Life...... in the midst of a global pandemic. After only just one week of not working, new routines were forming. Settling in to a new way of life. A new speed of life. Yoga pants are my new best friend. I don’t know how long this lifestyle will be around nor does it matter. Now I don’t mean that it doesn’t matter that there is craziness in the world and that there are people who are struggling with serious health and financial compromises. That absolutely matters. My heart breaks for all. What I mean is that I cannot change what has happened. Although, I can change the future. And so can you! We have choices amidst the struggles. Sometimes they are small, sometimes they are big. Sometimes they are sad, sometimes they are happy. Sometimes they are obvious, sometimes they are really freakin' hard to see. It’s all OK.
Let me ask…… Do you like to play? Play cards, play games, play sports, play music, play the lottery, play it by ear, play the card, play on words, play dead, come in to play, role play, power play, play hooky, fair play? That’s a lot of play! (So much so that now the word “play” is starting to look and sound funny!) My point… (yes, Shannon what is your point?) With all that play in the world, how much do you actually think about playing or incorporate playing into your day? Honestly? No right or wrong answer. It’s all OK.
What does the word play conjure up in you? What is the first thought that comes to mind? Let me speculate…. Fun, silliness, care-free, active, joyful, recreation, engaged, competition, irresponsible, who has time for it, tiring, childish, not appropriate, annoying. Do any of those strike a chord with you? Which ones make you feel good? (Gosh, I am asking a lot of questions!) Cool! Just offering up a little opportunity for introspection. I love it. I love play and I love to feel good. It’s all OK.
I am a seriously not so serious person. I know when things are serious and I will work hard to assist with my best ethical and moral duties in tow AND I will find humor and fun in it all, somehow. Some people understand it, some love it and I know that it also can irritate people sometimes and I've even irritated myself on occasion. It’s ok to feel irritated and then it’s ok to ask yourself why you are irritated and then it’s ok to choose to feel differently… if you want to. And if you don’t want to, that’s OK too.
Enter stage left…… Play! Let it in, let it dance around you with sweet delight. What form does it take? Pick one that LIGHTS YOU UP. Give yourself permission. You have earned it. In these uncertain times, play is probably the last thing on your mind but I would argue that it should be the first. What if you were to set the tone of your day with a little play? What if you greeted your family, neighbor or your coworkers with a playful energy. Can you be sad with playful energy? Can you be worried with playful energy? You will alter the chemical patterns of your nervous system. You will feel a little lighter. Things will start to look a little more manageable. It’s all OK.
And then….. “PLAY IT FORWARD”
Let’s say you want some active play but you don’t feel like your body is physically able to play any more. We can't have that....stick with me now! I’d like to now introduce you to Doug Gray from Gray Institute. I met Doug and his father Gary about 10 years ago at a weekend conference in Boston. They wouldn’t remember me as I was only one of thousands of attendees they have encountered but I have never forgotten them. This conference was about physical movement principles and it was fascinating to me. Honestly, it remains fascinating to me. The energy of the presenters was contagious to say the least! They were serious about their beliefs, they had passion AND they were playful. Like, professional players. Every person in the room mattered. It was pretty magical. I have implemented many of their ideas into my work to help people improve their function. They are rock stars and they offering a free 30 day movement challenge that can be done right in your own home with no props needed. I encourage you (every body) to check it out. I know I will be.
I hope you are getting inspired. I hope you can get innovative. I hope you can get moving and by all means PLAY! It’s OK!