Some people get to keep their playful attitude towards life throughout the years. Can you recall your childhood days? Everything was an opportunity to play and enjoy the moment, right? Many of us still have that candid and spontaneous drive for playfulness. And meditation made it even clearer why playful is a way of being.
Thanks to the sustained process of regular meditation, we understand that nothing in life is really that serious, irrefutable and eternal. It all becomes a matter of choice and a decision. As Abraham Lincoln put it: “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” A playful attitude puts a smile on our faces and probably casts joy around us, too. Meditation has opened the door to this playful “tool-box” and came with the realisation that reality can become what we choose to make out of it. Here are some tips from the meditation practice to become more playful.
A lot, until your jaws hurt and you can’t straighten your lips anymore. When you meditate, remind yourself to smile and to not take it so seriously. I used to put some pressure on myself by being attached to either the practice itself or the result. Not anymore. Now, “whatever” and “however” are my favourite words. I also keep a question close to my heart throughout the day “Why so serious?”. Whenever I think of this question, my face instantly blooms into a big smile.
2. Be curious
A spoon was created to meet a specific need and is intended to be used in a certain way. Most of the things that surround us have a role and a “how-to-use-it”. Meditation broke this predefined way of approaching things in the same way over and over again. And it created a wonderful freedom and space for play. What if the road to work doesn’t have to be about being stuck in traffic, stressing out about being late, getting angry that you had to stop at another red light? How could you transform this situation into a playful one?
3. Celebrate “failure”
Sometimes we think things have to be a certain way and that we are supposed to live like this or like that. We associate failure with negativity, with not being able to fulfill on what we promised. Thomas Edison’s way of dealing with failure is absolutely fantastic. He once said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” When we were kids, we were making the rules of the game as we were playing and things were perfectly ok. There was no expectation, no supposition and no assumption. Try it just for one day. Say “Great, this did not go accordingly to my plan! I’ll just celebrate!”
5. Pour some energy
Let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t feel like washing the dishes or accomplishing a boring task. In life, there are things we can choose and things that we have to do, since they are part of our responsibility. So, what to do when you have to do something you are really resisting? Play! Pour some energy on it. Make it about the process, not about the goal. See what could be engaging in that activity. Innovate an alternative way of carrying the task.
Playfulness is a combination of livelihood, happiness and fun. What if these were the new principles we abide by both in life and when we meditate? How would that go?