how do you know what you really want? your essential vs. social self

E: Wanna play today?
S: Nah, too much work work work to do. Later.
E: Wanna play now?
S: Nah, dishes, laundry, vacuuming to do.
E: (sighs) How about tomorrow?
S: Tomorrow. Maybe.

a : recreational activity; especially : the spontaneous activity of children
b : absence of serious or harmful intent : jest

We can’t play, we’re adults. We have serious responsibilities, commitments, bills we have to worry about paying. Play? There’s no time.

The social self:
a. Communicates through language and logic.
b. Is focused on pleasing other people.
c. Makes decisions from a place of fear.

The essential self:
a. Communicates through the body: feelings, emotions, sensations.
b. Is comprised of your genetic legacy, your tastes and talents.
c. Makes decisions from a place of love.

We’re in conversation with ourselves all the time—often trying to get our essential selves to do what our social selves think they should. Our social self pays particular attention to what other people might think. Our essential self pays particular attention to what we already know. Our social self is afraid of taking breaks, afraid of losing: money, social standing, friends, lovers. Our essential self doesn’t even go there; it knows that when we honour ourselves we honour the world.

Because our passion is our purpose. We’re all here for a reason. What fuels our love fuels the world. We give our best when we give our best selves. And Nobody can give their best self from a place of fear.


Take an hour to play today.
Know that while you do, you’re doing the best possible thing you can for others, for the world.

p.s. How important is play? “The country in the world that has the highest test scores is Finland. And what we know about their educational system is that kids are in school the shortest number of hours.”

SERIOUSLY! The future depends on play

Trailer – SERIOUSLY! The Future depends on play from Gwen Gordon on Vimeo.

Next week: The Body Compass. Learning how to hear your essential self.

Much love,


Jan 10, 2012 · Comment (2)

2 comments · Add Yours

This is wonderful! Thank you, Lindsey


i really should take this to heart…listen to my essential self…thanks lindsey for constantly reminding me …you are a blessing!


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