When was the last time you played? Laughed until you cried? Walked in the rain? Painted a picture? Danced around your living room? When was the last time you did something ONLY because it’s just freaking fun? If your answer is “today,” awesome! You don’t need to continue reading. But if you are thinking really hard and drawing a blank, please do. I know that most of us somehow have bought into these sorts of beliefs, without even being conscious of it: Life is serious. Life requires maturity and diligence. Life is not something to be taken lightly.
But what if these beliefs are just that- beliefs? What if the truth lies in joy and fun and playfulness? If life is all about LOVE, and love is about joy, I would say that playing is a highly rated activity! I have been really inspired by some recent classes I have taken to bring the fun and play back into life. Yup, (cue the Justin Timberlake song) I’m bringing… playing back.
And I’m not talking about leisure time, or enjoyable activities like going to the movies or out to dinner; I’m talking PLAY. Like, when was the last time the 5-year old within you came out and said what he/she wanted to do? Maybe it would be to color, or dance, or play with friends, or swing on the playground. Or try to catch fireflies or play a board game. As we get older and become adults, we often forget that we were once a little kid, full of energy, delight and wonder; we think that because we are know all grown up, we need to act that way and leave that little girl or boy behind. But that’s not true. We always have that little kid inside of us, and my guess is that he/she really would like some attention.
I admit that I too sometimes forget that playing is a very valuable activity. It seems like there are so many other more important things to do and that it’s a waste of time. Or, I am so entrenched in my adult life that I wouldn’t dare allow myself to play. But playing and having fun is actually extremely important to our well-being. Not only does it make us happier, but it also helps keep us healthier, more connected, more vital and even younger. Life is meant to be joyful and uplifting! Life is meant to be celebrated.
So, I am giving you permission this week (and every week) to play. Ask your younger self what he/she would like to do, and then do it! Go play in the mud, buy a coloring book and color, giggle, listen to music, eat chocolate for dinner, ride a bike, or whatever your little kid asks you to do (my little girl is a fan of dancing around to fun music and skipping in the rain). I would love it if you shared with me what you are going to do so that we share the love and joy with each other. Spread the word: you have permission to PLAY!!!