Alright my darlings.
Here’s the situation.
At the Playground, we have a Toy Shop.
The Toy Shop is beautiful and sparkly and everyone loves it. Everyone.
The Toy Shop is full of toys. And things that aren’t toys. All of which are for sale.
For example, we have:
And sets of gorgeous cards for stone skipping.
Lamps. Yoga blocks. Postcards. Notebooks. Jewelry. Wearable spirographs.
Butt-monsters and Pouncers and Yowls and other adorable creatures.
It has been scientifically proven that if you are feeling sad and you touch the butt of one of our butt-monsters, you will immediately feel better.
Magic wands. Bottles of Playground spray. Heidi’s potions for mixed-up emotions.
Pirate monkey meditation cushions.
And so many other special things.
Except for some reason it is still not entirely apparent that the Toy Shop is a store. Where you can buy things.
Invariably someone will ask me on the last day of Rally if there is any way at all that they can purchase a Playground mug to take home.
So I say: Uh yeah, they’re in the Toy Shop. With price tags on them!
This person is then delighted and goes home to drink tea.
Or if I mention at the end of a class that the things in the Toy Shop are for sale, everyone goes Ohboyohboy zooomygaaaaaaaaawwwd really? Yay!
And then they buy toys from the Toy Shop and they are happy.
So I’m looking at this. Here’s what I’ve got so far.
1. The name.
Unsurprisingly, the Toy Shop got its name from metaphor mouse.
And my definition of toys is probably wider than most people’s.
Maybe if we’d called is something boring like “The Gift Shop” or “The Store” or “The Souvenir Stand” or “The Place Where You Can Buy Stuff”, we wouldn’t be dealing with this.
But I like the name. For me, toy shop contains [+glee] [+excitement] [+childlike wonder] [+possibility] [+magic] [+anticipation] [+happiness].
But maybe it needs a subtitle for the sign? Okay!
2. So we could add onto the name…
The Toy Shop. How you can take the Playground home with you.
The Toy Shop. Hey, this stuff is actually for sale.
Kidding with that last one. But only slightly.
3. Speaking of signs…
What would a useful sign say?
We already have a sign above the door that says it’s the Toy Shop.
And we have a small framed sign inside the Toy Shop that says something like this:
How to get stuff from the Toy Shop! Talk to Havi after class.
Except it’s pretty small. Maybe too small? And the Toy Shop is pretty overwhelming and sparkly and packed with goodness, so maybe people don’t notice the sign?
And there is also a sign that explains that we take cash, checks or we can set up payment by Paypal.
But maybe we need different signs or bigger signs or different wording.
4. Price tags.
Much of the stuff in the Toy Shop is price-tagged.
But some things (like the pouncers or the butt-monsters) don’t really tag easily.
We do have giant chalkboard signs that say how much those cost. But still.
Maybe more displays. Or posters?
Or pieces of information?
Hi. I am a pouncer. I look like this. I am cool because I pounce on things. Also you can hide secret notes in my mouth. This is how much it costs to take me home.
6. Or displays in other parts of the Playground.
Maybe a shelf at the entrance to the Playground or by the sign-in desk.
We could feature different neat things and have a little sign that says, Hey, I am for sale. At the Toy Shop!
7. In the soft.
We know — of course — that 99.9% of biggification is really about destuckification.
So that means I need to look at my stuff.
Are there places of discomfort? Parts of me (fuzzball monsters or sad, scared selves) that do not feel safe having stuff for sale?
Where is my resistance? What does it have to say? What do I know about it?
8. Undoing the spell.
Maybe me-from-then cast an accidental spell on the Toy Shop. Keeping it invisible or small or quiet in an effort to try and keep me safe.
It is my job to undo that spell.
And you can help.
How you can help!
First, what I don’t want.
I don’t need help in the soft. I can work on that myself using Shiva Nata and all the other destuckification techniques at my disposal.
And I don’t want to be psychoanalyzed or given advice about how to work on my stuff. I’m good.
And then what I do want.
What I’m interested in is steps in the hard.
Specifically, suggestions for signs. And things to say on them. And subtitles for the store.
Other ways to make it more clear and obvious that the Toy Shop contains things that someone could buy, if that person were so inclined, and that this is lovely and exciting.
How do we make it clear that the Toy Shop is, in fact, a Toy Shop? While still staying congruent with the bigger Playground culture of play, light-heartedness, safety, amnesty, permission and spaciousness?
I want reassurance (one day the Toy Shop will be all the magical things it can be), and rejoicing (for all the work I have already put into making the Toy Shop a beautiful, peaceful, restful, loving space).
And I want snacks for my iguana pen, because I have a giant iguana that needs some love, and it’s feeling a little anxious that I’m spending time with the Toy Shop instead of talking to it today.
So iguana snacks are appreciated. You can just toss them into the pen. Thank you!