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    Self Expression On The Playground of Life

           Self expression is a form of play. It is in fact a way to live your life more playfully. Adults often dismiss the importance of play. Conventional wisdom, an oxymoron is ever there was one, holds that play is for children; adults are about work. Work is so important to us, in fact, that many people define themselves by their job. They are what they do for a living.
           I challenge that paradigm. My question is “How’s that working for us?” Are most people happy with their job? Are most people fulfilled by their work? My experience is no. And if people define themselves by what they do, and they don’t like what they do, then they are, ipso facto, not very happy. At least not most of the day, while they are working.
           Don’t fall into the trap of defining yourself by your job. Even if you love it. You are so much more than what you do for a living.
           Regardless of your job or career, you can add joy and happiness and fun to your life by playing. And expressing yourself is playful.
           If you live more self expressively, your life takes on a playful quality. I’ll give you a simple but powerful example. I have a t-shirt with the symbol of The Flash on it. It’s bright and colorful. It says something. It makes a statement about what I like. So it’s expressive. I bet I get more play out of that shirt than the guy in the Georgio Armani suit. Unless that suit is in an expressive color. Like purple. In that case case, it’s a tie between the shirt and the suit. How do I know this? Because I have both. And I wear both. And I pay attention.
           I’m a bold person. I make bold statements, in many ways, about who I am. About what I am. My experience is that those who get me, really get me, And really love me because they get me so well. And those who don’t get me just don’t. But to those people who don’t get me, I would say this; “I’ll let you in closer if you want. I’ll reveal more of myself, if you’re up for it. If you want to get to know me better, I won’t hide just because you may end up not liking me.”
           I’m not suggesting you have to be like me. That’s not the point. I'm suggesting you be more you. Whoever that is. And I'm suggesting that when you are more self expressive, however that shows up for you, however you do it, you are more engaged in your life. When we risk self expression, we engage in a form of play that engages others. We connect to others. And the rub is that many of us do not care to engage. Do not care to connect. Or we are afraid of engaging and connecting. So we live less expressively.
           When we interact with people, the more we share about what we truly feel, what we truly think, what’s important to us, and who we truly are, the more self expressive we are being. The more we share, the more we self express. The more we connect. And there are many ways to share. There are countless ways to express yourself. Conversation is one way. The clothes you wear are another.
           Notice how guarded you are in conversation. With your lover. With close friends. With work associates. With strangers. I’m not suggesting you share your entire life with everybody on the planet. Unless you want to. What I’m offering is a consciousness about how open we are to showing who we really are and risking the consequences of being accepted or not.
           Try living more self expressively. Take those risks. Show more of yourself. It’s engaging. It’s fulfilling. It leads to connection. And it’s a fun way to live.

    ©2012 Clint Piatelli & Red F Publishing. Al Rights Reserved.  

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