Mindfulness Hack 7: Smile Often, Play More, Have Fun, and Make a Mess!

February 18, 2019

The Universe always has a way of reminding you about something that needs your attention.

Lately, all signs point to the need to play more and fun. The first big, glaring realization came when I was in an online course with my coach, Amy Yamada and we were asked to journal about the things in our life that we do JUST for fun - nothing attached to an activity or purpose but something we do for pure enjoyment. In our 3 minutes of silent journaling, I sat there, staring at the empty pages, completely dumbfounded that I had nothing to say. Apparently I have no fun.


I love having fun! I love to laugh out loud and play and be a goofball (usually in the form of embarrassing my kids. #bestmomever). So how is it possible that I had nothing to say? Turns out, all the fun I have is for a reason. There’s nothing in my life that happens for the pure joy and fun of it! How totally sad and depressing!

I recently took my youngest daughter and her friends to see Mary Poppins Returns for her birthday. In proper Mary Poppins fashion, there is a big, magical adventure with huge belly laughs and unbelievable imagination. Upon returning home, Jack turns to Mary Poppins and they agree that the adults will forget it all happened by morning. “Adults always forget”, they say in unison.

I instantly connected this scene to three things:

my no-fun journal writing experience;

the hot guy who hit on me a few weeks ago while I was walking my dogs;  

and an amazing yoga class I took a several months ago.

(Turns out the hot guy wasn’t looking for anything serious since he just ended a long relationship and asked if I was up for just having fun. I had to seriously think about how to say no, I wasn’t interested in fun. Huh?)

Anyway...back to yoga. The yoga teacher has a son who is autistic and she was talking to us about imagination and how it is something we take for granted. Imagination is a critical part of development yet for her son, imaginative play is practically non-existent. So she designed the entire class around sparking our imagination. I started thinking about how and when we grow out of our imaginations, much like what Jack and Mary Poppins were referring to.

As we grow, we become more and more unconscious in our daily routines - so much so that 95% of our day is lived unconsciously, as Dr. Joe Dispenza discusses in Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself. It’s why we can multitask - we know what to expect because it is the same as it was yesterday. But living in this state of unconsciousness means we leave no room for possibilities. We expect the expected instead of the unexpected - and the unexpected is where opportunities and possibilities exist! This awareness has become so important to me that my words for 2019 are Infinite Possibilities. It’s what I repeat to myself in my meditations and what I use to ground or reground myself in the moment.

Try This:

This one is really simple:

  1. List out all the things you do JUST for fun.
  2. List out all the things you WANT to do (or keep doing) just for fun.
  3. Do them.

If you immediately turn to the “I don’t have time” excuse, then you will grow old and ugly with all the angry wrinkles between your eyes and the permanent frown lines around your mouth. So, make a commitment that each month you will dedicate time to FUN. Fun sparks imagination which opens you up to possibilities. Fun makes you smile, and smiling releases endorphins and boosts the immune system - that’s a win-win, folks! There are even studies that link longevity, satisfaction and stability to smile intensity. So turn that frown upside down, y’all!

For My Educators (and Parents!):

Since I discovered that I have no fun for the sake of having fun, I’m looking for ways to lighten up around the house as well. And although I’ve put a moratorium on all things slime, I find myself letting my kids make more of a mess (I honestly have to keep my OCD in check!) and encouraging them to let their imaginations run wild. Where can you release a little control and hand over the reigns? What kinds of projects can you turn over to your children or students that will allow them to dream big, have some fun, and make a little mess?


If I had a guru, it would be Dr. Joe Dispenza. All of his books will blow your mind, but Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself is a great place to start.

Mindfulness Hack #1: Gratitude is Everything!

Your thoughts are magnetic and having a strong gratitude practice means you are opening the doors to more things to be grateful for.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack #2: Wake UP!

All growth starts with first noticing and paying attention to patterns or habits. In what areas of your life do you need to WAKE UP?

Read article
Mindfulness Hack 3: Breathe, Baby, Breathe!

By stopping to take a few breaths before reacting, we can clear our minds, release anger, and take a compassionate approach to conflict.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack 4: Meditate like a MoFo

Some days the meditation is easy, and other are more like a traffic jam. But you gotta stick to it!

Read article
Mindfulness Hack 5: Lube Up

How do essential oils connect to mindfulness?

Read article
Mindfulness Hack 6: Wake Up on the Right Side of the Bed

This hack is NOT about having a positive attitude...

Read article
Mindfulness Hack 8: Eat Your Ice Cream In the Pool

In our fast-paced, diet-obsessed American culture, mindful eating is not a common practice.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack 9: Move Your Body

This post is NOT about counting your steps or drinking your pre-workout so you can kill it in the gym. Its about finding joy in movement.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack #10: Turn Up the Tunes

The right music can make the non-dancer bust a move - just as easily as it can put you in the most calm state of mind.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack #11: You are a Money Magnet

If you and money were having a heart to heart, what would it say to you about the way you treat it?

Read article
Mindfulness Hack #12: Give Graciously

Yes, it’s absolutely true that the more you give, the more you receive. But that should never be the sole reason for giving.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack #13: Sleep Your Way to the Top

Sleep. Rest. Repeat. Why? Because our bodies need it.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack #14: Build a Mindful Network (and take out the trash)

Surrounding yourself with people that make you feel alive, appreciated, and worthy adds great value to your human experience.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack #19: Love Thyself (and Stop the Tape!)

Hack 19 is all about the negative self-talk that is playing on repeat inside our minds.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack #18: Watch Your Mouth

Every word that comes out of your mouth is a declaration to the Universe about what you want more of.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack #15: Forgiveness Makes Space

If you’re feeling frustrated that you cannot get passed this phase in your life, then it’s high time you took a good look in the mirror.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack #16: Face It

Transformation begins with Awareness. You have to face it first, before you can truly let it go.

Read article
Mindfulness Hack #17: Love the One You're With (even when you don't feel like it)

We are in relationship with everything and everyone around us, like it or not. Whatever the situation, we get to master the moment.

Read article