Do you take life seriously - perhaps too seriously? Do you know the difference between playtime and procrastination? Are you enjoying a fun, fulfilling well-balanced life?
Explore the power of play!
Most of us have been raised with the belief we must finish our work and chores before we are allowed to play. It's a great theory and is good for getting stuff done - at least to begin with. But then boredom, burnout, and depression set in and productivity goes down the drain along with our hopes, dreams, joy, creativity, enthusiasm, health, and reverence for life itself.
If this sounds familiar it's time to explore the power of play!
Intentional play is not the same as procrastination. Procrastination takes many forms - quite a few are even cleverly disguised as "getting stuff done." It is listless, directionless, and serves to numb us out, put off the inevitable, temporarily distract us from our fears, and even to help the ego sabotage us.
Play serves one purpose... to play! My Harper Collins dictionary says the meaning of play is to "amuse oneself." Although playing serves a singular purpose, its benefits are many. It reduces stress, invites laughter which studies have repeatedly shown to be healing, increases creativity and intuition, invigorates relationships, brings balance and harmony to body, mind and spirit. And it's just plain fun! Plus playing creates life's most precious memories.
In short, playing makes us feel good.
How we play will vary by individual. If we haven't permitted ourselves to play in a very long time, we may have to do a bit of exploring. We must also become aware of the ways our ego will try to stop our efforts to play with excuses such as "I don't have time." Or, "that's too silly." And "I don't even know what I like to do any more." Don't let them stop you from playing! They're all the more reason it's necessary to put playtime back into our lives!
We may need to start small... Incorporate puns into everyday conversation. Tell at least one or two jokes a day. (If you don't know any jokes buy a book, ask friends to send you all the jokes they come across, and sign up for a joke subscription list - yes there really is such a thing.) Add in some time outside on lunch or coffee breaks. Stop at a park on the way home from work or picking up the kids. Be sure to take a turn on the swings and the slide and get silly. Take a weekly or monthly venture to local five and dime to buy a new board game and make a gaming night at least once a week.
If none of those are appealing, make a list of things that might be. Write down what you loved to do as a kid such as play with jacks, jump rope, hopscotch, read mystery books, do cannon balls into a swimming pool, ride your bike and so on. Ask family, friends, coworkers and folks in your spiritual community what they do for fun. Give yourself permission to explore and to try new things. But most of all allow yourself to have fun doing it!
Commit to playing. Notice how you feel when you do. It may be awkward at first. But keep at it until you find yourself completely amused and enjoying life in that moment. Then notice how your uplifted mood affects you and those around you.
Explore the power of play!
~ © May 17th, 2012, Sir Froggie, JMP
"Even pond-scum has a purpose for sustaining life, think what human beings are capable of!"
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
BRENDA CLARK PIKE
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