“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in the child’s soul”
PLAY is the work of children; it is serious, full of intent and deeply meaningful. As a child explores his/her world, PLAY is his/her vehicle for learning and understanding it. It is easy to assume that play is just ‘a childish endeavor, that holds little meaning in the real world of adults.’ This happens because we are slowly conditioned out of it, in order to make more room for structured, controlled learning and work. Obviously our lives inevitably change as we grow up but I believe this is done in a way that neglects to acknowledge the very things that enable us to grow, learn and make a meaningful life for ourselves.
To list all the things that happen when a child plays would be like trying to count the stars. To name a few however, should highlight the glorious potential of PLAY. When children play they; adapt, solve problems, take risks, connect with others, negotiate, lead, follow, experiment, observe, process emotions, manage themselves, break rules, discover, challenge themselves, imagine, express, inquire, grow and learn…the list goes on and on.
PLAY is not just about what children do, but also about their ‘being’. Child’s play is accompanied by interest and PASSION, adventure and fun. The simple truth is this; Life is supposed to be good. It is supposed to be fun. We should enjoy the lives we live. Remembering and holding onto our PLAYFULNESS and engaging in things that ignite our PASSION is a priority for personal growth and real, lasting happiness.
What does this mean for us?
As adults we tend leave our PASSION and PLAYFULNESS for the weekends and for many people we leave it to our dreams. There is a strict boundary between our work and our play. Why? It is because we do not see the potential of PLAYFULNESS and PASSION; we don’t see how they are powerful agents of learning, growth, connection, understanding and purpose in our life journey. We believe that somehow if you’re having fun then you are not working hard enough.
Embodying PASSION and PLAYFULNESS in all we do, does not mean we are not serious about our lives and our work. It does not mean that we never do things we would rather not. It just means that we will be able to experience greater pleasure, enthusiasm and energy in our lives.
To play means to see the many possible pathways in life, to explore them and to bring meaning to the things we do. If we reconnect with the PLAYFUL child we once were, we WILL open doors we never thought possible. PLAYFULNESS will make you happy! When we are happy, our brains surge, our blood pumps and we cannot help but FEEL ALIVE.
How do we reconnect with our PASSION AND PLAYFULNESS?
- ACCEPT THE INVITATION – you do not have to learn be playful. It is inherent in you and lies dormant beneath all your ‘grownup-ness’. All you have to do is be brave enough to allow yourself to be playful.
- Invest time in being with people you like and with whom you have fun.
- Do something new, something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t.
- Embrace lightness in your life. This means managing your emotions, reframing your experiences and ensuring you laugh at the uncertainty and complexity of life, rather than being frightened or consumed by it.