The Importance of Returning to Childlike Playfulness
As the first wave of warmth and sunlight hit my skin the other day, I was reminded of the importance of playfulness and how wonderful it feels when we immerse ourselves into the feeling of that inner childlike connection of innocent play, of being fully immersed in the joy of the moment of creating.
When we are children, it is such an innate part of us to just be in the moment and to have fun! That is what we know how to do and we don’t question it; it just is.
I remember playing Barbies with my childhood friend, Sandra, for hours on end; so deeply immersed in the experience, and the richness of those moments, where anything and everything we dreamed up together was happening right then and there. Everything that came before, or that would come after, was irrelevant during those times of play. My dad had built me this beautiful Barbie house with furniture in it and given it to me for Christmas one year; but to me, it was just too restrictive for my expression. So, our version of the blueprint/floor model of a Barbie house consisted of us taking strings of wool yarn and placing them on the floor in my room, and placing the furniture in that. We would leave these structures up for weeks, with my mom complaining about the mess in my room; but to us, it was the most wonderful expression of our imagination!
These were some of the most joyful times of my childhood and they still inform me to this day of the importance of not forgetting how vital it is to apply this in my adult life.
The Importance of Creative Expression
There are many times as we grow up when the situations we experience can move us away from this relaxed and playful state and give rise to fear, anxiety, worry, and other emotions. The interesting thing is that even when we are no longer in that particular circumstance, the corresponding emotions they have stirred up can still feel so real that we often imagine we are stuck or trapped in them.
And isn’t it mostly true for all of us that such experiences come more frequently as we address our life situations with the seriousness and responsibility they often require? Somewhere in all of that ‘progress’ we have somehow forgotten how to be playful and how to relax into our creative side to balance things out.
The benefits of relaxing into creativity--of being in the present moment with your creative expression and a playful approach--are that those negative emotions can often be dissolved by being fully engaged in the process of creating.
Creativity is truly another form of meditation where we are connecting not only with our Higher Selves but also to a ‘void’ of all possibilities. In this process, we RELEASE, and this ‘letting go’ links us to:
The Divine Heart
The frequency of Love
The flow of Abundance
The enhanced ability of Healing
Creating new pathways in our brain
Forming new patterns
An overall raising of our vibration
When we are creative, we immerse ourselves in the current moment and forget about the past or the future and everything else around us. We also release negative emotions by being fully engaged in the process.
Staying Playful in Our Lives
As babies, we instinctively seemed to know this and approached everything we did with that ‘bounce back’ kind of attitude which demonstrated an intrinsically creative aspect to our every move. We explored, we took in stimuli, we interpreted, and we became ‘more’ of ourselves through this repeated process.
However, as we became self-aware, and we began to engage more consciously with the outside world, we became increasingly influenced by, and responded accordingly to, factors outside of our control. The result has been a disconnect from our naturally relaxed approach as we’ve found ourselves in many situations in which we were expected to temporarily diminish our playfulness and our creative expression to accommodate various social settings. While this was necessary in order to function amongst others, it often sadly led to us forgetting to RETURN to our playfulness and creative expression.
One of my ways of exploring creativity is through watercolor or acrylic painting. During that time, I am in the middle of a creative process that aligns all my senses in complete connection with the stroke of my brush. I am mixing just the right combination of colors for what I'm trying to express, and this places my inner feelings onto the canvas. The bold strokes free me from thinking too narrowly, and the more refined brush strokes help me to be more laser-focused on just one quality at a time.
When I designed my membership, Beauty Flourishing, I made creativity and playfulness an important focus as I understand that we all need to be immersed in these moments, especially as we grow into adulthood. It brings me so much joy to see the women experiment as they take my instructions for creating their own journals, paintings, and watercolors, recipes for self-care, and other ideas and make them their own as we all create within the environment of our community. They take what I’m giving them beyond my initial direction and into their own unique creative expression, and then they excitedly share within the group.
The Quest for Better-Feeling States
Everything we do as human beings is a quest for better-feeling states and we always strive to enhance our experience from within our current state. One of the easiest ways to shift our state is through being playful and creative. As a natural consequence, our bodies begin to relax and we naturally assume postures that our body remembers from playful experiences which brought us joy in our childhood. Whenever we are in immersed in these activities, the body loops us to where we used to be when we were in this playful state, whatever that was for us.
When we are in better-feeling states, there are certain poses we naturally and unconsciously assume. What I teach my students, now, is a technique called state shifting, which consciously brings us out of the emotions we experience during a certain situation and allows us to return our consciousness into a mode of playfulness and joy.
Research has shown that when people are in a posture their bodies associate with joyful memories for just two minutes, their testosterone levels rise as much as 30% and their cortisol levels drop accordingly. In turn, this provides more energy, an increase in metabolism, and a boost of self-esteem amongst other things.
Every posture changes your hormonal balance by influencing the amount of testosterone and estrogen levels in the body. Hormonal changes, in turn, affect every emotional fluctuation.
This information is very powerful because it gives you the context of understanding just how important the idea of playfulness and creativity is in your life. It is not a frivolous thing to give yourself these moments, but is actually vital to your health and well-being and enables you to influence your whole system anytime you choose.
Bringing it Home to You
My focus in writing this blog post for you was to encourage you to give yourself permission to be playful, again. Remember the times in your own life when you felt the exhilaration within playful moments, and allow yourself some creative expression, once again, in whatever form and shape it takes as long as it connects you with the expression of your soul.
Don’t let the energy of this spring season pass you by within the busy-ness of your life; go outdoors, consciously enjoy those moments, and just feel the lightness in the air. Take in the smells of a new, invigorated freshness, feel the warmth of the sunshine on your skin, and breathe in particles of Prana, the life-giving energy that is all around us.
All the best to you!