At first glance, this question might seem too big to swallow. You might already be trying to nail this one in relation to “smaller” sectors of your life: career, relationships, health, finances. But if you can answer this question for the Biggie-your spiritual life-chances are good it will cascade into the rest of your life.

We all know someone who has a job or career they absolutely love. For instance, one of my online muses recently landed her dream job: Food Artisan Relations Manager. When I visited the Foodzie Blog to read about Susie’s new position, it sounded like an incredible win-win for everyone involved.

Not to mention an unforeseen expansion by the company to create space for her new role. As the story unfolds and Susie gives her behind-the-scenes version of it, you can literally see her “putting one foot out of the comfort zone” time and time again.

Something else will be visible to all who follow the Foodzie Blog. It’s abundantly clear in her article quotes that Susie’s going to have fun at her job every single day! She is being paid to live her passion.

Now, I don’t know the background on Susie’s mental/emotional/spiritual process around landing her dream job, but-like many of us-she may at some stage have had to

(a) change her thinking

(b) change her state of being

(c) get back in touch with some of the “kid” qualities from her childhood.

As kids, we all play games to rehearse becoming adults. Kids have buckets of fun acting out roles or performing tasks that later in life can often feel more like a chore.

What games did you play? I remember playing teacher, store owner, priest, truck driver, sandbox town planner, mother, grocery shopper and cook.

We could probably come up with various reasons why kids can have fun doing stuff we may no longer cherish, but here’s a less common one to consider: until they become socialized (or have it disciplined out of them), kids are often closer to the spiritual realms-in a purely natural way-then we are as adults.

Just as it is with young children hopping on the computer and fearlessly learning technical stuff, so it is with issues such as communing with our spiritual guides. Kids simply don’t have a concept of how “hard” that’s supposed to be. They don’t say to themselves “I need X number of years of meditation before I can be that attuned.”

Kids are natural experts. And one of their areas of expertise is . . . you got it! Having fun.

Could there be a connection with spirituality? I believe it’s well worth investigating . . . and I can show you an easy way to find out in a mere 10 or 15 minutes.

At my workshop, The Fear of Writing Clinic, writers and closet writers show up feeling intimidated-and/or stalled, jaded or confused-about their writing. My secret “cure” is all about guiding these writers back to the fun.

One of the icebreaker writing exercises we start the morning with is called Define Fun. Participants are given 10-15 minutes to free-write and then we go around the circle, listening as each writer reads her definitions out loud to the group.

You don’t need to be a writer to benefit from this exercise. And it couldn’t be simpler.

First, take a sheet of paper and write the words “Define Fun” at the top. Better still, gather with a friend (or several friends) in a coffee house and do the exercise together.

Next, write down everything that’s fun for you. Don’t try to analyze your choices and don’t write anything you think you “should” write. Suspend all preconceived notions about what is or isn’t spiritual. Just write down what’s fun for you.

Take some risks!

Now it’s time to read your list out loud with friends. I won’t dilute your experience by trying to describe how liberating this can be. There’s something about doing this kind of exercise in a group that fosters not only mutual acceptance but self-acceptance.

If you’re doing this exercise by yourself, read it out loud to yourself. You may already notice a transformation.

If not, put your definitions away in a drawer for several days. Then, choose a moment when you’re feeling good about yourself and the world. Take your list out and read it again. Do you notice any shifts in perception?

* Some of the simplest things are the most fun.
* Thinking about, talking about or writing about the things that are fun for you is … fun!
* You have a surprisingly big list (or simply a juicy list) but you’re not always doing enough of the things that are fun for you.

Perhaps you’re doing some things that are NOT fun for you out of a sense of obligation. If you reprioritize your time to include more of the items from your fun list, you’ll have less time to fulfill obligations that are bogging you down. An elegant (possibly even struggle-free!) solution.

Having fun is part of being spiritual. Sometimes we just need a new perspective on it.

And sometimes we just need to give ourselves permission.

By Milli Thornton

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