Shaquille O’neal Just Wants A Treehouse! How Adults Relearn To Play.

As an adult, relearning to play again is serious business. We’re living in a world where most adults are so stressed out, anxious, and overwhelmed. We churn and burn our days on a hamster wheel, never feeling like we can get caught up. Science says that 90% of disease is caused from stress……90%?!!! That’s huge! We’ve been taught to conform, comply, and grow-up at the sacrifice of our imagination, and our creative spirit. This has done a number on our psyche. Well, I’m here to tell you there’s a better way. And, I’m going to model it for you. When you learn how to play again, everything in your life will be full of miracles, magical moments, and beauty beyond your wildest dreams.

PLAY as an acronym. P Is For PRETENDING. Adults Call This Visualization. Immense Power Lies In Pretending.

I just attended the Science and Nonduality Conference in Northern California. It gathered all of the leading minds, and change-makers to discuss cutting-edge philosophies of human potential. The theme of the conference was “perception”. I’m sure you know that perception is a way of looking at something, through a filter or lense. These filters or lenses can be experiences, traumas, or just the beliefs that we currently hold, or that got past down to us. When we’re feeling stuck, we can start to dismantle the filters that are holding our limited reality in place, and trust me, we limit ourselves so much.

Pretending to be the person you wish to be is a powerful declaration, and can help you shift your reality. I know you’ve heard “fake it until you make it.” It’s sort of like that, and it’s really about access a powerful, emotional state.  Pretending can drawn on emotional experiences where you felt the way you’re wanting to feel, when you’ve achieved your desired outcome. When we were kids, forts and other physical constructs lent power to our experience. If you’re life were just a stage, what props, costumes, and supporting actors would you choose to create the best experience? Tapping into one’s playful imagination is the secret many forward thinking adults have come to realize, because you know the real secret? We can already choose to feel what it will feel like to get that outcome, while were on our way to getting that outcome.

“The act of looking with the expectation that we will see something, is an act of creation” Gregg Braden

L is for LAUGHTER. What’s the old saying? Laughter is the best medicine?

I just interviewed a laughter yoga coach, and our conversation was how laughter is an intrinsic part of relieving stress, and coursing happy hormones and endorphins through the body. When I wake up every morning, I put a smile on my face. It’s the most fantastic way to start your day. Could you use some laughter in your life? Are you taking things to seriously? Here’s a great article, from the NPR archives, that supports the benefits of laughter, and how this therapy is gaining in popularity.

A is for ACTION. Use that beautiful body you were given to express yourself, and feel into life fully.

One of my favorite memories with my boys was when we went out on a hike, and pretended to be in Middle Earth. We were hunting Orcs, and having a blast. Our Middle Earth names were our regular names spelled backwards. I was an Elf named Eirol, and my boys were Ttarreg, and Nosam. As we were traversing the landscape, we’d come across unsuspecting hikers and warm them that their was evil afoot. Most just looked as us like deers caught in headlights, but a few playful souls played along. We always loved it when we ran into other adults who relished a good game of pretend. Kids are constantly in action. Their imaginations are in action, as they explore their world finding delight and magic at every turn. This child-like mind is what we, as adults, so desperately need in our world right now. Another powerful reason to be in action is that you really experience through your senses, and if you stop moving and exploring, your reality becomes more narrow and dim. So…….

  • Start your day with a dance party.
  • End your day with a dance party.
  • Learn a new sport or activity.
  • Go collecting leaves in your neighborhood
  • Go for a walk and notice the clouds
  • Pay attention to all the geometry in your neighborhood, shapes like squares, rectangles, triangles.
  • Enjoy the privilege of spending the day, and being in the pure, blissful moment with a child.

{I’m loving the idea of spontaneous play, rather than hitting the gym}


You’re blessed if you have children in your life. Children are our best teachers. Watch them with wonder in how they move through their day, vividly creating. I’m sad that the word Kidult has more of a negative connotation, because I think it’s an excellent description of what I believe to be the transcendence into a child-like, state-of-mind. Playing with problems seems to come naturally to children. When they’re confused or afraid, they make their problems into a game, giving them a sense of control and an opportunity to experiment with new solutions. Interacting with others in playful ways helps you retain this creative ability, and builds deeper relationships.

Get Grounded In Play!

  1. Model this new playfulness.
  2. Invite your friends to join you in a playdate.
  3. Notice a renewed vibrancy that radiates into every aspect of your life.
  4. Become a member of the Dream Society.

I believe that the biggest secret to play is it’s ability to be the Fountain of Youth. I firmly believe that my youthfulness is a direct result of my playful, goofy, silly side. So….. when I say that play is serious business, I mean it has a positive impact on your mental and physical health.

What Does Shaquille O’Neal Got To Do With Play?

My boys and I love Treehouse Masters on the Animal Planet. Pete Nelson, and his crew are brilliant, top-notch builders. What we love most is how playful and silly they are with each other, and their clients. The treehouses they build are works of art, and the love for what they do is so evident. Their passon and playfulness makes them what I call a Playpreneur. From beginning to end, you can tell that the client has the most wonderful, playful time with Pete and his crew. It’s truly magical, and my boys and I can feel it just by watching. So, without further ado, here’s the episode where all 7 ‘1″ of Shaquille O’Neal is reduced to an excited child, from the very beginning of the process when he meets Pete, to the very end where his new treehouse in unveiled. It gives me goosebumps.

Carpe Diem, Lorie

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