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

by Marney K. Makridakis

New World Library, 2014. ISBN 978-1-608-68311-6.
Reviewed by Mary Ann Moore
Posted on 03/20/2015

Nonfiction: Creative Life

I definitely wanted to read Marney Makridakis' latest book, Hop, Skip Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life, as I knew it would be full of her innovative ideas for a playful approach to work and life. Her last one, Creating Time, was a delightful reimagining of time.

Makridakis connects manifesting (for improvements in health; completion of an old, forgotten project; a fantasy vacation) with momentum. And she says: "Play invites you to connect to the power of momentum without even realizing it." I appreciate her clarity about manifesting. To manifest "means to reveal what is already there, to take what already exists and make it clearly and plainly visible."

Play helped Makridakis when she was diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder in her twenties. Facts about play are included in "The Impact of Play." One of the sad facts is that the time children spend playing continues to decrease.

Readers can hop, skip and jump around the book, adding some "playful fizz" to their days or, to focus on a particular project, move through the book in order, as the author recommends. I particularly enjoyed the "Quirky Quiz" which revealed I am most at home in the Skip phase. The Skip phase is where many creative people find themselves consistently trying different things, experimenting, getting started with something new but not finishing it, following spontaneous impulses as they arise." But, she points out, truly enjoying the freedom of these experimenting phases can "build successful momentum."

The Hop phase focuses on dreaming, brainstorming, planning and visioning. The Jump phases focuses on conscious action and completion.

Each chapter of the book begins with a Fun Fact followed by questions to help readers reflect on their specific play process. Top Ten Lists are humorous and sprinkled throughout the book.

Makridakis has created her own terms as well as fresh approaches to play, so there are haikoodles, which are haiku about play and include words and doodles. AcroWhims are whimsical acronyms and Manifestagrams are anagrams with manifesting powers. Rearrange a word to playfully reveal an important message.

Readers may feel silly doing some of these things, but that's good. Feeling silly helps relieve some stress and release some ideas. Readers are encouraged to pick an exercise that sounds the most inviting to them. In the Hop stage for instance, there's an exercise for a self-interview. It's meant to be from a point in the future when the readers have manifested their current desires. Makridakis says people can do it while in the shower or when driving in a car by themselves so they can talk out loud.

In the Skip Phase, I really liked Creative Cartography. Rather than a preconceived pathway of my plans, this map is "a daring diary of your adventures." I have taken to drawing wavy lines in my journal and writing comments about daily occurrences and reactions to them.

Makridakis includes games her son Kai invented from his own play. He called one particular game Most Valuable for the Day. It was about collecting objects and determining which was the most valuable of the day. Makridakis turned that into a focus-finding list, which is always valuable for getting things done.

Play helped to write Hop, Skip Jump: 75 Ways to Playfully Manifest a Meaningful Life. Makridakis wore her fanciest jewelry with her pajamas, and built a fort with her six-year-old son. As she says, "Play is many things, but it is never stuck, still, or stagnant. The secret is simple: what moves us is what moves us, which just means what moves us emotionally is what moves us to action. I believe in a world where work feels like play, and while it's not always as easy as I'd like, I try to spend as much time there as possible."

Marney K. Makridakis is the bestselling author of Creative Time and founder of ArtellaLand.com. She has trained hundreds of coaches and practitioners through the ARTbundance Certification Training program. Find out more about her work on her website.

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