A question I often get asked is, “How can I make something I do not enjoy playful, like doing my taxes?” While I agree there are many things we would rather not be doing, there are an infinite number of ways to make even the most mundane a playful experience.
Let’s start by remembering that on a primary level play is who you are. It is a state of being ~ I am Playful. On a secondary level play is something that you do ~ I play tennis, build a sandcastle or go for a bike ride.
On the secondary level, play is dependent on time, space and money. It requires getting somewhere and often at some financial expense. Play on a primary level, however, is not dependent on anything except your willingness. Therefore play is not something to get to, but rather a state of allowing yourself to be joyful, creative and authentic in this very moment. Then every moment becomes a playful moment.
Play is about bringing the fullness of You into every moment.
So when you are feeling uninspired or bogged down doing taxes, it’s not about making taxes playful, but rather it’s about YOU becoming playful in the moment of doing them. It is about invoking the energy of play in you, and bringing the spirit of play into your actions.
We may not be able to control everything outside of us, but we can control our experience. We can’t change taxes, but we can change how we feel and our experience of doing taxes.
Living a playful life is the art of playing with everything that shows up in our experience. We move away from judgment and resistance towards acceptance and empowerment.
Here are 15 ways to play with taxes (or any other mundane task):
- Smile, if only for a second, even if you have to force a smile.
- Laugh at how boring taxes are / Laugh at yourself at how bored you are. “I am sooooo bored. Ha Ha!!”
- Let out a massive yawn, and say out loud, “I’d rather be dancing!” (or something else) Then laugh.
- Make a long, strange funny noise. “FRRAAALLLAAABUUNNGGGAAAAA!!!” Make a few.
- Bounce up and down in your chair while bobbing your head side to side. Try some other creative movements.
- Grab a pen, flip it in the air and see if you can catch it while looking at your computer.
- Balance something on your head and see how long you can keep it there while working away.
- Squish a pen between your upper lip and nose and talk about how much you LOVE doing taxes.
- Sing a song. Hum a song. Make up a song called I Love Taxes.
- Roll your eyes around. Zig zag them in many different directions. Do your taxes with your eyes wide open like you are high on caffeine.
- Rotate through different emotions/characters. Be sad, angry, jolly, confused, eager, sinister, intense. Change your facial expressions and add sounds and words.
- Share a spontaneous poem to your taxes. “Oh Taxes, how I love thee. Whenever I play with you, I feel such inner glee!”
- Strike a conversation with your taxes. “So Taxes…or is it Tax? Tell me a bit about yourself. Oh really? I didn’t know you enjoyed playing the banjo.”
- Talk to yourself in a funny foreign accent. “Well, these taxes are a baaarrrell of laughs!”
- Do your taxes while pretending you are in a launching rocket ship or under water.
Laughter, funny sounds, creative movement and imagination are wonderful ways bring play into the mundane. You don’t need anything to play except an inner Yes! to that expressive, imaginative child in you. Let her/him come out and play in the moment and watch how you can experience play everywhere. You may soon find that even the mundane can transform into play. Play On!
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