Permission to Play from the Heart
Giving ourselves permission to play is all about having meaningful experiences. It is about letting go and not taking ourselves too seriously.
Songwriters Susanna Clark and Richard Leigh composed Come from the Heart in 1987:
“You’ve got to sing like you don’t need the money.
Love like you’ll never get hurt.
You’ve got to dance like nobody’s watchin’
It’s gotta come from the heart if you want it to work.”
Yes, having a direction helps us navigate our lives but it is not everything in life. When we realize that we can have meaningful experiences, our perspective shifts. Because it is then that we understand that it is up to each of us to come alive and experiment.
The opportunity is to see and experience who you are, and who you choose to be, so you can create healthy stories. You have an incredible ability and capacity to :
- Know when you tune fully into yourself
- Recognize the wide range of choices in how you respond to every situation; and
- Play with your freedom to choose.
Isn’t this why so many of us have spent our lives yearning for freedom from societal prisons of the mind?
Children Have Permission to Play
When we are young we are carefree until we are instructed to grow up. For me, growing up is over-rated as it is when we are expected to know what we want to do, and how we become responsible citizens, parents, workers and whatever other role growing up entails.
When we are young, it’s a compliment where someone thinks we are older. And when we are older, it’s a compliment when someone thinks we are younger. But at some point, we forget to play and often, take ourselves way too seriously.
Because I no longer separate my weeks into work days and weekends, giving myself permission to play is a way of life. Yesterday when I walked on the beach in my new location, I observed the playfulness of the kids around me. There was freedom and pure joy. Just like the pelicans soaring high above us.
One woman was walking with three young children. The two boys were running ahead; not caring about how many steps they were taking and whether they met their daily goal. The little girl would take a few steps, stop, dig in the sand and then run ahead. Were they going for a walk? Did they have a destination? Was this one big play date?
The woman never yelled at the girl to hurry up; she matched her playful pace. The boys stayed close and ran in all directions. It was a glorious foggy day.
What Are You Gifting Yourself?
Are you gifting yourself permission to play? And what does play mean to you? It is very personal and right now.
It’s not not only about dancing like no one is watching.
It is about transforming problems and sadness into opportunities and action. It’s not only being passive within a gaming structure but breaking free to be who you truly are. Playing is about tapping into your imagination as you play in your own way with curiosity, compassion, authenticity, self-awareness, confidence, creativity and pure joy.
p.s. Being naturally curious (playful), I searched “permission to play” and laughed out loud with what I uncovered: “Permission-to-play values simply reflect the minimum behavioral and social standards required of any employee. They tend not to vary much across companies, particularly those working in the same region or industry, which means that, by definition, they never really help distinguish a company from its competitors.”
I do believe, this is our time to let go and give ourself permission to be free of all of this conditioning. And I have no idea, nor do I care to understand, what permission to play values are. Ready to simply play and experiment with the unknown?