Tag Archives: connectedness

Selfmarriage – dance with my shadowside

A funny thing happened on my morning walk a few weeks ago. It was a cold and sunny winterday in the Netherlands. At one moment the img_3664sun was behind me and I was walking along my own shadow for at least 1o minutes, the stream of water seeming to separate us into two. I waved at myself. Even tried some shadowy dancemoves and taking shadow selfies :-).

An #insight came to me. If I want to marry myself, I need to invite and welcome my shadowside as well. What I see as my shadowside are the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that I have put away into my subconscious, pretending not to be there. At some point in my (early) life, I have decided these thoughts, feelings and behaviors were not ok, and thus I was not ok unless I burried them deep. It is probably why so many people feel they’re not good enough. How can you believe you’re worthy and good enough if you hide parts of yourself out of fear, shame or guilt…

Shadowwork is about inviting your shadows to come out of the dark into your awareness and welcome them with your presence. Not an easy thing to do, because it can feel overwhelming and very vulnerable. I totally get my ego now, trying to ‘safe’ me by pulling me away from these strong emotions.  A thought that helps me is; nothing will come up unless I’m ready and able to deal with it. Although at times it felt like I almost died, I’m still here, alive and kicking. Maybe aspects of me actually did die. The ones that serve me no longer. What remains is a feeling of trust that I can be there for myself, even if things feel very painful. I know now that these strong ‘negative’ feelings will not kill me but flow through me like waves and make place for positive feelings once I allow and accept them fully.

I am a believer in the Law of Attraction (that which you focus your attention on grows), so I’ve always tried to keep a positive focus. That works very well, unless you’re using this positive focus to avoid something negative, because then it will only (subconsciously) fuel the negativity that you resist. And that will eventually show up in all kinds of ‘unwanted’ life circomstances. Untill you finally get it.

It was funny to realize that deeply connecting to myself resulted in deep existential feelings of loneliness. At least I understand now why I have a fear and a longing for connecting at the same time.

I also understand now, that; If we place the light outside of ourselves, in others, in circomstances to make us happy, to make us feel whole..our shadowside will silently walk with us. The moment this other person or the circumstance doesn’t give us what we want from them, our shadow starts to scream with pain, disguised in all kinds of weird behavior (anger, withdrawal, victimhood, selfhate).

The good news is; when we decide to turn inward and look at our own shadow(s) and accept them, that we put our own light on them and they will dissolve.

I’m a work in progress and that’s ok. Learning to dance with my shadows.img_3663

playfully yours,

Annemarie

 

TEDxTallaght I What happens when you press PLAY I Annemarie Steen

From Playing the Game of Seriousness, it’s now time for playing a different game: The Game of SeriousLESS…and to allow and welcome our authentic and playful selves to come back to the surface. Not only at home, but especially at work. Besides the fact that this will increase our mental health and sense of well-being, it will also bring us vital lifeskills to deal with today’s fast changing and complex world.

You’re welcome to join my playful community to get updates, inspiration and resources on Playfulness & Playful Learning.

Playfully yours,

Annemarie Steen

My personal experience doing a TEDx talk (in Dublin)

Annemarie Steen at TEDxTallaght

Annemarie Steen at TEDxTallaght

One day before my TED talk at TEDxTallaght in Dublin I was visiting a local pub. An alcoholic toothless guy (his name was Dan), came up to me and asked me “Where are you from?” And ofcourse I replied with “I’m from The Netherlands, I live in Eindhoven area”. And I asked him the same question: “Where are you from?” And his reply was: “Earth”. I laughed and we started talking. He said “the moment we say where we are from, we distinct ourselves from others, while the earth is such a tiny place in the total universe”. And I thought he’s absolutely right. We are all earthlings.

Last minute, I changed the start of my TED talk based on this idea and my starting sentence became: Hello, my fellow earthlings 😉

Later in our conversation he said: “So you PLAY with people all around the world, AND get paid for it? That sounds like the best job in the world!” And I replied with a big smile: YES!

My biggest fear was that my time (15 min) was too limited to tell my story AND get the audience up and invite them to leave their comfortzone (Play is something very scary for adults) and enter their playzone. Play is an experience product. I invited the audience to experience  5 different types of play; object play, imaginative/pretend play, movement play, creative play and social play. And looking at the faces…it went gr8! (pictures by @rocshot)

tedxtallaght

tedxtallaghttedxtallaght

Now, it’s waiting for the video to be released…(3-4 weeks).

If you want to have the first look…you’re welcome to follow/like my facebookpage.

Wish you a playful day!

Annemarie Steen 🙂

Creating a Culture of Innovation using the Power of Play

LTP-logo-2Most companies and organizations know that in this fast changing and complex world, they have to create a culture of innovation to be able to sustain a healthy business.  A lot of time and effort is spent on creating new strategies, business models, structure, processes, technologies, tools, and reward systems, hoping that these will lead to success. Unfortunately, ‘invisible forces’ are responsible for the fact that 70% of all organizational change efforts fail.

The trick? According to Soren Kaplan, expert on innovation; “Design the interplay between the company’s explicit strategies with the ways people actually relate to one another and to the organization.”

Licence to Play is an innovative concept that identifies and engages your (5-10%)cultural change talents to make the needed  difference from within, using the power of play. Why Play?

Playfulness is something that we all are born with, it’s in our nature to play. Play is the fastest way to create the ‘soft stuff’ that drives innovation; openness, connectedness, collaboration, creativity & learning by doing.

Unfortunately Play is also something that people fear to express in their serious workingenvironment. Therefore I developed the concept ‘Licence to Play’ that allows people in organizations to open up, be playful and facilitate their co-workers to do the same. They literally get a ‘Licence to Play’, signed by the company director. With this licence they will be assigned to perform (secret) play missions and facilitate powerful playful learning games on relevant topics.

Are you ready to PLAY?

Here’s your secret Play Mission: http://youtu.be/Y0uWLHy-yo0

With Playful greetings,

Annemarie Steen

Does your company have a Licence to Play?

playful officeWhen you look at outperforming companies like Google, Zappos, Virgin, South West Airlines and Mindvalley (Malaysia), there’s one thing they have in common. They invite and promote playful behaviour of their staff. Why? Because they know that playfulness is the fastest way to create openness, connectedness, collaboration and creativity; attributes that are needed now more than ever to create innovative products and memorable customer experiences. And their numbers show that it pays off in profits.

Still, work and play are seen as opposites in most companies. In my work as a facilitator of Playfulness and Playful Learning in business, I see that most adults have a huge fear of playing. Play is seen as something childish, not done, crazy, non serious and only permitted among good friends or on the sportsfield. What would happen if companies would invite play to the workfloor, allowing it, or even better; promote it!

More and more research is showing that bringing positive energy in organizations leads to more flexibility and better results in a complex environment.

spelen kantoor

So how do you get the people in your organization to play more? I developed a brand new learning concept: Licence to Play. A three month program for a selected group of people; the most suitable ones for becoming a positive leader and secret change agent.

Interested to learn more about this Play inducing program?

Contact me for a secret meeting…J

With playful greetings,

Annemarie Steen

annemarie@steentrain.nl

Playfulness connects – Make new friends in a ballpit

Today I came across this short video (thanks @aikjeboukaert) from Soulpancake. I love this stuff. Why? Because it represents my vision: Playfulness connects. If you get total strangers (but also co-workers, friends, colleagues or family-members) in a playful state of mind…real heart-to-heart connection takes place. Watch and see for yourself!!

Playfully Yours,

Annemarie Steen