Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the feeling that you're not on the right path in life? I have and still feel it from time to time.

This is often triggered by the habit of comparing one’s life against the highlight reel of social media. Expectations are high to have achieved something great and show it off. This leaves me jealous at how it is that other people have been able to succeed in being just who they are, while I'm stuck making compromises.

Sometimes, however, the trigger is internal. Sometimes it’s in my intuition telling me in its own soft whisper… what you are doing now, this is not what you want. Logic will fight back and may win the argument for a moment but intuition loiters like an uninvited guest who overstays their welcome. Persistent and oblivious.

But maybe, that’s not such a bad thing.

Listen to the voice

If we consider intuition as a signpost to our raw desires and fears we are able to understand it better. It is an emotional reaction created by our physical being. It is as natural and powerful as the blood in our veins. Our body is telling us something.

Over time I’m learning to give it attention and honour it. Sit with what it is saying and try not to push it aside. It may be a warning that shouldn’t be ignored or, alternatively, it could be the start of a story you’re supposed to tell.

For me during times of stress, my intuition keeps repeating the same six words…

This is not what you want.

This is not what you want.

This is not what you want.

Truth be told, intuition can only take us part of the way. It can only remind us to be true to ourselves and listen to our body. To figure out how we must do that, we’ve to somehow remove ourselves from our compromises. Try and imagine a world where we can be honest with ourselves. It’s not easy, but maybe it can be fun.

Complete this sentence, “As a kid, I…”

I have two boys and all they do is play. All day. Rarely do I see them in existential crises and the only compromises they make are rules that I have set for them. There is very little filter between thought and action. For the most part, they are extremely happy. For the most part, they do what they want.

As adults, we are burdened with missions, objectives, responsibilities and aspirations. This feeling seems to have always been a part of our identity. Logically, of course, we know this isn’t true. As we’ve transitioned from childhood to a life of responsibilities inevitably there has been a shift in the balance between being ourselves, and being ourselves for others.

The most important advice I’ve received recently is from my hero James Victore, a Designer and Artist with an unmistakable honest, true-to-his-life voice. During a moment of deep funk, burdened by a sense of no-direction I asked him about good habits to become a better creative person. His answer was simple.

His answer… was to always make time for play.  

Play, every day.

Unfortunately, we can’t play all day. But we can play every day.

What good is play? It is reconnecting with our uncompromised desires. For me, I draw, I play music, I do things for the sake of doing it. I do it for love. At times this has been enough for me to regain my direction. It’s a chance to return to base.

Set aside time for daily play in any format that feels most natural. The cliché of dancing like no-one's watching has some power in it. Let go of the invisible shackles and be free. Even for an hour, even for a minute, even for a moment.

While this is not a magic pill it could be the first step towards a better understanding of one’s intuition. Play is the most natural expression of our selves.

Maybe this can be a common ground where we can meet our intuition and begin to converse with it. Try it. What does play reveal to you, and how can it impact what you create?