Play Like No One is Watching

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.’ – Roald Dahl

Halloween just happens to be my favorite holiday as it gives me a hall pass to be a kid again. The further I get from the magic of those early years, the more I’ve come to need Halloween. It’s a day when you can become anyone or anything you wish. The seat belt light is officially turned off and you are free to walk about the cabin.

As I was accessory shopping for this years costume, I overheard a young girl ask her dad, “Can I be a ladybug warrior?” I thought to myself, wow those are kind of diametrically opposed. He must have thought something similar as his reply was, “I don’t think so sweetheart.” Can you imagine what kind of costume this child may have created? What would her ladybug warrior look like? One part cute and sweet and another part strong and powerful; who wouldn’t want to have those characteristics?

warrior_woman-240x300ladybugI just love to watch kids explore their environment, dogs dive into the water after a tossed stick, and cats in hot pursuit of a beam of light. They are all engaged in pure play. Stuart Brown MD has spent his career studying play. He says “We are built to play and built through play. Making it a part of our daily lives is a huge factor in being a fulfilled person. He compares play to oxygen- it’s all around us, yet goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it is missing.”

Play is actually critical for children as it shapes their brain and helps them learn social skills and become better problem solvers. As an adult, because play is truly unproductive by its nature, it often gets left behind as our day to day demands take over. In multiple studies, it is noted that when play is denied over the long term our mood darkens and we lose our sense of optimism.

There is a kind of magic in play. It has the power to bring us joy, energy, a sense of ease, and opens us up to new possibilities. Relating this to bodywork, these assets are also one of the keys to healing. So from the bottom of my heart, please go play! And don’t hesitate to let me know if it made you smile and feel alive.

“Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind.” ~ Swami Bua