Allowing Yourself to Play Freely and Create Deeper Connections with Yourself and Your Kids
“Play is really the work of childhood”- Fred Rogers I would add play is essential for life to bloom at all stages.
As a former teacher fusing play into my curriculum was done effortlessly because I knew it was paramount to help all my students grow and challenge themselves socially and emotionally as well as physically and mentally.
When my daughter was young 2-6 years old, I made sure to give her a variety of playful experiences daily but I was often an observer or a engaged with her in her play only when she asked. But, my desire to play was not really there, actually it was just buried.
The idea of being silly or playful once I became an adult made me feel uncomfortable for fear of judgement. It was this fear that stopped me from experimenting and engaging with my soul on a deeper level.
As a child I played with my environment like splashing through swamps and climbing trees, created art and performances. I was silly but I had a reserved side and as I got older the silly faded and the serious mindset took over.
Once I graduated college I was focused on work, surviving, and going through the motions of “adult life” and the “play” that I did engage in, came in the form of art, dance, swimming, or meeting up with friends for dinner and maybe a game or two.
These actions were a very basic level of play BUT they didn't move me out of comfort zone or help me grow socially, emotionally or spiritually.
It was not until a few years ago when I was feeling that my life was stagnant, which lead me to do some deep dive soul searching, that I discovered the wondrous expanse that RADICAL PLAY, playing past your comfort zone can bring to you as adult.
It started when I was starving for connection to my creative soul. I mentioned this to a friend of mine during a heart to heart and she suggested a dance group, it was not just a ballet or modern dance group but an Ecstatic Dance group. I was a bit wary and deep down a bit scared at first, in fact it took me months before I “made the time” to go. We would gather monthly around the full moon and create a fire and people would play music and all you needed to do was feel it and move without thought, let your freak fly!
Letting myself go and feel was super hard at first! Since I had been trained as a dancer I knew how to move gracefully BUT I had great difficulty letting my self just feel and move without thought or judgement. A women there who could sense my trepidation suggested closing my eyes so I could boost my sense of hearing and feel the vibrations in the ground.
THIS pushed me to the edge of my comfort zone, to my FERTILE EDGE but I kept with it and my body started to flow.
As I silenced my mind my body took over and my movement because full of emotion. I wept releasing that first layer of fear and it was beautiful.
After this experience I came home, my daughter was asleep and my friend, who was caring for her while I was dancing, went home after we had a luscious conversation about the act of letting go and being.
It was at that point I felt compelled to write down the beginning of a business idea, an idea that came to me as I was driving back from the dance circle. What came out of me that night was the first spurt of a vision that would eventually become the Rejuvenation Grange.
So, over the years I have come back to this memory for reflection because it has so many pieces of inspiration for myself and others and has given me the gift of connecting with my deepest desires and playfully engaging with my daughter fully.
It was this act of radical play that pushed me to leap and take a risk without panic setting in. It was this act of letting my true self free that allowed me to start splashing in puddles, swinging super high, and climbing trees with my daughter and feeling joyous while do it.
How would it feel to shed those layers of judgement and rigidity and experience playing again? Join me for my 5 Day Play Challenge starting October 15-19. Click here for more information and to RSVP.