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I share a tragedy in my personal life as a teaching opportunity to help you live a life that truly fulfills you.

Recommendation:  Prioritize things in your life and check in to see if that’s how you are spending your time.  If not, then make some adjustments.  If so, do a happy dance!

Yikes this is up-close and personal.  I share my favorite ways to snap out of a bad day.

Recommendation:  Write down your top 3 ways to snap out of a bad day (steal mine if you like them), and keep it handy.  Use it when you need it!

What fun we had attending our first Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Lake Tahoe!  Nick and I both realized that we needed to step away from our everyday lives to gain perspective on some next steps.

Recommendation: Get away from your life by taking a vacation, or a mini-vacation close to where you live. And if neither are possible, then take a day and turn off your phone and explore the city you live in.  You’ll be amazed at what you discover!

And stop being who you aren’t.

This sounds like an obvious statement, right?

Yes, and no.  Marie Forleo (if you don’t know Marie, check out her out, she is a BLAST and oh-so-savvy) says it really well, “There will never be another ______(fill in your name).  Be you!!!!  The world is dying for you to be who you are.”  She is spot on.

THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER YOU.

But here’s where it gets tricky….you don’t know that you aren’t being you.

Sometimes it’s really hidden, and you don’t realize it.  Other times the falseness of how you are living makes you feel trapped, as in the case of Bruce Jenner becoming a woman.  Imagine being a world-class Olympic athlete and feeling like a fraud every single day.  It’s beyond painful and heart-breaking to imagine, and I know she is breathing a sigh of relief to finally be who she is.  If you are following Caitlyn Jenner’s story, click HERE.  It’s inspiring to watch someone so publicly live their truth despite people’s possible judgement.

What if you were that bold or even 10% bolder – what would you do? (Post below)

I was recently confronted with this myself.

While on vacation, I found myself thinking of my life and what I’d been up to since moving to  Texas two years ago.   In an effort to live my best life, I asked myself a simple and effective question, “Where do I NOT feel inspired and lit up?”

The answer was easy….but not popular.

I was scared of my answers at first, but knew that in order to PLAY everywhere in life, I had to get REAL.

I didn’t feel lit up planning events for We Play Everywhere, AND I didn’t feel inspired teaching yoga.  WHOAAAAAA!!!!!  That was upsetting because it’s how people have known me in my community.  It directly messed with my identity, but I knew that I needed to be honest with myself and others.

Once I knew the answers, the hard part came – taking action.  When you admit the truth about yourself, it doesn’t do you any good to keep it a secret.  You have to share to make a difference in becoming more of who you are.

I called my dear friend and We Play Everywhere Play Captain, and said, “I don’t want to plan events for WPE, do you?”  And she said, “Not really.  I don’t love planning them, but I really love our monthly POP UP Yoga + DJ Happy Hour and the Facebook group.”

I thought, perfect!  We will keep the Facebook group (of course, it’s the secret weapon of the company), and go back to our roots which was one POP UP Yoga + DJ Happy Hour per month.  And Jackie can plan the monthly event with my support, done!

Then I called the owner of the yoga studio and said, “It’s time, I’m ready to stop teaching.”  She easily said, “I know, it’s been coming.”  EASY!  It wasn’t nearly as painful or dramatic as I thought it would be….because I stopped being dramatic and told the truth.

I felt liberated!!!  I started to get straight with people about who I am and stopped doing the things that aren’t me.

Here’s who I am.

I am a powerful leader and connector.  What matters to me most in the world is making a difference for others by helping people see who they truly are, and connecting them with like-minded people.

Anytime I’m doing something different than this….I feel frustrated and drained.

A great way to check in with who you are and are not, is to ask one question:

Where do you feel frustrated and drained in your life?

It could be that it’s an attitude change that creates a shift for you, or it could be that you have to stop doing what you’re doing.  Get real with yourself.  Life is too short to not be 100% you!

WHO ARE YOU?  Post in the comment section below, we want to know!

 

Here at We Play Everywhere we are THRILLED to have our first guest blogger…Derek Morris, Chief of Operations at WPE.  He’s married to the creator of WPE, Anna K. Morris, and is the backbone of the company.

I need to get something off my chest!  Friends, family, and co-workers relate to me as someone that is SOOO busy.  They say things like “well you are so busy” and “I don’t want to bother you because I know you are so busy.”

It’s something that has always bothered me.

Why do people relate to me as if I don’t have time for them?

A couple of things happened recently which sent me into inquiry around how people relate to me.  My parents definitely relate to me as busy.  And I am.  But why is THAT the way of being to which people relate to me?  My mom will say things like “I know you are busy,” as she starts conversations with me.  Why is it…”I know you are busy,” rather than “I know you live an enriched life and are really fulfilled.”  I have also deduced from comments made by friends and family that I may be busier now that I’m married to Anna, which in my mind, somehow implies that I’m at the effect of Anna.  Maybe I’m reading too much into that, but it sent me into inquiry mode.

So why is it that people relate to me as someone who is so BUSY?

In asking myself those questions, I became responsible, or “CAUSE IN THE MATTER” for how I create myself for people, via my words.

When people ask me how things are going, I give them an ORDINARY and superficial answer such as “life is good, really busy, a lot going on.”

What a cop-out.  No wonder that is all people hear.  I know that people don’t want a life story, but when friends and family ask how things are going, I owe them an authentic, EXTRAORDINARY response which leaves them clear of what I’m really up to in life, what really matters to me, and how the things that keep me “busy” are incredibly enriching to me.

So today I become responsible for my life and how I create myself!!!!  This is the single most important breakthrough I have had in my life.  And it happened at 6:00am in the shower this morning after 5 hours of sleep.

So let’s get straight on a few things:

  • I am busy.  I am busy doing things in the life that are important to me and fulfill me.
  • I am busy being with my wife and dog.  I waited patiently for 37 years to find the love of my life and I’m now busy enjoying them.  One of my favorite things to do is to take Barney to the dog park on Saturday.  It’s relaxing and a way to connect with my wife and dog-son (as I call him).  There isn’t anything more important to me in my life than this connection.  I choose to make this a priority in my life.
  • I am busy contributing to the lives of others through my work with Landmark Worldwide.  Through my participation in Landmark programs, I have had breakthroughs in my life that were previously incomprehensible.  And through my leadership in Landmark Programs, I have directly contributed to and had a part in changing the lives of innumerable individuals.  Because of me, their lives will never be the same.  I’m saying that they have a slightly better life for themselves.  What I’m saying is that, because of me, they are out delivering on ANYTHING they want for themselves and for their life.  Their life is unrecognizable from what it previously looked like.  There is simply nothing more rewarding to me in my life than being a contribution to others.  And I choose to make that a priority.
  • I am busy leading a global organization at work.  I have a responsibility to my team to give them my best each and every day. Sometimes I am not as assured that I’m delivering on that commitment.  And I strive each and every day to deliver the leadership for which they count on me.

 So there you have it.  Now you know why I’m busy and why these things are important to me.  And that I am not at the EFFECT of anyone or anything.

I’m giving up the ORDINARY response to the “how are you question?”.

When someone asked me how I am doing, I have a RESPONSIBILITY to give them an authentic answer.  How rude of me to give them an ORDINARY answer.  I will give them the REAL, EXTRAORDINARY answer.  I will let my response GENERATE who I am in this world!!

So how am I?

I’m INCREDIBLE!

My life is full beyond measure!!

I am married to the most amazing woman I could imagine.  She is building a company that makes a difference in this world.  And every day amidst being busy building OUR company, she is constantly looking for ways to contribute to my life, the life or our dog, the lives of our WPE members, and the lives of people that she doesn’t even know yet.  Who can authentically say that about their partner?  Before you answer, take a real look and you may see that it’s there and you just haven’t noticed.

I have amazing friends and family that love me.  I get to be 100% me each and every day!!   Although I don’t get to see my out of town friends as frequently, I love them dearly and, in my commitment to “having it all” have built in time to connect with them.

I get to contribute to making a difference in the lives of others—some friends and some complete strangers!

I get to lead a global organization in the most transformational work in the history of my company.  That means that there are 20+ concurrently running projects which I oversee.  What an awesome opportunity to make a lasting difference in the long-term success of my company.

Now you know how I am.

I can see for myself that me being RESPONSIBLE for my language can make the biggest difference in how I am created for people. 

When I tell people I am busy, they relate to me only as busy.  And they don’t hear any commitment or fulfillment so it occurs that someone else or something else is making me busy.  When I tell people REALLY how I am, they get a glimpse into the real me—what I’m up to, why I’m up to it, what makes me tick, and they can see how incredibly fulfilled I am.

I invite you to be RESPONSIBLE for your words. 

When someone asks you how you are—be real with them.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Really share yourself with them.  It is in YOUR words that  YOU get CREATED.  So be RESPONSIBLE for how your occur to people.

If you are not RESPONSIBLE, then you are at the effect of what people make up about you.

BE GREAT!!!

With love, Derek Morris

FYI:  If you’re a WPE member, let us know if you want to be a guest blogger.  We would LOVE to have you!

It’s May 2nd, and on the 2nd of the month I post the WPE blog….AND May 2nd happens to be my one year wedding anniversary!  Pause for congratulations, well-wishes and happiness, right?  Well, that’s not exactly what it’s been like…

It’s now been day 2 of no communication from my husband.  But not to worry, this isn’t “Gone Girl.”  He’s at a bachelor party with some friends, and there is no cell reception.

That doesn’t sound much better does it??

They are camping (not in Vegas, can you imagine that bull– story about no cell reception if he were in Vegas?), and when he told me there wouldn’t be any cell reception I figured he was exaggerating, but I can see now that he wasn’t.  It’s the longest we’ve gone without talking, and it feels totally bizarre, especially with it being our anniversary.  You may be wondering, how is he at a bachelor party on your first anniversary (ladies are getting worked up, and guys are high-fiving…right?)?

I could go into the whole story of how it happened, and the weekend dates got changed, and yada-yada-yada, but I’m pretty sure you would get bored and stop reading.  In fact, I started to write that story, and I got bored and deleted it.  At the end of the day none of it really matters.  He’s not here, and I’m not going to be talking to him for another day.  And that’s that.

But this is We Play Everywhere, so where is my sense of play you may wonder?  Thankfully a dear friend pointed it out to me last night.  Our conversation went like this:

Me:  “I don’t know why I said it was okay for him to go.  It totally wasn’t, and this sucks!”

Friend:  “Why did you tell him it was okay to go, when it wasn’t really okay for you?”

Me:  “Because we aren’t going to the couple’s wedding in Hawaii, so I felt like I had to say yes.”

Friend:  “Really?  That doesn’t sound like you.  Are you sure that’s the real reason?”

Me:  “I thought so, but maybe it was because I wanted to pretend I was cooler than I actually am?”

Friend:  “Are you sure?  That doesn’t sound right either.”

Me:  I begin crying (a very good indicator that you are getting closer to the truth).  “I told him it was okay to go because I couldn’t bear the idea of him looking at pictures of all the guys on the trip and him not being there with them.  I knew it would break my heart to cause him any regret or sadness in missing a special time with his guys.  And I just couldn’t live with myself doing that.”

Friend:  “Now that sounds like the friend I know.”

And I realized in that conversation that my friend unknowingly helped me to find the play everywhere. She had me lift the veil that was clouding my sight.  You see, many times I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing ESPECIALLY when it comes to being married.  I lived most of my life thinking about myself and what I want to do….with occasional thoughts about friends and family.  But for the most part it was all me, all the time.  Tell me that I’m not alone in that!!  Can you relate?

Now, being a part of an entity, a partnership, a marriage, I realize that it’s not about me all the time.  And actually if I get honest I was quite bored thinking about myself all the time.  It’s now about what would have this work best for us?  And how can I contribute to making my partner’s life even more fulfilling and fun and joyful?

This is the point of the story….it’s easier to play everywhere when IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!

When you are thinking about how you can contribute to another person’s life, it’s MORE FUN.  PERIOD.  And then when you take action to have another person have a great life, there is nothing better.

My request of you reading this, is to go out and make a difference for someone else.  Put yourself aside and what you want, and go do something for another person.  It may be a smile and a thank you to someone who has served you coffee.  Or it could be telling a friend how much you appreciate and love them.  It doesn’t matter how small or big the gesture….IT ALL MATTERS.

For my high-achievers out there:  BONUS OPPORTUNITY – Post below what you did and how your kindness made you feel.  We Play Everywhere and we want to know how you play everywhere too!!!

 

 

WE.  PLAY.  EVERYWHERE.

Oh, dear….I knew I was really putting myself on the line if I put the word “EVERYWHERE” in the title of a play company.  And yet, in a total meltdown (WPE was created as I was having a breakdown and crying to my coach, that story in a later post)….when asked where I wanted to play….I yelled the words, “EVERYWHERE!!!!  I WANT TO PLAY EVERYWHERE!!!!”  And it’s true, I am someone who wants to play everywhere, and that’s not always easy.  But….IT’S WORTH IT.

On with the story:

I was recently confronted with this very question (CAN YOU PLAY EVERYWHERE?) while waiting almost an hour for a doctors appointment. There I sat, $175 less in my bank account because he’s “out of network,” and my plans for the day quickly changing because of the long wait. Did I mention that the wait to get into the exam room was over an hour?  Oh, and I should explain that I was a pharmaceutical and medical device sales rep for 10 years, and spent all of those years waiting on doctors, so I am especially crazy when it comes to waiting on them now.

Once I was finally in the exam room, I knew it was really bad.  This is the room that they put you in, and then really forget about you!!!

Watching the time tick by was driving me crazy, and I remembered….YOU, are the CEO of a company called “WE PLAY EVERYWHERE!!!”  Are you going to be a hippocrite Anna, or are you going to walk your talk?  Shit.

How do I find play HERE???? I’m pissed.  I’m angry.  Impossible. Totally impossible. What the hell am I talking about “WE PLAY EVERYWHERE?!” Yeah. Right. Then I think about quitting the company and running off to Mexico.  Right?  No, bad plan, but it was my first thought.  

The most miraculous thing happened next. There was a knock on the door and some technicians there to take me for an X-ray. I realized that I had a choice, to keep being bitchy and annoyed…OR to be great. I chose to be great. As we were walking back to the X-ray, I was pleasant and appreciative of what they were doing to help me feel 100%.  I saw that my attitude (said or un-said) directly impacted the happiness of other people, and by choosing to be kind and appreciative, I could make two stranger’s days better.

As we got to the X-ray room….the woman technician turned to me and said, “I don’t mean to be inappropriate, but if I could have any body I would have yours. You are just gorgeous and have exactly the figure that I wish I had.”

WOW. I was speechless.

What she didn’t know was that I had been feeling like a huge slug lately and not appreciative of my body or figure at all. In fact, I had recently been beating myself up about how I needed to lose 5 lbs and workout more.  And then she gave me one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever gotten!!!  Obviously, I started crying.

I realized that my simple act of being kind to others created a space of PLAYFULNESS!  Before I knew it we were talking and laughing and having a great time.  And when I went back into the exam room the doctor showed up pronto, and wanted to hear more about WE PLAY EVERYWHERE!  And his PA was lovely, and getting married soon and going on her honeymoon to the British Virgin Islands (one of my all-time favorite places)!!!

None of that would have happened if I hadn’t chosen to be different in the situation.

Because here’s the thing:  IT’S YOUR CHOICE.  IT’S MY CHOICE.  IT’S OUR CHOICE.  You actually can chose to have fun no matter WHAT the situation.  Let me say that again, NO MATTER WHAT.

I’m going to bring this story in for a landing with one last thing.

My father has had bladder cancer several times, and every time it’s a day surgery and he’s fine.  Recently he told me that he would have to go every Monday for 6 weeks to the Mayo Clinic to have them “swish something around” in his belly.  Huh?!  That sounds like chemotherapy.

“Yeah, technically,” he said.  “But you wanna know the best part??”  I’m thinking, how is there a best part, Dad?  I said yes, and he went on to tell me that every single Monday he will GET to drive his beautiful new red convertible Jaguar 6 hours roundtrip, and is so excited!!!!  That car is his dream car, so anytime he’s driving it….he’s happy.  The fact that he was going to get chemo on the road trip didn’t phase him!

He went on to say this….“Anna, you get what you get in life, and then you DO what you DO.  It’s always your choice.”  Mind.  Blown.

I hope that after reading this post YOU see that YOU have a choice to play everywhere….and I do mean EVERYWHERE.  Until next time, KEEP PLAYING!!!! And if you’re in Houston, come play with us on APRIL 9TH!!!

As I sit down to write this first blog post of We Play Everywhere (after avoiding it for weeks), I’m happy to have had an “AH-HA” moment of clarity, thank you Oprah for the phrase.

I’ve been thinking for weeks about what to write, and it’s been right in front of me.  Isn’t it always like that?

This post must explain WHY this all started.  WHY We Play Everywhere?  And WHY do you want to pay attention?  And if you’re still interested….then WHAT the hell is it?

Thankfully I’m just the person to shed some light on those questions.  My name is Anna Kauppila Morris, and I’m the creator of We Play Everywhere, a virtual and in-person community that inspires people to play everywhere in life and connect with others who do the same.  But rather than tell you about the company (read the website for that), I’m going to tell you what’s not on the website.  I’m a serial entrepreneur with a passion for connecting people.  I can’t stop connecting people even when I’m on vacation, and will never ever ever stop bringing people together.  It’s like breathing for me.  But that’s not really the reason WHY I created We Play Everywhere…that’s just what I tell people to look good.  Here’s the real story, if you’re interested…

This company exists because I DON’T PLAY IN LIFE, much less EVERYWHERE.  I created We Play Everywhere because I needed to be reminded to play more in my own life, and I thought I must not be alone in that need.  I can pinpoint the day that I really stopped playing in life, and as idiotic of a story as it may be, I’ll share it with you.

I was 7 years old and we were moving across country.  Although my parents did a great job of presenting it as a new adventure, I knew they were lying.  I had a group of 6 best friends, and we did everything together….walk to school together, had snow-ball fights, slumber parties, and were inseparable.  Before we moved, my family had a huge party and my friends painted the moving van in all kinds of colors, flowers and rainbows.  Perfect for our move, and such a fun memory!

I’ll never forget a few days later as we were driving off…I saw them all standing in the driveway.  As I write this, I can’t help but cry thinking about it.  I remember thinking that life will never be that fun again.  I was 7 years old.  That may sound absurd to some of you, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

And I didn’t.  I never really let myself go all the way after that.  Sure, I had friends, and of course I looked like I played a lot.  I’m quite good at having people think I’m having a great time!  Can anyone else relate?

My secret keeper, my sister, knew all along, however.  I remember when I told her I was creating a company to inspire people to play more in life….she laughed and said, “Of course you are!”  I was surprised when she said this, and asked what she meant.  She said quite simply, “You never played as a kid.  Of course you would start a company that helps people to play more.  You need to!”

Thankfully, I’m good at attracting really playful people that have helped me to lighten up.  My sister for example.  She played for the both of us, and while I wish I would have played with her more, I am happily making up for it now.  I also married a guy who can make me laugh even when the world feels like it’s falling apart, and if he’s not around I have a dog who can do the same.  And my friends, who remind me that I have to have fun while creating a PLAY company:).  I’ve got a team in place to help me PLAY!!! That’s what We Play Everywhere provides, a community of people that inspire you to play everywhere in life, even when you think it’s impossible.

That’s why I think you’ll pay attention.  And that’s why this company exists.  And it’s why, as long as I’m around (and much after I hope), We Play Everywhere will continue to play everywhere…

On that note, I’ll end this first blog with my favorite TED talk that inspires me every single day, thank you Simon Sinek for your brilliance, and for helping me to always live life and do business from my WHY.

 

Keep Playing,

Anna Banana