Home > Health and Well-being, Uncategorized > You Are The Best There Is (Part 2)

You Are The Best There Is (Part 2)

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. ~George Bernhard Shaw

In last week’s post, I invited you to go out and be exponentially more you. Some of you may have gotten right on it and  signed up for that martial arts class, spelunking club or quit your job, moved to Africa and are currently pursuing a career as an animal tracker (I actually know someone who is an animal tracker in Africa, pretty cool, huh?!).  For those of you who are unsure about how to proceed in discovering your unique talents and gifts, no worries, I have the perfect tool for you to use.  It costs nothing to very little, it’s really fun and you have the ability to do it your whole life.  It’s called playing.

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I promise you this: if you are not enjoying your life at least 90% of the time, you are not playing enough. Before your analytical, rational, logical party-pooper left brain starts discounting the value of play-time, let’s keep ol’ lefty happy with some cerebral facts about play:

  • Play readies the player for the unexpected or unusual
  • Play encourages effective problem solving
  • Play enhances social connections, awareness and cooperation
  • Play is essential to creativity and innovation
  • Play helps us develop trust and coping skills
  • Play helps us make sense of the world
  • Play helps us transform ideas into reality

Also, let’s not forget that playing is just plain freakin’ fun!  That happens to be my most favorite reason to engage in play, but if your left brain still needs something more academic and scientific to wrap itself around, it can learn even more about the benefits and necessity of play from The Nationaol Institue For Play (I love that hardcore scientists are studying play!).  You can also watch this great TED presentation given by Dr. Stuart Brown.

Now I want to address your creative, fun-loving right brain, the part of your brain most in touch with who you really are at the core of your being.  Go back to a time when you were having a blast, for some of you, this may mean going back to childhood.  You can also think about the last time you were so engaged in an activity that you completely lost track of time. Go there now.  What were you doing when you were having so much fun? Were you alone or with people?  If you were with people, who were they? what were they like? Were you indoors or outdoors? Were you using your mind or your body, or both?   Really nail this scene, because this is a huge clue telling you where to best invest your time and energy and it’s definitely a clue showing you what your natural feeling state is: joy and fun.

When you are feeling exhilarated, inspired and free you know you are on the right path. This does not necessarily mean you become a professional martial artist now that you enjoy playing with martial arts (but then you never know!).  The vitally important take away you get from playing is that you learn how you feel when you are on—what it feels like to stand in your power (a very yummy sensation).  You can use this feeling to gauge how effectively you are utilizing your unique talents and gifts in any area of your life. For example, do you feel on when you are engaged in your current work?  If not, figure out why–is it the tasks involved that turn you off? The field you have chosen or the work environment?  If you don’t feel playful at work, in your relationships, in your body or with your finances, you definitely need to play more.  Through play, you will be inspired to take the right actions for you and then when you do act, your actions will feel effortless and will have a positive impact on you and everyone your life touches.

You can start playing right now. Do something that’s fun for you! Share a funny joke you recently heard, take a long lunch and go test drive that exotic automobile you dream about owning one day, flirt with that super cute barista at the coffeehouse, fantasize about all the cool things you will accomplish now because you are mastering how to be more you by fully engaging in play time.   If you need just one more piece of evidence to get you inspired to play more, look around at any serious non-players you may know and ask yourself if you aspire to be more like them or if you aspire to be more like those who approach every thing they do with a sense of playfulness. Go find examples of both and compare notes–nothing is more powerful or more convincing than discovering and clarifying what you truly want in life.  Find what you love to play with and then play at least 90% of the time.  Your mission in life will become clearer, your relationships stronger  and the world becomes an amazing playground for you to explore.  Have fun!

I love learning what other people do for play, so please post the ways you play and what you get out of it—I can’t wait to be inspired by you and your playful shenanigans!

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  1. Robyn
    May 18, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Even the idea of play and the potential it has to unlock me from my old (serious) self is exciting! Yet when I try to engage in things that are supposed to be fun…ie..playing with my children, for example, and doing things that are fun for them, I really struggle and feel more disconnected than ever. Maybe exploring things that are fun for me first will open up more of a connection towards play in general? I like the following paragraph from this blog…

    “Through play, you will be inspired to take the right actions for you and then when you do act, your actions will feel effortless and will have a positive impact on you and everyone your life touches”

    Thinking so…..:) thinking about kayaking!

  2. May 18, 2010 at 1:19 am

    Robyn,

    For some people, playing with children (their own or others) at their games and with their toys is super fun, I’d rather watch paint dry myself 🙂 However, I find that when I do something fun for me first, I start to find other ways to engage my children in my kind of play. For example, I LOVE to dance, so sometimes I put on MY music (I like hip hop, I cannot stand kid music, lol) and my kids and I get our grooves on. I have fun, they have fun–we love it! It makes sense, really, they are my kids, why wouldn’t they like something I like?

    I love that you are thinking about trying kayaking–do it!! Wouldn’t it be cool to introduce your kids to something you love and discover it’s something they love and you can do with them? Even if they hate it, finding something you love to do makes you a way fun mom and way fun individual–everyone loves being around fun people . . .

    Would love to hear how your first kayaking adventure goes so come back and tell me about it 🙂

    Have FUN!!

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