This morning, I sat down and watched my daughter perform a concert. We were her audience, and I watched proudly as she stood up there (in our lounge room) and strutted her stuff. She did a mean cover of Redfoo’s “Let’s Get Ridiculous”, the theme song to Peppa Pig, and then made up her own little number.
It was beautiful. Precious. And she reminded me of me at that age. Ok, let’s be honest, she’s pretty much a Mini Me.
Watching her took me back to my childhood, and the endless concerts and performances I used to put on for friends and family. I loved to make people smile. And not just for the applause, but because I genuinely loved seeing people happy. I’ve always wanted those around me to radiate joy. To light up. Shine.
She doesn’t know this yet, but I am inspired by my daughter. Her innocence, her sense of wonder and her complete presence. She, like most children, are wholeheartedly in the moment. She doesn’t give two hoots what anyone else thinks of her. She is who she is. She embraces that. And I LOVE it. And I will do everything in my power to make sure she never believes anything different.
She, as I did when I was a little girl, spends hours upon hours drawing, painting and creating. It’s her thing. Pages upon pages of paper are filled with colour, shapes, people, animals, number and squiggles.
If I sat down to draw now, as an adult, I know exactly how it turns out… That need for perfection. The need to start again if something doesn’t look right. Perfect angles and colours. Something that should be fun, turns into something that gets judged. The fear of what someone would think of my drawing. As adults, the fun, innocent tasks are turned into fear-based activities that have us paranoid about what someone is going to think of what we produce.
Where is the fun? The innocence? The play?
Play has become a bit theme in my life over the past few weeks. One of my core desired feelings for 2014 is PLAYFUL. And I realised recently that it is the one that has been most neglected. As a Mum, surely it should be the top of my list? Nope – there’s always washing to do, work to be done, dishes to be washed, food to be cooked, social media to be monitored.
PLAY. Something that should be embraced wholeheartedly and take us so deeply into the moment that all we have is joy and wonder.
Why don’t we play anymore? I believe that it all comes back to the thing that holds so many of us back – fear of what other people will think. But why? Why should I be fearful of what my children think if I dance around like a lunatic with them? They LOVE it.
Over the weekend – I put it to the test. I had an hour long drive home from a beautiful workshop completely on my own. My iPod was filled with my favourite tunes, I turned the volume up, wound down my windows and sung and danced (as much as you can safely) til my hearts content. I felt alive. Fulfilled. FREE.
At the red lights, things really started to get really funky… The dance moves turned up a notch. People looked. They smiled. And I would say that 98% of people that looked, drove away with a little spring in their step. At least that’s what I’d like to think.
Play is infectious. We all want to return to that child-like sense of joy more often. We can get so bogged down in work/financial/life stresses that we can forget what it’s like to really have FUN.
I’d love for you to take a moment and really connect with your inner self. Take yourself back to when you were younger – maybe 6 or 7. What was it that you LOVED to do? What had you feeling joyful, elated and special? And of that, what can you now take into the present day? What can you enjoy now that will bring you back to those feelings?
A Spice Girls dance off? Baking a cake AND licking the spoon? Drawing or Painting freely? Running from one end of the garden to the other as fast as you can? Jumping through the sprinkler in the backyard? Climbing a tree? Making a daisy chain?
When I play, I am present. And I feel more like myself than in any other “role” I play.
I think it’s time we dropped the pretence, dropped the masks of adulthood and revel in FUN.
And you never know… in that moment of play, you just may find your calling…
I’d love to hear from you – what can you do to bring back more fun into your world? Do you make time for play?