When I was a kid, I'd walk to other kids' homes and knock on the door to see if they wanted to come out and play. Today, we have all sorts of ways to extend an invitation from texting to social media, however, extending the invitation to "come out and play" becomes a bit more complex as we age and take on more responsibilities. Instead, many factors come into play (pun intended) like time, energy, and resources, as well as fears and limiting beliefs that keep us from even creating the invitation, let alone extending one.
What holds you back from extending an invitation to others to come out and play?
The challenge for many empaths—those who can feel others' emotions as if they are their own—is that it hasn't always felt safe to play. They've learned to take on responsibilities to make sure others are at peace. They've learned that it's safer to give, rather than turn their attention toward an experience that feels fun. That way, they won't risk hurting anyone, and then feeling that hurt and the uncomfortable sensations of rejection, judgement, or conflict that can result.
Obviously, we all have responsibilities, but what happens when we don't take the risk and have some fun? Have you noticed when kids are playing that there is no wrong decision-making, or how they're learning while having fun? Have you noticed that when you're in the flow, expressing your true self, that you feel heathy, alive, and others want to join in? Hopefully, you can see that the benefits outweigh the perceived risks and can start creating some invites so that those who resonate with you, and what you have to offer, can connect with you.
So how can you start creating your own invitations when all of these risks at play (again with the pun!)?
What empaths tend to really need (at first)—more than play—is rest. That was me after decades in the world of corporate training, and then again after some years caregiving. It took awhile (and still does!) to remember to ask myself what I needed, but when I did, it was more about rest, nourishment, and relief.
I realized that rest doesn't just look like a nap (although don't be surprised if it does!). Rest could mean joining a group for meditation, or an easy walk in nature, or coloring in a kids coloring book, journaling, or taking a yin yoga class, or participating in another nourishing activity like the group shakes I host to learn the practice of Tension Releasing Exercises (TRE).
The more you accept invitations to participate in these types of activities, the more you'll find that you start to shift from restful and nourishing options to those that feel more exciting. With this shift, you'll find that it feels safe to not only receive insights on what would be fun, but that you have more confidence to follow through on them.
When you've clarified what YOU find to be nourishing and fun, you can start to write up your invitation and invite others to join you. Inevitably, there will be people who reject you, but I invite you to be willing to be rejected (especially if you are a heart-centered entrepreneur who needs to create experiences so that your ideal clients can find you). When others reject you, it's actually a good sign that they can see that your vibe doesn't resonate with them. It means that you're clearer on who you are, so that those who do share similar interests and values, can more easily find and join you.
So here's a summary of tips if you'd like to begin extending some invitations.
My hunch is that if you can give these tips a try, that you'll feel this flow of giving and receiving and it will feel like play, and I'd love to hear what is working for you. Feel free to share.