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  • Writer's pictureHannah Marsh

Child's Play

As a child, what did play mean to you?

You might imagine your childhood self at play. Perhaps running around with the neighbourhood kids, inventing games, dressing up for make believe, drawing with crayons, telling stories about the bugs in your backyard.

Perhaps there are lots of memories, or few, or none at all - and that's okay. 

Noticing whatever is coming up for you - remembered images, sounds, smells, as well as body sensations and emotions as you bring to mind this childhood self. For this moment, seeing if you can hold it all, gently, kindly. 

When you're ready, you might begin to reflect on what play - or playfulness - means to you.

We've talked before about the connection between mindfulness and play - this non-striving, exploratory curiosity in our moment-to-moment experience - and how it can potentially support our creative process. This wonderful interview with the writer Austin Kleon has inspired me to revisit this subject. Austin Kleon tells fellow writer, Jane Ratcliffe, about watching his kids play:

"There's this magic three to six age, at least my kids had it, where they were these totally unique, interesting artists. They made stuff and they were on fire for living...It really was like watching these unfettered creative monsters.

"...When you watch children at play, you think, ‘That's it. That's the state I need to be in when I work.'

"...For me, [play] was this idea that you step into this kind of magic circle and the normal rules of life don't apply. You're in this make-believe space and you're just like, 'What is this? What could it be? Oh, it's a rocket!'

"And doing things to be in the play, not to have an outcome...not to think about what the final product is, but to literally be there and be doing the thing."

In our next Mindfulness & Creativity session, we'll explore bringing play to our mindfulness practices. We'll also get playfully creative, imagining our childhood selves and how we moved through the world. We'll see what the child inside of us might have to teach us about the value of play.

I look forward to playing together on Sunday!



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