How many of us remember what it is like to play? Remember how summer vacations lasted an eternity when we were young? There were no fears, no perceived failures, no expectations and no anxiety – just a sense that we could go outside, find our friends and simply let go and play. We accepted ourselves for who we were – our own imagined superhero – albeit perhaps a slightly bruised and bumped version of one. What ever happened to our superhero status? We have long abandoned it in favor of owning a new and much more limiting status – one whose roots are grounded in insecurity and fear. It is almost as if adulthood is this bleak and lonely passage from light into an existence of darkness. And one which we eagerly transition into.
When we look at our childhoods things seemed much easier back then or maybe it is just that we have learned how to complicate things? As adults, we spend hours surveying our expectations of others and ourselves. We spend our lives trying to control things (especially things beyond our control) and somehow this deconstructive and repetitive behavior makes us feel safe. Almost as if we will feel better by imposing our own restrictions on ourselves. Setting these limits makes us feel better when we fail; it enables us to justly blame “the parameters set upon us.”
Here’s the big secret…life is meant to be enjoyed. Breaking the everyday spell of control and letting go, tapping into your creative self will yield riches and experiences you never dreamed possible. If you allow yourself to stay stuck, you will stop growing, collect dust and become irrelevant to yourself and others around you. The thing about being a child is that they inherently know how to play – how to take chances, how to expand into the unknown and fully experience it. They take on new and exciting personas (push their individualism and expressionism) with reckless abandon while not obsessing over what others might think about it. We adults could learn so much from the art of play. After all, some of the world’s best inventions and art installations came about through creative mistakes. It is in allowing ourselves to “color outside the lines” that we may truly learn how to fly.
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