What if play is important?

I played yesterday.

After my Monday zoom call with the artist with whom I am working on a collaboration, I felt uplifted, excited, energized. I decided it was time to play.

After finishing my piece for this week’s collaboration, I decided to set aside some time to play.

And I laugh. Part of the wonder of play is its spontaneity, and there I was, planning my play.

And then I laugh some more. How adult of me. Judging my play right from the get go.

The inspiration ‘to play’ came from a post on Orly Avineri‘s Instagram feed. Orly is an intuitive artist whose work inspires me to let go and be present. On her birthday last week, Orly wrote, “When we were preschoolers we would go outside and build things from found materials, and when inside, we’d scribble and doodle on walls or any piece of paper laying around.”

And she continued on to list things we did or didn’t do ‘on purpose’ or with an intention or reason or need to be heard or seen, free or discovered.

We just did what called to our heart.

It was her finale to her post that resonated most deeply, “…what happened to us along the way? How did we accumulate so many intentions, questions, explanations, reasons, and purposes to do what we intrinsically know how to do so well?

No wonder all of us freeze, perpetually. No wonder we, as adults, are always in “seek” mode, never fully satisfied.”

Ahhh…. and my soul expanded. Seek mode.

Always seeking. Doing. Becoming.

Always looking for an answer, a reason, a purpose, a sign.

Always searching for satisfaction, fulfillment, destination, destiny. A new ‘me’, new way, new idea, new beginning.

Always seeking.

What if living isn’t in seeking the answer to the question “Who am I?”

What if it’s in the living ‘the what’ of who we are with all our heart on fire with the energy of Love driving us into the arms of the deep passion within to express our sacred human nature in living colour? What if play is all we need to set our soul dancing to the music our whole body, every cell, every pulse of blood, every beat of our heart, movement of our hands and feet rejoices in?

What if play is the gateway to experiencing all of life?

So… I decided to try it out. Play.

I painted both sides of a long piece of paper I cut from the roll I use to cover my worktable. There was no ‘rhyme nor reason’ to the colours I used. The design. The placement of the paint on the Gellipad I used to monoprint the paper. There was just the desire to feel my way through to the joy that comes with being immersed in creativity, dancing with the muse, releasing my thinking mind to my body’s ‘knowing’.

And then, I folded the paper in half lengthwise, and then into a booklet with 8 folds. I drew a doll shape onto the front, cut it out and la voilá. I had a paper doll chain.

Full disclosure, earlier I had told my art-partner in our zoom call that my next project was to create a 3 part workshop on paper dolls. There is a purpose, process and practice to the workshop. I even know what category it will fit in on my blog, “The Seeker’s Journey”.

Yeah — I know. So much irony there.

But, (and yes, there’s also a ‘but’ butting in) my desire to create the workshop is to awaken the creative child within, the one who knows how to play without intention, be present without purpose and be without becoming. So… the purpose is important, she says, laughing at herself ’cause again… yup. So much irony.

And there’s also truth. While I was painting and folding and drawing and cutting I wasn’t thinking about the workshop I wanted to create. There was no room for thinking while I was immersed in creating. There was simply the joy of being present within my inner child’s joy of being free to play, just for the fun of it.

It isn’t always easy. This playing. This staying in the moment, being present to everything in and all around us. Sometimes, we need visual and physical aids to unharness our thinking minds and release ourselves to the deep inner knowing of our bodies.

I’m not done. I have an intention (of course I do) of painting the dolls. I might even make dresses for them as I loved to do as a child.

Because here’s the thing I noticed as I played. I felt the air around me touching my skin. I heard the silence between the notes of each song playing in the background. And I heard the laughter of the child within as she delighted in the joy of playing with me in the field of creativity flowing all around.

I’m not done yet. But then, it’s never about getting done or the destination. It’s always about the journey.

Namaste

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And I am working on a 3 part online course on Playing with The Child Within. Stay tuned…. It promises to be a lot of fun! I’d love to hear what you think… Ok. Feel. Sense. Intuit. Yeah… what your child knows.

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PPS – I was also inspired by a beautiful thank you card I received from a lovely woman, fellow artist, Mitzi B. It’s a stunning piece of work and forms the backdrop in the photo.