I often get inspired by memes that are shared on the internet. You’ve probably seen the “digital posters” with messages that people share on Facebook. The one that grabbed my attention this week was a quote by Abraham Maslow that stated, “Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.” This got me thinking of the importance of play as a way to tap into creativity and innovation.
While I do have a playful personality, I can get rather serious about my work. And since work takes up a good portion of my week, there have been times in my life that I’ve gone days without having any FUN. In order to make sure that I didn’t get sucked into being “too serious”, I took the time to sit in meditation and ponder what was truly important to me. After I discerned my priorities, I added “fun” to my list of core values. Integrating fun into my life has changed everything. Now, the work that I do feels like play.
I regularly set aside time to work fun into my life. One weekend, I “skipped” an entire 5k race. Even though I was sore afterwards (you ought to try it!), I had a blast and the memory of it continues to bring me joy. I schedule fun into my workday by sharing my creativity with my co-workers. I hang my paintings (heart art) up in my office and I am also fond of dancing up the hallways as a work-out during my lunchbreak. I make my goals fun by taking a Wonder Woman power stance every morning as I recite my intentions for the day. Taking a playful approach to life supports me in having more fun and being more creative!
So, when was the last time you had a ton of fun? Have you ever set a play date? Not for your children, but for YOU? Have you cleared your calendar lately for play? Do you remember the last time you dipped your fingers in paint and swirled them around a piece of paper? Or, to adopt a more playful attitude, you could try altering a dessert recipe in a way that allows you to feel creative and while you are at it, add some crunchy sprinkles on top, just for the fun of it!
It seems that we often get caught up in being on the go, very focused on work and our “to do” list. But aren’t we just big kids deep inside? I know that I am still a kid at heart and I just turned 50! As I rediscover how to play, I am recognizing how very powerful it is. You’ve probably heard the phrase “use it or lose it” and I think this is also true when it comes to having fun. Play isn’t just for kids, and we adults need to practice more often! Here are some ways you can connect with the little kid within you and have more fun:
- Make a colorful mess finger painting
- Choreograph your own unique dance with some friends
- Go on a scavenger hunt out in the woods
- Build a fort in your living room
- Take a nap and just chill…
Try out one of the above ideas and journal what the experience brings up for you. Consider how your life might look and feel if you took just ten minutes of your busy day to play. Spend some quality time tapping in to this new vision and be willing to bring more play into your everyday reality!