A few weeks ago as I was fixing breakfast and getting ready for the day I turned on the playlist on my iPhone that contains my favorite songs from the literally hundreds of songs I have downloaded from iTunes or uploaded from CD’s I had purchased -back when that was the primary way you got music! One of the first songs that played was titled Amazing Things by singer-songwriter Megan McDonough. The part of the song that jumped out at me was:
You don’t have to work it out,
Just stay in the here and now,
Let your mind rest for a little while,
Sometimes deepest answers come,
When you’re out there having fun,
So close your eyes, take a breath,
Sometimes deepest answers come, When you’re out there having fun, …. I began to think about how many times I have had just such an experience while participating in or leading an InterPlay class. This is especially true in the Wisdom of the Body Deep Play classes which I teach. I think it is because these classes last longer and give more time and space to let go, let the mind rest and just focus on having fun; moving for the joy of moving; singing made-up songs for the delight of using your voice; talking about made-up words as if you are the authority, just because you can; ranting about something in a made up language without worrying what anybody thinks. These ways of playing, along with many, many more of the 26 InterPlay forms seem to create space for ideas to enter. They seem to allow for the openness that is necessary to discover my own deepest wisdom. They create the peace that is necessary for me to notice what is true for me.
But, let me be clear, these answers don’t always pop up in the midst of playing. And deciding to play, so that I will find an answer, usually short circuits the process. It’s when I play for the sheer joy and delight of playing; when I give myself over to the freedom to play and laugh and be silly in an environment where I feel safe and welcome and affirmed; it is then that I have opened the way for ideas and answers and wisdom to emerge.
There are certainly many ways to play and play -honest to goodness play- has so many positive affects on us body-mind-heart-spirit, that we need to find ways of having more play in our lives -no matter how old our young the calendar says that we are. Recent research has demonstrated that for adults as well as children play is important in relieving stress, improving brain function, stimulating creativity, improving relationships and increasing energy. As George Bernard Shaw once observed, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.”
So find some ways to play: InterPlay, Laughter Yoga, dancing, riding your bike, taking a hike, whatever it is that engages you body, mind, heart and spirit, fills you with joy and lets your mind rest for a little while! And maybe, just maybe you will discover that for you too, sometimes deepest answers come, when you’re out there having fun; so close your eyes, take a breath and smile.”