“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, and move into the unknown. Our minds empty and our hearts open. We are less interested in achieving something, and more open to what wants to be experienced in this moment.
In this state of being life is lived through us instead of us trying to make life happen. It is creative engagement in its finest form – a spontaneous way of existing where we allow the wonder of life, in all its magic, to give birth into our present moment experience.
Inspiration arises in these moments, and so do the synchronicities or “coincidences” that bring us unexpected resources or opportunities. We have all had experiences of both to one degree or another. They appear when we least expect it, and when we are in a relaxed or joyous state.
“When you follow your bliss… doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.” ~Joseph Campbell
The more we can enter this state, the more life becomes a dance, a wonderful experience where we are pushing and striving less, and surrendering and allowing more. We aren’t moving life, life is moving us. Life moves us in our role as co-creator, dreamer, and manifestor. We know in our hearts that we are not alone, and that there is a larger wisdom at play, an intelligence that is our dance partner on this grand stage we call Life.
Here, in this surrendered state, life is experienced less as “work”. In fact the word “work” makes less and less sense. We are not working at life anymore; rather, we are playing with life. We are living life! We are living not as separate humans, but as interconnected beings inextricably linked to, and as an expression of, the vastness of our grand Universe.
Play as Productivity
“The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.” ~Zeno
Nature lives as a child lives. Both move in an open and surrendered state. Neither works at life. I do not see a flower blossoming or a bird making her nest and think either is working. No, they are living and acting in intuitive alignment. They are living life according to their inner creative impulses.
When we look at the world today, we can see many people, especially the new generation of kids and young adults, having a loose grip on their life path. To the shock and horror of their parents, they are choosing to flow more without any defined outcomes. Maybe they are 30 years old, travelling the world and still unclear on their bigger life plan. And that is okay for them because they want to remain open to life’s possibilities. To them, joy is more important than perceived security. The freedom of following the whims and wishes of life feels more true.
This may appear as unproductive living to older generations, yet it is simply an evolution of what productivity is. We are living in a new world with different values and greater self-awareness, where security lies more in how we are being/feeling than in what we do or have.
“The only true measure of success is the amount of joy we are feeling.” ~Abraham-Hicks
Productivity and security will now be about following our joy, and allowing the joy to inform our lives and unlock unexpected doors. Just like plants and animals, we will allow our inner being to be the guiding force of our actions. We will be less inclined to follow the prescriptive paths carved by our ancestors, and more compelled to design a life according to our present moment desires. Our job will be to enjoy this moment as fully as possible, and to allow the Universe to guide us. If we are not clear on our next step, we can trust that where we are is where we need to be. So we might as well make the most of it and dance fully in the moment. In surrendering to the dance, we will more easily open to our unlimited potential.
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Play is the artful dance of living in a new world. It must not be perceived as a frivolous act one does on the side. Nor should it be deprived in our children’s education or upbringing. Instead, play must be seen, respected and experienced as an act of deep surrender into the depth of our being, and into and the unbounded well of opportunities that lie within the heart of our magical Universe.
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Check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the Creative Spirit of Children, A Children’s Book for Adults