Play: Re-learning Child-like Qualities

“Life’s too mysterious, don’t take it serious,” was a statement my mother often repeated to me in my teenage years. She did this because I was a pretty serious kid and teen. I was an observer and an empath so I often noticed emotional subtleties around me which in turn made me a rather serious child. I was also shy and quite measured in my social interactions. I never possessed an inclination for risk taking or spontaneous behaviors. I remember telling my mother when I was a child that I couldn’t wait to be 32. Who does that? For some reason, the idea of play and frivolity, often primary associations with childhood, were more like distant curiosities for me. I certainly didn’t judge those who were playful, I perhaps even envied them, but had come to believe early on that to be whimsical and carefree was not for me.    

As I grew into adulthood with the same seriousness, my envy and curiosity of people who were lighter and laughed more became a huge preoccupation. I started to understand and value what play, humor, and lightness offered. I witnessed that levity was a great transitional tool for sadness and that lightness was the needed counter balance to darkness. I recognized that silliness and laughter can increase intimacy. I experienced play increasing my joy, creativity and general sense of well-being. So I embarked on a re-learning of how to be child-like. How to explore and experience wonder, creativity, and spontaneity. I searched for areas in my life where I could increase my fun factor. If you, too, are looking to increase play in your life, here are some ideas.

Music

I often reference the importance of music. Music is a great tool for shifting one’s mood or fostering relaxation, as well as encouraging play. Listening to your favorite band, song, or melody will often bring some form of joy into your life. Allow your spirit to play in the notes and get lost in the rhythms.

Body Movement

Allowing your body to move in an unrestricted way is super playful and allows the kinetic energy to flow. This can happen with dance, sex, and even exercise. The key is to get out of your head and into your body, then move. Allowing yourself to dance like no one is watching is an incredibly freeing experience.

Laughter

Laughter has the power to transform. It is said to have physical healing powers and I know it helps to alleviate mental distress. Whether laughing with your loved ones or watching something funny, you can not go wrong by bringing more laughter into your life.

Wonder and Curiosity

The clip I’ve attached to this blog is “Alike” by Daniel Martínez Lara & Rafa Cano Méndez. It is a lovely animated piece showing the importance of holding on to our child-like behavior as we maneuver in a world that sometimes has restrictive demands and expectations. It encourages us to protect and nurture our wonder. Please take the time to enjoy this beautiful clip and find wonder in your life.