Let’s Play with TIME!

How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?

Dr. Seuss

Can TIME be bent? Does it fly? If traversable wormholes exist, they could allow time travel….. If you are drawn into the physics behind wormholes read Morris, Thorne and Yurtsever’s paper on interstellar travel.. Think about it – time travel could be very fun and PLAYFUL!

If you live in the United States, you have probably just experienced Time Travel as clocks “leaped forward” an hour across most of the country placing you an hour into the future.

Image by Johnson Martin from Pixabay

TIME is mystical. How we approach it, what we name it and how we embrace it are important to how we experience TIME.

For more, travel back to our prior post “Make TIME for Play” And, by all means enjoy and play with your time.

Make the most of your TIME – go out and be PLAYFUL today!

Playful People, Perspective & Purpose

You can deny, if you like, nearly all abstractions: justice, beauty, truth, goodness, mind, God. You can deny seriousness, but not play.

Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens, A Study of the Play-Element in Culture

Playful Perspectives, People & Purpose

Credit: Iceberger– Draw an iceberg and see how it will float.
Credit: PlayDatePlayBook
Credit: OK Go Sandbox

Your Spirit Craves Play.

The human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter.

Robin Williams

Physical play is important to maintain a healthy and robust quality of life. Playfulness is equally important for our mental, emotional, and intellectual well being through hobbies that challenge the mind like games, events that create social connectivity with others and activities that trigger creative approaches to problem solving.

The human spirit also craves and depends upon play and playfulness.

Lila Hindu God of Divine Play

 Anthony de Mello, SJ a Jesuit priest from Bombay got to the heart of the human spirit and play through his story on Leela or Lila the Hindu God of play. He shared:

The Master once referred to the Hindu notion that all creation is “leela” – God’s play – and the universe is his playground. The aim of spirituality, he claimed, is to make all life play.This seemed too frivolous for a puritanical visitor. “Is there no room then for work?” “Of course there is. But work becomes spiritual only when it is transformed into play.

Credited to Anthony de Mello, SJ

If the purpose of the “Spirit” is to make all life play including us as humans and our human spirit, then, perhaps our goal should be to live life through a playful spirit. 

The Flower of Life is a sacred symbol – both playful and practical. Take a look as it is a visual depiction of the Creator creating us, and all of creation, in a very creative manner. Yes, playfully replicating spiritual eyes or circles.

The Flower of Life courtesy of TheGoodHuman.com

The Creator creates creatively. And, encourages us to playfully create through our human spirit, in part so the Creator may also create with us and through us. The human spirit IS playful and needs play!

Taking the eastern philosophy further Lorenz Sell Co-founder of Sutra.com,  or ‘threads of knowledge’ in Sanskrit, writes in the Huffington Post “We are born to contribute by creating. From that intangible space between mind and heart emerges the palette of creativity.” 

Human Spirit Plays

Breathe into the Moment Now

Yes Playfulness Soul

If your spirit is up to a bit of playfulness… go here to learn about Haiku and have a bit of help generating your own. If the spirit moves you, of course.

Bee Kind. Playful Friends, not Jerks, get all the Honey.

In my experience, you will truly serve only what you love. If you love friends, you will serve your friends. If you love community, you will serve your community. If you love money, you will serve money. And if you love only yourself, you will serve only yourself, and you will have only yourself.

Stephen Colbert from Why Humor Is A Secret Weapon in Business and Life 

Bloggers and social media have been popping with memes and advice on the importance for people to ‘be nice’ and ‘be kind.’

These posts get us thinking but sometimes point the finger outward with advice toward how others should change their behavior rather than inwardly thinking on how we can act upon our own advice, create change in ourselves, and grow to be nicer and kinder.

Seth Godin on Martin Luther King day suggested 3 types of kindness — Small acts of kindness, kindness in the form of giving people the benefit of the doubt, and kindness in not seeking to maximize short-term gain. 

The Art of Manliness   distinguishes between the act of being nice as a way of making people feel good in the short term whereas kindness takes into account doing what is best for someone in the long term that may not make them feel good in the moment.    

It’s really pretty basic. Daily focus on play and maintaining a playful perspective have kindness ‘built-in.’ Playfulness as a way to reframe situations helps maintain friends, make new friends and can (with intent) assist with Identity Diversification and a well balanced sense of self.  

 

In his research Renee Proyer  points out that a tendency toward humor, the appreciation of beauty and excellence, spontaneity, creativity, and being a team player are likely to predict if people are playful. Simply put, kind playful people are often smarter, more hopeful, creative, fun, funny, spontaneous, expressive, and silly.

Kind playful people are more often invited to the game and they understand the benefit of associating with diverse groups. Who doesn’t want these qualities and have the desire to be around others who feel the same way?  

We’re working especially hard right now to be kinder and playful with our friends, co-workers, strangers, and for our own benefit.  We’re even participating in a silly made-up virtual event and celebrating with a silly made up day on March 26th. We’re calling it Bee Kind Day, not to be confused with World Kindness Day. 

Click here if you want to join us!

It’s a prickly time right now.  Many people are feeling the sting. If it’s difficult to even think about ‘being kind,’ ‘being playful,’ ‘being a friend’ or even ‘being nice’ maybe just focus on ‘not being’ a jerk is a step in the right direction. Baby Steps.   

Camaraderie and Playfulness, claim your place and space!

Find where you belong…. claim your space and place through Play and Playfulness.

“We often trick ourselves into thinking that we need is 1st place, when what we are really looking for is ‘our place.’ So when you find yours, amongst the renegades of spin; and the master string benders, don’t let anyone tell you it’s a childish thing. Catch it, and hold on to it; because when we find where we belong, we don’t care who’s in first, just that we are here. That we are together. And we are, the Champions.”

Netflix’s “We are the Champions”, the Yo-Yo Episode.

Camaraderie is like the wind, you can see and feel its impact; but, you can’t see it.

You have probably experienced the feeling of camaraderie, maybe in sport, in a band, or a work team. What is frequently felt is the loss of camaraderie when the group is dissolved, caput. That loss is an homage to the impact and importance of camaraderie.

One playful example is the TV hit FRIENDS theme song “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts. A group of friends, living, loving, and playing through good times and bad.

Courtesy of YouTube

Camaraderie is often sensed while deep in a project, or a joint experience where everyone is “giving it” all for the common good. For us, during Covid, we especially feel camaraderie through our team mates at FIU and our research on Adults, Play, and Playfulness. 

Margot Lee Shetterly’s “Hidden Figures” depicts another great example as she shares the story of four African-American female mathematicians and engineers who worked between the 1930’s and 1960’s for NASA. Three were labeled ‘entry-level computers.’ Yes, you read that correctly “computers”.   Dorthy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, who became the first African-American woman to be promoted into the Senior Executive Service, overcame discrimination as in a white male work environment and were instrumental to America winning the Race to Space.

Tough times? Absolutely. Intense experiences? You bet. Yet, the lives depicted (a compilation of many individuals) demonstrate a deep sharing… a camaraderie between the primary characters exhibited in part as they dance and celebrate together.

All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.”

Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers
Credit: Goodreads.com

May we all experience the camaraderie expressed by The Three Musketeers!

IS YOUR TRIBE MADE UP OF PLAYFUL FRIENDS?

Friends hold a mirror up to each other; through that mirror they can see each other in ways that would not otherwise be accessible to them, and it is this mirroring that helps them improve themselves as persons.

Aristotle

Camaraderie, friendship, play, and playfulness — they all have deep importance for us here at Practice Playfulness. Especially during challenging times. 

That’s kind of how we roll and why we got started in the first place. We saw little current focus on adults, play, and playfulness and began this journey to define them as they exist in society today.  

We are working on our definition. It will be grounded in science. We know it won’t include porn or do any harm.   It also won’t be malicious. We believe it will be heartfelt and can be entered and left at will.  As Tanya Markul may have written “If you find yourself tiptoeing around others you’re not walking amongst your tribe.” With play you shouldn’t have to worry about others in the tribe.  Worry for them yes. Worry about them no.

Thanks to FIU and Leslie Frazier, Ph.D. we will soon begin to share how 1800+ survey participants view play and playfulness in adult life. Until then we are taking a belly flop, not a deep dive, into a few prior meanings of camaraderie and friendship.

Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

Words evolve as cultures and society change. As far back as the ancient Greeks, friendship or philia, has been pondered. In her article “The Science and Philosophy of Friendship: Lessons from Aristotle on the Art of Connection” Maria Popova covers several of Aristotles revelations from classifying friendships based on the categories of pleasure, utility, and virtue as well as friendship as the art of holding up a mirror to each other’s soul.

In another article Popova discusses the Celtic term for friendship, “Anam Cara” (not to be confused with Anna Karenina) which in Gaelic means “soul-love” or “soul friend” Anam for soul and cara for friend.

Most recently Rhaina Cohen explores the of role friends in America today. She links ideas back through American history and points to more modern terms for deep friendship in the present day. For some, it’s as basic and blunt as “having a life partner you just don’t want to kiss.” And for others it’s closer to Richard Godbeer’s description, that friendship, in American history “not only conferred personal happiness but also nurtured qualities that would radiate outward and transform society as a whole.”

Image by Cheryl Holt from Pixabay 

Camaraderie or Comradery on the other hand, in simplest terms is ‘the spirit of friendship and community between two people or a group of people founded in mutual trust and a sense of belonging.”

The definitions and synonyms (let alone) relationships between camaraderie, comradery, friends, play, and playfulness can lead down a never ending rabbit hole. And why we turn to science for help defining the relationships.  What do most adults really think and feel about play and playfulness today? 

Research will tell. We suspect there will be some clarity on camaraderie when we/one is absorbed in play. It provides a safe environment and you know where you stand. And if unsure it will still be ok. Because in the end real friends have your back. 

Camaraderie and play may not always seem easy but a willingness to participate, combined with the freedom to enter and leave at will, plus the benefits play brings to well-being can make it feel effortless.

To paraphrase a meme flying around the internet this week.  If someone asks you to show up in the woods naked for a satanic ritual and then they don’t even show up they may not be your friends. Cheers to all the real friends out there.

Make 2021 YOUR Year of Playfulness!

You’ll never get bored when you try something new,

There’s no limit to what you can do.

– Dr. Seuss

Credit: Drew Beaner on Unsplash.com

2020 is a year to remember.  Truly.  Given difficult times, fear and  unknowns it has still been full of meaningful moments to reflect upon.

This next year holds the promise of a new and better year. While many of us made mini goals at the beginning of the COVID outbreak (way back in March, 2020), we collectively start fresh as we head into 2021 and begin a new decade.

Let’s start by agreeing NOT to be “RESOLUTE” in our resolutions! Sheer determination is not the best approach to successful goal setting or habit change.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Incorporate Playfulness into your life, or increase your Playfulness Quotient by adding micro moments of playfulness.

BJ Fogg, Tiny Habits author, has one approach to instilling daily habits; Leo Babauta, author of ZenHabits.net and The Habit Guide is another outstanding resource. Pick an approach that works for you.

Make 2021 YOUR Year of Playfulness. Put playfulness into action right now!  It’s easier than you might think. Take a moment to focus with intention and if you can… touch your nose to your tongue… or blink your eyes back and forth as fast as possible.  Fun, right? And, quick and playful.  You’ve begun 2021 with Playfulness!

Here we go… you’re ready for some change in 2021, right? Playfulness has positive benefits for wellbeing and is typically fun! Remember touching your nose to your tongue just 3 seconds ago? Try it every morning with a prompt up to remind yourself (a smiley face to your bathroom mirror).

You’re all set with BJ Fogg’s formula: B=MAP (Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Prompt) to have a more playful year in 2021! Start tiny, stay tiny and have self compassion…

Whatever you do New Year’s Eve, take advantage of “the fresh start effect” with daily micro moments of play and join us in Proclaiming 2021 the Year of Playfulness!

PS: As Daniel Pink author of When explains in his PodCast The Pinkcast and article, “The 86 Best Days of the Year to get a fresh start,” if January 1st is not YOUR favorite day to start something new, even if tiny, there are 85 other “Best” days to do so each year. Pick the best for you to be PLAYFUL in 2021!

Find The Mirth

There was a time, long ago, when we knew all about Christmas. We were small; we held it right in our hearts.  We have to work at it to find Christmas now, but it’s worth looking for.

Essayist Murr Brewster

The holidays can be challenging for some. It may take slowing down, focus, and practice finding the joy. It might be in a present moment, an unexpected upcoming moment, or unearthed in past memories.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay 

Finding the mirth right now, during Covid, may help provide hope and optimism for the future and certainly a new memory for next year.

Credit: A Very Tuba Christmas. Jules Struck, Staff Writer/Artist and Murr Brewster Correspondent, The Christian Science Monitory

This year it may mean getting on your “goof” home alone, with immediate family, or your personal “quartanteam.”

Whatever it takes we wish you joy, play, lots of rest, reflection and hope during this holiday season. Ditch the chorus this year. Practice, perfect, and maybe record that vibe for next year’s holiday entertainment.

Credit: OKCityChorus

Playfulness in community for Community

“Play is not merely idle time; it’s an opportunity to experiment with new interests and to draw closer to other people.” 

Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal by Gretchen Rubin

When we play with others we learn about ourselves, have fun, and build trust.

The more we play together in smaller groups or small communities the more we learn from and about each other.  And, the more we  organically build trust and commitment to one another. 

As small communities grow through play, word spreads. Trust accumulates across boundaries among different types of people and they grow closer.  Bridges emerge to create more interaction and Community and Communities develop.  

In community, for Community.

Why does it matter? Through people and play in smaller communities, and across larger Communities, we may begin to bring back more joy, fun, and wellbeing to individuals and Society overall. 

In other words, play and playfulness can help create and provide safe spaces to build bridges with others who have opposing views.  These same individuals enrich our lives simply because they  think differently.

One woman who thought differently about community and inclusion was Frances Hesselbein, former CEO of the Girls Scouts.  She sought to “build one great movement, serving all girls of all races and backgrounds.”

We all share the responsibility for the whole community….And it is not just corporations, but all organizations, agencies, universities, and military units share the responsibility for the whole community.

Frances Hesselbein

Credit: Frances Hesselbein – JA Worldwide

Our larger Community has come unglued in 2020. More playfulness in smaller communities may just be the bridge required to help build back stronger Communities. And maybe just maybe it’s time to get over it.  Over that bridge.

A society made up of small ‘c’ communities and large ‘C’ Communities where like Frances suggested — we all acknowledge, accept and fulfill our shared “responsibility for the whole community” may just be the ticket. 

Building the future together

Creativity & Play Through the Eyes of Adults with Autism

Play should be a place that anyone can occupy and where all are welcome, without barriers, boundaries or limitations. It should be an endless place to be and to fundamentally enjoy being.

University of Sheffield

Several months ago we took a wonderful online course through FutureLearn on the Importance of Play In Everyday Life. One lesson covered disability and play.

Webster defines disability as “a physical, mental, cognitive, or developmental condition that impairs, interferes with, or limits a person’s ability to engage in certain tasks or actions or participate in typical daily activities and interactions.”

We all know disabilities can range from simply trying to open a jar to the inability to regulate, comprehend, and interpret emotions.

Credit: Brian Watkins Gallery – The Butterfly

We also know that play is important for all adults…and especially adults with cognitive disabilities like autism. Play provides a method to redirect, calm the senses, and simply enjoy ‘being in the moment.’

In her article “Autism and Creativity” Barb Cohen shares the strong link between autism and creativity and how “we all possess stronger intelligences in some modalities, and each individual is unique.”

And, in his recent book, “The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Innovation” Simon Baron-Cohen makes a case that autism is as ”crucial to our creative process and cultural history as the mastery of fire.”

Credit: Brian Watkins Gallery – Kleidescope Wheel Note Card

Play in the form of creating art for those with autism can result in fantastic work beyond the limits of our own imagination.

Organizations that advocate for and employ those with disabilities and those which provide fun playful products we can enjoy, share, and support especially catch our attention.

One such businesses is Brian Watkins Gallery. Brian and his work demonstrate how creativity, play, and disability coalesce.

Hint hint…Brian’s cards and wrapping papers make for especially great gifts, and well you know, the holidays ARE just around the corner.

Credit: Brian Watkins Gallery – “Wonder Filled Holiday”

About a quarter of U.S. adults live with some sort of disability and about 10% live with cognitive challenges.

Support of play and creativity to help those with disabilities warms our hearts. It’s just plain important for well-being. We also understand how their play could be just as important for us as it is for them.

In her review of “The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Innovation,” Claudia Wallis shares that Simon Baron-Cohen wrote “When the hyper-systemizing qualities of autism are supported and nurtured, the unique skills and talents of autistic individuals can shine — to their benefit and to the benefit of society.”

As we turn to the holiday season and increase online shopping this year, we hope you will playfully surf, discover, and consider purchasing from small businesses that support those with disabilities like Brian Watkins Gallery.

Heck – it’s valuable for the creators, for those who purchase and receive the benefit of these gifts, and in its own way, positively changes the world.

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