Play ~ The Artful Dance of Living: Surrendering to Joy and Our Magical Universe

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Play ~ The Artful Dance of Living: Surrendering to Joy and Our Magical Universe

“Children dance before they know there is anything that isn’t music.” ~ William Stafford The essence of play is an experience rooted in the present moment without attachment to specific outcomes. It is this moment that matters, and the experience of joy, wonder and imagination. That is why play is such a gift. Over and over again it brings us to the here and now, away from our discursive and troubled minds. Just a few moments of joyful interaction with another, or swinging on a swing set, or twirling around in our living room, can shift our energy, change our focus, and redirect our day down a road we would not have traveled otherwise. We temporarily let go of our plans, our agendas, our thoughts, […]

3 Places to Hide

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3 Places to Hide

One of my favourite ways to play is to hide on others. Those closest to me know I like to disappear, and then suddenly jump out from behind a tree or from under a stairwell, and of course, joyously scare them! How fun!! Well, just in case you need a few more ideas, here are three places to hide that I particularly like. 1. In the Elevator                       My friend Ross spontaneously decided to play Hide and Seek with his boys in the elevator. To his delight, they played along, scurrying around, trying to find a hiding spot! One of my participants who I shared this story with decided to try this with her son. […]

This or That ~ A Simple Way to Play

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This or That ~ A Simple Way to Play

What do you prefer? This or That? Bananas or Apples? Star Wars or Star Trek? Cats or Dogs? Movies or TV? This or That is a simple and engaging game that people of all ages love to play. One person says two related objects or topics of interest, and the other people say what their preference is. It’s that simple! Try it in the car with your son, at the dinner table with your family, or at the start of your meeting with your team. You will be surprised at how much it raises everyone’s spirit, how quickly you get to know one another, and how pleasantly addicting the game is! Variation: If you had to give up something, what would it be? Breakfast or […]

Doing For Versus Playing With ~ Balancing Responsibilities with Joyful Connection

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Doing For Versus Playing With ~ Balancing Responsibilities with Joyful Connection

“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.” ~ Richard L. Evans   An interesting question to ask yourself is, How much did your parents play with you when you were a child? If you were one of the lucky ones, your parents played with you a lot. But for so many others, their parents were focused more on the responsibilities of being a parent than on being a playful companion. This the difference between doing for and playing with.  When we do for, we are less connected to the other, and more focused on an agenda in our minds such as driving our kids somewhere or cooking dinner. We are task oriented and in doing […]

Your Real Power ~ Redefining Power Through Play

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Your Real Power ~ Redefining Power Through Play

“We are powerful beyond measure, and so deeply vulnerable at the same time. This may seem like a dichotomy, but it isn’t. We have misunderstood real power. It has been something assertive, non-surrendering, pushing on through. This is not real power. This is simply willfulness. Real power is something else- receptivity, openness, the courage to keep your heart open on the darkest of days, the strength to feel it all even when the odds are stacked against you. Real power is showing up with your heart on your sleeve and absolutely refusing to waste one moment of your life hidden behind edginess and armour.” ~ Jeff Brown Play connects us to our Real Power. The spirit of a child is open-hearted, receptive, vulnerable and sensitive. […]

Playing with Perspective ~ Seeing Life Through the Eyes of a Child

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Playing with Perspective ~ Seeing Life Through the Eyes of a Child

“When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero.”  ~ Fred Rogers Play is not just something we do; it is a perspective from which to see life. It is a worldview that invites endless possibilities to creatively engage people, objects and places. I was hiking up a mountain a few weeks back and came across a tree that was lying on its side, tilted downwards, paralleling the steepness of the trail. One might look at this object and see only a tree that’s fallen on its side. What I immediately saw was a slide that was inviting me to […]

6 Ways to Live a Playful Life ~ How Big is Your Playground?

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6 Ways to Live a Playful Life ~ How Big is Your Playground?

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” ~ Dr. Seuss. Play is training for unconventional and creative living. One could say play is a radical act – for adults! When we allow ourselves to live as authentically playful beings, we stand out from the crowd, from the ways we, and others, are expected to be. As we grow up, we lose our spontaneity and freedom. Look at how children behave. They twirl around street posts and skip over lines while the rest of us walk straight down the sidewalk. They dance carefree to a busker’s music while the rest of us stand and watch. They engage strangers like friends while we offer only a generic courtesy. They speak up fully and emotionally, while we keep our […]

Every Moment is a Playful Moment

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Every Moment is a Playful Moment

It’s less about finding time to play, and more about allowing yourself to be playful in this very moment. This beautiful being’s name is Sophia. Like many dogs she loves to carry long sticks, and right next to you, excitedly and repeatedly bumping her prized possession into you! While four of us walked with her through forest trails on the Sunshine Coast I had a playful idea! What if we had to avoid her bumping us with her stick, kind of like avoiding being it in tag? Suddenly, the four of us were like screaming small children, delightfully jumping around, and of course, Sophia got excited, coming closer to us, making us leap and laugh even more. A friendly reminder that every moment is a playful moment! 🙂 Breaking […]

Playing With Imagination

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Playing With Imagination

A daycare worker recently told me a wonderful story that illustrates the power of imagination. While having lunch one of the children at the daycare said “Let’s have a food fight!”. Instead of simply saying No, the daycare worker suggested that they Play with their Imagination! Instead of throwing real food, the children relished in throwing imaginary food, shouting “Gravy in your ear!”, “Mash potatoes in your eyes!”. They were in hysterics while playing with nothing and everything at the same time. “When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero.” ~ Fred Rogers Imagination takes us beyond the bounds […]

Becoming Free Again

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Becoming Free Again

How long will you hide your beautiful festive smile. Teach your laughter to a flower, manifest an eternity. ~ RUMI. One of the things I most love about children is their capacity for full self-expression. One minute they are laughing, another minute crying and yet another minute stomping their feet in anger. They move freely and fluidly between the many emotions that lie within. As we get older there is much shame and guilt that begins to attach to these emotions. We fear them and thus fear expressing them into our world. Children remind us who we are ~ free, fully expressed and alive, like the child in this video. Her magnificence of expression and unbridled soulful presence fills the room. Despite being small and innocent she is incredibly powerful. […]