Thursday, June 18, 2009
Permission to Play
When was the last time you played? Laughed from your belly? Lost track of time you were so engaged in what you were doing?
I realized recently that I have withheld play and recreation from myself because early on I learned that work comes first. Play was a reward that was to be entered into only AFTER that work was completed….and completed well. Oh boy. What a burden to carry! And I know I am not alone! How many of us wait to complete our work before we play? How many of us play before our work is done and then don’t enjoy it because we feel guilty?
Here’s another discovery: play is as necessary to the creative and work process as is the work itself. Maybe even more so. Without play, work becomes drudgery, it becomes harder to do, we have less inspiration, and we often become stuck. Play opens up those creative circuits and allows our energy to come forward and fuel us. If those circuits of energy and inspiration are either shut down completely or closed off to a large degree, work is just work. It is not inspired, inspirited, fun, or filling.
These discoveries are not all that amazing but what is amazing is that I am so old before I discover this! I happened to take a teleseminar this spring from Sandy Nelson and Kay Hunt on bringing play into our lives in simple ways. We learned many ways of playing with everyday items like push pins, toilet paper rolls, paper clips, binder clips, water bottles….etc. If you have found yourself stuck lately and want to learn more about playing, check out their website: www.permissiontoplaynow.com . They just finished a class but if you contact them you will be able to get on their list for the next fun round of classes!
And if you just can’t wait for a class, pull out a sheet of paper, pick up a crayon, marker, pencil or something and just doodle. Make shapes, designs, sketch, doodle. Have fun. Then add more color. Remember you are playing, not creating a masterpiece. Who cares about perfection? Who cares about anything other than the process! Just have fun! No one else need ever see it. There is no judgement here and no reason for creating other than the sheer pleasure of seeing the pencil glide across the paper, and then the color fill up the page. Just enjoy!
Let me know how it goes for you!