On one of our adventures my wife and I found a park scattered with these huge 'hay bails' made entirely out of coloured straws. We were free to lay on them, roll them around or jump from one to another like an excited child.
We don't PLAY anymore. Why is that?
Somewhere along the line we forget about jumping in puddles and get caught in the cycle of playing adult.
@dumbofeather put this nicely: "As children, play is one of the first things you learn to do. It teaches us to be optimistic, flexible and social. Yet when we grow up, it seems to almost disappear from our lives.
We forget to make a mess, to dress up, to make things from egg cartons and shoe-boxes—to create when we know we might fail. We replace “idle” enjoyment with work and seriousness; somehow, we start believing that if there isn’t a goal, there isn’t a point.
We become mono-focused, but it burns something at the other end. Increasingly, we are overworked, obese and depressed. We escape into drugs and alcohol, even though we know that these altered states of consciousness are detached and ultimately, empty.
But we are hardwired to play, and we haven’t been coping without it. Play is the foundation for intimacy, cooperation, creativity and resilience. It is essential to our mental health.
So let’s get out the glue and streamers and make something that might be ugly. Let’s be spontaneous. Let’s improvise. Let’s fail together. Let’s reconnect.
Through play, we can awaken our innate ability to trust and adapt. And instead of feeling the fleeting happiness that comes from goal-orientated success, we can engage with something far more magical, free and expansive.
We can’t play where there is judgment, so we will have to ignore our egos. Let’s try to remember what gave us joy as fearless children. Did you love to sing, to dance, to build? When is the last time you felt free, light, lost in a story?
Disappearing into the make-believe can nourish our brains and hearts and inspire a world of possibility".
Dumbo Feather, Issue 36
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