Last week we discussed Experimenting, which can be an excellent way to make decisions and next steps feel lighter and a little less serious. This can bring in new energy and ideas to help guide us. This week we’re continuing in that direction by taking a leap into Play.
Play means we are doing something for the sheer enjoyment of it – with no need for purpose or outcome other than having fun. That Play-full part of self is a part that many have become dis-connected from. Somewhere we learned that if we want to ‘succeed’ or accomplish our goals, we need to be focused, serious and not waste time with activities that don’t have a more ‘serious’ purpose or a goal. I’d say that with everything it can bring us, Play is super serious.
With Play comes a feeling of freedom, creativity, lightness that is need in all stages of our lives – not just when we are younger. When we engage in activities that allow us to purely enjoy, we can connect with new ideas, more creativity, more connection with others. This allows our Play-Full self to emerge, inviting in more of these energies – creativity, enjoyment, connection, pleasure – to all of the areas of your life.
Some of us have certain areas of our life that we let Play in – maybe we are in theater, in music, in sports – and we do things within this area just to have fun. That’s excellent. And this week, you’re invited to bring in Play into other areas? What would it look like if you brought your Play-full self into your role as employee, partner, parent, business owner, manager or boss?
This might seem challenging – especially if you’re in the middle of a challenge or in the midst of your daily life, feeling overwhelmed. When we’re trying to find a solution or we’re feeling stressed with responsibilities, Play is certainly not the first thing to come to mind. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to ease you into Play no matter where you are:
1. What part of this do I or might I enjoy? Sometimes there’s one part of something that we don’t like and we put ALL of our focus there. If we can just become aware of this, we can then shift more of our focus to the other parts. We might even be able to focus on the feeling of Play, which then can shift our feeling about the task or challenge. With this shift, everything can change.
2. How could I bring in an element of Play here? I love this question and use it often with tasks that could bore me or seem laborious. For example, as a business owner I don’t love all the tasks that I need to do. But I know that when I have beautiful and colorful things around me, things are a lot lighter and more fun. Play for me is color and brightness so I bring in an element of that in all my office supplies. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference.
3. If I were a child, where might the Play be here? The other day I was walking by a laundromat and I saw a woman and her son walking from the car to the building. The woman looked tired, overwhelmed and like the last thing she wanted to be doing was laundry. The boy was gleeful. He was maneuvering the laundry cart (which was a bit too big for him) with such joy and excitement. I could remember how small little adult things seemed so fun when I was a kid. Connecting with the wonder, the awe that children often have for the simplest things helps us connect with what really matters in life. I could just imagine that for the boy, this was a great time – spending time with his mom while playing with a fun, unusual (for him) toy.
As you move through the week, be curious about your Play-full self. Who is that person? What does that side of you look like when does it come out? Be curious & experiment and see who wants to come out and Play.