Think of the dance floor at a wedding. We've all been there... We all know we should dance. But no one is yet. You kind of want to dance but you don't want to look silly. Then you get the nod from the couple or from the eager bridesmaids and you've got your permission to get on out there. In a matter of seconds, most people see that others are starting to dance and they give themselves permission to throw their best shapes.
I'll be honest, I'm not one to wait that long before bursting in on the newly wed couple. It's part of my charm ;P
(Although once I was the wallflower, sitting down chair dancer. See more below)
I'm now about to burst on to the metaphorical dancefloor again and give you the nodding head, wink and flapping hand motion. Except this dancefloor is not just for dancing, it's for play! And it extends all over the world, wherever you are! In the workplace, on the train, in your kitchen, wherever. You have full permission to play.
Even better when you play, you're lifting the atmosphere of wherever you are and you're giving others around you permission.
So many wait around to see permission to play. Here's your permission. When you play more, you're helping the community around you and giving them permission too.
"Why is play so important?"
This picture lists the top benefits of play but essentially what you need to know is that play is a catalyst that helps us connect better to each other and the things around us. If you've been following this blog you'll likely already know that play is naturally therapeutic and is my method of choice for delivering therapy. Play encourages more risk taking, teachers out there know that more risk taking= more learning.
"How is an adult supposed to play?"
Well there is no wrong or right way but here are some features of play...
- It's self rewarding. You like doing it for the sake of it rather than any outcome.
- It's spontaneous and self generated.
- Can be on your own or with others
- It's all absorbing
"How should I start?"
- Sing Madonna in the shower
- Doodle whilst waiting on the phone
- Do a tribal dance to the intro of Game of Thrones (am I the only one that does that?)
The possibilities are endless. If a lot of possibilities seems overwhelming or if you're wondering how you will fit it in, I can help. I'm offering a bit of hand holding in the form of a short email series that lasts 10 days. I will send you an email each day with a super easy playful task that requires no special materials and can be done in under 5 minutes. It's a 10 day get-you-reintegrated-to-play mini challenge as part of #playfulMay. Click here for more info.
"OK, I see that play is important and I do want to have more play in my life. How do I get involved?"
There are a few ways depending on the level of engagement (and benefits!) you want...
I want to be at the party!
Awesome, you're invited! Join the facebook #PlayfulMay group where we will be sharing our "play moves". Examples galore and cheering you on when you throw your shapes.
Can I bring a plus one?
I want to be on the dancefloor/play mat!
Rock on, post your pictures on social media and remember to hashtag them #playfulMay so I can see them.
I want to join the dancefloor BUT... it's been a while and I'm not feeling that confident/ I want it to be easy at the start/I don't want to come up with my own ideas just yet.
I totally get it. Let me help you with my 10 day get-you-reintegrated-to-play structured mini challenge straight to your inbox. Click here.
I'm down to dance but perhaps for just a few songs.
No pressure. A bit of play is better than none at all. Tag #playfulMay whenever you do something playful in May.
I'd prefer to do some of that sit down dancing at the tables at the back. I'm happy to watch.
It's not as much fun and certainly not as powerful for your brain and body but hey, I'm still glad you're here. Get a chair and take a peek at other adults doing their playful thing by joining the event on facebook.
I want to be the one kicking off my shoes, skidding across the dance floor on my knees & finally Russian kick dancing in the centre.
YES YES YES! Join the group, join the event & post a picture each day of May to represent how you played that day.
For more examples from last year, check out the gallery in the group. Read more in depth about my life altering experience last year in my post "My playful May Bug" and "You never know where play will lead".
I'm looking forward to seeing you at the party that is #PlayfulMay !
Shimmy shimmy shimmy,
P.s. Can you tell I'm planning a wedding right now?
**Please note, sometimes these online challenges end with a big pitch at the end for a paid product or service. That's not my bag. This is just for fun and for a better world (cheesy as it sounds)! Find out more about my why on this page.
If you're still reading, well done! I'd love to ask you one question for you to answer in the comments below.
When was the last time you played (just for you)?