Feeling Stuck? Take a Time Out For Play
Are you feeling stuck in old patterns and not sure how to move on? Have you recently experienced a crushing disappointment and you don’t know how to get past it? Are you in a power struggle with yourself, uncertain about how to create the changes that you’re wanting to create in your world? No worries, you might have just forgotten to play today!
One of the most powerful ways that you can reconnect and recover your power, insight, and freedom is to let go of the orchestrated and structured routines of your everyday world and take a time out for play. But you might just be spending most of your time working. Work is serious business. Too much work and you tend to lose the joy and happiness in your life.
You might even think that play is something reserved for children. Instead of feeling free, you feel constrained, and instead of expressing your emotions, you bury them deep inside only to have them eat away at your ability to enjoy life. Your health and vitality are dependent on the well being of your body, mind, and spirit, and they need play! Play reconnects you to your inner child and frees your Essence.
The body heals with play, the mind heals with laughter and the spirit heals with joy.
Studies have shown that there are numerous benefits to play. Play lifts stress. It refreshes and recharges you. It restores your optimism. It changes your perspective, stimulating creativity. Play bonds those who engage in it, it encourages autonomy and spontaneity, intimacy and closeness. It renews your ability to accomplish the work of the world. Play is accompanied by lots of smiling and laughter, which also has numerous health benefits. Play is good stuff!
There is also evidence that play does much more. Play appears to allow our brains to exercise their very flexibility, to maintain and even perhaps renew the neural connections that embody our human potential to adapt, to meet any possible set of environmental conditions.
Play also provides a way to express deep feelings, conflict, hopes, and fears. It taps into your natural self-healing capacity. And, it’s not hard to incorporate play into every day.
4 Ways to Recover the Power of Play
There’s no need to make a big plan to include play in your world. That’s kind of counterproductive to our intention. Here are 4 simple ways to include play every day:
1. Dance. Put on your favorite music – the kind that frees your spirit – and dance like no one is watching. We’re not talking about choreographed or formalized dance here. This is free flow dancing, letting your body express and your spirit soar. Cut loose!
2. Play ‘Little Known Fact.’ Grab a friend, or your partner, and share things they might not know about you. Start off with the phrase, “Little known fact….” and share a ‘secret’ about yourself. I played this game with two friends, Brian and Simone, on a road trip to Brighton Beach and it was hilarious. We laughed and revealed so much about ourselves and it was SO freeing, even shocking at times. I shared things about myself that I had completely forgotten. Undoubtedly that day we came to know one another deeply and created indelible bonds of connection, trust, and friendship.
3. Doodle. Take a BIG pad – you can get them at Staples – and grab your colored pens and pencils. Allow yourself to draw and doodle, even if you don’t consider yourself an artist. Take whatever you are feeling or thinking and allow your hand to move across the blank page and allow the expression of this moment to arise. It doesn’t have to look good, or make sense. Allow yourself to play on the page. You’ll be surprised at what occurs.
4. Improv. Make pretend you’re someone else. Just act out a scene, one that you’ve experienced or one you want to experience. I did an improv session once at a workshop and it was such a breakthrough. At first I was scared that I’d appear foolish and would come across as a phony. But, I actually got into it and was amazed at the creativity and the character that I created in an instant.
Little known fact… I used to ‘make pretend’ in front of my mirror and act out my dreams of being a singer. My mirror was my camera and I would improvise scenes of me creating music, performing, meeting with my fans and all the great stuff I would do when I was a star. Share a little-known fact about you!
Play is vital to the expression of your essence. The simple joy of playing a little every day will do more to unhook you from the should’s and can’ts than a self-help book. Just play… today!
Make yourself less serious. Think less, feel more. Do less, dance more. Act less, play more.
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