Achievement is that since my Thoughts are separate from those of others, I can and should use Thoughts to manipulate others for my good. Semi-consciously, we get caught up in the belief that we know what is right for others. We believe that since we are someone who gets things done, this distinguishes us from others who are a failure and cannot produce. We use this covert superiority game to cover up our own Fears of not being powerful enough. We also get caught up in acting logically and using reasoning to assert our personal Desires, hiding our Personality Self-interest by ridiculing opposing views or ignoring contradictory evidence. All this covers up our lack of inner value and self-assurance, which we hide by our outward confidence and apparent self-Esteem. Anyone who needs to have their Esteem validated is not accepting that they are Esteemed as they are. This is why we are driven to deliver what others need as a way of proving and demonstrating our competence.

Now we will address how to heal our Personal Achievement conditioning. Let us release our attachment to the idea that knowledge is power, by seeing the limits of how our attachment to our positions distances from others. The more we need to prove that our plans are better than others’ plans, the less able we are able to include their ideas and perspectives into our own. Instead of demanding the Esteem we feel we have earned through our track record, let us open the door to creating new ways to connect based upon being available to grow and learn together. Can we release our idea of our self long enough to consider the ideas of others? How could we see explicitly that our ideas are merely partial expressions of who we are and do not reflect our true Wisdom? Can we step into the possibility that Personal Achievement is merely a larger step toward Mutual Accomplishment, and not a destination in itself? To engage this possibility, we need to let go of our need to prove how right we are or so defend our current positions.

Let us step into the possibility that when others demand our résumé or require us to demonstrate our knowledge, it does not reflect a lack of Self-Esteem. Instead of becoming defensive, let us engage others by honoring their Esteem and by acknowledging their insights and perspectives. Imagine how we can honor our own greater knowing by seeing our Self as only a part of a greater knowing that extends beyond us. Let us imagine how our ideas can awaken and unlock the potential in the ideas of others so that a greater synthesis can emerge. Instead of being set in our positions, let us learn how to dance so that the acknowledgements of others do not become bars on our internal prison. Instead of becoming self-satisfied in our current Thinking, let us strive to think in new ways that release us from pre-existing patterns and perceptions. When we are fluid in our ability to respond to the Thoughts of others without personalizing their comments, we will know we have arrived in a state of Personal Achievement. This achievement reflects understanding that we are the Knower behind our Thoughts.

Personal Achievement is a perspective that is not easily integrated with the concepts of others because of its competitive separateness. Since Personal Achievement still arises from a personal effort, it does not easily incorporate the effort of others around us. We primarily Experience this disconnection when we make Commitments to accomplish things beyond our personal needs. In this situation we need to esteem others to integrate our perspectives and accomplish larger mutual goals. This means we do not even fully perceive our truth without a Commitment to go beyond our truth. Instead of being caught up in our self-perceptions of how right we are, let us consider how the very nature of our Thoughts can be undermining our ability to see beyond our personal viewpoint. The Paradox is that we need to make the effort to transcend our self without being attached to whether or not we are effectively accomplishing this. In other words, we need to aspire to higher Connections without trying to personalize our perceptions when we do. This is effectively accomplished by neutralizing the Beliefs in our certainty about our perspective. By embracing the larger unknown Wisdom and letting it emerge moment-to-moment, comes a greater Freedom and an ability to attract whatever information is needed to make our contributions in life.

To truly express love, we must operate in Unity with others. Personal Achievement diverts our Attention from seeking to fulfill the needs of others to being affirmed for our own contribution. As long as we are attached to being seen for what we give, it is hard to give it fully. In some situations, when we are not recognized or valued for our contributions, we have stop giving at all. This reflects how our Beliefs about our contribution are keeping us from naturally holding ourselves in high Esteem for our contributions. In other words, if we are unwilling to acknowledge our labor and contribution, we use the objections of others to invalidate us, when may really be in full Alignment with what we are contributing.

When we have a broader Consciousness about the difference between personal and group good, we can see how the group good is our personal good. The more we are attached to doing things in a particular way, the more likely it is we have a distorted motive within us to take care of ourselves at the cost of the group. This indicates we have not been seen or honored by others for previous contributions in a way that we wanted to be. It also shows up as a Feeling of malice or anger that can be evoked in us when others make demands of us we do not want to fulfill. When we have been unable to accept our contribution, we often are vengeful and want others to honor our contribution first. The irony is that often our anger can drive us to heroic expressions where we transcend old preconceptions and contribute in ways that awaken to our potential greatness. In this way, competition has been glorified because it forces a discipline on us that has a positive impact on society.
The distortion of Personal Achievement occurs because we need others to validate our contribution in a way that we cannot validate it ourselves. This indicates how we were wounded by other’s demands that we meet their expectations at the cost of our own. It reveals a Paradox where we were taught to be unselfish and yet felt taken advantage of when we were unselfish. As a result, we try to get our needs taken care of first, which reduces our ability to see how we can contribute to the greater good. Personal Achievement is, therefore, an over-attachment to being seen as heroic and right in what we do, based on our supposed superior knowledge. In the process, we over-emphasis our efforts and accomplishments and glorify our process at the cost of the greater good. What makes this so challenging is that, by choosing to reinforce our need to be seen, it actually attracts to us others who will Unconsciously compete with us rather than cooperate.

Personal Achievement is seen as the process of connecting an Intention with an action that distinguishes our Personality Self from other people. It emphasizes our cleverness rather than a mutual understanding or Wisdom this reflects that we are incomplete with accepting that our natural contribution will be made in a way that supports and serves others. We believe we must force the issue to get others to recognize us, when merely making contribution would be enough. Sometimes the need to demonstrate Personal Achievement is really about how we are insecure about expressing ourselves. The Feeling that we need leverage to convince others of our rightness comes from an inherent sense of weakness or inferiority. When this happens, we become more interested in building an image of success than in actually being successful. In this way, our pride in our accomplishments becomes the way to demand that others defer to us.

This is why getting the Esteem of others becomes so important to us. Personal Achievement is a dualistic lower motive. Since it requires others to hold us in high Esteem before we can see ourselves in that way, there is always the fear that we will lose their Esteem. So we get caught up in performance or the appearance of it, so others will believe we are doing more than they are and cause them to want to imitate us. We fear we will lose our position of prominence once we have attained it. We are caught in a self-judgment framework where we have to constantly produce or we could be seen as a loser no one would want to associate with. The more we produce, the more we can use the disparity between our results and those of others around us to secretly shame them into honoring our achievements. Ironically, establishing this Cycle perpetuates a need to constantly prove ourselves better. This is a motivating force in the world that, unfortunately, does not take into account the larger, common good.

The dark side of Personal Achievement is the need to prove how much better we are than others at a cost to them. See“Related Personal AchievementBeliefs.”This keeps us from working effectively with others because we become the critic, evaluator, and judge of other’s performance in a way that distances us from them. We use the willingness of people who admire us because they want to be like us to justify the abuse we heap on them trying to improve them for their own good. We think they should endure this abuse in order to learn the secrets to our success. We are not happy in this position because it isolates us from others. Sometimes we can bridge this gap by becoming a mentor to particular people who we think have the potential to carry on our legacy. This becomes one of the few ways we can to build an Intimacy with others. Unfortunately, it usually requires those who we mentor to unquestioning follow our directions and make us “right”, even at the cost of their own intuitive knowing.

Being a mentor to some “great” individual often means we need to accept them and their faults unconditionally, be patient about their impatience with us, and recognize and reinforce their sense of superiority, otherwise they feel betrayed. This need for deference reinforces an unequal relationship where the outer Growth only can occur in one direction. The cost to the mentor in any mentoring relationship is that, when they are accepted completely where they are, they have no need to grow further. The only way out of this dilemma is to acknowledge our need to grow and engage our Fears directly without projecting them onto others. We have to stop needing to perform in a superior way so we can find our natural Truth and deal with others as equals. We need to recognize that our self-perceptions of past great achievements only create obstacles to current great achievement. The more we believe the story of our own history, the less able we are to step beyond it to serve and contribute in new ways. Only in this way will we discover that “goal fitness” is how we honor our creative knowing and come into Alignment with Universal Intent. Goal fitness is where we are not blinded by our self-perceptions and can effectively see what is needed and apply ourselves to fulfilling that need. Goal fitness occurs whenever we make an authentic contribution and it is received.     

The hidden denied belief is the default assumption we operate from when we are Unconscious. This reflects the worst-case scenario where we are self-identified with our positions and perspectives and are unable to consider the Experience of others because it may superficially clash with ours. Our Fears of being superseded drive us to control others using Intensity and conviction to cut down and diminish the ability of others to influence us.

To the degree we are caught up in our Thought process, we seek others to acknowledge and accept our Thoughts as they are. This is usually because we do not want to make the effort to adjust our Thoughts to meet the complexity of changing circumstances. When we are forced to adjust to others, our need to feel superior drives us to find ways they must adjust to meet us. This leads to defensive interactions that get progressively more difficult and distancing.

The more we become a legend in our own minds, the easier it is to distance our self from the contrary Beliefs of others. The more we covertly believe we are a failure, the more Unconsciously we distance ourselves from this perspective by projecting a larger façade that reveals how we believe we are greater than others. In this way we artificially amplify every little molehill achievement into a gigantic mountain of an achievement. We seek to be accepted in this magnified view of ourselves and, in return, are willing to accept others magnified view of themselves. As long as there is a Balance and proportionality between these perceptions, others are willing to live with our Fantasy perceptions. The problems arise when we are hurt and we make cutting remarks to others that cause them to reevaluate their need for the relationship. We do not want to be with someone who does not hold us in at least as high Esteem as we hold ourselves. For some of us, this may not be much.

The more others ask us to be logical and act in a reasonable way, the more likely it is they are trying to change our viewpoint about ourselves. It has become common to evaluate our position relative to that of others and to use our logical strengths against their logical weaknesses. In this way, we can come to a rationalized framework for dealing with our issues. Unfortunately, most of the differences we have are not on the Intellectual level, but rather reflect denials of the Emotional, Feeling, or physical factors that may be going on in the relationship. It is ironic that many of us try to address situations on an Intellectual level, when our differences really occur on these other levels. This particularly occurs the more we believe in our own Personal Achievement and how it provides a position of power to which others must conform. We currently see this in many business environments where leaders use Intellectual reasoning to try to change behavior. It is not usually very successful.

Beliefs about Personal Achievement are a primary means for many people to differentiate themselves from others. Typically, this means they use their differences in background to substantiate their own views over others. By background we mean the “resume” of your Experience that allows you to justify what you believe you contribute in the world. In other words, we can fall into the trap of defining ourselves in terms of our past to the degree that we can only see our solution and our direction. When we continue to operate with this limited perception, it keeps us from seeing, not only aspects of our own contribution, but how others can contribute to the process to expand the total contribution. Instead of getting locked into a position, we need to continue to accept the reality and Experience of others without necessarily defining ourselves in limited frameworks.

To transcend Personal Achievement, we need to stop trying to substantiate our success and compare it to that of others. We need to accept that each person has their unique contribution and, if we define ourselves in terms of others, we really undermine both our contributions. Instead, let us unite our labors with those of others in a spontaneous and heartfelt way so that all the creative possibilities in the co-creative process emerge. We call this Mutual Accomplishment because it generates a greater synergy and expression that transcends each individual’s contribution. One of the best ways to manifest this is to learn how to learn together so that our personal focus becomes a transpersonal one.

It is helpful to recognize where we are distancing ourselves from our own internal Wisdom by identifying where our apparent weaknesses compromise our self-Acceptance. By sharing our weaknesses with others, it creates a larger, more unified Context in which the truth can be told. In this way, we learn how to turn our weaknesses into strengths so that our Personal Achievements become Mutual Accomplishments. It is in Mutual Accomplishments that we no longer question or prove our self-Esteem. As a result, our mutual Esteem for each other allows us transcend any preoccupations with personal ownership or acknowledgement. Whereas with Personal Achievement, knowledge is power, Mutual Accomplishment teaches us that unified Wisdom is even more powerful.

Personal Achievement is one step up from Arrogance on the Path of Autonomy and will naturally lead us to Idealized Unity, which is one step above Personal Achievement. With each of these steps, the quality of our labor improves because we have a deeper, truer, more authentic Connection with our Self. With each of these steps, the Illusion of the separateness of Thought diminishes. The striving that is behind our contributions can be expressed in ever more inclusive ways and be accepted in ever deeper ways to the point where we become an agent of Universal Intent. Pursuing this path with focused Intent allows our Growth to accelerate with the completion of each step. Eventually, we will reach a place of serendipitous Mutual Accomplishment where we what we contribute seamlessly and effortlessly integrates with the contributions of others.

Strength

Strength is attractive because force sometimes appears the best recourse to get our way. We seek to be around individuals who can back us up and support us when things get tough. Actually, the appearance of strength is more important than its reality. When we appear strong, others are not willing to confront us or test us. They assume they will lose any argument because a strong person will naturally persevere. Hence, we are attracted to outer strength whenever we are unsure we can persevere. Our associations with strength are often based on an idea of Independence. We believe that the ability to hold separate our self (and not reveal any vulnerability) is useful in negotiating better deals. Being able to declare our Intention and fulfill it also translates into a sense of Security for others around us. True strength is also the capacity to be vulnerable and express our weaknesses up front with clarity. This goes against the façade of strength, because those attracted to it usually do not want to engage the Thought of weakness. What individuals want is an unswerving Commitment from their Partner that they will fulfill their agreements with us, despite any obstacles. This reflects that those attracted to strength have, to some degree, denied their own inner strength. They seek reassurance from others to make them feel more secure.


Some individuals being on the receiving end of Judgments regarding their apparent lack of strength, sometimes make this a goal in itself. In other words, they try to covertly get what they want by effectively seeming less strong. What they are playing too is the assumption of others that they won’t be a problem and therefore they don’t have to worry if the person is not standing up for themselves and what they need. Individuals that have been hurt in this way, try to be underestimated by others so they can covertly establish the parameters so they only stand up to others when completely necessary. Anti-strength is also appealing to those who are typically dominant because they want someone as a Partner that will get along with them. Most of the time this type of attraction is seen only positively by individuals who have little or no sense of strength themselves. In this situation, it is a relief not to have to push back on their Partners or suffer their Judgments or complaints. Ultimately we need to begin to understand that our perception about Strength are not necessarily true, as individuals have many different ways to expressing Strength. Just because they don’t manifest Strength the way we assume Strength to be, doesn’t mean they can’t take care of themselves and do what is necessary.  It is this misperception about Strength that is responsible for so many surprises when individuals made assumptions that their Partners wouldn’t leave, only to realize they were stronger than they previously believed.

Playfulness

Playfulness allows us to relax into the truth of who we are. When we are playful we are not self Conscious or worried about what others think about us. Instead we can be natural, easy and respond in a passionate way. This empowers more powerful, passionate, and Joyful Connection with other in our lives. We lose our Playfulness when our roles in the eyes of others become more important than our authentic nature. We can be subjectified, idealized and objectified in our roles whenever we define our life in terms of others around us. When we subjectify ourselves to match the needs of others, we can become more outwardly powerful but it diminishes our Connection to our spiritual nature. When we idealize our roles and define ourselves in terms of the ideals of others, we distract ourselves of being practical an capable in our own natural ways. When we “objectify” ourselves in roles, we begin to believe that who we are is our outer form and define ourselves in terms of our material needs losing any Connection to the natural playful and passionate being inside.

By utilizing Playfulness, we learn how to engage others without pre-existing Expectations. Instead of falling into Safe patterns of engaging others, we create an opening for others to meet us in a more adventurous way, usually by self-deprecating humor, a sense of humility, and a desire to have fun. The problem is, that when we do not accept our sense of adventure as a Conscious choice, we end up Feeling we have to pull ourselves back to keep from being misunderstood or rejected by others. We can either take the position of under-planning our engagements with others, or trying to anticipate everything that could happen in advance. In a position of under-planning, we hope that others will bring their way of engaging to the party, so that we have some way of responding that makes sense to them. The position of over-planning is the opposite of this, because we hope that our Partner will not try to fight our ideas about how we should connect. When we are manipulated by these positions, we end up operating in a world of Expectations where we believe everything has serious consequences. This, of course, reflects the total denial of any Playfulness.

The quality of Playfulness requires that we neutralize any self-criticism, doubt and seriousness that could affect our in-the-moment choices. The more we focus on our past history, the more likely we will carry the burden of not wanting to make the same mistakes that previously undermined us. The Freedom to consider any option, no matter how outrageous or silly, opens us up and allows us to release the trauma of our past so we do not keep reliving it in order to avoid it. Playfulness is our creative spark that lets us embrace our childlike sense of wonder and innocence so we are able to enjoy the Beauty in the world. Playfulness expands and enriches our perceptions of the world so our vision can be more Balanced because it is linked to a greater sense of well-being. Personal Playfulness is the first step towards Enthusiasm where we learn how to play together.

Needing to be serious in order to keep from being hurt is how we deny Playfulness. Seriousness is the primary indication that we are operating in compromised Masculine and Feminine roles where we expect everything to be predefined and preplanned. We escape from this mediocrity through over planning by developing our Masculine positions about what we need to be successful or under planning by developing our Feminine positions that help us to escape into our past. Each of these points of view is inherently incomplete and therefore not fully powerful. When we accept our creative nature, Playfulness is the way we transcend both the past and the future and find out who we are. When we are willing to operate without a Safety net and be adventurous and Trust our development process, we Experience our Authentic Creative nature.


Playfulness is being Adventurous and willing to explore new possibilities because we are confident in our ability to interact. Playfulness support us in offsetting our Fears that we will not meet others’ expectations. If we take our self-image seriously, we end up conforming to our Beliefs of others’ opinions about who we should be. We attempt to make our ‘Personality Self’ presentable, which represses our ability to own and express our truth. Playfulness engages the Content or pre-existing knowledge structure of what we believe is true in a way that challenges convention. Playfulness encourages us to respond in a new way to the circumstances. Playfulness is a natural extension of Aliveness because it encourages us to engage a Daring Bold Participation in life. When we speak our truth despite the concerns of others, we awaken our Trust that the Universe that will provide whatever is needed. Our Playfulness supports our opening to letting things show up.

The benefit of embodying Playfulness is our flexibility and fluidness in meeting others. When we are playful with another, our ability to risk rejection grows when we do not have to conform to others expectations. Playfulness keeps us from getting lost in our self-image perceptions about the past, so that we can discover our own current truth in the present. We are able to act on our creative possibilities when we are playful. The challenge is that when others accept our Playfulness, we need to accept their Playfulness. Serious individuals can feel threatened by our lack of structure and unpredictable behavior. When we are Playful, we use enthusiasm to connect to others openly, despite their concerns or Fears. In this way, Playfulness helps both others and our Self to transcend our conditioning.


Daring Bold Participation is the virtue that arises when we honor our Playfulness. Since Playfulness is the basis for our passionate expression, Being ‘Daring’ in engaging possibilities reflects that we are no longer editing our passion for fear of being judged as inappropriately playful. Restoring our inner Balance around our Playfulness allows us to see and accept where our passion is taking us. It lets us commit ourselves to the larger opportunities around us without reservation. With a sense of Daring, others are drawn to share our passion and are themselves awakened to new possibilities. Even if we are making a mistake, we are able to learn and grow from it. Over time, we learn to Trust our inner Body Wisdom about what our path is. Being Daring allows us to transcend our conditioning and defensive polarization so that our creative power can fully come into play.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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