Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life

Hop, Skip, Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life

by Marney K. Makridakis


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Most of us view work and play as mutually exclusive opposites, but now you can blend them together in your new route to joy-filled success . The 75 techniques in this book will guide you to be more playful and productive as you move through three vital phases of the manifestation process: dreaming (Hop), experimenting (Skip), and taking action (Jump) . Discover your Play Personality and learn how to use it to create more experiences in which work feels like play, and struggle gives way to momentum, ease, and joy.

Includes a FREE downloadable Productivity Pack

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608683116
Publisher: New World Library
Publication date: 11/11/2014
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Marney K. Makridakis is the bestselling author of Creating Time and founder of ArtellaLand.com, the groundbreaking online community for creators of all kinds. She has trained hundreds of coaches and practitioners through the ARTbundance Certification Training program.

Read an Excerpt

Hop, Skip, Jump

75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life

By Marney K. Makridakis

New World Library

Copyright © 2014 Marney K. Makridakis
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60868-311-6




1. From Plato to Play-To

FUN FACT: In 2006, a Play-Doh fragrance was created in celebration of Play-Doh's fiftieth anniversary. According to Hasbro, the special fragrance was "meant for highly creative people, who seek a whimsical scent reminiscent of their childhood."

What scents remind you of playful moments in your childhood? How might you reconnect with those scents in your life today?

Plato quoted Socrates as saying, "The unexamined life is not worth living." These famous words may have unintentionally kick-started the entire self-help industry. While we are so fortunate to live in a time when we have seemingly infinite resources to support us in examining our lives, one might argue that our culture has become rather overexamined. Existing merely with the goal of self-examination can keep you stuck in a place of exploring inwardly rather than expressing outwardly. It's also an easy way to get really, really bored with yourself.

A Foundational Philosophy of Play

One way to define a meaningful life at its fullest is expression in action. It happens when you take something from inside and create it on the outside. This is true even if nobody else sees what you manifest. If you want to have better dental hygiene, it's not enough to just get the idea. You need to adjust any beliefs that stand in the way; you need to try a few different ways to do it; and you need to start using the right brush, floss, or Waterpik and stay motivated to keep using them. It doesn't matter if anyone else ever notices (though I imagine your dentist and your significant other would) — you have taken an idea from the inside and expressed it on the outside.

To approach manifestation playfully, your first step is to create a foundational philosophy of play. We can use Plato to inspire us. We could also use Play-Doh, but that might be a little messier. Besides, you might not have any Play-Doh handy, or at least not nearly enough multicolored canisters to adequately express yourself, because you just started this book and haven't fully embraced your playful side yet. Just wait — you will!

Your playful journey starts with the words you say about what you want. A play-to philosophy can be constructed simply by inserting "play to" in any statement about your goal. The table below gives some examples.


To create a meaningful life, the first step is to define meaning. What does meaning mean to you? Connect with your meaning of meaning and not some meanie's meaning of meaning. (Can you imagine the field day my editor is having with this playful stuff?) The bottom line is that meaning is personal to you, and you get to create it yourself.

1. Grab your crayons and draw a big circle on a piece of paper. In the center, write, "My Meaningful Life." Feel free to sing "Circle of Life" from The Lion King as you draw. Or not.

2. Fill the page with words, phrases, and doodles that represent a meaningful life. Fill the entire page. Turn it upside down. Write big and write small. Try different colors of markers or crayons, as colors help activate play. Write words in different languages, preferably made-up ones.

3. After your word collage is complete, write a list of goals that will help you move closer to what is inside your circle of meaning. Write them in the format "I want to ..."

4. Finally, rewrite each goal or intention as a play-to statement. As a reminder of the extremely fancy technique shared above, this means taking a phrase like "I want to get a new job" and substituting the words "play to" so that it becomes "I will play to get a new job." This is your play-to philosophy. It all starts with your words. This stuff works. Or better said, "plays."


PLAY-TO = Passionate Living Allows You To Open


play as colored clay little balls rolled in your hands ellipses to fun

2. Playfully Pressing the Reset Button

FUN FACT: Lego's name comes from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means "play well."

Think of Lego as also meaning "let go." How might "playing well" and "letting go" be connected?

One of the components of the Hop phase is creating new beliefs that support everything you think, feel, and do. Your beliefs are like a computer's operating system. If you stay working within an old operating system, you can't produce what you want without a lot of errors. The awakening comes when you realize that your belief system can be upgraded whenever you like. If the metaphor of your belief system as an operating system feels too much like work, let's try something else: you can look to the windows of your soul instead of Windows on your computer or pay attention to the fruits of your imagination instead of the Macintosh on your desk. When it comes to representing operating systems, this is an equal opportunity book.

Creating New Beliefs

We live in a time when inspiration and information are everywhere. The influx of information coming at us blends in a big soup with our personal stories and history, until somehow we can't even taste our own beliefs anymore. This is even harder when book titles are literally insulting us, calling us "dummies" or "idiots."

Whenever you read a book — be it one with an insulting title or not — and find yourself confused, overwhelmed, or befuddled, you lose a piece of yourself. If you were given a book about manifesting that was written in Mandarin Chinese and you did not speak Mandarin, you would simply say, "Oh, this isn't in my language. This book isn't for me." You would not shrink into self-doubt and despair, and think that something is wrong with you. You would simply keep looking to find a book that lines up with who you are. This is an example of a new belief: I don't need to change who I am, and I believe I can find whatever I need.

While there is much written about how to get things done, there is little revealed about the energetics behind and beneath getting things done, which are braided within your beliefs. What's happening underneath the action or inaction in your life? What are you believing, or not believing, that influences your experiences of success? Aligning with new beliefs doesn't need to be a heavy, soul-wrenching experience. Here's a fun way to give your belief system a fresh start:


1. Right now, take a piece of paper and draw a great big rectangle on it. In the middle, write the word "RESET" in large letters. This is the reset button for your belief system, and you can press it anytime you like.

2. Press the button. Which finger did you use? Try another one, just for fun, 'cause that is what this is all about.

3. Press the button with fingers on your nondominant hand. Then press it with your palm, your elbow, your chin. Eventually, you'll probably either be cracking up or thinking I'm cracked up. Both are correct.

Yes, it might seem a little silly to press a simple doodle with different parts of your body. However, if you can allow yourself to truly feel the experience, and have fun with it, you will notice a profound change as your body realizes that you are not stuck in an old iteration of yourself and that your beliefs are not fixed in time.


Press the reset button = He stops: Trust. Enter. Be.


play as a button connecting the vest of life holds dreams together

3. Your Celebration Manifesto

FUN FACT: The phrase "Happy Birthday" did not appear on birthday cakes until the song "Happy Birthday to You" was popularized in the early 1900s.

If you were gathering a band together to sing your own celebration song, who would be in the band, and what would your group be called?

When I suggest that someone celebrate before a project is begun, I am often met with a doubtful response — something like one of these:

"That doesn't sound very productive."

"My friends and family would think I was crazy."

"Right now, all I can see is a big project in front of me. I frankly don't feel like celebrating."

Manifestos Help You Celebrate

Resistance to celebrating at the beginning of a project is a sign that you need to create a new belief: initiation energy and completion energy are equally valuable. The Hop phase is just as important as the Jump phase, though we don't get a lot of affirmation of that out there in the serious world. This is why manifestos are important, and Karl Marx was trending before trending was trendy.

When completing an exercise about goals, Amy declared that she wanted to be "gracious, spacious, playcious." Now that's a manifesto! It also sounds like the name of a band. I will find out if she is available to be booked at your celebration, and get back to you.

Writing a celebration manifesto is a party you can have all by yourself. Your new, positive beliefs are the guests, and the old, limiting beliefs are not invited. If you are rolling your eyes right now, then you are experiencing a very odd physiological phenomenon that you should really get checked out, what with being able to read while your eyes are rolling. For those who have returned to reading after eye rolling: welcome back. You can do this, no matter how you are feeling right now. When Sandra was totally overwhelmed, I invited her to stay right where she was — tired, sad, frustrated — and create a celebration manifesto right then and there, using the prompts below. It instantly changed her energy and helped her find her playful self again.


1. Complete the following prompts in writing. Keep the phrases as they are, because repetition of the same word creates momentum as you write.

I am here today to celebrate____.

I laugh out loud, and I celebrate ____.

I cry a little, and I celebrate ____.

I look to my questions, and I celebrate ____.

I look to trusting what feels impossible, and I celebrate ____.

I look to my choices, and I celebrate ____.

I look to my new beliefs, and I celebrate ____.

2. You have just completed your celebration manifesto! Take a moment to read it out loud to yourself.

3. Now go to a mirror, and sing "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang if you know it, in which case dancing is optional, though probably inevitable. Now, as you make eye contact with yourself in the mirror, read your celebration manifesto. Let doubt, anxiety, and worry melt away ... into play!


CELEBRATE = Call Everyone ... Let Emotion Bring Radiant And Tantalizing Energy!


play as a party confetti evidence helps picking up pieces

4. Parties and Presence

FUN FACT: The yo-yo is believed to be the second-oldest toy in the world, after dolls. The word yo-yo comes from a Filipino expression meaning "come-come."

What new energy in your life is ready to "come-come"?

Some people live their lives on the string of a yo-yo; they go up and down, waiting to finally be happy with themselves, without ever stopping long enough to know what fulfillment even means.

The Businessman and the Fisherman

The classic tale of the businessman and the fisherman beautifully captures how a switch in perspective can open the possibilities for so many gifts to come-come into your life:

A wealthy businessman who was on vacation befriended a village fisherman. The fisherman lived simply, and while the two men couldn't be more different, they struck up a friendship. The wealthy man couldn't resist sharing business advice with the fisherman. He told the fisherman how he could expand his profits and eventually buy another boat, and then another, and thus exponentially increase his revenue, following a traditional Western return-on-investment paradigm.

The fisherman said, "That sounds like a lot of work. Why would I want to do that?" Without missing a beat, the businessman extolled all the amazing benefits of a successful life: "It is exactly what I did! I focused on building my business, expanding my reach, decreasing my costs, increasing my profits. Eventually, I will be able to retire, live in a beautiful and remote place, be on the water all day and relax as I fish, and spend time with my family. That is the kind of freedom I will have, and all my hard work will be worth it!"

The fisherman smiled and said, "My friend, this is what I already do. I spend all day on the water and relax as I fish. I go home and spend time with my family. I am completely free right now. I don't have to wait to retire."

This is a wonderful story and one that I often repeat inside my mind, not unlike One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss in the days when Kai was demanding that I read it at least twelve and a half times daily.

What would happen if Dr. Seuss told the classic tale above? See the sidebar for the answer. Whenever you get caught up in the old story "I have to work hard so I'll be able to play," you can keep this story in mind.

Don't Wait to Retire

What if you looked for opportunities to embrace play right now, instead of waiting for the work to be finished first? Lisa wanted to write a book, and as part of our work together, we designed an action map for her. When I asked her which of the steps felt like something she really wanted to do, her first response was an honest one: she didn't want to do any of it; it all looked overwhelming. I asked her to look again. She admitted that the very last step — to have a book launch party — seemed fun. I suggested that she plan her book launch party right now. It took a bit of convincing, but she did it. She had fun dreaming up invitations, decorations, and activities that might be involved. She had so much fun planning this party, she didn't even realize that she was actually creating content for her book; in fact, she created enough content to put together her book proposal. Her momentum was sky high, so the steps that once seemed overwhelming were now doable and even fun.

Why wait until you retire to do something you love? Why wait until something is done to catch a fish or throw a party? A big ole party can really give your belief system a boost. With sprinkles on top.


Imagine that you're going to throw an amazing birthday party for your new project and you're designing invitations. This is a great ritual whenever you get a new idea or want to add some zest to something that's been somersaulting around in your mind. Ask yourself:

• What is the message on the invitation?

• Is there a theme for the gathering?

• Who is on the guest list?

• What would make this party even more special?


Birthday party = Bid thy art. Pray.


play as a small child learns how to hop on one foot percussive success

5. Hopping with Hope

FUN FACT: It takes eighty feet of wire to make a Slinky, which collapses to only a few inches high.

Imagine your hope is like a Slinky. What makes your hope collapse to its minimum size? What makes your hope stretch out and expand? In which state do you spend the most time?

Whenever I hear the phrase "a spring in your step," a childhood memory of playing with a Slinky on a stairway comes to mind. With just the right positioning, the Slinky could "walk" down the stairs and even gain momentum while doing so. The 1970s TV commercials made it look easy, but in reality, it was a bit tricky; you had to get the starting position just right, not too close and not too far from the edge of the step. As a rather impetuous and impatient child, I would often give up and move on when something didn't work, but there was an intrigue about the Slinky that kept me trying and trying, hoping and hoping.


Excerpted from Hop, Skip, Jump by Marney K. Makridakis. Copyright © 2014 Marney K. Makridakis. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


* Why Play Matters
* A Quick Romp through This Book
* A Quirky Quiz: Discovering Your Manifestation Moves
* Scoring Your Quiz
* Your Own Customized Manifestation Process
* Hop, Skip, Jump: Three Playful Manifestation Phases
* Sample Scenarios

Section 1: HOP

1. From Plato to Play-To
2. Playfully Pressing the Reset Button
3. Your Celebration Manifesto
4. Parties and Presence
5. Hopping with Hope
6. Got Confidence?
7. Twenty-Eight Magic Minutes
8. Learn Your ABCs
9. Play with Creative Blocks
10. Making Play Money
11. Crayonstorming for New Ideas
12. Finding a Playmate
13. Imaginary Friends
14. The Superhero Phase
15. Playful Permission Slips
16. Your Mission Paintment
17. Playing Dress-Up
18. Design Your Plan-it-arium
19. The Simplicity of Smiley Faces
20. Primary Colors
21. Playing House
22. The Memory Game
23. Your Inner Child’s Bag of Toys
24. Shimmerviews and Interviews
25. A List in Wonderland

Section Two

26. I Skip, You Skip, Everybody Skips
27. Modular Manifesting
28. The Brilliance of Shiny Objects
29. Creative Cartography
30. Improvisational Skipping
31. What Butterflies Know about Manifesting
32. Playing with Others
33. Make Your OH!dometer
34. The Sparkle Scavenger Hunt
35. Playing Hide-and-Seek with Beauty
36. Most Valuable Players
37. Story Circles of Life
38. Manifesting Mood Rings
39. The Awe of Attraction
40. Playdates with Einstein and Edison
41. Work du Soleil
42. Playful Procrastination
43. Sacred Play
44. Quantum Particles at Play
45. It’s Center Time!
46. Either/Oracles
47. Grounding in Play
48. Completion and Candy Hearts
49. Merry-Go-Round Manifestation
50. Play and Pinwheels

Section Three

51. Transitioning on the Tightrope
52. The Zoomie Car Game
53. Your Easy-Bake Oven
54. Just Haiku It
55. Priorities and Glorities
56. Hula Hoops and Loop-de-Loops
57. Sand Castles in the Air
58. Thinking Outside the Juice Box
59. Moving, Stacking, and Nesting Boxes
60. Turn Your Doubt into a Dare
61. Giving Words a Whirl
62. The Animation of Everyday Objects
63. Getting a Gold Star
64. Summer Camp
65. Cuckoo Clocks
66. Shake, Rattle, Roll, Repeat
67. Jumping Water
68. Playing with Piggy Banks
69. A Play List for Productivity
70. If You’re Happy and You Know It...
71. Curly Ribbons and Finish Lines
72. Service Soap Bubbles
73. Playing with Dominoes
74. Leaving Some of Your Toys Behind
75. Hop, Skip, Jump to Your Next Adventure

Grown-Up Books about Play: A Recommended Reading List
About the Author
About Artella Land

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