• Jeanette Miura

May you find something fun and frivolous to do this holiday that delights and brings joy to the kid inside of you.

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  • Jeanette Miura

Do you wake up feeling happy and eager, or do you crawl to the coffee maker every morning? How often do you experience life in autopilot following the same routines moving through the usual path? Getting stuck just happens. It’s what we unfortunately call “normal”.

Autopilot isn’t always a bad thing. Some mornings we just aren’t our best selves and routines help us keep going. If your critical thinking prefrontal cortex is hijacked by your routine obsessed, mid brain every single day, then it’s time to make some changes. When the balance between self and others completely bends to “others” making every day about everyone else but you, then life will never be fulfilling. Being aware that an imbalance exists and that you require "fun" is the start of creating a life worth living.

Most of us have bought into the idea that “successful” adults don’t play. They are serious, hardworking, go-getters. They spend their time figuring out how to improve their careers and make tons of money to provide for their families. Free time or down time is a rare luxury and we usually connect frivolous recreation with those we consider "lazy". Fun doesn’t pay the bills!

In stark contrast, children have no cares in the world other than having fun and playing. In children we encourage play and even schedule play dates and time during their school hours for play. We encourage kids to go outside and run around the neighborhood before coming in for dinner. We applaud their imagination. We encourage them to build and create. So why do we force adults to abandon play when it was something as children we considered vital for healthy development?

The Squid Game, which captured the attention of 132 million people on the planet, used an extreme, violent example of adults forgetting the value of play. In these games, adults were playing for money and those who lost were killed. In the end the main antagonist, the creator of the game, reveals that both the poor and rich have one thing in common, they are unable to derive joy from buying and acquiring. He longs for the days when he was a child and was able to simply play and have fun.

Standing where you are today, how much fun are you having? When was the last time you played? When was the last time you did something recreational for no purpose other than to have fun? Do you feel guilty when you choose to play over completing work or some household task that needs to be done?

If you haven’t played in a long time, then you’re among the majority of American adults or you’re a “normal” adult. According to Pew Research Organization, only 25% of adults participate in play. Their definition of play is, “engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.”

According to the article, The Benefits of Play for Adults by Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Jennifer Shubin, these are the benefits of play:

Relieve stress. Play is fun and can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
Improve brain function. Playing chess, completing puzzles, or pursuing other fun activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems and improve brain function. The social interaction of playing with family and friends can also help ward off stress and depression.
Stimulate the mind and boost creativity. Young children often learn best when they are playing—a principle that applies to adults, as well. You’ll learn a new task better when it’s fun and you’re in a relaxed and playful mood. Play can also stimulate your imagination, helping you adapt and solve problems.
Improve relationships and your connection to others. Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others. Play doesn’t have to include a specific activity; it can also be a state of mind. Developing a playful nature can help you loosen up in stressful situations, break the ice with strangers, make new friends, and form new business relationships.
Keep you feeling young and energetic. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Play can boost your energy and vitality and even improve your resistance to disease, helping you function at your best.

Your challenge today is to find one completely useless, “play” activity to engage in. It doesn’t have to require a lot of time. Just pick one fun thing to do and see how you feel. I will make a video of the fun thing I plan on doing later so y’all can laugh at me or with me. We’ll see how it goes!

Happy playing everyone!

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  • Jeanette Miura

Any amount of self-doubt, no matter how small, will prevent you from realizing your full potential and manifesting your dreams. Self-doubt is unnecessary baggage you have agreed to carry on your life journey. People and experiences have added heavy items to this bag over time. Instead of putting it down because it's too heavy, you say, "Wait, hold on. I can rearrange what's inside my bag so I can fit more shit in here." Aren't you tired of being weighed down by self-doubt?

We are dreamers. We are creators. We are designed to escape the ordinary by imagining the extraordinary. Children aren't limited. They dream big. They dream about flying to the moon or singing for thousands of adoring fans. We all start in life believing we are limitless and that anything is possible. But, eventually, self-doubt creeps in and we allow our dreams to die as we age.

What caused you to stop believing that anything was possible? Was it the prickly, sometimes traumatic evolution from childhood to adulthood? Was it some form of abuse? Was it your parents who insisted you face reality and stop dreaming? Self-doubt is delivered to us in many ways through various experiences.

Reflecting and knowing when the seeds of self-doubt were planted will help relieve the regret and unworthiness you feel when you think of what could have been. You are still here, still living, still able to change the trajectory of your life. Stop beating yourself up about going off course. We have all taken detours. Accept that your detours were necessary for the evolution of your spirit.

I clearly remember the day I started carrying self-doubt. I was in the 11th grade attending a Worlds Affairs Luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel. An English teacher I didn't know well was our chaperone. This teacher asked me a series of questions and made comments that made me feel poor and different from the other luncheon guests. The microaggressions I experienced that afternoon made an impact.

Before this, I was on top of the world. I was full of confidence, excited about my future and potential career. I had high hopes of attending an elite college, and I knew I was securely on that road. This teacher, whose name I can't even remember today, changed the way I saw myself in relation to others. I was part of a minority group that wasn't destined to succeed, and people like her didn't really believe that I could compete with white, rich, male peers.

That day I felt-less-than. I felt unworthy of Beverly Hills. Even though I did get into an elite college, the microaggressions were consistent, and they kept on coming indirectly shaping my beliefs about myself. My baggage grew heavier and heavier. In my twenties, despite how heavy my bag was, I just kept on moving.

Eventually, the weight became too much to carry, and I stopped trying to walk. I convinced myself that I liked where I was. I had a career, a family. I was living better than my parents. "Yes," I told myself, "I do like the view from where I'm standing right now." And it was partly true. But your truth figures out a way to get out. It refuses to stay hidden long. My truth was that I had settled for a less-than-life because I didn't believe I could achieve my dream of writing and producing films and books. I was stuck. I couldn't move forward. Instead of screaming for help, I told myself I was lucky.

I created reasons to explain why my childhood dreams weren't meant for me. At times I would become depressed as my truth would scream so loudly it disturbed my peace. Self-doubt made me feel unworthy. I thought, "Who am I to dream this big?" It wasn't until I came across this quote from Marianne Williamson in my thirties that I decided to make a change.

"Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?"

I know I'm not alone. I have met and talked to so many people just like me that yearn for passion and fulfillment. You've carried self-doubt long enough. Stop hiding behind statements like, "I don't have enough time," or "My kids are my priority right now." You can have it all. You deserve to have it all. You deserve to take the adventure of a lifetime as you journey towards your dreams!

I know it's not easy to get going. You have carried this baggage for so long it feels very strange to be free of it. You may fear that you will be so light you may simply float away. I promise if you dare to drop that bag, you will begin to move in the path you were always meant to follow. Believe in yourself and see what the future holds for you.

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