Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Playground of the Mind
For many of us, the experience of life is one we take very seriously. Sometimes we believe if whatever it is we are facing is important, then it must mean we should hold it with complete seriousness. What I see happen with many people is that the joy and peace of life slips through the cracks of seriousness.
Can you imagine going through life and approaching any issue that shows up in a more playful way? For me, it is like having a playground in my mind. The options for things to do in life are endless and they can all be fun, even the ones that are challenging. Just imagining this playground makes me smile and there's a very natural sense of childlike wonder as I assess my life from this perspective.
Children at play can be great teachers for the rest of us. One of the key ingredients I see in children that feeds JOY, is imagination. Playing in a playground opens up all sorts of possibilities beyond what pieces of equipment might be available. For instance, riding the swings can be a trip to Mars....with each pump of your legs, you get closer and closer to this unexplored planet. Jungle Gyms can become pirate ships; Sand boxes are art centers. The playground in my mind also has a quiet place to be still and rest. Whether the stuff of life that we face is extremely challenging or simply day to day stresses, having some lightness, humor and imagination are likely to be better companions than worry, fear and regret.
When are you most creative and resourceful....when you are in fear or wide eyed with imagination?
If you're reading this and thinking that there are some things in life that must be taken seriously, I would encourage you to not collapse important with serious. When we approach living life with the same openness, imagination and complete enthusiasm that a child holds, possibilities are bound to present themselves to handle whatever shows up on our path with greater ease and fewer emotional injuries.
In the Playground in my mind....no one ever gets hurt.