Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” – Dr. Seuss.
Play is training for living life to the fullest; it’s an opening for the impossible to become reality and dreams to establish roots. One could say play is an essential act for all adults to thrive! I like Vince Gowmon’s insight, “When we allow ourselves to live as authentically playful beings, we stand out from the crowd, from the ways we, and others, are expected to be.”
As we grow up, we learn to conform to what is expected, and we lose spontaneity. Take a moment and watch children move freely through life. They skip and hop over lines and carefully bounce into each square of a tiled floor, while the rest of us walk a straight line. They dance carefree to the music played over the store speakers, while the rest of us make our bodies comply and ignore the happy beats. They engage strangers like friends, while we offer only generic greetings. They share their feelings openly and sincerely, while we stay within the captivity of what is deemed acceptable. Children imagine themselves as being a kite and soaring through the sky, while we limit life to what’s “doable” and practical. They color cows purple with orange polka-dots not because they don’t know that cows are white and black but because their choice is fun. “Clearly, their playground is much bigger than ours!” – Vince Gowman
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Three ways to live a more playful life:
1. Playful Moves: You may not want to break out in a full dance while shopping, but it would certainly add play in an unexpected way and bring joy to you and maybe a few others. Just do it. You could also start small and consider skipping while you think no one is looking. Trust me; it will make you smile.
2. Playful Perspective: Change what you see. Instead of always focusing on your usual direction, consider looking up or down in a direction you would not normally point your eyes. You may notice something different that you have never seen before: an unusual rock, a lovely colored flower, a funny-looking cloud, happy children playing. Enjoy the view.
3. Playful Adventures: Create a new adventure each day. Take a new way home; you may discover a shortcut, make a new friend at a place you visit often, or try eating at a new restaurant and order something that you wouldn’t normally order.
Be BOLD and PLAY on. I am talking to myself while sharing with you.