P L A Y
Recently I have discovered a great gift within myself, and it is that I find every opportunity I can to play! What does this mean you ask? Play? Like a little kid? And yes, quite frankly I mean to say that to find a piece of happiness in this busy and over stimulated life you should make time to play. I often say to my friend, "come play with me!" Sure we laugh and feel that it is childish or immature to do so, but I have found it to be very rewarding.
In my recent pursuit to balance my chakras (yeah that's right I said Chakra- a spiritual path I highly suggest learning about) I recently read about the second chakra "Balanced Vitality" in the book True Balance. This second chakra physically resides in your lower abdomen and according to author Sonia Choquette "beckons our spirit into the earthly experience through emotion, desire, sexuality, sensuality, feeling and pleasure"(41). This chakra "entices us to experience the joy of being alive. It awakens our appetites for life, whether for physical gratification or for emotional fulfillment"(41). While there are many facets to having a balanced second chakra, my focus here is the aspect of play. While most of learn as we grow, that adulthood leaves little time for play it is a highly needed aspect to maintaining a balanced life. "Genuine play is one of the best possible uses of our time, restoring our physical and sensory being and revitalizing our spirits as well"(64).
Here are some questions the author prompts you to ask your self to check-in with this element of "Balanced vitality"
1. What is your fave form of recreation?
2. When is the last time you played with friends?
3. How much time do you allow for play or recreation in a week? A month? A year?
4. Can you remember the last time you had great fun? What were you doing? Who were you with? How did you feel?
Here are some of the things I do to P L A Y!
1. My most favorite thing in the world to do is dance! Not only is it fun, but it also helps me release stress and worry and allow myself to be in its most "free" state. The physical activity of dancing in rhythm with its emotionally healing properties blend perfectly into a ritual that I partake in often and have noticed incredible benefits to my physical well being as well as my emotional well being. For a long time, I worried about what other people thought about how I danced and was always very cautious of where I was and who I was with. However, I have found that its best to shut out the negative vibes of others and allow your self to feel the beat and let it take over. The key to being a "good dancer" is confidence, if you've got it flaunt it. Confidence will make you feel like you can do, no wrong on the dance floor and gives you the chance to let your self go, if only for a minute.
B U B B L E S
2. If you really want to feel like a kid, get a big bubble wand. I bought one for a music festival two years ago and it was one of the best purchases I've ever made. Watch a kid play with bubbles- as Paul Rudd said in Knocked up, "I wish I loved anything as much as my kids love bubbles." They bring simply joy and fun and they can even be beautiful if you look closely. Sometimes I'll even create bubbles to music and I find a ridiculous sense of joy and accomplishment at making bigger better bubbles. It doesnt matter how silly it is, if it makes you happy than it is surely good.
F E S T I V A L S
C H A L K U P T H E D R I V E W A Y
4. Oh yes, just as bad as bubbles. HA! But any form of art can be therapeutic and chalk is an incredibly easy and cheap medium to utilize. Color, create, imagine!~ creating anything gives a sense of pride and confidence. Write a "welcome home" note to a roommate, draw pictures, trace your body on the driveway- so that you can run it over with the car later :)
H U L A H O O P I N G
Another great form of play that is not only fun but also good for you is hula hooping. I cannot tell you how many people respond with "Hula hooping? WHAT?" and as dumb as they may think it is or how sillly it looks, they want to try and soon discover how totally awesome and fun it is. I feel that it belongs in the same category as dancing as it is totally freeing and really allows you to get in tune with your own body and inner self. Its relaxing and can be so beautiful. I have seen girls with light up hoops that perform to music in a packed club, or in the groove at a festival with an unstoppable force driving them to ebb and flow with the music. Of course then you can move to tricks and what not, but the simple motion of that hoop swinging around your body is plenty good to get your soul feeling light and fun.
What ever drives you to play- do it! Feel free, give your second chakra a little push in the right direction with some "genuine" play!
Dance, sing, jump, play!
All photographs © Tara Booze 2011Book Source:
Choquette, Sonia. True Balance: A Commonsense Guide for Renewing Your Spirit. New York: Three Rivers, 2000. Print.