Adam is off to to the hardware store on this gorgeous fall morning to buy giant paver steps to make a path in our backyard. He could do this as labor, another thing on his to-do list, but if you saw his enthusaism, his smile as he walks and counts out how many steps he needs, you would know he is a grown man having fun playing outside.
Play that is born from a place of rest brings to mind the idea of recreation.
Creation: to make, bring forth, arise, grow
When we allow our minds, our bodies and our souls to absorb the rest they require, we bring forth play. We “re” participate in the experience of creating, building, dancing, making music, riding our bikes, painting, and singing without the pressure of production, responsibility, and results.
When we play, we free ourselves from the demanding questions of how we could make money on this or the seriousness of thinking this might be the next thing to advance our career. In play, we let ourselves of that giant hook that shoulds us to pieces.
It is just play.
Like the children in our life, play invites us into a world where our egos are not required.
I was born serious. Even as a child, my idea of play was to play house, play school, play car dealership, play library. I was never very good playing. I am still learning.
One of the ways I am practicing play is to view exercise as an time to play instead of another important thing for me to do. Yoga in the park reconnects me to the child who would do cartwheels for hours and hours. Riding my bike through this little town connects me to the girl who only cared about the next thing she was going to discover. Dancing lets my inner-teenager who was desperately uncoordinated and scared to be noticed finally have some fun.
In this way of being, I do not need to discipline myself to “work out.” I am simply playing, laughing at myself and fully participating in re-creation. My body, mind and soul reap all of the benefits without any of the shame.
Exercise is just one example of how we have to manufacture the gifts of rest in our uber-advanced, highly technical, results-oriented lives.
How can you let go of results today and enjoy the extravagant freedom of play?