In previous Tips we've explored discernment, inquired into opportunities for greater freedom and fulfillment, and oh my gosh so many opportunities!
We've also explored practicing gratitude and appreciation.
This Tip, let's play.
Where in your life do you enjoy cultivating playfulness and joy, laughter, silliness, campy ridiculous/absurdity, lightness, and responding with playfulness?
This invitation to play can include heartful absurdity, reconnecting with and reclaiming the inner child. It's about reconnecting with our (and others') innocence and joy.
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." Yogi Berra
I want, for you, a long list of activities that feed your daily sense of playfulness, silliness, laughter and absurdity, delight. Yes, Daily! Do you have a list? Then let's start one! Did you start it yet? How about now? How about now?
For some, cultivating play is hard because we have a stack of unmet needs that have gone unfed for so long that it weighs down the heart. When a heavy heart goes unfed long enough, it can become cynical, maybe even angry, and begin to tell tall tales about all the reasons to explain why we don't get to be happy or fulfilled.
When we SORTT things out, it gives us (and others) empathy, hopefully resulting in specific, immediate, doable action that cares for your heart. Over time, this feeds the many starving inner voices. We increasingly find freedom from the weight of exhaustion, depletion and pain.
But it's never too early or too late to start feeding your joy! Remarkably, even starving families in 3rd world countries find ways to play.
For some, cultivating joy means being willing to notice how significant and serious we are. Sometimes seriousness and significance comes out of heartful sincerity. That's OK! There's a time and place for that too.
"We have deep depth." Yogi Berra
Now let's find places and times where you get to practice being irresponsible, irreverent, and insincere.
Find days and places where you can let go of the fear that you're not doing the right thing.
Find places where you can do the wrong thing as an act of play.
Find places where you can tell tall tales for fun. Go out of your way to do something absurd and fun once a week.
Sometimes people are afraid of looking like a fool. Here's a new invitation: go out of your way to be foolish once a day, or at least once a week. Frolic.
Hopefully this list of ideas will help you find your own way to a smirk, a chuckle, or ways to share laughter and play with others, regardless of current circumstances:
Take a moment to think of what things that, when you're alone, stimulate your joy, your laughter, your irreverent absurdity. What can you do today in that department?
Think of three things you enjoyed doing as a kid. Do one this week.
Borrow or buy crayons. Scribble randomly on paper with crayons. Yes, it's silly. Do it for 15 minutes anyway. If you feel moved to do a specific coloring book or drawing, do that! You can get mandala coloring books on Amazon. Or If you really want to laugh, did you know there are adult coloring books on Amazon that are "adult" adult coloring books? Play with one of those for a day!
Make a list of three things you enjoy doing with other people. Do one today. Ask friends and family what they enjoy it until you hear one idea to add to your list. Grow your list until you have at least 52 things a year you can do to cultivate your joy once a week.
Watch Comedy on YouTube, find three favorite comedians and share links with your friends. If you don't know any comedians, ask two friends which ones they recommend.
Take someone's kids out for ice cream. If you can't eat ice cream, pick some other treat that the kids enjoy. Maybe we'll go out for pizza. Or to a zoo. Or maybe you'll go out for frozen yogurt. Or maybe you'll go drive somewhere you can just sit and watch airplanes.
With or without children, run around in circles at the park with your arms out like an airplane, just for the hell of it.
Each week, Go online to find a pun you love, then send it all your friends and family.
Watch unbearably cute kitten videos or puppy videos or flying fox feedings videos.
Take friends and family to watch a silly ridiculous slapstick movie like Young Frankenstein or The airplane series or Jacque Tati “mr hulot’s vacation”. (Holiday? Something like that) or Monty Python holy grail or life of Brian.
Heartfully blow raspberries into the belly of a beloved or relative.
Roll around on the floor with an intimate friend or lover (with or without tickling ) for the joy of the physical compression (squeezy hugs, good for the body! ) and play.
Take a laser pointer toy or wand with a ribbon toy and play with a cat, or watch YouTube videos of someone else doing it.
Take a tennis ball and play fetch with your dog or a friend's dog, or watch some videos on YouTube of dogs solving puzzles.
Pick one item from this To Do list - and do it!!
I hope and trust this list of ideas of ways you can cultivate joy, laughter, and silliness will contribute to your own.
What's on your list for fun and joy today?