I’ve always loved the feeling of “letting go” to see what happens while painting, writing, cooking – you name it! Come to find out, play is vital to our existence as humans and it’s been the catalyst for all the wonderful inventions we take for granted today.
This year on my birthday, I was particularly struck by the downright “childish” frame of mind I can have at times. It lurks beneath my more grown-up facade, ready and longing to bust out.
Talking with others over the years has helped me realize that the majority of us are quite aware of that child within. Those who are not aware of that inner child, I do believe are sadly buried under by life’s hardships and griefs.
When I consider what causes that child in me to run & hide, it’s always the culture, expectations, fear of reprimand, and a general lack of self-confidence in who that Child Is.
Yet what if that Child is the true genius of my soul? What if that Child is able to solve the perplexing problems, mend the fractured relationships, and harness the energy of life so I can zip through the day with enthusiasm and imagination?
A book titled “Deep Play” by Diane Ackerman explores this concept more fully. She writes:
“When one enters the realm of deep play, the sacred playground where only the present moment matters, one’s history and future vanish. One doesn’t remember one’s past, needs, expectations, worries, real or imaginary sins. The deep-play world is fresh, wholly absorbing, and full of its own unique wisdom and demands. Being able to temporarily step outside of normal life—while keeping one’s senses alert — is indeed like being reborn. To erase all memories and yearnings — to be vigorously alive without self-awareness — can provide a brief return to innocence.”
That last line pulls on my soul: “to be vigorously alive without self-awareness”. Isn’t that what we all long for as adults? It’s too bad we tend to feel that we need permission to play when it’s such an important activity. Consider this your official permission and let’s play!