A Controversial Idea To Present.
I’ll tell you why this is such a controversial idea. Because, as a society, we put an incredibly unaccommodating price tag on “taking things seriously.” So much so that anyone who even hints at prizing something more than being serious, could be blackballed, blacklisted, tarred and feathered (if it were still a thing… and sometimes I think it is) and chastised greatly. And I’m not joking, not even a little. This is how serious we are about being serious.
“Stop playing!” out of the mouths of others has become…
These notions, ideas, sayings, ways in which we were disciplined (also known as values) were repetitively carved into our nervous systems. We were either told not to play and to be serious; or, we were told that we could play for a time but then we’d have to put away childish things. “Childish,” with its negative connotation, became equated to Play so much that we just automatically relate to Play as if it’s not worthy of our time.
And yet… Play feels good.
There is joy in Play and playing. Play is a figurative space – a world of ease – where we can go to be restored and recharged. Wellbeing and resilience can be found in the world of Play.
Think of it this way… adjourning to Play in the midst of your own seriousness that is overwhelming and overbearing is equal to receiving a spark of laughter as if inspiration from a higher place in the middle of a situation that is far gone, tense and intensified. That spark of laughter, arriving just in time, lightens the mood and lifts the heaviness of the moment almost instantaneously, and immensely. This laughter can literally move something inside of you, physically, emotionally and mentally, and invite you to perceive the situation wholly differently.
Play is an aspect of joy, just as much as is laughter.
We have been practiced out of play to one extent or another by those around us who prize seriousness more. Seriousness comes with adulthood. It is the rite of passage we move to as we age out of childhood and our innocence. Seriousness comes with the charge and responsibility of adulthood… supposedly. However, if we’re frank and real, Play is incredibly important in life; in each of our lives and to our very wellbeing – which is at the center of and sustains our resilience and our being alive.
So we really must turn what we often diminish as lackadaisical, lazy, disdainful, procrastination and unworthy on its head and begin to redefine Play for ourselves. Subscribe now and join the conversation.
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