Permission to Play
At what age does the benefit of play cease? Child development experts agree that play is very important in the learning and emotional development of all children. But do we ever grow out of a need for play? I answer with an emphatic no. All the benefits of play continue into adulthood. Would you like to enjoy the following benefits daily?
- Experience fun and joy
- Further develop skills such as reading, problem solving, and strength & flexibility
- Work through emotions and develop values and ethics
- Improve your feelings of self-worth
- Better understanding of the world around you
- Develop social skills and deeper relationships
That's just a short list of what experts say children gain when they play. Humanity has robed itself of humanity when play is removed from our lives. As we age we continue to learn and grow. In some ways we are always children. Exploration and discovery should not end when we become adults. If anything, play should become more exciting and expansive.
Let me apply this to the work world. If you take a little time to play with your tools and explore what they can do, you will find yourself becoming more efficient and skilled with them. The quality of your work will increase because you've been honoring recess and allowing your sub-conscious mind to get involved in the problem solving. Your job will continue to excite you because you will always be finding something new.
In addition, play is a stress relief. If you keep a bow constantly strung up, it will lose it's spring and cease to function. If you continue to tighten the stings on an instrument, they will eventually break and there will be no more music. Playing allows you to loosen the strings and maintain your flexibility. Without play, we can become so focused on one thing that we sacrifice all other possibilities. Concentrate too hard on a single tree trunk long enough and not only will you miss the forest, you'll miss the approaching forest fire!
Take a little time and have some fun today. It will not matter what you accomplish in life, if in the end you never enjoyed it.
Dare to Soar with Carolyn Frances,
Life Coach & Spiritual Guide,