Guest Post: Marlene Lowden is one of our Libre Leading Lights. She is an abstract painter and creative yogi living on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.
Play is powerful food for your soul – it makes you forget who you should be so that you can be who you really are.
When was the last time you lost yourself in play? The kind of non-structured, no purpose, for no good reason kind of play with no specific outcome or result desired, expected or required.
I know it’s hard to justify spending time being unproductive, especially when there’s always something pressing in your life.
A little playtime this summer can give you mini holidays from your schedule, make you feel happier, healthier and ultimately, help you discover what your true priorities are. When you are creating and playing, time disappears – your brain rests, you let go of what you should be doing and saying and find yourself deeply engaged in the present. There are very few activities in life that engage you more fully in the now than pure playfulness!
The long summer days are the perfect opportunity to get outside your lines and explore new ways to play…
Your body loves to play and it will delight in the simplest pleasures. Try yoga (maybe even on a paddle board), go dancing, swimming, hiking or go jump on your neighbour’s trampoline, (you know you want to). Move your body but put down the timers, the measuring tapes, the scales and set aside the schedules too.
We are well acquainted with the benefits of moving our bodies but how about playful exercises for our minds? The benefits of doodling, drawing and colouring are bountiful. Studies are showing an increase in creativity and creative problem solving, stress reduction, and improved focus.
Making and creating for the fun of it strips away all the “shoulds” in my life, I feel lighter, refreshed and more keenly focused on what is really important to me. Here are some summer specific ideas to try; chalk drawing on the sidewalk, building a sandcastle with friends of all ages, painting rocks from the beach or making collages from old magazines.
Having fun is not a waste of time. It is about giving yourself a break from productivity and your to do list so you can actually reveal what you deeply care about.
You serve your family, your friends and the world best by being all of who you are and doing what inspires you – play is a powerful key to discovering exactly what that looks and feels like.
Play is liberty! Enjoy getting to know yourself a little more this summer. I can’t think of any other pursuit more worthy of your time.