“The world is calling you to come play, to come risk, to let your heart burn with a passion that will make sense of your life.”         

– Phillip Shepherd

Did you grow up seeing life as a Battleground where you have to perpetually defend and protect yourself from threats? Or is life more of a Proving Ground where you have to constantly perform and achieve to get your needs met? Whether you’re winning or losing on the Battleground, succeeding or failing on the Proving Ground, these mindsets turn our lives into a struggle.

And yet, some part of us knows it doesn’t have to be that way. We may have gotten a glimpse of another possibility through a spiritual opening or being “in the flow.” Many of us feel it when we’re playing. For at least one blissful moment that incessant self-monitoring chatter finally shuts up and we free-fall into the present moment – the Playground – and come fully ALIVE!

This experience of Awakened Play doesn’t have to be just a fleeting break from the “real world.” It actually IS the real world, our natural habitat, and the only environment in which our true gifts can blossom. Inhabiting our playful true nature and experiencing the world as a Playground is our evolutionary potential.

If you recognize the limitations of Battling & Proving, you’ve outgrown conventional notions of success, and have a sincere appetite for transformation, then I’d love to play with you. There is nothing I care more about or am better equipped to do than support you in shifting from Battling & Proving to Playing. It’s the best game in town and the one upon which our future depends.

AWAKENED PLAY COACHING supports your shift from Battling & Proving to Playing in every area of your life. It is a path of transformation and healing anchored in the body, held in awake awareness, and guided playfully. Based on Gwen Gordon’s pioneering research into the transformative power of play for adults, the process invites every part of you – from the most defended and traumatized to the most empowered and expansive –  to be known, met, and included in the Playground. Awakened Play Coaching engages five stages of this transformational cycle:

  1. Anchor in Awake Awarness – to create a spacious inner playground
  2. Spark play – to activate the flow of energy
  3. Encounter the Blocks that inevitably surface with play
  4. Play with Blocks by turning them into objects of awareness
  5.  Hold & Love whatever part of you is not able playable


  • Any human being on a conscious evolutionary path
  • Practitioners interested in expanding their toolkits
  • Creative professionals who have lost the joy of creating
  • Leaders who are ready to serve the most life-affirming play
  • Elders in training


  • A life of proving has lost its luster but habits run deep and you’re not sure how to get to the Playground from here.
  • You’re in a transition and need a good compass for the next phase of your life.
  • You’re exhausted and miserable from all the stress, struggle and striving and you’re ready to take some risks to be free.
  • You’re ready to open your heart, spread your wings and come joyfully alive with nothing to prove or hide.
  • You know that, within the chaos of our world, nothing is more important than connecting to the source of joy and wellbeing that’s independent of your circumstances.

These moments of reckoning are pure gold! They’re doorways to your heart’s deepest desire and the expression of your playful true nature. The shift from the Proving Ground to the Playground is the shift from ego to essence! There is nothing I care about more or am better equipped to do than support you in making that shift. It’s the most joyful game in town, and the one upon which our future depends.



As the founder of the field of Awakened Play Coaching, Gwen will work with you in focused, playful, and often intense sessions that enable you to open to the Playground. Whenever possible, she prefers to meet face to face but also gives sessions via Zoom. You can schedule the time blocks so they work best for you.



Enjoy the intimacy of the circle, a playful boost, and the support of a consistent connection to the Awakened Play mindset. Use the circle to address issues, open your heart, spark your aliveness, and settle deeply into compassionate, playful presence with kindred spirits. This is a great way to wake up out of your Proving & Battling trance and remember the Awakened Player you truly are.


6 hours

  • 6 hours of coaching
  • Recordings of each call to help you embody your learning
  • E-mail support for some quick in-the-moment boosts



9 hours

  • 9 hours of coaching
  • Recordings of each call to help you embody your learning
  • E-mail support for some quick in-the-moment boosts


Awakened Play


  • Weekly ZOOM meeting
  • 90 minutes sessions, Thursdays at 10am Pacific Time
  • for 12 weeks
  • Limited to 10 participants




“Gwen takes you where you are and can work on many different levels – personal, spiritual & professional. Whatever my block, she always has just the right process. I am much more on track now, but am not ready to give up her insights just yet!”

T. Nash

Ph.D Student

“Working with Gwen is a delight and has helped me develop greater playful presence and sense of freedom in my life. I would recommend her to anyone interested in developing those qualities!”

Y. Amram

Former CEO

“I love working with Gwen. She’s compassionate, insightful, and she makes me laugh when I’m taking myself too seriously. She’s had a big impact by being gently persistent with me on the issues that I do/but I don’t really want to work on.”

A. Peters

Program Director

A little more about Gwen

Gwen is a Swiss Army knife for transformation. She carries the embodied wisdom of a recovering Prove-a-holic who has been clearing the path to the Playground for herself and others for over 30 years. She received her coaches training through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and co-designed and co-led their mastery level coaching course. Gwen received a masters degree in philosophy and religion at the California Institute of Integral Studies, has been a dedicated meditation practitioner and student of the Diamond Approach for over 20 years and is trained in Somatic Experiencing, a trauma healing approach. Gwen is a also a facilitator of The Work That Reconnects, developed by Joanna Macy and has done extensive retreat practice in Zen, Theravadan and Vajrayana Buddhist traditions. Gwen is currently being trained in the Luminous Awareness subtle energy healing method.

Having been ripened and tenderized by her own breakthroughs, healing, and spiritual openings of every sort along the way, Gwen sees the divine, adorable, majestic, hilarious playmate in you and she loves you already. She respects your strategies for avoiding the playground but doesn’t take them too seriously. She’s sharpened a wide range of well-honed tools, keen insight, and deep intuition to support you on your journey.