There is a bigger game for us to play

Many people who come to work with me identify as being “unconventional”. Regular-type jobs make them feel trapped. Old structures and systems stifle their adventurous spirit. They like to take the status quo, scrunch it up into a ball and throw it into the fire. They’ve spent much of their lives trying to reconcile the way they perceive the world with the way others proclaim it to be.


The unending cycle of “hide-and-seek”

As a youngster, they could sense things others couldn’t. Because they were energetically attuned to themselves, they easily recognized when something was “off” in their environment. When they tried to express themselves, they were shushed, or worse, punished. They were never quite accepted for being who they are. They were labelled as “black sheep” or just plain “different”, not meant in a good way. The pain of being diminished was so great that, as a result, they tried to do one of two things: either suppress their feelings to dull the ache or conform to others’ beliefs. Either way, they had to hide their true nature.

If they were successful at shutting off their feelings, a significant part of their being became hidden to themselves.

If they were successful at conforming to how society said they should be, a significant part of their being became hidden to the world.

Life, once a shiny playground, morphed into a tattered cardboard box. And they crawled inside to remain out of sight.

As they grew into adulthood, they started to play out the “seeking” part of the game. Many of them became a “spiritual seeker” or a “truth seeker”, and for some, a “career seeker”. (I can raise my hand to all of the above.) This identity shaped their life. But it was futile. They were playing a game they couldn’t win. They could never find the thing they sought because it did not exist where they were looking, which was outside of themselves. When they became disenchanted with this never-ending cycle of hide-and-seek and they wanted to find a new game to play, I invited them to join me in mine.


The clever games we play

In the journey of inspired work, there are three stages to cycle through – discovering, creating, and living.

In the “discovering” stage, their aim is to slowly release the protective overlays they have been using to conceal their true nature. In doing so, they reclaim those lost parts of themselves. When they realize they already have and already are everything they had been seeking, the search is over. The relief is tremendous. As they allow themselves to fully feel again, those disassociated aspects begin to reintegrate in their being. This helps them reconnect with their source of energy and with the clarity of their own light, their inner guidance leads them through the next stage of their journey.

In the second stage, the “creating” stage, they set about owning their incredible uniqueness and dreaming up the work that is an expression of their whole being. It is the work that celebrates their authentic selves and provides opportunities to share their valuable gifts. It’s both an exciting and a challenging phase of the journey because they must learn how to receive new ideas and claim responsibility for bringing them to life.

When we get into the third stage of the Vision Program, the “living” stage, I invite the players to move into action and take steps to put their work out into the world. When I disclose this particular aspect of the game, they often peer around to see if their old box is still available for hiding. Indeed, it is vulnerable to expose ourselves to the world. If we reveal who we really are and are rejected again on an even grander scale, we fear we might end up living in that cardboard box for real. In apprehension, they attempt to hide from their work by developing clever new games:

  • Comparison: “Why would anyone need me? I’m sure someone else is already doing it better than I can.”
  • Deference: “I don’t have anything of import to say. I’ll just share another inspirational quote from someone else.”
  • Pretending: “My work is still ‘unclear’. Even though I know in my heart what I want to do, I will pretend I don’t.”
  • Victimhood: “I’m wounded, you see. Let me tell you the story again.”
  • Perfectionism: “I must be accepted by everyone. If I am going to put something out into the world, it’s got to be perfect.”
  • Defeatism: “I just can’t do it, it’s too hard.”

In their heart, they know none of these things to be true, but the compulsion to go back into protection is strong. The echoes of shame still stiffen their bodies. The fear of persecution still terrorizes their minds. However, the joylessness of playing these limiting games eventually outweighs the risks of letting themselves be seen. They finally relent and make the decision to play a bigger game.


Your life is worth the risk

What makes living our inspired work a bigger game is not necessarily about the external results, though those can be rewarding, it more so about the internal experience. When we risk more, we experience more. We feel more. We give more. We love more. We laugh more. We contribute more. And, of course, we also fail more and are disappointed more, but without the whole rounded experience, we are not really playing the full game of life.

If we retreat to the perceived safety of our cardboard boxes, we miss out on so much. The pleasure of connection with others. The feeling of being comfortable in our own skin. The joy of flowing energy. The delight of creativity. The sweetness of sensuality. The abundance of possibilities. All the things that make life worth living.

When we come out of hiding and allow our whole selves to be seen, though scary, this is when both life and work become truly fascinating. We are free to create even more fulfilling games to play:

  • Commitment: “It doesn’t matter whether they need me, I need me to show up.”
  • Self-expression: “When I creatively express with my whole being, I feel joy.”
  • Trust: “I allow my inner being to guide me in my ever-unfolding journey.”
  • Mastery: “I am resourced from within and I live a story of thriving.”
  • Playfulness: “If I am going to put something out into the world, I am going to have fun with it.”
  • Courage: “It is hard and I’m going to do it anyway.”

To play a bigger game does not mean we have to appear on some grand stage (unless that’s what your heart desires) or do a silly dance on TikTok (again unless you like that kind of thing). What it means is that we stop withholding ourselves from the world. We stand in our uniqueness. We let our light shine. We bless with our gifts. We show up fully in everything we do. And even though this game is more risky, we cannot lose. It’s an evolutionary game. The more we play, the more we get the hang of it, and the more fun we have.

I think it’s your turn.


If you’d like to join me in playing a bigger game in your work, apply for your Discovery Session here.
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