I want to tell you about a powerful tool for inspiration. In the right hands, it can heal illness; lead to creative breakthroughs; overcome sadness, anxiety and grief; cause lives to change course; and even transform entire communities and societies. What is this extraordinary elixir? The answer is...PLAY! I have examples of how play has helped accomplish all of these ends. But the beauty of play is that we don't ever think of it as a tool. Play is its own reward. We do it purely for its own sake. And when we are really immersed in play, we're not worrying about the future or ruminating about the past. In fact, sometimes we might literally disappear into the act of play. Many times, I have lost myself entirely in play, forgetting about myself and the concerns of my life entirely. That is the beauty of play.
For me, play is a spiritual path as profound as any. Meditators wish for the kind of single-minded focus that children attain when they're playing. Spiritual devotees seek the kind of rapture that comes effortlessly to people doing something they really love--just for the fun of it!
I feel so strongly about the power and value of play that I wrote a book about it, The Way of Play. Here is the first half of a talk that I just gave to a book club associated with an organization called Mama Time:
By clicking on the book cover pic on that page, you'll be able to hear my talk and watch the accompanying slides. Because we ran out of time, I am looking forward to being invited back at a later date to do Part II of the presentation.
The story of how I ended up connecting with Mama Time is pretty amusing in its own right. I'm going to save that for a future Blog Post. In the meantime, let me know what you think of the presentation. Enjoy!