Do you remember what life looked like when you were a kid?
It was all about playing, friendships, inhaling/exhaling the goodness of each moment; and knowing that no matter what, things would get fixed eventually.
Naive, sure, careless, highly likely; and mostly carefree.
Where did that feeling of freedom go?
Between the too much planning, worrying, adjusting; life gets reduced to a series of timeslots in a calendar; as if we have lost our ways back home; where responsibility is in a harmonious relationship with enjoyment; and doing and being, not caught in a permanent tug of war.
If that’s the time to put a foot down from the wheel, I want to introduce to you the perfect guide: your very own trickster.
Knock! Knock! Trickster’s here
Google its name and see for yourself: the Trickster has been around for a long long time, spanning many cultures, from Greek mythology to Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.
To many, Trickster may seem that unwelcome guest who shows up at your doorstep, just in time to disrupt all those well-laid plans; then leave you with having to start it all over again, preferably from scratch.
True they can be annoying!
But there is another facet to the Trickster; the one that shows up when we start taking ourselves too seriously; when we have forgotten that spontaneity can also have its place in our lives; and that the perfect plan for the perfect life is just an illusion.
Life is to be lived, experienced, and enjoyed too, as messy and challenging as it may be at times.
Here is a curated list of Trickster wisdom for you. You don’t have to follow all of it; just listen for a few!
Trickster’s tale 1: the heck with being productive
Productivity = a national obsession.
To the point that we go into complete denial of our basic needs, be it feeling safe in our bodies, enjoying our foods, even our relationships take a backseat, in order to stay ‘productive’.
And of course, we live in countries and work in corporates who encourage that mentality. More than a culture, the race for productivity has become a cult.
What happens when we are not aligned with the program?
We start comparing to others, we feel left behind, we panic, we double up on the effort, marching slowly and surely into burnout.
Trickster is here to tell you to please stop the madness. We are not here to be in a constant state of production and efficiency – this is why assembly lines have been created in the first place.
Understand that rest and recreation are a vital element to your mental and physical wellbeing. Nobody can be productive when they are depleted!
Every time you feel you are going into the productive overdrive madness, name your Trickster, and allow it to show you the way back to more humanness!
Trickster’s tale 2: lighten up your load
Living life to the fullest. We all have FOMO and other YOLO; we want to do it all, preferably right here and right now. Modern life allows us to exist in the cyber multi-universe.
Do you check your Instagram when you are on a conference call with others? Is your brain constantly looking for the next exciting adventure…or even worse, the next drama?
Living the fast and furious life can be energizing, inspiring, exhilarating. It may also become depleting when we get to the point of overwhelm.
Trickster is inviting you today to ask yourself: why do I need all of this running around? Is it to prove my worth? Do I need to earn my right to exist?
What is behind this fear of missing out?
Identify the lack behind the hecticness. Do you feel isolated? Or are you bored at work?
Find ways to fill up your cup from where you are; remember the grass is not always greener!
Trickster’s tale 3: stay focused on what matters the most
Choose your battles!
Each of us has been given 24 hours a day to play with. Time is a precious commodity that, unlike most of the other resources we have, is not renewable.
Choose how you use your day and where you direct your attention to.
Trickster will trick you into sending you distractions. Anything that stirs you away from your goals, that numbs your brain or your body is not your friend!
Start every morning with an intention: what do I want to get done today? Who do I want to connect with? What do I want to experience? To learn? And why?
Keep that list handy.
It’s highly recommended to take breaks throughout the day, but an hour on social media when it’s not part of the job is a waste of space. Yours.
Choose what you give your attention and energy to. Remember that you may be tested now and then (just as meeting the Trickster is a key moment in the hero’s journey!).
Trickster’s ultimate wisdom: get in touch with your wee self
A final word from our little friend: do you remember when you were a kid and fun was jumping in rain puddles and getting all muddied? You always had your own personal Trickster inviting you to break away from the mundane to rediscover the marvels in life’s little pleasures.
Any time you see yourself racing in that hamster wheel, call on to your inner Trickster. Ask them to show you the beauty in where you are.
Trickster’s ultimate desire is for every one of us to go back to our true essence: the living Being who has reverence for life, including ours.
I say, time to play!